Bravely Default II (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Lilly Kirchner 25.02.2021

Review for Bravely Default II on Nintendo Switch

Square Enix has a coloured history of turn based RPGs, including gems like Final Fantasy and even mobile phone games like Chaos Rings. Silicone Studio brought more Square charged gems to the Nintendo 3DS with their Bravely series. These two games were spectacular games that made unique use of the 3ds's capabilities as well as providing a traditional JRPG experience with a twist. Now, 5 years later, developer Claytechworks has taken over the Bravely series and has brought Bravely Default 2 to the Nintendo Switch. This game promises to continue the unique feeling of the Bravely series by utilising the series unique charms and stylings. This time the series is hopping onto Unreal 4 bringing some new features and harnessing the power of the Switch console. Publisher Square Enix is handling the Japanese release but over here in the West Nintendo is stepping in to publish this new entry. There is a lot of promise in Bravely Default 2 so it is time to bravely dive in!

To preface, Bravely Default II looks and feels amazing. The group of 4 heroes, Seth, Gloria, Elvis and Adelle, decide to travel together for a certain mission and thus become the Heroes of Light. The characters each have their own individual look and personality, as well as history. While the story slowly progresses during gameplay, bits and pieces of everyone's history get revealed. The storytelling is really well done; intriguing plots are complemented by unexpected twists and a variety of emotions. Secrets are being revealed at just the right moments, so it does not become tedious to play, either, and all of this holds true for even the sidequests as well.

This title's style stays true to its predecessors, and yet is updated and more polished. Everything looks shinier than before, more detailed and at times even more colourful. The game runs well on the Nintendo Switch, albeit that loading times can be long and at times frequent, a problem that a lot of Switch games seem to experience. In general though, gameplay is very smooth and very enjoyable. The style of towns, dungeons and the world map is beautifully crafted, and so allows for each area to have a distinct feel to it. Some enemy models are frequently reused and just changed in colour to indicate different stats depending on the area. However, there is a variety of enemies available so this does not get too boring either. Indeed, even the monsters are detailed and have very unique looks to them. This becomes especially clear in battle, when enemies can be admired in their full glory. Whether playing on the TV or the Switch's own screen, everything looks and feels amazing.

Screenshot for Bravely Default II on Nintendo Switch

The music starts out strong towards the start of the game. Each area on the world map has its own particular tune, and there are different tunes for each character to perform their special attacks. Later in the game, the music seems to become a little bit more desperate and perhaps a little bit annoying, at which point it may be a good idea to turn down the music sound in the settings. Regardless of personal taste, the music is of great quality and does well in capturing the essence of the moment it is used in.

There are a variety of different settings available. Starting with the languages, this title allows for several display languages that can be changed at any point during the game. Additionally, there is the choice to play with English or Japanese voices, a much appreciated feature. Both voice overs are absolutely superb, with amazing voice actors, such as the japanese Takaya Kuroda (Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza series) or the Scottish actor Stephen Cree (known from the TV show Outlander), that really manage to grip the characters' personalities, no matter the chosen language.

Other settings include camera and auto-save functions, different volume settings for music, sound effects and voices, difficulty and a whole lot of other bits and pieces allowing to personalise the experience just a little bit more. Of interest is, for example, the Quick Default setting, that allows to set the L button as a trigger for the Default command during battle.

Screenshot for Bravely Default II on Nintendo Switch

The Bravely series has its own unique turn-based battle system, with its staple commands Brave and Default, that allow for a whole different kind of strategising. This instalment makes no difference. Using the Brave command allows a character to do more than one action during their turn. This can be helpful when an enemy can easily be downed, for example, with 2 or 3 attacks, and can therefore be defeated in a single turn. The Default command, on the other hand, allows to forfeit the turn, adopting a defensive stance and allows to save this turn for a Brave attack in the future. There are some changes in the overall battle system compared to the previous games, the main one being the way in which turns are taken. The previous system was programmed so that at the start of each round, every character's attack strategy was set and then the battle for this round would play out. In Bravely Default 2, however, each character acts immediately after putting in the command for action. This system therefore permits a different attempt of strategising, as commands can be more responsive to enemy attacks. For example, if, after attacking, the enemy counters or attacks during their turn with an unexpected high amount of impact, the healer of the party can react. As such, this is a really great new take on the system.

Screenshot for Bravely Default II on Nintendo Switch

The battles run almost flawlessly. There is a small bug where the cursor in the ability menu is misplaced sometimes, but this is not game-breaking and may well be patched at one point. Depending on difficulty, battles can be more or less frustrating, but generally the game is well playable with the right strategy.

The way battles ensue has also changed since the previous games. In the current title, enemies are roaming the environment. Battles can ensue if the party gets too close to them or with a well-placed attack from behind. Enemies will follow the group if they spot them unless the enemy's level is significantly lower than the party's, at which point the enemy will run away from them. If a battle ensues when there is more than one enemy close by, a back-to-back battle will ensue, that is that the party will have to fight more than one battle in a row. This allows for more experience points granted after.

Dungeons are beautifully designed and usually aren't overly big. Here is also another one of the flaws in this title though: there are no maps in the dungeons, and in some it is very easy to get lost. That is somewhat disappointing, especially when considering how the previous titles implemented maps. This is definitely a feature missing, but perhaps this is also intended. It definitely does not ruin the game and is just something to get used to. The world map has a collapsable map, which is helpful. There are also quest markers that can be turned on or off, and changed from one quest to another in the Travelogue menu. These are very helpful in guiding where to go next, and the idea to have a finite number of quest markers that can be changed is appreciated, as this means that the map is not full of markers.

Screenshot for Bravely Default II on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The wait for Bravely Default II has been long and hard, but now that it is finally here it convinces with high quality graphics, storytelling, gameplay and sound. While this title is not without flaws, these are minor compared to the overall excellence of this title. A joy to play at home on the big screen or on the go, this title is a great addition to any turn-based RPG fan's library.




Square Enix


Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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