Back in October of last year, I wrote a post talking about five things I wanted to see in the newest version of Alim’s mobile game series, Brave Frontier. The original version of Brave Frontier is the best mobile game I’ve played ever, enough so that I once made the argument that it’s in my personal top ten video games that I’ve played1I don’t know that I’d keep my original list the same, particularly now that I’ve played Pokemon Black and Civilization VI, not to mention the original Brave Frontier’s regression as a game over the last 12 months. That said, those changes wouldn’t be enough to remove the original Brave Frontier from my top 10 list.. Last month, despite confusing release news coming out of Alim throughout the end of 2017, Alim released Brave Frontier 2 for Japanese audiences. A global (translated) port of the game has not yet been announced, but I did pick up the game2The game itself is free, but you can make in app purchases. in Japanese to play.
While this means I have no idea what’s going on in the main story, playing for the last couple of weeks allowed me to form some thoughts on the game specifically related to the things I was looking to see in my previous post. So how has Brave Frontier 2 done in terms of improving on Brave Frontier? Let’s look at the five items on my original list.
1. Top-tier evolutions available for all units
My suggestion: Implement a Fire Emblem: Heroes style system where all units get a top-tier evolution out of the gate, even if it takes a lot of time and resources to get to them.
What BF2 did: Brave Frontier 2’s evolution system is almost a weird hybrid between Fire Emblem: Heroes’ unlock potential system and the original Brave Frontier’s evolution system. While you still need fodder units for evolution in Brave Frontier 2, you don’t lose level progress when doing so. Additionally, every non-fodder unit does have a full, five-star evolution as of right now. That said, the original Brave Frontier started out this way too. I can give a grade on this, but it’s definitely one that’s partially incomplete one.
How BF2 did with this want: B, with the potential to go higher if fodder units get higher evolutions, but the potential to go much lower once they start releasing new units.
2. Eliminate the gacha system
My suggestion: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for units with in-game currency.
What BF2 did: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for non-fodder units with in-game currency. Fodder units still have a gacha system, but no resources of note go towards this system.
How BF2 did with this want: A. The fodder unit system remains from the original game, but it was the only gacha system of the game that received no notable complaints. The cost per unit is a little steep, but the unit bundles that Alim has released thus far look like they’ll offset this. Time to hoard gems3Brave Frontier 1 and 2’s in-game currency. in the event the chosen one’s batch shows up in Brave Frontier 2.
3. A better arena experience
My suggestion: Keep, or improve the speed of, regular arena mode while replacing Challenge Arena and Colosseum with a chain battle system similar to Fire Emblem: Heroes’ Arena Assault mode.
What BF2 did: Replaced all arena modes with an Arena Assault style mode, only a more hardcore version where you can’t pick new units after each round.
How BF2 did with this want: C-. Alim found the one way to make a chain challenge unenjoyable, all while removing a reliable way to get in-game rewards. It’s definitely a different experience, but it’s not a better one.
4. Reduce the number of social game features required for top-end rewards
My suggestion: Like the title says, reduce the amount of the game that requires having in-game friends/guilds to complete.
What BF2 did: No social features outside of equipping a friend unit in each map exist.
How BF2 did with this want: B+. I’ve never said this in a mobile game before, but Brave Frontier 2 actually needs slightly more social features. I’m not advocating for the return of guilds, but the ability to send items to friends would be nice. Add those in and this jumps to an A+.
5. Improve the build customization system
My suggestion: Extend Brave Frontier 1’s summoner customization mode — a feature not released until three years into the game — to all units from the game’s launch.
What BF2 did: Extended the summoner customization mode to one additional unit, Rin, but scaled the customization features back fairly significantly in the process.
How BF2 did with this want: D-. Seeing a second protagonist unit get the summoner treatment is good, and this grade could be slightly higher if I understood the story. That said, this game is supposed to be set around 20 years in the future, so you’d think weapon and summoner technology would have advanced. In that time, we’ve gotten…a knockoff of the Ember Celica…and that’s pretty much it.