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What The Critics Are Saying About Bravely Default 2

Bravely Default 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch on Feb. 26, 2021, and critics are already weighing in on the game. The classic JRPG franchise is known for its interesting take on the battling system, and the first game was one of the best 3DS titles. Despite the seemingly-clear name, this will actually be the third entry to the series.

Critics have already begun rolling out reviews of the first few chapters of the newest adventure, and there are some interesting takeaways. As Ethan Gach from Kotaku said, the game is "comfort food," because it gives "you exactly what you already know you want" in a JRPG. Gach also called it "another satisfying and bespoke take on the classic JRPG."

So far, critics have agreed that the game does some things right, but it's also rather underwhelming in other areas. However, each critic has found something in the game that's enjoyable, despite some of the noticeable shortcomings.

The character style is lackluster at best

The game uses a chibi-esque artwork style for it's characters, and that hasn't been going over so smoothly with critics. Alex Donaldson from VG 24/7 commented that "the low-poly count, stubby, 'chibi' character models that graced the 3DS Bravely games don't translate too well when you simply give them more polygons and bump them up to HD." He went on to say that "it was an art style arguably born out of necessity to simplify for weaker hardware."

In the Kotaku review, Ethan Gach agreed, writing that the characters "look like they were pulled from a boardwalk caricature artist." He's clearly not a fan, and he also said that these designs don't always match the tones or themes of the game very well. On the other hand, Zion Grassl from Nintendo Life thought that the game "shines" when it comes to the character models. It seems like players will either hate or love the character designs.

The Game is Difficult, but Not Bad

When it comes to difficulty levels, Ethan Gach felt that the game was hard, with boss battles being particularly unforgiving. Alex Donaldson agreed, writing that players will need to become familiar with the game's more tactically-focused combat system to do well in the heat of battle.

Zion Grassl commented that after spending time trying to come up with the perfect strategy, "nothing is more deflating than watching your party struggle to stay alive while barely laying a finger on the enemy." This is a frustrating side effect of a game that can be a bit too hard for players. However, Grassl also said that there are three difficulty options to pick from, and players can switch between the three at any point in the game. While this definitely helps players who find the game too hard, Donaldson agreed that the "battles struggle to satisfy."

Overall, a nostalgic return to the series

Despite the negatives that critics found, they all still seemed to be drawn to the game in one way or another. Gach called it a "return to a simpler time where heroes lined up on one side of the screen, fought monsters on the other side of the screen, and then rinsed and repeated until peace and tranquility were brought back to the land." Donaldson mentioned that the combat system was "a genius twist on the base mechanics of a true turn-based system that serves the series as well here as in previous entries."

Even seemingly the most skeptic critic, Grassl, mentioned that he's "excited to dive back in and see what else the story and its job systems have to offer." With these accolades in mind, it's likely that fans of the series will find something to love when Bravely Default 2 drops on Feb. 26, 2021.