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Bravely Default producer discusses 'over 100' improvements made to English port

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Bravely Default the Square Enix-developed RPG for the 3DS that's been on fans' "please translate this" list for over a year is officially coming to the US next year. What's more, it's based off a new version of the original Bravely that boasts a huge list of additions and improvements. That "version 1.5" of sorts is coming out Dec. 5 in Japan under the title Bravely Default: For the Sequel, and producer Tomoya Asano sat down with Famitsu to discuss where that name came from.

As Asano put it in this week's issue, For the Sequel exists in part to set the stage more for the sequel, as it were. "With the previous Bravely Default," he said, "we released several demos and gradually adjusted the game as we received feedback from players. I think we were able to make the title because of that game of catch we played with the users. So here, as well, we're introducing new gameplay before the sequel so we can see how everyone responds. In that nuance this is a demo of the sequel, but it's not just a simple demo, either — you can play an entire game here, and it's also much easier to play."

What's new with this version? The Famitsu preview said that the new Bravely features a brand new form of gameplay for the battle sequences, although it didn't reveal exactly what that entailed. But that's far from all. "There are over 100 improvements over the original version," Asano said. "That's why we thought basing it around the original would give players a better impression of what improvements are being made."

These improvements run the gamut. Among the highlights revealed in Famitsu: Battle can now be run at up to four times the speed (as opposed to twice in the original); the menu interfaces in the equipment and battle screens have been fully rewritten to make better use of the 3DS's dual screens; the configuration menu has a plethora of new options (including the ability to define the frequency of enemy encounters independently of your chosen difficulty level); and many of the backdrops in Bravely's towns have been extensively redrawn and improved upon.

As for the presumptive Bravely Default 2? "The improved interface for this game is something we made so we can use it in the sequel," Asano said, "and the story has been changed in sections with an eye for the sequel. So I think you'll notice some of the threads that we'll be exploring in the sequel. However, I'm literally in the middle of building the sequel's story, so I sure can't give details right now! We'll be announcing the sequel at a later date, so hopefully people are willing wait a little while longer."