The visuals are lush, from the overworld map to towns to battles. Effects in battle are especially nice, with camera angles that shift constantly to give attacks a cinematic effect. Corresponding sound effects for both the characters' voices and their attacks makes the battles engrossing. We've all had the experience of dreading the random battle through certain areas where weak monsters, repetitive battle music, and the same animations over and over made leveling up feel like the Bataan Death March. Brave Story: New Traveler does a nice job of mixing up monsters in most areas and building in variation for battles. Early into the game, your hero earns a magical ability to stave off weaker monsters that also helps to streamline the experience. The monsters are a wild bunch, showing great creativity and graphical design prowess. Something I love and haven't seen before is a size variation among identical monsters to signify difficulty. Bigger monsters of the same type are tougher to beat, which gives you a great sense of how to balance your attack strategy.
Only in a few places are there cut-scenes that break from the quick pace kept up in 90% of the game. Things move quickly in towns, while you interact with key story elements or just NPCs. The game's engine powers everything and there are virtually no load times from one area to another or before a sequence with dialogue begins. Various chapters show where a particular story arc ends, but otherwise you'll roam freely from one area to another.