USgamer's RPG Podcast Dives Into Bravely Second

Nadia joins Kat to discuss Bravely Second, the sequel to the surprise hit retro RPG. How does it stack up to its predecessor?

Column by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey. You can find the show notes for previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), Nadia shares her thoughts on Bravely Second, the Job System, and the appeal of retro JRPGs. We also have a brief little Twitter mailbag!

Nadia is working on a review-in-progress, which you can check out here. As for me, I'm only a few hours in, but I feel much more susceptible to its charms this time around. It has nice art, some great music, and it's a lot of fun to tinker with the different Jobs. I've even started to like the cutesy writing. Unfortunately, Bravely Second also has some terrible timing, as I picked it up just as I was getting hooked on Dark Souls III. Alas! At least I'll probably finish it before Persona Q.

Next week: It's still up in the air! But I'm sure we'll find something to talk ab out. We always do.

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Show Description

Nadia joins Kat to discuss Bravely Second, the sequel to the surprise hit retro RPG. How does it stack up to its predecessor? What is it about retro RPGs that seems to inspire so much passion in its fans? And has the series finally managed to win Kat over? All these answers and more, plus a Twitter mailbag.

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Comments 8

  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #1 renatocosta90 2 years ago
    Haven't had the time to listen to the podcast, but I found Bravely Second a very good and entertaining game, though a little bit WAY too exploitable. All in all, it was a cool look back into the lives of some of my favorite characters, and a very good character arc for Edea, wrapped around some of the fastest and most comfortable turn-based RPG I've seen in a while. Yew and Magnolia were also there, I guess.

    It's just too bad they had to reuse so much stuff from the first game. Besides the optional jobs, we had cities, dungeons, similar city reconstruction, map, airship and almost the same kind of 'twist'. I hope if they decide to try adding a third entry in the series that they would challenge themselves to do it in another setting or time period.

    So, as I post the last comment in this section, let's just get mentioned by 16 bots in a row. YAYEdited April 2016 by renatocosta90
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #2 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    Well, the true problem is that the ranbat manipulation concept has existed for DECADES. (Estoma Swooooooooooooooooord!)

    All BD did was put it into a rote, dull menu toggle, removing player responsibility and warping expectations and the mechanic.
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  • Avatar for Elliot-Gay #3 Elliot-Gay 2 years ago
    @renatocosta90 The game suffers from ultimately getting a much smaller budget to play with, resulting in a lot of reused assets. I think from that perspective, BS does a helluva job with what it has.

    One neat thing that'll get overlooked by necessity is that Magnolia in the original Japanese version speaks near-perfect English along with the rest of the Moon folk. The surprising thing here is that the developers and writers put in the time and car to actually make sure the writing was correct and not a mangled mess. The character herself is a foreigner in this huge land, but she's never treated as the butt of a "oh haha Magnolia is so craaaaazy" in the way that so often foreign characters are.

    It's a very common thread in Japanese games to include the throwaway English-speaking character as a joke, and it's shocking and smile inducing that SE didn't do that with Magnolia. That and the cast accepting her for who she is instead of treating her like a weirdo.

    Obviously that sort of view point isn't going to exist for folks playing the game in English, but it's just some food for thought, and part of why I really like the game.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #4 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @Elliot-Gay I recently discovered the terrestrial "French"-speakers have a Quebecois accent, which is distinctly different from Magonlia's "Parisian" accent. That's a great little detail that says to me someone in the localization department put a lot of thought into their work.
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #5 Gamer-Law 2 years ago
    @nadiaoxford - Many thanks to you and Kat for a great podcast this week. I was able to listen on my run this morning and while I agree with Kat's point that Bravely Second's release has been largely overshadowed by the Dark Souls III launch, I appreciate the US Gamer team doing its part to keep it on the radar of JRPG fans,

    Bravely Default is my favorite JRPG since Final Fantasy IX and I look forward to starting this sequel as soon as I finish Fire Emblem Fates.

    I was glad that you focused so much of this week's discussion on Bravely's fine tuning of the job system. Ultimately, this is where I believe the series truly excels.

    I look forward to reading the remainder of your review once you finish the game.
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #6 Gamer-Law 2 years ago
    @Elliot-Gay - Curious as to why Bravely Second would receive a relatively small budget given the commercial success of the first game?
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #7 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @Gamer-Law My pleasure (and Kat's too, I imagine). Thanks for listening. :D
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  • Avatar for Hero-Protagonist #8 Hero-Protagonist 2 years ago
    I wanted to love the first Bravely Default, but I found the game to be a slog, the battle system was great, but it was the glacial pacing of the dull story that forced me to put it down.

    I really like the art style, but the presentation really lets it down as the beautiful layered backgrounds are rarely put to good use as the majority of character interactions are just wide-shots of the characters in the foreground with the background rendered out of focus.

    I got up to Eternia and never picked it back up again, as from what I've read after that chapter the game is just a rehash of previous bosses and dungeons.
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