TGS 2011: Bravely Default First Impressions Preview

We scrutinize the possibilities of the upcoming AR video game from Square Enix.

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Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
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Gamers who are tired of shooting at faces using the 3DS's AR capabilities may be pleased to know that Square Enix will be taking that technology into the designs of its new title. We had an incredibly brief session with the oddly titled Bravely Default: Flying Fairy that may have shown off its tech but left us contemplating a lot.

We started the demo off with a little kid dressed in typical pirate garb (white loose shirt, brown pants, boots, sans hat) talking to a captain on a ship. He then came forward and asked us to look for a pendant somewhere on the ship. This was the game asking us to search for the fairy symbol in the booth using the 3DS camera. As soon as we pointed the 3DS to the AR card on the ground, a girl with black hair and a white fantasy-setting gown popped up and started pleading for help to get away from an unknown dark force that was chasing her.

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All of this was done on the background where the camera was pointing (think Princess Leia's rescue message from Star Wars: A New Hope). We had to shift the viewpoint of the camera around to keep up with her constant movement. The scene ended with her falling through a crack on the floor, with the obligatory trailer showing minimal in-game footage and cryptic promo messages beckoning the warrior of light to answer her call for help.

We think the game is a role-playing game with a huge focus on alternate-reality gaming functions. Gamers may be pointing their 3DS cameras to make treasures pop out, locate and hit on an enemy's weak spot, and even have a battle sequence be displayed onto real-life backgrounds shown through the camera lens. This is a huge speculation on our part as Square Enix has yet to show off anything other than this teaser, but the possibilities are endless, especially in terms of delivering narrative in a more personal manner.

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy will be out in Japan next year. An English version of the game has yet to be confirmed.

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