Bravely Second VS Bravely Default 2: Which Is The Better Sequel?

Since the first release of Bravely Default on the Nintendo 3DS, JRPG fans have been desperate for a new entry into this incredible twist on the classic Final Fantasy formula. Despite the number at the end of the title, though, Bravely Default 2 isn’t the only sequel to the incredible Bravely Default game on the Nintendo 3DS.

There was another sequel called Bravely Second: End Layer that came out fairly quickly after Bravely Default, with a continuation to the first game’s story and world with a plethora of new characters and classes. Both of these games are engaging continuations in their own right, but one of them may be a stronger follow-up than the other.

10 Bravely Second: Exciting First Act

For fans of the first Bravely Default, Bravely Second has a great variety of perks to its story quite early on. Even though you follow the new characters Yew and Magnolia, you quickly interact with Edea and Tiz, and even get to work with Ringabel later on in the game to see what’s happened in the years since the first game.

It even starts with a stellar battle against the game’s main villain, rather than a traditional cutscene, with an incredible battle theme and smooth tutorial for those refreshing themselves on the mechanics. It’s an incredibly dramatic start before it starts bringing out the exposition, and is an excellent example of a sequel building off the original game.

9 Bravely Default 2: Quick Start

Bravely Default 2 also starts fairly fast, but it’s much more mechanically quick than it is story-wise. This game doesn’t start with a battle, but you’ll get through your amnesia-driven introduction fairly fast before Seth joins with Adelle and Elvis, and just like that you have a full party within the first hour of the game.

The battle mechanics are different this time around as well, meaning it can’t launch you into a battle right away like with Bravely Second, but this still manages to get you moving much smoother than the original Bravely Default. It’s one of the positive traits that Bravely Default 2 absolutely shares with Bravely Second.

8 Bravely Second: Consistent Character Style

In terms of visuals, it’s hard to say Bravely Second was taking the series in a particularly new direction. This isn’t to say it isn’t gorgeous, though, as the game still has the beautiful classic Final Fantasy-esque characters while still maintaining the beautiful oil painting backgrounds that make the series so iconic.

Bravely Second essentially adds to the original game’s looks, bringing a lot of new wardrobes and magic effects to fit with the game’s new interdimensional enemies. That said, it still feels like the original Bravely Default without stretching too far, making it a spectacular and familiar return for old fans.

7 Bravely Default 2: Diverse Body Types And Ages

Something that’s perhaps worth a note is that Bravely Default 2’s characters have a solid amount more variety than the original Bravely Default. There’s still a general chibi style to its characters, but even your main cast features characters like Elvis with a more humanoid and aged face.

This goes further with the game’s other NPCs, with many of the villains still looking like full-grown adults while the rest of the world feels populated by people of all ages. It captures the charm of Bravely Default’s characters, but gives much more depth and detail that Bravely Second wasn’t interested in digging into.

6 Bravely Second: Returning Characters

As previously mentioned, one of the great aspects of Bravely Second is the return of the original cast, even if not all of them are in your party. Getting to rescue Agnes with Edea and an aged Tiz by your side is a blast, and the new members of Yew and Magnolia hardly feel like poor replacements for Agnes and Ringabel.

These characters have also certainly aged in the past years after their original adventure, and it makes their new designs and traits even more satisfying to see. Edea is far more courageous than she is reckless, Tiz is a much wiser leader, and Ringabel especially has fit in perfectly to his true identity as part of the original game’s twist.

5 Bravely Default 2: Brand New Cast

The new characters of Bravely Default 2 may not be as immediately iconic as the four from the first game, but having brand new characters and a brand new world help this game stand much more on its own. Elvis and Adelle have both friendly and romantic chemistry with each other and the newer members, while Seth works great as a neutral heroic sailor.

Gloria is perhaps the least exciting member, being a slightly more royal version of Agnes but with less of the internal struggles. That said, she still plays off of the other characters greatly, and getting to explore new faces and personalities makes for a much more unique and memorable adventure than Bravely Default 2 living off of the past.

4 Bravely Second: Unusual Classes

One of the more debatable qualities of Bravely Second was its newer classes, which played on a lot more humor and JRPG tropes than the original game. New ones like the Patissier chef, the beastly Catmancer, and the gothic Exorcist may seem much sillier than the typical medieval classes, they definitely make Bravely Second feel more lighthearted and creative than a typical JRPG.

More fun classes also means you can have a much more visually exciting team, and while it might feel random to have so many impractical costumes in different styles, it’ll create more entertaining things to look at than your typical wizards and knights. Thanks to the game’s magical setting, these never seem totally out of place either, just being a nice change of pace from the rest of the genre.

3 Bravely Default 2: Traditional Classes

Rather than filling the roster with new and silly classes as Bravely Second did, Bravely Default 2 goes back to basics with its selection of jobs for players to choose from. You quite quickly get the Vanguard, Black Mage, and White Mage classes to round it out, but the new ones you get early like Gambler and Berserker are surprisingly fresh takes on past game classes like Merchant and Charioteer.

This makes the game feel much more immersive in its fantasy setting, and thanks to the beautiful new Switch graphics and capabilities there are more costumes and magic effects for each job. They end up being much more distinct than the original jobs of Bravely Default, and it’s hard to complain with its slightly more serious appearance.

2 Bravely Second: Great For Fans Of Bravely Default

Bravely Second came out to generally mixed reception, but few fans of the first game will likely be disappointed visiting Bravely Second. It’s an extremely direct follow-up, using essentially the same combat system with a few more creative uses of the 3DS to make a classic JRPG with modern twists.

If you’ve just played the first Bravely Default, it’s absolutely worth picking up this game as well to see where the story goes, and what more can happen with the game’s world and original protagonists. It’s a fun sequel that doesn’t go in too many strange directions, but gives more to the fans who need a little more time in Luxendarc.

1 Bravely Default 2: Great For All JRPG Fans

While Bravely Second is great for the original game’s fans, it’s impossible not to recommend Bravely Default 2 to anyone who enjoys classic JRPGs, even if they hadn’t played the first one. The story is far more approachable thanks to its new characters and world, but old players will still get a new experience while looking for secrets and twists similar to the original game.

It’s a spectacular new title to have on the Nintendo Switch rather than the now-distant Nintendo DS, as it takes everything great about the first game while putting it on a platform that can provide an even more immersive and beautiful experience. It’s easy to get immersed in anything from the story to the grinding, and a must-have if you’re a fan of this genre in any form.

Next: The 10 Best Jobs In Bravely Default, Ranked

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Gene Cole is a Canadian freelance writer with a B.A. in psychology and criminology. He works hard to keep an open mind towards a huge variety of games, and loves learning about how different people make and play them. In his free time he loves wandering aimlessly in Slime Rancher, fiddling with competitive games like Poker and Magic: The Gathering, and (amateurishly) attempting to speedrun Super Mario Odyssey.

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