I apologize in advance to those of you who had your pitchforks pre-sharpened. It was a logical preparation to have made, after all Bravely Default is exactly the kind of game I should have missed. A 3DS JRPG with pre-release niche frenzy, it's like custom made for me to screw that one up by both not giving it Game of the Week, but probably even forgetting to mention it entirely.
And, I would have, except for forum member Shoptroll whose donation through last year's donation drive earned him the opportunity to pick his own Game of the Week. And, Bravely Default is where he has spent that opportunity. I asked him, almost pleadingly, why this game out of all possibilities in the calendar year deserved his adoration and sacrifice, and aside from needling me with having to write something nice about a 3DS Squeenix JRPG, he said this:
Storywise it's a classic Final Fantasy game in everything but the name, featuring crystals, airships, etc. but with the freedom to subvert some genre conventions/tropes and provide a slightly darker take on the typical Final Fantasy story.
And, even if Shoptroll hadn't stepped up to the plate, our own Ccesarano specifically asked me three weeks ago if I wouldn't mind sitting this week out so he could make sure, you guessed it, Bravely Default got the nod. I also asked him why, and he described the game as a tribute to classic NES, SNES and PS1 days, somehow all at once. But most interesting is that he described the game as making player actions a kind of resource.
...managing character actions and creative combinations of character classes can result in really empowering combat capabilities and scenarios. So it's "old school", but a logical progression of the system that allows it to be fresh and new.
I'm not sure I understand, but at least it sounds interesting. So, ok, Bravely Default is the Game of the Week, but I'm willing to take this one step further. Just before posting this, I ordered a copy from Amazon that I plan to play for as long as I can manage on my son's 3DS. I'm pretty sure this will be my first experience in this genre since you people made me play The World Ends With You, an experience that still haunts me to this day. May whatever god you pray to have mercy on your souls.