Square Enix reveals when US gamers can finally expect to get their hands on the sequel to one of 2014’s sleeper hit titles, and it will be sooner rather than later.
Bravely Second: End Layer will have some big shoes to fill in the West after its predecessor, Bravely Default, met with near unanimous critical acclaim after a relatively quiet buildup to its release. While Japanese fans have had Bravely Second for close to year now, localization of the title for Western gamers has taken longer than initially expected, resulting in the lengthy gap between the game’s release dates across the globe. Nintendo already let European fans know that they would be getting the game on February 26, but American gamers now have a date to watch for as well, as Bravely Second will debut in North America on April 15.
Nintendo revealed the date at a 3DS event earlier today in San Francisco, pairing the news with more information on what North American fans can expect if they pick up the collector’s edition of Bravely Second once it is finally available. Although most JRPG players would have likely traded the collectibles from the collector’s edition for a release date closer to the one that Japan enjoyed, Square’s Bravely Second collector’s edition offering is a fairly compelling one. The upgrade will include a physical copy of the game, a whopping 250 page art book, and a 10 song soundtrack.
Oddly enough, however, instead of giving North American gamers an extra bonus for their prolonged waiting period, Nintendo is actually reducing the amount of content in the US collector’s edition. While European fans will get a figure of Agnes, one of the main characters from Bravely Default, American fans won’t be given the same courtesy. It’s worth noting that Square was only in charge of Bravely Second‘s publishing in Japan, and that Nintendo is in charge of the European and North American release.
While bringing Bravely Second: End Layer to Western gamers has been a more difficult proposition than most expected upon the announcement the sequel would see a worldwide release, it’s one of the few disappointing stories emerging from a Square Enix studio that is clearly returning to its roots. Rumors of the RPG development giant’s demise were greatly exaggerated, and after the blockbuster announcement of Final Fantasy 7 Square Enix stocks actually rose a significant amount on the back of many fans’ dreams come true.
Of course, Bravely Second is no Final Fantasy 7, but it’s a game that is unapologetic about its strict adherence to some of the JRPG genre’s more classic conventions and is better for it as a result. RPGs have certainly seen an uptick in coverage and anticipation recently, in part due to the looming release of Final Fantasy 15 in 2016. Given that the newest instalment in Final Fantasy isn’t expected until much later in the year, however, Bravely Second looks like it will provide exactly what dedicated RPG gamers need to bridge the gap until the fate of RPG console gaming in Japan and possibly the world is decided a little later.
How did you feel about Bravely Default, and does Bravely Second interest you? Is the discrepancy between the game’s release date in Japan and North America too large for a commercially successful title? Let us know in the comments below.
Bravely Second: End Layer is available on the 3DS in Japan, and will release in Europe on February 26 and North America on April 15 on the same platform.