The Fighting RPG – Dissidia: Final Fantasy Review
When you think Final Fantasy, you remember long story lines, big battles (cut scenes or player battles) and evil villains who are overly insane at times. What you don’t think about one-on-one battles between friend or foe, achievements for accomplishing a goal and a RPG like fighter. Dissidia: Final Fantasy is that game you haven’t thought about and didn’t disappoint with its release to the PSP.
Coming up with a reason for all these characters in one game is probably every fans question. The story line feels like something out of the Mortal Kombat Movie made in 1995. To quote Rayden from that movie
“The essence of Mortal Kombat is not about death, but life. Mortal men and women defendeing your own world”.
Even though no one dies in this fighting game, the idea is the same but with Final Fantasy heroes fighting for the world of man. Chaos and Cosmos are powerful gods struggling in an endless battle of light and dark. The warriors for Cosmos consist of Final Fantasy heroes (Warrior of Light – FF, Firion – FF2, Onion Knight – FF3, Cecil – FF4, Bartz – FF5, Terra – FF6, Cloud – FF7, Squall – FF8, Zidane – FF9, Tidus – FF10) and warriors of Chaos consist of Final Fantasy villains ( Garland – FF, The Emperor – FF2, Cloud of Darkness – FF3, Golbez – FF4, Exdeath – FF5, Kefka – FF6, Sephiroth – FF7, Ultimecia – FF8, Kuja – FF9, Jecht – FF10). With each warrior fighting for Cosmos, they all must find their crystal of light to turn the tides on this battle. Each hero will have a different story to tell when searching for their crystal.
The story does find a way for all 20 characters to co-exist in the same story but its the gameplay that makes this game just plan fun. Before battles, you will be in front a menu screen seeing what you want to do next. From story mode to saved replays of battles, this game gives the player a lot to do. With every match you gain points and money to help unlock special items or features of the game so it’s very rewarding if you win or lose. Once you start playing story mode, you won’t have to worry about fighting only as the game has that RPG feel like leveling up, equipping items to a character and setting up what special moves he/she has when battling. Strategy can be found outside of the battle arena when picking summons for your character and selecting moves your character can perform. When you want to begin the story, the hero will be placed on a giant board. You will have the chance to engage with enemies and collect items on the board to get to the end point. The enemies, items and end point are clearly marked and give enough information to the player before and after a battle. It’s up to the player on how to complete the board and what enemies/items to pass along the way. Awards can be given after completing a stage or an enemy if finishing a battle unharmed or completing a stage in the least amount of stops (picking up an item or fighting counts as a stop).
That was just the gameplay before the fighting begins. Once in a battle, you will be given a chance to check out your opponent’s gear and items equipped. Once you are ready, you will be placed in a open world like setting with an invisible box to keep the fights contained. The controls in the game don’t look complicated but can be when you want to link up faster or more powerful moves. There is an attack that will snatch Bravery Points away from your opponent and another attack to unleash that collected Bravery towards the opponents HP. There is a way to jump, dodge, block and dash around your opponent. During your battle, you can fill the EX bar and then activate that mode to execute powerful moves on your opponent. The first to knock off the opponents HP to 0, wins the match.
The graphics are up to par with what you should see on a PSP game. Watching the prologue cut scene gives you a taste of things to come in the story but also when battling in the game as well. In game battles are clean and well detailed with the environments and characters in them. The redesigned character drawings are nice to look at as you get to see characters you know in a 8 bit setting. Everything looks sound graphically for this game.
Some things to look out for with this game would be the camera angles and weak story line. When battling in a closed area, the camera angles can really put you in a bad spot if you are fighting or just if you are chasing your opponent around to continue the match. Also, running around the walls can make the camera jump around when in closed environments. The story line has its moments but still has the same undertones it presents in the other Final Fantasy games in the past. The idea of a ‘light and dark’ battle isn’t anything new and will not blow the minds of any fan of the series of not.
When all said and done, Dissidia: Final Fantasy will appease the fans that follow the franchise strongly but will also cater to those PSP owners who need a good game to play. The short ends to this game are annoying at times but do not bring down the amount of fun to be had. The game is a buy with much replay value to go around.
Worth the Price – Let it Drop – Avoid at All Costs