10 years ago, Square Enix’s best Nintendo 3DS game changed RPGs forever

Final Fantasy has always been a series about change, with each entry striving to try something new or different. For this reason, the “traditional” Final Fantasy experience has often been left behind as the franchise evolves. However, in 2012, Square Enix released the greatest homage to the classic Final Fantasy it could have, even if it didn’t have the same name. A brave omission was not only a nostalgic throwback to classic turn-based RPGs, but also a vision of how the genre can modernize and stay relevant.

A brave omission uses the exact same story setup as Final Fantasy, featuring you as four warriors of light who must save the world of Luxendarc by restoring four elemental crystals. Final Fantasy’s setting is entirely intentional, and the game’s narrative uses Final Fantasy tropes to layer in compelling twists.

There are plenty of arguments to be made A brave omissionit is pacing issues, but the seemingly generic story methodically turns into a deconstruction of Final Fantasy and the genre in general. It’s hard to go into too much detail without a spoiler, but as interesting as A brave omissionThe narrative is that the gameplay innovations it brought are what really stand out so far.

A brave omission uses a visual style similar to PS1 Final Fantasy, putting 3D characters on hand-drawn backgrounds. Square-Enix

A brave omission uses the same turn-based combat style as the classic Final Fantasy games, but with a massive twist. During battle, you can use something called Default to defend and rack up a Brave Point. These points can be stored and used at the same time, allowing characters to use multiple actions in one turn. This provides a fascinating new strategic advantage to battles, especially when enemies can also use Brave actions. Along with all the normal considerations, you now have to consider managing your Brave Points resource, while keeping an eye out for enemies.

On top of that A brave omission presents the best employment system since Final Fantasy V, with a host of different jobs that all feel unique, from the well-known Dark Mage and Monk to the wildly different Vampire and Salve-Maker. This system allows you to equip a secondary job in addition to a main job, opening up a multitude of combinations and abilities to use. Combining jobs is an idea that Square Enix has been coming back to for years, even in games as recent as stranger from paradise.

A brave omission is all about personalizing your experience, and outside of the working system, another groundbreaking feature encourages that idea. In the settings menu, players can fine-tune the frequency of random encounters with a slider that lets you move the frequency up or down, or even turn them off altogether. It’s such a small yet brilliant change that makes the experience astronomically better. If you’re tired of fighting in a dungeon, you can just turn off battles and explore, or if you need to pass a few levels quickly, you can boost battles and use the fast forward feature in battle.

Bravely Default combat was a smart way to update turn-based battles, making them faster and more exciting. Square-Enix

However, there is another side to this, as reducing the frequency of encounters essentially allows you to adjust the difficulty. If you want an extra challenge by gaining some experience, you can do that. Many modern RPGs have eliminated random battles by placing enemies directly into the environment, but A brave omission showed that there is still a completely viable way to make Random Battles work.

There are a handful of other features that make A brave omission such a lovely RPG, featuring an entirely optional city-building mechanic and utterly gorgeous hand-drawn backgrounds. It all adds up to a game that’s brimming with charm and just great to play, even when the pacing feels long and drawn out with filler.

A brave omission was developed by the Asano team, the same team that would go on to develop the HD-2D line of games, including Octopath Traveler, Triangle Strategyand live alive. It is easy to see how A brave omission served as a starting point for subsequent matches for Team Asano, starting from the Break-Boost system of Octopath to the unique classes of Triangle Strategy.

A brave omission was the perfect portable experience, a compact RPG that had enormous depth, but let you customize your experience to play on the go. Although it was very well received when it was launched, 10 years later it is clear A brave omission was more influential than we initially thought.

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