How Bravely Default 2 Stacks Up Against Octopath Traveler

Considering that both Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default 2 are turn-based JRPGs published by Square Enix, they obviously have quite a bit in common. Not only are the game mechanics similar, but the aesthetics are also comparable. I would argue that neither game is exceptionally better than the other one, but there are solid ways in which each game outshines the other—some of which are substantial.

Bravely Default 2 Makes Random Encounters More Bearable

Random encounters in games have a negative rep, and for good reason. In some games, there’s nothing more excruciating than traveling across the land with constant, time-consuming interruptions when you’re trying to accomplish your goals. In Octopath Traveler, the random encounters can definitely get tedious, especially considering that you cannot avoid them as they happen based on how far you walk in a given area. In Bravely Default 2, you have the opportunity to avoid many enemies on the map and in the dungeons if you maneuver correctly. But more than that, because of the Brave/Default system, you can attack four times in a row with every character at the start of each battle, thus making random encounters easy to get through quickly and save a bunch of time.

Octopath Traveler Has Breathtaking Music And Visuals

If you’ve played Octopath Traveler, then you know that the soundtrack is nothing short of phenomenal. While the music in Bravely Default 2 has a similar feel, the tracks weren’t quite as incredible. Furthermore, the way that Ocotpath combines nostalgic visuals with revamped graphics makes the game more appealing to look at.

The Brave/Default Versus Boosting Comes Down To Personal Preference

In Octopath Traveler, you naturally accumulate BP every turn that goes by. Once you use it up to go several times in a row, you just start at zero again and repeat the building. There are also items and abilities that allow for boosting BP. However, in Bravely Default 2, you only accumulate BP when you take the action “Default,” which is the equivalent of guarding on a given turn. That said, you can go into debt with your BP in Bravely Default 2. For example, you can hit “Brave” up to three times right at the start of the battle, despite starting with 0 BP, and then you will be at -3 BP thereafter. Having negative BP means that each turn after going into the negatives, getting one BP back is the only action that character can take, essentially skipping their turn until they get back up to 0. This adds a layer of strategy to the game, but also an extra layer of difficulty.

Bravely Default 2’s Plot Actually Makes Sense

I wouldn’t argue that the plot in either of these games is astounding, but it bothered me to no end that Octopath Traveler never provided an explanation for why the group of characters were traveling together. There were numerous separate plots, but no main plot tying your group together, which made the whole experience feel unnatural. The separate stories in Octopath were more entertaining, in my opinion, than the ones in Bravely Default 2. But considering there is no disconnect in Bravely Default 2, I found the plot to be more enjoyable overall.

Octopath Traveler Provides Clearer Ways To Strategize Turns

Perhaps the biggest criticism of Bravely Default 2 is the way that you cannot see as much information. While Octopath displays the turn order of all companions and enemies for the next two turns, Bravely Default 2 doesn’t display any turn information, rather it relies on the speed stats of your characters against the speed stats of the enemies… which you also cannot see. While Bravely Default 2 is supposed to be a strategy game (and it is in many ways), it majorly falls short here because you can only make more or less accurate guesses on when the enemy is going to hit you, making the brave/default system feel much more like luck at times.

Bravely Default 2 Has Difficulty Settings And Isn’t Too Easy

Unlike Octopath Traveler (which many JRPG fans will point to as being too easy to beat), Bravely Default 2 not only offers difficulty levels, but its normal mode is not a walk in the park. It’s not as difficult as it first might seem once you get the hang of it, but it certainly provides more of a challenge. Octopath Traveler does not offer difficulty settings, though at least the optional, super bosses weren’t horribly too easy to get through.

Next: Bravely Default 2: Every Melee DPS Job Class, Ranked

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Stephanie is an Editor at TheGamer, solidly aligned chaotic neutral. Though her favorite game is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, she vows to do everything in her power to one day see a Legend of Dragoon remake. Absolutely nothing can top her immense love for The Lord of the Rings.

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