My 3DS is crying out in pain. I can practically hear it, begging me to make the madness end. It’s been “awake” since Friday, and it’s all Bravely Default’s fault.
Granted, it hasn’t been awake-awake. I’d say it’s only been played about four, maybe four and a half hours each day. It depends on if I decided to just play Bravely Default, or to also spend a few minutes catering to my Animal Crossing: New Leaf residents. Still, it doesn’t negate the fact that, for the first time, I’ve found a game that makes me keep my 3DS on.
I mean, we all have our times when we leave the 3DS in sleep mode, but usually it’s just for StreetPass purposes. Bravely Default changes that, because it’s the only game where the time you spend playing is just as important as the time you spend not playing. The RPG elements, where you guide a group of four heroes as they conquer bosses to unlock new classes and attempt to awaken afflicted Crystals to save the world, are just great. It’s a good time.
But, to be perfectly honest, sometimes I’m more excited about what’s happening in the background. Bravely Default assigns all players the tasks of rebuilding Norende, the hometown of Tiz Arrior. It was destroyed within the first five minutes of the game, and even though there’s a big gap in the earth where it once stood, a new Norende is pulling together nearby. Naturally, it needs your help.
Though, you don’t have to do too much. Just StreetPass with some people and update your save data so new villagers move to Norende. Once they’ve arrived, you delegate them to toil away on improvements to each shop. Improving equipment and item shops mean new goodies will be available to buy from traders, or that you’ll sometimes get a random gift of items from the shop keepers while you play. Improving Special Move shops gives you more status effects, powers, and abilities to customize what are essentially the Limit Breaks you can use in battle.
The thing is, none of this happens immediately. Each upgrade takes a certain amount of time. This can be shortened by adding more villagers to a project. Which means a good portion of Bravely Default playing involves hunting down potential StreetPass hubs in the real world, so you can boost your population and assign more people to tasks in Norende.
It also means leaving your 3DS on, perhaps for four days straight and counting, with Bravely Default running.
Don’t look at me like that. I don’t have a problem. You don’t understand. Norende needs me! It needs my party to have nice things!
There’s something so satisfying about getting more residents, then conscripting them into what is essentially slave labor so I can have higher quality goods for Tiz, Agnes, Ringabel and Edea. It doesn’t matter that I still can’t afford the 39,400pg Grinder Axe that became available after I forced the people to work all night Sunday night, they can’t stop working on the Weapon Shop so the next, unquestionably expensive, Night Emperor Sword can be mine.
It’s like, with Bravely Default I finally understand why people get so ramped up about those free-to-play simulations like FarmVille, where in X hours this item will be ready. The delayed gratification system makes sense. Except here, there’s no paying to play. There’s just the happy surprise of an incredibly expensive and strong piece of equipment available to own every morning when I wake up.
As for the 3DS, maybe it will finally get the chance to experience a day’s rest after I beat chapter three. Maybe.