Brave Story: New Traveler Review

  • Posted January 7th, 2008 at 07:31 EDT by

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Brave Story: New Traveler

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With a slew of strategical and real-time based RPG’s hitting the market, Brave Story takes its place as one of the rare new turn-based must have RPGs. With an excellent story and great gameplay, Brave Story has definitely managed to create a world you can attach yourself to.

We like

  • Unique battle elements
  • Two great mini-games
  • Solid character design

We dislike

  • Linear gameplay
  • Visual effects leave something to be desired

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

What do an avid gamer, a scantily clad kitten, and a lizard-like waterkin have in common? Pretty much nothing, which is about as much of a negative thing one can say about Brave Story: New Traveler.

After promptly naming your hero and your leading lady, this epic journey begins on a park bench where our gaming addicted hero displays his one-track mind by ignoring his best friend completely. While tapping away at his coyly fake PlayStation Portable, his friend tries aimlessly hard to get him to pay attention, however, to no avail, she fails. It’s at this point that she walks off only to faint and fall victim to some unknown disorder that has placed her in what appears to be a never-ending coma. While on the hospital roof wondering what your options are, a mysterious female voice comes into play and entices you to stand up heroically and travel to the world of Vision to begin your quest to meet the Goddess of Destiny.

Your first act of bravery comes at the very start where you must enter a cave and solve a child-like riddle. It’s in this cavern where you must also answer 4 distinct questions from 4 different guardians. The way you choose to answer these questions will determine your profession and stats.

Immediately following these series of events you find out that you must find 5 pillar gemstones to fill out the slots on your weapon. Each time one of these slots are filled, you will be transported back to the real world in order to spend time with the one person you miss most. You must find these 5 gemstones in order to meet the Goddess of Destiny and to ask her to grant your one true wish.

About 15 minutes into the journey you come across a playful yet bossy kitten named, Yuno. She wields a fierce bow and gives you your first glance into Bravura. Bravura is the name they give magic throughout this game. Much like Materia in Final Fantasy VII, Bravura is what enables you to utilize special attacks. Your hero, however, is unable to perform bravura attacks until he finds his first gemstone. The equivalent to mana in this adventure is known as, Bravura Points. It works similar to mana, except every time you score a hit, your Bravura Points replenish a bit.

Another key element to the battle system in Brave Story is the Unity option. The Unity option works much like it sounds. It unites several characters together to perform a single attack with one another. A unity maneuver also depletes your Bravura Points, so you must strategically utilize these actions as well.The battle system is of course a traditional turn base style, which is refreshing to see with the recent release of what seems like an endless supply of strategic and real time RPG’s lately. The battle encounters are also random, which is always a pleasant thing for old school RPG gamers. One of the more positive notes about this issue, is the fact that the random battles are not overwhelming and in result, not tedious. They seem to be spaced out from one another just enough to make each battle worth committing to.

Another new implement to the turn-base style is the way that the experience points are set-up to be dispersed. Usually you just wait until the battle is over and then the exp is equally handed out to each party member. This isn’t the case in Brave Story. Characters are now able to gain exp during battle. If an enemy falls, its experience points are immediately poured into your stats giving you the possibility of leveling up during battle. This can give a player a huge advantage in a boss fight or in a fight you may be struggling in.

As far as the graphics are concerned, this is a beautifully rendered game. Even the world map was done in a creative 3D environment, which was a nice break from the flatlands that these types of RPGs usually provide. During battle you can see a detailed environment around you as well. The character design is very good for a handheld and the city structures are all different with their own unique style.

(continued on next page)

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