Bravely Second: End Layer review

If you’re a regular visitor of my site I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been playing Bravely Second: End Layer these past few weeks. And as you may have noticed too, when I play a game like this, for hours on end, it’s mostly because I’m emotionally involved in the game. Otherwise I tend to loose interest quickly. Not for this one though: it was my game of the month March, so with the American release close, it’s about time I gave you my thoughts on this game.

Great free demo with some 9 hours of gameplay

I never finished the first game, Bravely Default, but I know enough of the storyline to see that some of the places we visit in the second game are familiar, as are a lot of the characters. Still, you don’t need to finish the first one to enjoy this new game. Once again we travel to Luxendarc to save the world! Like with the first game, a demo is downloadable for free in the Nintendo 3DS eShop. The demo called The Ballad of the Three Caveliers is a nice intro if you are new to the series, and a good way to get re-acquainted again if you’re an old hand. It’s a separate story with a good story-line and likeable characters, and it’s not a part of the main one: if you want to enjoy it to the fullest it will give you some 9 hours of great gameplay extra. After finishing it you can acquire several bonuses, the kind of bonus depends on what level you got to, what job level you reached and which monsters you defeated. Here in Europe, downloading the full game after playing the demo also got you a 10% discount on the price for the game. If you’ve had streetpass hits in the game you can also carry over a maximum of 20 villagers.Demo three cavaliers

Back to Luxendarc

We witness the events after Agnès Oblige and her friends managed to make peace between the Crystal Orthodoxy and the Duchy of Eternia in the first game. I want to warn you, if you don’t want to know anything about the story, skip the next part!

Agnès, who is now pope Agnès of the Crystal Orthodoxy, is about to sign the peace treaty when the ceremony is disrupted by a mysterious foe. He calls himself Kaiser Oblivion, a name that doesn’t spell much good! He kidnaps Agnès and leaves her defenders, one of which is her young bodyguard Yew Geneolgia, for dead. Yew is devastated, but not dead: after his recovery he swears to do all in his power to save Agnès. At first he sets out with his comrades in arms from the demo but soon the story takes an unexpected turn. Sometimes a game just touches your heart, and without spoiling the storyline, I’ll say this one really did. I really felt for Yew, which is a sign to me of a great story. Yew meets Edea Lee, from the first game, who is once again up for the challenge to save the world and help Yew. Together they find a stranded Magnolia Arch, who has come from the Moon chasing after the Ba’al who destroyed her home. Yew, Edea and Magnolia revive Tiz Arrior who has been suspended in stasis, and as “ Agnès Ba’al Busters” they continue their journey, trying to reach the Skyhold where the Kaiser is keeping Agnès prisoner.

The Moon Base is the place you get to restore on the bottom screen, aided by people you meet in Streetpass, or friends you find online. Like you did in the first game with Norene village. Making sure the Moon Base is restored quickly aids you in your travels, as the facilities that you restore make items for you. Things like potions to replenish your Health Points, ether to restore your Magic Points or bombs of all sorts to cripple your enemies.On a quest, bravely second, yew, yoko, magnolia

Tough and emotional choices to be made

One of the things that I love about these games is the depth that it gives to the story. Using Party Chat you can listen in on conversations in the group. And the cutscenes in between dungeons are full of dialogue, sometimes funny, sometimes a bit cheesy. All of it helped me to form a bond with my party, all characters are very likeable in their own way. Some RPG fans might not like this though: aside from all the battles you have to listen to a lot of text. Exactly my cup of tea, but I guess not for everyone. When it comes to battles the game has so many features that I sometimes can’t keep up with what I can adjust where. Abilinking with 3DS friends, setting special moves, making use of special moves of friends and Internet acquaintances by summoning a friend, setting the right combination of jobs and abilities. So much going on, it will really keep you busy.Fighting the Ba'al

You get new jobs by defeating enemies and securing their Asterisk. It’s a pity though that in this sequel, not all jobs are attainable. Sometimes you have to chose between two people who try to drag you into their argument by having you side with them. Defeating the other party means you won’t be able to get the Asterisk of the one you are helping. For instance, you will have to chose between the White Mage and the Merchant. I wanted the White Mage job, but to get it I had to go against everything I valued. I had to tell an old man and his granddaughter to give up their family home for the sake of progress and help the horrible little merchant in this. I’ve been an absolute coward here, and it still bugs me. Do you know I even skipped all the dialogue because it got to me too much? Awful!

Great game for RPG fans who don’t mind lots of text

The towns that are dotted around Luxendarc are beautifully detailed in watercolour style. Every job comes with its own costume, one more fantastic looking then the other. Overall the style of the game is very good looking, a lot of work has gone into making everything perfect and pleasing to the eye. As if all of this isn’t enough to keep you busy, they’ve included a strangely compelling plushie-making minigame called Morscraft. Your friends are busy at work making the multicoloured plushies, rewarding you with unlocking tracks that you can listen to as you come across them in-game. The soundtrack is good, stirring music during battles and when you travel, and the voice acting is much to my liking. I hardly ever play games with the sound on for not wanting to disturb people during my daily commute, but in this game I made sure I had my headphones on.Making plashes, bravely second

Overall I’m very enthusiastic about this game, it’s exactly how I like my RPG. Good battle system, lots of possibilities to tweak the game to make it to your liking and a great storyline. Loveable characters and good graphics and music. Will you be giving it a try? Or have you already had a chance to pick it up? Or are you going to give the demo a try first?


    1. No I haven’t yet, I’m in a dangerous part: lost of levelling up needed, and it’s dangerous in that it might just make me loose interest…

      1. Ah okay. I was going to respond to something you wrote, but I will keep tight lipped as not to ruin the surprise.

        I didn’t have to grind much in this game. If you are losing interest just switch to the easy difficulty. Remember you can speed up the battle speed, which helps with grinding. The best way of leveling up is to win several fights in a row. Undead creatures can be instantly killed with phoenix downs/resurrection spells so you can abuse that.

        1. Thanks for the tip! I’m going to give that a try. Maybe we could swap 3DS codes, it will be nice to have someone else to abilink with! At the moment I only have two, and one is pretty inactive, lol.

  1. Having to choose between Jobs is a double-edged sword, I guess. It’s great for players who cleared Bravely Default and want to focus on their favourite jobs right away, but it may create problems for newcomers who are not familiar with the job system.
    I remembered reading some articles about the fact that all job quests were given a positive ending in the European version, so I’m surprised you had to face a sad outcome in your quest to get the White Mage asterisk… Maybe this was changed again in the meantime?
    Anyway, I’m really thrilled about Bravely Second! I like the idea of the game taking place in the same world as Bravely Default, as this will provide a nice sense of familiarity. There’s nothing like coming back to a game world you know and love!

    1. True, that’s one of the reasons that I love reading book series that I love. Like re-visiting old friends.
      Well, it might be that others don’t really feel the sense of letting one of the parties down. It’s just that most of the time I instantly dislike one of the quarrelling parties, and more often then not that’s the one I’ll have to support to get the asterisk that I want!

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