It is difficult to achieve innovation in Japanese role-playing games. This type of turn-based combat and class system is still stubbornly fixed. The developers tried to add action elements to the gameplay, or introduced a new progress system, but achieved varying success.
Therefore, when the studio encounters wrinkles, it pushes the style forward, so it becomes a feature worth celebrating. In the “Brave Default” series, innovation is so important that it appears in the title. The series proposes a “brave” and “default” system, which is a technique based on turn-based combat. Players can be “brave” and use future moves to launch attacks in advance, or “default”, which can prepare them for future defenses and turns.
This concept is very popular, and the effect is very good, Square Enix turned it into a series. “Brave Default II” hosted by Claytechworks inherited the iconic combat system, but introduced new actors and stories. It mainly occurs on continents with five kingdoms, these kingdoms are Halcyonia, Savalon, Wiswald, Rimedhal and Holograd. The sixth kingdom called Musa was destroyed, and its elemental crystals were stolen.
The story so far…
The focus of the event is Gloria, the princess of Moussa, who is trying to recover the lost treasure. She met a male protagonist, the player can name him, and two others: Adelle and Elvis. The four people embark on an adventure together to collect wind, water, earth and fire crystals, which are the core of internal conflicts in several kingdoms.
In the traditional JRPG style, the team travels to each kingdom and solves the problems there, while also discovering the background story behind each hero. Despite the cute character design and bright colors, “Brave Default II” is still a dark story. Players will encounter a large number of corpses, religious fanaticism and political murder. For games that look like statues of precious moments alive, this is a strange contrast.
In terms of structure, the first three chapters are linear and sporadic, but “Brave Default II” will be opened in later chapters, because Gloria’s Heroes of Light staff have to seek help from other kingdoms and cooperate with other kingdoms. Fight against big threats. Players can also get more content through marginal missions and party chats, thereby making the story and characters more in-depth. The only problem is that many missions are trivial acquisition missions or jobs to eliminate certain monsters.
Although this part of the game may be disappointing, the combat and character upgrades are top-notch. “Brave Default II” is JRPG, which embodies the flexibility of its system. Up to four actions can be used or the ability to save them creates a fascinating dynamic effect where players can go all out to eliminate enemies or save rounds to save the eliminated party.
On top of this is an operating system built on the concept of artifacts called “asterisks.” Throughout the course of the battle, players will defeat the enemy and obtain these artifacts that can create job opportunities. Then, players must upgrade these jobs to get more powerful spells, abilities or attacks. Players can choose two occupations and up to five passive abilities from the upgraded occupations.
The advantage of this system is to find the best combination of each. “Brave Default Settings II” provides a rich workspace for players who love Theorycraft. The game creates tempting opportunities to create gatherings where different abilities can work together. Players can test them against rare bosses or tougher enemies.
In the case of equal roles, the player decides the role of each member of the party. Players have 20 kinds of jobs to choose from, and they can try and master a variety of ways. “Brave Default II” will test the player’s mastery and knowledge of these occupations, because the ultimate boss is very difficult.
The only problem is that the game forces players to perform a lot of running-in to achieve these lofty goals. Political parties sometimes fall into conflicts with insufficient power, and players will have to be promoted and increase their workload to fight opponents. In other places, some job skills are the key to difficult battles, and players need to upgrade them to have a chance.
Claytechworks tries to alleviate this situation with an online compatible system, in which players can use the spacecraft to collect valuable items when not playing games. This is a slow process and may be a slogan, but “Brave Default 2” is a reward for those who find its complexity.
This is a JRPG with more than 60 hours. It requires more strategies than its peers, and it can keep the player indulged in its dark story. This also shows that when the genre offers easy depth and compelling complexity systems, it can still surprise players.
“Brave Default 2”
3½ stars, up to 4 stars
platform: Nintendo Switch