A Second (Sixth?) Time Around: Bravely Second demo impression

The Bravely Second: End Layer demo came out last week! And guess who played it! That’s right! This chick! And I beat it this past weekend!

So obviously this isn’t a for real review because, hello, demo! However, I did want to do a quick impression piece on it because I’m pretty dang pumped about this game!

So I’ll start off with saying I absolutely loved Bravely Default. I know quite a few people didn’t enjoy how the game played out, but I really don’t remember it bothering me that much. Granted, maybe that’s some variant of nostalgia glasses, but I honestly don’t think so. I loved the story, and I loved the gameplay innovations it brought to the JRPG genre. Bravely Default was such a breath of fresh air in a genre that was struggling to not feel stale.

However, I’m not here to talk about Bravely Default. Nope. I’m here to talk about the Bravely Second demo, which I was super stoked to get to play! Unfortunately, it kind of underwhelmed me. Sure, we get a peak at some new job asterisks and some new characters, but nothing really wowed me. While some of the new asterisks were fun, others were more annoying to me, and either way, job classes are job classes. They aren’t going to make or break it for me, though I really do hope they didn’t exhaust their list of new jobs in the demo because if that’s all they have to offer in the way of new job classes, I’d just as soon play the old ones.

The new characters didn’t really click with me either. They were mostly caricatures of JRPG character tropes, which is all fine and good if I hadn’t felt so bonded to the characters in the first game. They presented compelling reasons to be involved in the happenings of the game, while these new characters seem so two-dimensional. I will say that they grew on me a bit by the end and the way the demo ended was a neat way to integrate it into the timeline of the proper game, but by then, it was almost too late.

Nothing much about gameplay has changed, though I’m not sure why I would have expected it to. They have introduced a neat mechanic where you can chain fights to gain more exp, which kept areas that I would otherwise be way over-levelled for compelling and fun. I guess it just feels like after the innovative changes they introduced in the first game that this all seems a little lackluster. Or maybe I’m jaded. Either-or, really.

None of this changes that I’m excited for the game. I pre-ordered it, and I still fully intend to drop everything and play it when it comes out. Bravely Default was an insanely fun game, and I don’t see Bravely Second: End Layer being any less so. I guess all I’m saying is that maybe I’m just not as excited as I could be.

And hey, at least I earned some bonus items for once I start the real game.

(Yes, I know this game has been out in Japan for quite awhile, but I’m steadfastly refusing to encounter any spoilers.)

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