With over 85 million copies of the Final Fantasy franchise sold and a legacy spanning over two decades, developers Square Enix felt it was time to celebrate their achievements in the form of Dissidia: Final Fantasy, a 3D fighting game made exclusively for the PSP.
Fret not if you were a little disappointed in seeing that this is a fighting game in lieu of your traditional RPG. There are many RPG-related features in the game that will make any Final Fantasy fan feel right at home.
One notable feature is the roster, which includes favourites such as Cloud and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII – even the not-so-popular Tidus from Final Fantasy X is present. Sadly Balthier, the popular character from Final Fantasy XII, has been left out.
The fighting genre has stayed relatively the same since the popular transition from 2D to 3D in the last decade. This game, however, is set to redefine the genre altogether by including some very innovative elements not seen anywhere else.
One impressive thing about the game is that players have to earn victories the old-fashioned way: being to knock your opponent out. There are no cheap ring or time-out wins in this game. That said, there are two different types of attack: one is called a Bravery Attack, which decreases an opponent’s defence, while the other is an HP attack that directly affects their life bar.
It would not be a fighting game (or a Final Fantasy game for that matter) without super moves. Thankfully, all of the characters’ special moves are here and beautifully animated. Not only that, but they’re pretty easy to pull off, too. There are no difficult combos to remember here, as you’ll mostly be hitting square for HP attacks and circle for bravery attacks.
However, despite the simplicity of the controls, this is no easy game. This is because characters have the ability to dodge and counter any incoming offence. Some fights could be over in a matter of seconds while others can last several minutes. This depends on how often the opponent evades your attacks.
Also pleasing is the fact that the characters can defy the laws of gravity. Where else can you walk on walls or grind, Tony Hawk-style, on beams of light? These features make the fights fast, epic and intense. Fans of the Final Fantasy film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children are sure to be pleased by the action in this game.
Multiplayer is also here with both ad-hoc and online play. However, you’ll probably spend most of your time in the game’s lengthy Story mode. This plays a little like an RPG as you level up by beating up several minions before you get the chance at facing the many bosses within the game. Although you cannot customise the appearance of characters, you can customise their weapons, armour and their set of moves. This includes giving them different types of magic, such as fire and so on.
The visuals are where this game truly shines. Long-term fans will instantly recognise the many fight arenas and will love 3D versions of older characters such as Terra from Final Fantasy VI. The music is just as impressive, with many of the original Final Fantasy battle themes remixed especially for this title.
It wouldn’t be a Final Fantasy game without lengthy cutscenes, and there are quite a few in Dissidia. Although the opening sequence is something to look out for, many of the other scenes were lengthy bits of dialogue, which may bore those itching for some action.
Overall, this is one ambitious game. It may not be for everyone, but the lengthy story mode and innovative gameplay are enough to satisfy any die-hard fan. Plus there are lots of bonus extras to unlock as well.
A great title that even those new to the franchise can enjoy.