During a surprise Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase today, Bravely Default II received an impressive slew of information, including a release date, February 26, 2021, for both Japan and the rest of the world!
A trailer for this upcoming title was uploaded, which introduces some of the Asterisk holders who make up the four protagonists, Seth, Elvis, Adelle, and Gloria, as shown in various stages of combat. Their journey takes place on the continent on Excillant (haha). The Partner Showcase details some of the Asterisks, which is this series’ equivalent to jobs in the Final Fantasy franchise.
So, let’s go over what was shown. The Vanguard Asterisk, wielded by Dag, has users protect their party with impressively high defense while also being able to deal great damage with their shields.
The Bard Asterisk, wielded by Orpheus Tragoidia, has users cast debuffs and ailments on foes while also buffing their allies. The trailer does not directly state anything regarding status ailments, but it does show Orpheus casting a spell called “Lilting Lullaby” on Elvis, which can be presumed to be a Sleep spell.
The Beastmaster Asterisk, wielded by Anihal, has users capture monsters in battle, who can then be used to fight by their side.
The Gambler Asterisk, wielded by Shirley Clarence, has users rely solely on luck in combat via a spinning roulette determining their fate. This is called the Elemental Wheel, which seems to strike enemies with an element and corresponding value that the roulette lands on. The lightning symbol is landed upon with the numeric value of 6, which deals around 100-200 damage on 3 members of the party.
It is difficult to determine the intricacies of how much damage that does on a base level due to character resistances certainly playing a factor. Users of this asterisk can also harm themselves, however. An ability called “Life or Death” is shown off, which has a roulette containing two skull icons and many numbers. Landing on the skull icon is shown to kill the user, so it can be assumed that landing on a number will heal the user, or the party, depending on how high the value is.
More Asterisks and their initial wielders were also confirmed to be revealed in the future.
When Bravely Default II received a surprise demo back in March of this year, players could provide feedback for any changes and additions they would like to see in the final game. Approximately 22,000 survey responses were submitted, and over a million players globally tried out the demo, which is an incredibly high amount of both feedback and downloads. The developer confirmed that changes made to difficulty and controls had been implemented, and three difficulty levels were then shown on screen:
- Casual has weakened enemies and is recommended for players who simply desire to experience the narrative first and foremost.
- Normal is the baseline difficulty level and is recommended to anyone who wants to feel challenged by the combat, but not intensely so.
- Hard features stronger enemies and is recommended for those who desire to immerse themselves in the combat the most.
That is it for what the Partner Showcase featured. However, there is a video uploaded by the official Japanese Square Enix Youtube channel that goes into detail regarding what changes the team has made thanks to the player feedback surveys. This video also contains English subtitles. Square Enix Producer Masashi Takahashi explains what changes have been made.
The music, graphics, and job change system (Asterisks) were the most positively reviewed aspects of the demo.
The difficulty and controls were the issues that arose the most in the player surveys. The difficulty adjustments mentioned in the Partner Showcase are reiterated here. The demo’s high difficulty was so players would have to familiarize themselves with the game’s mechanics intricately. This didn’t sit too well with some players, though, so the addition of difficulty levels aims to satisfy all manner of players.
Turn order was a highly requested feature that has now been provided. There are now turn gauges, similar to games with ATB battle systems. These gauges directly show the speed at which party members can act and when they will be able to act. Enemies that will attack during the next turn also have 2 exclamation marks within a small triangle signaling that they will do so.
Skippable battle intro cinematics will be included in the full retail version. Individual turns are now easier to identify with a portrait of the character you control now appearing on the menu. More information is now shown off on the battle screen, such as buffs and debuffs on the player characters.
On the Field, monster speed has been altered, so they don’t bum rush you in seconds. Accompanying this monster speed change, the preemptive strike that players can perform on enemies out on the Field has been improved as well. More specifically speaking, the range of the sword’s swing has been increased, allowing for easier preemptive strikes, and it is now easier to swing the sword while running on the Field.
Enemies weaker than the player will have sweat marks above their models and will then run away. Enemies stronger than the player will have a slight, red hue adorning their models and will chase the player’s party if they have seen them.
Bonuses are now granted to players when defeating enemies at lower levels, such as more Job Points and base Experience Points.
Some quality of life enhancements are also being added, such as the font color, background, and UI elements being allowed for adjustment by player discretion. The menu and job screens are also far cleaner and pleasing to the eye. Controls have been altered to avoid holding certain buttons down or pressing the + and – buttons for menus.
Players can now run by default thanks to an added setting in the options, and the addition of being able to remap what button the Default command is on has been added.
There are apparently even a ton of more additions and changes made thanks to player feedback, and this is only a fraction of it all. I, for one, am very much looking forward to the finished product of Bravely Default II after seeing the sheer amount of effort these developers are putting to the table, as well as being transparent with fans.
Bravely Default II is releasing on February 26, 2021, worldwide.
You can watch the trailer and Player Feedback and Developer Update below:
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