Title: Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Platform: PlayStation Portable (PSP)
Developer: Square Enix
Number of Players: 1 ( 2 players Ad Hoc)
Square Enix made every Final Fantasy fan boy’s dream come true with the reveal of Final Fantasy Dissidia. Ever wanted to find out who would win Cloud or Squall, or maybe who is the toughest baddie around Kefka or Sephiroth. Dissidia is a hybrid of an action RPG, and a fighting game that takes lead protagonist, and antagonist from each entry of the series providing crossover mayhem. Besides being the ultimate Final Fantasy cross over, Dissidia also boosts with impressive visuals, and large variety of game modes that keep the game fresh, thru many plays.
First impressions of Dissidia started off strong and rather impressive. After starting up the game for the first time, I was asked a variety of questions based on my play style, and which day would I play the most. These two options help to enhance the player experience. Your play style grants various awards of increasing value depending on the style you choose. For instance the casual play style will only take fifteen battles to complete, but the rewards will not be as great as completing the hard-core sixty day plan. The second option simply grants additional experience, Gil, AP, and PP on the selected day.
After setting your quick preference you reach the main screen, where you have several options from the get go. Story mode; Arcade mode, Quick Battle, Communications mode, and many more to choose from. This menu is just a small taste of the amount of options that become available to you through out the course of the game. So after briefly shifting thru the main menu its time to finally to grab your favorite final fantasy character and get things going in the story mode.
When you hear the words Final Fantasy you know a good story is on the way. Unfortunately at first glances you made be disappointed. The games main plot is divided into to portions. Called Destiny Odyssey, and Shade Impulse. Destiny Odyssey is essentially a re-hash, of one specific part of the corresponding characters’ story. After completing Destiny Odyssey, you can enter Shade Impulse, here Dissidia’s Plot begins, and is pretty enjoyable.
When your very first battle begins Square-Enix eases you into the battle. Dissidia has a fair amount of depth to it, and can be a little overwhelming for either the fighter buff, or the Role-playing fan. The game plays like an action RPG very reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts, and Crisis Core, while maintaining complexity of role-playing character growth. In battle you have several gauges, and number on screen, that all surround your characters portrait. You have your Hp (health), then you have bravery, which determines the number of Hp damage you can inflict on your opponent. Performing bravery attacks by hitting the circle button can increase this number. The last gauge is your Ex gauge which servers as a form of special transformation, giving you enhanced abilities, and the ability to perform ex bursts (super moves) that will usually turn the tide of the battle.
With all of the basics in mind you get to apply in real time using a combination of Hp and Bravery attacks, to set your foe up for the coup de grace. You can switch up, which moves your using by alternating directions with both the Square, and circle buttons. On average I would say each character ends up with twelve moves or more. Combine this with the roster of twenty-two characters keeps the game very fresh, and avoids repetition. Summons also make an appearance, and there is a very impressive amount as well ranging from classics like Bahamut, to appearances by the elemental Archfiends from Final Fantasy IV. The summons aid you in battle by affecting you, and/or your opponents bravery values. The only draw back the battle system has is the camera can be somewhat clunky at times. In order to keep the camera functioning properly you will always want to be locked on to your target.
With the battle system being very solid, what better way to enjoy then going head-to-head with your friends. Unfortunately, there is no online game play, so you will have to be within close proximity of your friends to play. The multiplayer plays fairly smooth after doing several matches I only encountered slight lag with some of the games more grand animations. You can also exchange friend cards with your friend to go up against a computer based opponent based off your friends last used character. The game also yields many benefits to those who play multiplayer. Obtaining artifacts, or duplicating your friends best accessories for your own personal use.
While the combat is solid Dissidia has a whole bag of tricks left to impress. While battling foe after you gain will gain Gil, which can be used to purchase various accessories, and equipment to enhance your character. There is also a good variety of equipment that create special effects when worn together as sets usually yielding rather potent results. You also have the ability to generate items mid battle, and use these components to create even better accessories for your character to take into battle. If you have a particular accessory you like you can use booster accessories to enhance them. Dissidia offers a plethora of ways to acquire new items. Also to quote the game itself after completing the story line the game is really just beginning.
Dissidia offers a great battle system, with a surprising amount of depth both in game play, and item procurement. To compliment this Dissidia also offers some of the most impressive visuals seen on Playstation Portable. The lighting fast battles have some incredibly flashy, and detailed animations. The summon animations were a bit of a disappointment, but the inclusion of them was a nice addition. Their animations are only 2D images that appear on screen for a brief moment. Dissidia definitely delivers when it comes to the visual department.
Visuals, aren’t the only beautiful thing about Dissidia, it further enhances the experience with an amazing sound track. Featuring a compilation of songs of each and every entry of the series. Typically each game receives a standard battle song, a last battle track, and various main themes from each game. Dissidia also brings some original tracks to the table that do not disappoint. One aspect of Dissidia’s Sound that is rather lacking is the voice over department. For the most part the character voices are, not to bad, but there are some characters that will make you cringe. To any Zidane fans out there I apologize in advance.
Overall Final Fantasy Dissidia is a must have for Playstation Portable owners. Offering a vast amount of extra content, and variety of game modes, players can spend well into One hundred hours exploring every inch of Dissidia. The multiplayer component, also offers some exciting game play with other Dissidia owners. The actual quality of the combat is very solid, and keeps a good pace for both on the go play, and more serious play. The story, visuals, and impressive sound track, are yet another reason that makes the forty-dollar price point even more worth it. In The end Final Fantasy Dissidia gets a 9 out of 10.