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Bravely Second: End Layer Delivers Another Dose Of JRPG Goodness

With 2013’s Bravely Default on the Nintendo 3DS, Square Enix added a fresh coat of paint to their tried and true JRPG formula, and the results were undeniably outstanding. Full of crystals and castles, it brought us back to the halcyon days of the Final Fantasy series. Since things worked out so well the first time, Bravely Second: End Layer seems like a very logical follow-up, and here’s four reasons it’s just as much of a must-play 3DS title as its predecessor.

1. Another epic quest


Following the events of Bravely Default, Pose Agnès has been kidnapped by an ominous new villain named Kaiser Oblivion, and it’s up to her bodyguard Yew (you) to assemble a new foursome of allies and rescue her. On the way, there’s a tonne of fresh and familiar people and places that add a charming narrative spin to the proceedings. Those who’ve played through the first game will definitely enjoy the many nods to that adventure in Bravely Second.

2. More memorable characters


In addition to Agnès and Yew, Bravely Second features loads of delightful characters new and old. It’s swell to get reacquainted with former faves Edea and Tiz, but the sequel presents another new and wonderful party member in Magnolia Arch, who comes from, of all places, the moon. Along with the core team of heroes, Magnolia’s quirky lunar traits are one of the more endearing ingredients added to the series, but there are dozens of friend and foes, and literally thousands of quirky side conversations that will charm you to bits.

3. Still one of the best battle systems around


We’re happy to report Bravely Default’s unique yet highly accessible turn-based battle system has been retained here. Like before, during battles, any action will require you to use 1 BP (short for Brave Point), which you’ll regain after everyone has finished their turn. Simple enough, but things get interesting when players either select Brave, which lets you spend one or more BP to pull off a special move, or Default, which skips a turn but rewards you with 1 BP and ups your defence. There’s even more rhythms and strategies to consider as the challenge increases and boss battles are introduced, but the game thankfully provides a generous learning curve for newcomers and allows you save whenever you get the itch.

4. Amazing and intricate areas to explore


Another one of Bravely Default’s standout qualities was its bevy of exciting locations to explore. While this game takes place in the same world as before, there’s plenty of new ground to explore, and each environment features a rich backdrop brimming with small details. In the three years since Bravely Default’s release, you can clearly see some visual improvements that help bring each distinctive area, character, and cutscene to life. More than just a graphical upgrade, dungeons and castles are also more sprawling than ever. If you’ve got a New 3DS, I suggest cranking the 3D up, because from a visual standpoint this is one of the purdiest handheld title’s around.

Bravely Second: End Layer is out now on Nintendo 3DS. Check out the trailer below.