Bravely Second: End Layer released this year as a sequel to the brilliant Bravely Default for Nintendo 3DS, a turn-based JRPG that is Final Fantasy in all but name. Due to the game releasing so much earlier in Japan than in the West, the developers at Silicon Studio had time to take feedback on board from the Japanese players so that any potential adjustments could be made for the Bravely Second Western release.
One such change was that of the optional side quests, where the situations would end badly no matter what the player chose to do. The characters would discuss the previous excursion as normal but lament certain choices they were forced to make. The change now ensures that these side-quests have a ‘good’ ending to attempt to enhance the player’s enjoyment of the game, but this was not a decision that went down too well with Western fans.
Nintendo have decided to explain their decision, and you can read their statement from Nintendo Life here:
Based on feedback received after Bravely Second: End Layer’s release in Japan, the development team at Square Enix, in conjunction with Silicon Studio, decided to implement a number of revisions to the game for the purpose of improving its quality and creating a more enjoyable product.
One such change affects the game’s optional side quests, where players encounter a conflict between two opposing parties and choose which party to side with.
When the game was released in Japan, each side quest would end with the team lamenting the decision they made, regardless of the player’s decision. This was intended to help players empathise with the characters’ situation, but overwhelming feedback from players indicated that they felt an unsatisfying disconnect between their intentions and the characters’ reactions. In response, these side quest endings were amended to show the party readily coming to terms with their actions in a manner that does not cause the player undue regret for their decisions.
These changes do not affect the gameplay or the course of events in the game, and were made with the intention of improving the game experience for players.
This wasn’t the only change however, as one job had to be converted from Tomahawk to Hawkeye in order to appease any Native American fans of the game.
The changes for the Bravely Second Western release make sense, but American and European fans would have probably been happier to play the original game as intended by the developers. Still, Bravely Second is still thoroughly enjoyable and should be sought out if you are a fan of classic JRPGs in general.