It took three demos, but Square Enix finally gave 3DS owners a taste of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’s battle system. Bravely Default is a throwback to earlier Final Fantasy games with turn based battles and multiple hits. Remember Final Fantasy III? It’s kind of like that, but with "brave" and "default" commands.
Select "default" and Tiz will skip his turn to stock one BP. Choose "brave" to use up one BP and get an extra turn. for each BP you have. You can hold up a maximum of three BP in the demo and unleash four attacks (your regular turn + 3 BP turns) in a row. What makes Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’s fighting system interesting is you can dip into *negative* BP. It’s a gambit, but you can take four turns in a row as your first move. If you annihilate the enemy you can end a battle in seconds, but if any monster remain you have to wait three turns until you can move again. Ouch!
You can play speedy and safe by making one character, lets say Tiz, use four attacks in a row, but only have Edea use her regular turn. If Tiz and Edea can’t wipe out the enemies in one turn, Tiz will be frozen, but you can still call Edea. (And, you can try to speed things up by using four turns with Edea.) Bravely Default: Flying Fairy rewards players who complete battles in one turn with a bonus. There is also another bonus for finishing a fight without taking damage.
Bravely Default uses a job system and while this isn’t a Final Fantasy game the classes should sound familiar. When the demo begins you can choose to make Tiz and Edea a knight, monk, white mage or black mage. After you decide, Ominous Crow, a black mage who is one of Bravely Default’s main villains summons a pack of wolves to attack.
The first time I played through the demo, I had Tiz as a white mage and Edea as a black mage. I was surprised that Tiz was able to defeat a wolf just by thrusting a pole at it. It took four turns only using the fight command, but he prevailed dealing multiple hits with each attack. Tiz had white mage staple spells cure and poisona. Edea had the three core elemental spells – fire, blizzard, and thunder. Edea finished off the other wolves and the battle was over in under a minute. I was rewarded with potions, experience points, and job points.
Ominous Crow summoned a second round of monsters – two wolves, two goblins, and a sword goblin. Since there was only one sword goblin, I guessed he was the most dangerous enemy and finished him off before he could strike. In this battle, the monsters started using the brave & default system either stocking turns or striking twice by spending brave points. Fortunately, I had a white mage present to heal the team.
In the third battle, Ominous Crow made a group of three zombies appear. These minions were much more aggressive and after one round they assaulted my team with poisonous claws going all the way down to –2 brave. Since the zombies drained all of their brave I was free to strike them without fear of retaliation. Edea used fire, which the game indicated was their weakness.
Ominous Crow, frustrated at his constant defeat threatened to summon Bahamut… but the legendary dragon was a no show. Enraged, Ominous Crow prepared to fight. Ominous started the fight by using four spells in a row. Good thing I played it safe and had Tiz use default to stock a brave point instead. Edea bombarded Ominous with fire, thunder, and blizzard. With Ominous and Edea waiting for their BP to refill, Tiz took four turns in a row to heal the party and smack his cat familiar. The battle continued for a couple of minutes, relatively fast for a boss battle. Then again, my characters were probably over powered for the fight.
I tried the demo again to get a feel for the knight and monk classes. The knight is a damage absorber and can use a smite skill to attack plus give him or her a defense boost. Monks have a charge up skill that increases their attack, but it can backfire resulting in damage. If you use the charge up skill first then strike with three more turns you can pretty much obliterate any enemy in the demo.
Oh, and we’re not done with Bravely Default: Flying Fairy demos either. This demo teased Bravely Default demo volume four so we’ll have more impressions of the 3DS game.