Edited 6 months, 14 days ago

Poll: Is Bravely Default intentionally cliche? (36 votes)

Yes 67%
No 14%
I don't know 19%

So it doesn't seem like many people are enjoying Bravely Default's story, because it's full of JRPG cliches. For example the opening cutscene alone has a young villager surviving the destruction of his hometown, introduces a character with amnesia, and shows a crystal being swallowed by darkness. As I play it though, every once in a while I see some slightly more savvy storytelling. I thought the optional encounter with the sorceress was pretty well done for example. This makes me think that maybe they're capable of telling a more interesting story than they've let on.

So now I'm wondering if maybe they made the story cliche on purpose, as sort of an homage to all of those classic JRPG's that they're imitating through the gameplay. So what do you think, is it homage or unoriginality that led to the story being what it is? If it is homage, does that excuse how cliche everything is?

#1 Edited by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

Bravely Default began as a sequel to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, which in itself was a throwback to the older days of Final Fantasy. Bravely Default in itself is meant to evoke the same sort sensibility as 4 Heroes of Light, and the DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV, which were all done by the same development team.

#2 Posted by BisonHero (6447 posts) -

Like Hailinel said, it is intentionally reminiscent of FF III and IV-era Final Fantasy, and because most of those JRPG design tropes are now considered cliché, then yes, it ends up making Bravely Default seem cliché.

#3 Edited by Brightside (48 posts) -

I think it is very much so. At one point a character remarks "Why do the big ones always show up at the end".

Bravely Default is a game epitomising a genre (JRPG) from an set era and embracing it's own clichés in those games it's referring to. You can tell as much from the systems put in place that they know the game uses the grind from the established system but has it's own systems and options in place to make this as pleasurable as possible for those that want it.

Caveat: i'm right near the end of Chapter 5 so take that as you will.

#4 Edited by egg (1455 posts) -

Japanese game stories are so balls to the wall cliche that you have to wonder if being intentional lets you off the hook.

same with random encounters--there are games that have random encounters anyway, so there's no use in paying homage to something that's currently in practice.

#5 Edited by Hunter5024 (5617 posts) -

I'm talking specifically about the story actually. The gameplay is clearly going after those older games.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

I'm talking specifically about the story specifically actually. The gameplay is clearly going after those older games.

Same thing with the story. Again, the game's design, including its narrative, is a callback to older Final Fantasy games with crystals, idealistic youths, and a little amnesia thrown in. That's the feel it's striving for.

#7 Posted by Hunter5024 (5617 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@hunter5024 said:

I'm talking specifically about the story specifically actually. The gameplay is clearly going after those older games.

Same thing with the story. Again, the game's design, including its narrative, is a callback to older Final Fantasy games with crystals, idealistic youths, and a little amnesia thrown in. That's the feel it's striving for.

Do you think that excuses the cliche's in the story? Personally I'm having trouble enjoying the narrative because it's so familiar.

#8 Edited by TowerSixteen (542 posts) -

I think it is very much so. At one point a character remarks "Why do the big ones always show up at the end".

Pity being self-referential about your JRPG cliches is so common as to have become its own cliche.

I don't think its good whether it's intentional or not, but then again I have no nostalgia for older final fantasies, despite having played them. You could play to the iconic tropes of those games while still trying to break some new ground somewhere, if this was on purpose, then I can't help but feel that it's a little lazy.

#9 Edited by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@hunter5024 said:

I'm talking specifically about the story specifically actually. The gameplay is clearly going after those older games.

Same thing with the story. Again, the game's design, including its narrative, is a callback to older Final Fantasy games with crystals, idealistic youths, and a little amnesia thrown in. That's the feel it's striving for.

Do you think that excuses the cliche's in the story? Personally I'm having trouble enjoying the narrative because it's so familiar.

It's what the game is going for. That doesn't make it bad. I'm personally enjoying the game a lot, and the familiarity is a part of that. I find the characters and their interactions charming, and the nature of their quest entertaining.

#10 Posted by Hunter5024 (5617 posts) -

@hailinel said:

It's what the game is going for. That doesn't make it bad. I'm personally enjoying the game a lot, and the familiarity is a part of that. I find the characters and their interactions charming, and the nature of their quest entertaining.

I'm enjoying the game too, but for the most part the story's been pretty forgettable so far. I think @towersixteen kinda hit the nail on the head. If they are doing it on purpose, it doesn't seem like they're doing enough with it. Still, Mrgrgr gets a smile out of me.

#11 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4710 posts) -

Chapters 5-8 will change the question to "Is Bravely Default intentionally bad?"

#12 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (437 posts) -

@towersixteen: Pretty much this. Cliche can be used well. Here it is not. The story is pretty bad.

That said, I'm quite enjoying the gameplay.

#13 Posted by Brightside (48 posts) -

I don't really want to get into spoiler territory here but it's a standard story told fairly well. They hit the beats of the genre and use established tropes well enough to be a throw-back to the older style of games and I think they do so intentionally. It's a fine line between a nod and cheesy reference and it generally hits more than it misses, at least in my impression. That's not to say it does everything right, the story can be pretty slow and the characters fit into nicely laid out templates for the most part, again there are a few nicely fleshed out parts and surprises, but on the whole it's nothing new and I think they know that -- it's just a refined JRPG from yesteryear made new.

That all said, they've done a great job refining the gameplay of the classic JRPG in terms of UI, interface and complexity to make it a pleasurable experience. I think the cliché use of the 'classic JRPG story' with tropes and all is another element of this that they're aware they're playing to, so all in all this is being given to us in parts nostalgia and in parts with modern sensibilities.

Oh yeah, aside from that rebuilding Norende stuff, that's seeing the free-to-pay-mobile stuff and adding it here with some odd context (even thought it is acknowledged in part in game, it still feels really tacked on). Not a fan of that bit.