Very few people in the West know what Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is about, or even what it is. The idea behind these updates is to bring you up to speed with the details of the game. (Spoiler free of course) We would cover the story first, but unfortunately there is little information (in English) on the games story and that causes problems when trying to write an article on the subject. But as the title suggests we will be covering the gameplay of the game.
The gameplay of Bravely Default is that of traditional RPG which includes random encounters and a job system (similar to Final Fantasy V). The game also includes a stocking system called “Brave Point” or “BP” for short. This allows players to gain extra turns in order to perform powerful combos. BP is obtained by using the “Default” command. This makes players skip a turn in order to gain BP. BP can also go negative when used constantly resulting in your enemies gaining more turns and performing longer combos. BP can also be transferred between characters, so keeping a balance between them is a key factor for maximum damage.
The job system is similar to that of Final Fantasy V in that characters learn abilities from using jobs. Job commands are the special skills of this game so they come in the varieties of Magic and Attack. Once a skill is learned, the character retains that ability allowing you to mix and create different strategies with different jobs. Jobs also have Support Abilities. These are automatic skills that give stats boost. Like the Final Fantasy series, there is a “cost” for each ability in order to be equipped. Growth in job mastery is represented by job levels. As characters use a class more frequently in battle, their job level increases. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy features a special system called “Abilink”, which allows players to borrow the job levels of their friends’ characters.
Another new battle command is the “Friend Summon” system, where players can summon the characters of other players using either data transfer between the player’s friends or 3DS Streetpass system between strangers. When a Friend Summon is used repeatedly, they will grow in “Affection” and become stronger.
The game also has a “Deathblow” system. Deathblows are powerful finishing moves based on weapons. They can only be used under special conditions. Each of the 9 weapon-types has 1-3 levels of attacks for a total 27 Deathblows. Furthermore the attack names, dialogue when used and after-effects (such as status effects, elemental properties, and better damage versus certain enemy types) of Deathblow can be customized.
After a Deathblow is activated, the background music will change a unique theme based on the character and the Deathblow effects can stack. All weapon types have set proficiency that affects the learning rate and damage of each weapon and Deathblow. They are ranked S-E and vary from class to class: for example Freelancers have a B rating in all weapons.
All of these mechanics seem to add exciting variety and give players a large amount of systems to work with. The game utilizes the streetpass feature of the Nintendo 3DS without being tacked on or forced, but using it as more of a enhancement to the overall experience. The gameplay is promising and the Japanese loved it, we hope to see it in the West soon.