I have finished the game. My expert jrpg knowledge about the game.

#1PrintScreenKeyPosted 1/16/2014 5:09:59 AM(edited)
*possible spoilers below* and possible FF spoilers

I have played hundreds of JRPGs over 2 decades. Here is the truth about where bravely default stands.

The largest complaint for many people is that chapters 5-8 were repetitive.
But, here are the true weaknesses and strengths of this game based on my expert knowledge.

The biggest weakness is that it's a bare-bones RPG
This might be hard for people to understand without much knowledge of JRPGs. It is by far the largest weakness of the game. From experience, this is as minimal as it comes.

There are only 5 towns + Grandship. Each town is allocated 2-3 pre-renders. Each town is relevant to the story.
Most RPGs come with more than 5 towns. For reference, FF7 has 15 towns, even without including areas such as the desert prison or the house in the great glacier. Each town consists of multiple pre-renders of the town itself and multiple pre-renders of the many shops/houses you can enter. For instance, Midgar counts as one town but it's gigantic and the number of pre-renders just for midgar is far more than the combined number of pre-renders for all of Bravely Default.

Midgar alone had:
Wall Market which had over 20 pre-renders alone (inn, food shop, clothes shop, medicine, arcade thing, gym, bar, corneo place, hotel, playground outside, wall.. etc)
Aeris place (garden, downstairs, upstairs)
Church (roof, below roof, flowers, behind flower)
Outside shinra HQ
Tifa's Bar, shops around tifa's bar
train station + train
sector 7 slums (+ shops)
area outside sector 1

Midgar had many dungeons:
train graveyard
sewers
shinra HQ (many floors and areas)
reactor 1
reactor 5
The pillar
outside slums to wall market
return to midgar

Even small towns such as fort condor or mideel had more pre-renders than a bravely default town.

Second, Bravely default had heavy dungeon re-use and uncreative dungeons. The dungeons consisted of the same things repeated again. The mithril mines and underflow had the same rocks and stairway layout. The underflow looks exactly like the vestment cave in another colour. The temples are the same. Even the final dungeon is uninspired. It used a different background than other dungeons but the layout was the same. Same type of pathway/stairway layout. Even worse, the bonus dungeon combines and copies the previous dungeons.

Compare that to the dungeons and optional dungeons of other RPGs. Use google search if you haven't played these games to see their dungeons.
Grandia gaia's body. FF8's ultimecia castle/ deep sea research. FF9's pandemonium/ipsen castle. Chrono cross dead sea & tower of geddon.

I will elaborate further as part of my next point.

Thirdly, Bravely Default has one dimensional gameplay with a lack of optional content. You might think Bravely Default has a lot of optional content as given by the blue destination markers. The "optional" content is what makes the game a full game. Without doing any of the "optional" dungeons in Bravely Default then the game has very little content. The only mildly different dungeon, albeit with the same design layout was the one with controllable doors. Bravely Default's gameplay involved battle monsters and rebuilding norender whilst going from A to B.

Now we compare it to other RPGs to show how they handle optional and extra gameplay. RPGs generally mix things up while going from A to B.

Chrono Cross had 45 playable characters, the majority were optional.
FF7 had 2 optional characters, chocobo racing, chocobo breeding, locations around the world map with hidden treasure, gold saucer (mog, brawling), submarine game, snowboard, fort condor mini-game, treasure digging, huge materia quests, great glacier - had to keep warm + finding your way in the snow, junon - soldier thing, solve the locked safe in nibelheim and more
#2PrintScreenKey(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2014 5:14:03 AM(edited)
This is where dungeon design comes in. You will notice that part of the extra gameplay happens while traversing dungeons. Many FF dungeons involve solving a puzzle to advance and not merely walking up and down stairs until you reached the boss.

I rest my case. The repetitiveness of chapters 5-8 is NOT the biggest weakness. If they condensed Chapters 6-8 into Chapter 5 the game would be 20 hours after doing all the optional content up to that point. I finished the game getting all the jobs and items in 30 hours at a relaxed pace and levelling to 85. I watched every cutscene. I did not do every boss rematch as boss rematches only add to the gametime and isn't unique content. Bare-bones RPG is the biggest weakness.

The biggest strength of this game is the release timing

There hasn't been an RPG of this particular pre-rendered style in a long time which is where it shines.
The battle system is enjoyable but I've played with job systems many times (tactics games, ff12 int. ff5)
The story and characters are enjoyable but I've played many games with better stories and characters.
#3OrleanKnightPosted 1/16/2014 5:18:56 AM
The fact that you use FF7 as your base to critique BD shows you don't have as much experience as you claim -- therefore I didn't really care much for your post.
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#4ExkalipoorPosted 1/16/2014 5:20:44 AM
So at first you write how much experience and "expert knowledge" you have and how you have discovered the truth to enlighten us. Arenīt you charming and generous.

And all you say is that this game doesnīt reach FFVII, one of the greatest JRPGs. A fair and useful comparison indeed.


Sarcasm aside, I wouldnīt disagree that the low numbers of cities could have handled better, but it was chapter 5-8, where It got annoying to visit all old towns who offers next to nothing new. If these chapters had new towns, then the problem would be small. I donīt need three town in every chapter, if one town fullfills the meanings.
#5OrleanKnightPosted 1/16/2014 5:28:01 AM
One thing we need to consider, and I'm not trying to be apologetic here; Bravely Default was an experiment when it was made. They weren't sure if it would sell at all. The 3DS has been a base for a lot of experimental games, which I welcome. Games like this only get better with additional releases. They have a new one coming out in the near future and on top of that they are going to strive for annual releases.

I'm okay with the first BD being pretty bare bones, so was the first Final Fantasy game. As long as this launches into a solid series that doesn't spin out of control like Final Fantasy did, then I'm happy. I've been starved of good RPGs for what feels like decades, the last solid one I played was Blue Dragon for crying out loud.
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#6MagiusNecrosPosted 1/16/2014 5:29:05 AM
>Says BD lacks optional content
>Game has optional bosses to fight from 4HoL and BS

>Says you have expert knowledge on jrpg's
>Proceeds to make comparisons to FF7,FF9, and Chrono Cross

Yeah not much to say here.
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#7OrleanKnightPosted 1/16/2014 5:31:55 AM
I hate the term: JRPG.

Anyone who uses it really isn't an "expert" in the genre.
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#8MagiusNecrosPosted 1/16/2014 5:43:14 AM
OrleanKnight posted...
I hate the term: JRPG.

Anyone who uses it really isn't an "expert" in the genre.


Whenever I see JRPG nowadays I automatically assume it stands for Jaded Role Playing Game and given most recent RPG's I am generally correct.
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#9shadothebrainPosted 1/16/2014 5:46:29 AM
I think he uses ff7 since its really well known, not saying its the greatest of all time. And I don't mind the use of the term jrpg. Helps me understand and recognize the difference between an rpg like this, and say one like fall out 3.
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#10GuardianAtDawnPosted 1/16/2014 5:46:31 AM
Oh dear. You've really opened yourself up for a bashing here by proclaiming yourself an "expert" and then focusing in tightly on the FF series and Chrono Cross.

You simply cannot compare FFVII to BD. FFVII was the first non-sprite installment of an established franchise. It was bound to sell, and had all the money thrown at it. BD was a risk, as OrleanKnight said.

Also, the release timing for America is terrible so it's hardly a strength - it comes out the same month as not one, but two much better-known console RPGs (Lightning Returns and Tales of Symphonia Chronicles) and then there's the new Atelier game a few weeks later ... Really bad decision by NoA.
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