The impending release of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy on January 2nd marks the end of an era. We’ll just call it the we-can-make-nothing-but -Final-Fantasy-era. For a while there, every game coming out of the RPG studio Square Enix had something to do with Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Agito, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light. Are you picking up on a recurring pattern? Oh yeah, and Dragon Quest, not Final Fantasy.
The important thing is that Bravely Default is not branded "Final Fantasy," and that it already has a sequel in the works: Bravely Second. This, by our rough estimate, makes it the first new franchise from the RPG mega-corp in a quarter-century. But how does it play? Eh, it’s pretty much old-school Final Fantasy.