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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Editorial: 5 Things We'd Like To See In Bravely Third

Editorial: 5 Things We'd
Like To See In Bravely Third.

So, I played and reviewed Bravely Second: End Layer last week and I truly, deeply enjoyed it. With that - and with the sequel hook at the end - in mind, it's surely not too early to start looking forward to Bravely Third, and the things I'd like to see in that game when it eventually (and inevitably, because the Bravely series is hugely popular, it seems) comes out.

More Alternis.

I'm sorry, Alternis. I just didn't appreciate you before Bravely Second, but it turns out that you're adorable and totally ridiculous. You won me over when you started rhapsodising over all of the poor spending decisions you're going to make to give shiny nice things to orphans, and you won it over even more when I found out that you'd ask Braev for a warm scarf to, presumably, wear over your armour.

While it's been halfway confirmed that Ringabel will be the (or at least a) main character in Bravely Third, I would much rather have it be adorable, socially awkward, ridiculous Alternis, because at this point I think he deserves to be the main character of a game, surely.

But if he isn't, I still want at least one sidequest with him. And plenty of involvement in the main plot, as well. Make it happen, guys.

More new job classes (and some of the old ones phased out).

I think it's fair to say that a good number of Bravely Default's jobs can be phased out. The Black Mage and White Mage, having had their roles functionally taken by Wizards and Bishops (and Astrologians), have to go - and with them, the Red Mage, to be replaced by an equivalent half-Wizard-half-Bishop class. The Templar has never been an especially useful job, and can probably go as well. The Performer and Salve-Maker have been functionally replaced by the Patissier, and with the Salve-Maker gone, the Performer is sure to follow.

However, I'd also like to see a wider spread of new jobs in Bravely Third. We got about a dozen new jobs in Bravely Second, but I'd like to see them up the number of new jobs for the third game - up to fifteen or even twenty.

Admittedly, this might involve wiping a few more of Default's jobs out of existence, but that's not necessarily a bad thing - apart from the fact that it allows the characters associated with those jobs to be given a rest, it can also help distinguish the Bravely series from its Final Fantasy roots.

Although speaking of Final Fantasy, the Bravely series can definitely nab a few of its job ideas that they've not already used. The Geomancer, for example, or even a more traditional Paladin (as opposed to the Templar's non-traditional and slightly useless version of the archetype).

Controllable guest party members.

We got a short stint with a guest party member in Bravely Second, with a guest party member for one boss battle who would jump in with special attacks, but he wasn't controllable, and that does, in a way, sap the fun out of it all. Also, it was only once, for one optional boss.

No, I'm talking a character who joins your party as a fifth member and is fully controllable. You can't change their job (and I'm assuming they're an asterisk holder here) or equipment, but you can pick when they use their brave points, what abilities they use, and so on.

For Bravely Second, this would be perfect for the sidequest battles where you're siding with one Eternian job master against another, as what actually happens - they stand back and let you do all the work - is completely out of character for anyone whose surname isn't 'Profiteur.'

Also, it'd be awesome.

Janne as a party member.

Janne was one of the most compelling characters in Bravely Second - and quite possibly one of the most compelling characters in the series, definitely taking the prize for most interesting asterisk holder - and having had a brief taste of what he'd be like in a party, I kinda want more.

It'd make sense as well: Yew's story is very firmly over, as are Edea's, Tiz's, and Agnes', and while Magnolia's could be continued, it was pretty sufficiently wrapped up. Janne, however, still has a wealth of story opportunities, like working in the reformed Crystalguard, attempting to restore the good name of his family, and undergoing a redemption arc of sorts.

It'd also work for any sidequests in Bravely Third: The sidequests in Bravely Second were all about Edea learning to govern by meeting with various people she'd worked with in the past and helping them through their problems - the sidequests in Bravely Third could very easily be about learning to be a good Cavalier by, again, solving the problems of people Janne had worked with in the past.

Also, I just really like Janne.

Places other than Luxendarc. 

Luxendarc is great, but it's reaching the point where a sequel wouldn't have anywhere else in it to explore. Bravely Default took us throughout the entire world, and Bravely Second took us around the same world, just introducing new towns that we'd not visited in Default (Gathelatio, Al-Khampis, Yunohana, and Sagitta) and a few new dungeons. But there's only so far you can do that, and it would feel a bit silly if Bravely Third barreled in, announcing that each of these continents had a previous unseen third city.

So while I'd want to see Luxendarc - or parts of it - return, there needs to be additional places to make it worth it. As many people have pointed out already, it'd be easy to include the Moon, and Fort-Lune even, as a place that you could visit. Another option is that an alternate world that's wholly different from the Luxendarc we know could turn up - an 'in a mirror darkly' type scenario.

Either way, there's a limit to how many towns you can cram into the pre-existing and fairly well established continents, and it'd be better to instead expand the game world out into entirely new places. Maybe throw an underwater kingdom in there somewhere.

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