Bravely Default dev releases next-gen tech demo - and it looks stunning.
Silicon Studio, the Japanese developer of Bravely Default and 3D Dot Game Heroes, has released a new video showing off its next generation rendering engine - and it provides us with a glimpse of what games may look like in the future.
Square Enix is developing Bravely Second, a sequel to 3DS role-playing oddity Bravely Default.
The follow-up was revealed in this week's Jump magazine, Siliconera reports, and will again launch for 3DS.
This new title shouldn't be confused with the re-released version of the original Bravely Default - confusingly subtitled For the Sequel it is this updated version that was ported to Europe and North America and finally reaches shop shelves here on Friday.
Despite a reputation for creative conservatism, Japanese role-playing games have enjoyed something of a revival of the imagination in recent times. The recent triumvirate of Nintendo Wii titles, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, demonstrated the potential for ingenuity and originality in this often staid genre - particularly Xenoblade, which is one of the most interesting games of any sort of the past decade.
Bravely Default continues the run. Despite being funded by Square Enix, which made its name and fortune with the blueprint-establishing Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series, this is a game that frequently subverts the classic designs. Its makers pile the novelties high in a way that will delight and surprise both genre die-hards and newcomers.
A pseudo-sequel to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Bravely Default benefits from its step away from the Final Fantasy brand. Removed from that hotchpotch lineage, developer Silicon Studio (best known for the adventure game 3D Dot Game Heroes) is free to explore less familiar territory and styling without needing to make constant nods towards any one tradition (although Final Fantasy's faded crystals and creaking airships feature). While character designs come from the unmistakeable pen of Akihiko Yoshida (the artist behind Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story and other classics), the exquisite watercolour backgrounds, magically rendered in the 3D, are like nothing else. They infuse the game with a strong feeling of place and scale (aided by a lingering zoom that accompanies your arrival at any new location) and a sense of aesthetic wonder.
Hands-on with Rhythm Thief, Bravely Default, Kingdom Hearts, Rocket Slime 3 and more.
Given the number of delightful oddities that came out of Japan when the DS first launched, it's been rather sad to see such a conservative first wave of 3DS software. With that in mind, not to mention the relative paucity of announcements at E3 a few months back, this year's Tokyo Games Show was an important week for the handheld. Would developers finally step up with some serious support for the system, or would the industry place all its chips on Vita?