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Platform

Playstation Portable

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Squre Enix

 

Developer

Square Enix

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q3 2009

 

 

- Lots of customization

- Very flashy and solid gameplay

- Nice change of pace

- Great graphics

 

 

- Can be frustrating at times

- Multiple stories are nice, but as a whole a bit weak

 

 

Review: Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny (PSP)

Review: Resistance: Retribution (PSP)

Review: Twisted Metal: Head-On (PSP)

 

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Dissidia Final Fantasy

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

When an iconic RPG series like Final Fantasy gets its own fighting game, the first thing that comes to mind is "Please, not another Ehrgeiz." Ehrgeiz was a fighting game for the arcades back in 1998 and then when released for the Sony Playstation, it included six Final Fantasy VII characters. It wasn't the greatest game, but the inclusion of FFVII characters would surely attract some fanboys whether they would actually like the game or not. Thankfully, Dissidia Final Fantasy is not one of those cash in watered down spinoffs. In fact, it takes a very unique approach to the fighting game genre and best of all, it's actually a great spinoff.

 

dissidia final fantasy          dissidia final fantasy

 

Like all fighting games, Dissidia has several modes. There's story, arcade, quick match and you can also challenge another player. During the course of the game, your characters will level up (more on that later), but if you want a fair even match then that's where arcade mode comes in handy because it gives characters set stats and levels. Story mode places you in a war between Cosmos and Chaos. Cosmos fights for good so naturally the heroes from Final Fantasy I-X fight for her while villains such as the infamous Sephiroth fight for Chaos. Story mode places you in a chess board like scene that takes a Destiny Point away every time you

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move your character on the chess like board. If you move your character to encounter certain icons, a battle will occur. Moving your character on certain objects like potions will replenish health while a treasure chest will give you an object of some sort. If you manage to complete a level while still retaining some Destiny Points, the game will reward you with extra PP (which is used to unlock extras),

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extra Gil (money), summons and equipment when completing a level. Certain battles have specific conditions (such as complete the battle under 10 seconds or complete the battle with taking no damage) and if a battle is completed under the stated conditions, an extra point will be awarded. Every character has his or her own unique cutscenes with plenty of references to the FF series.

 

Dissidia introduces a unique approach to the fighting genre. It's very flashy, but there is substance in the formula. If you've ever watched Advent Children/Advent Children Complete, then you should be able to get a general idea of how the fights look. There are two types of attacks: Brave and HP. The more the player or opponent connects with a brave hit, the brave number (above HP) increases. This number represents the amount of damage that will be inflicted on an opponent once an HP attack connects. Once an HP attack connects, the brave number for the attacker resets itself back to 0 and gradually starts increasing. Also, attacking with a brave move will decrease opponent's amount of brave. If opponent's brave falls to 0, then the other character will receive a substantial brave boost that will unleash devastating amounts of damage. If you manage to smash your opponent on the floor or against a wall, you'll do greater amounts of damage. Other techniques include blocking (not all moves can be blocked) dodging, dashing, wall running and grinding (skateboarder style, but with your feet). Blocking takes some practice because you have to time it just right or else you'll leave yourself wide open for an ass kicking. However, if you manage to block the attack, your opponent is the one that is left wide open. Dodging is also very important. I was going nuts fighting Squall on quick match for a while and losing every fight until I learned how to dodge by a very helpful tip from the loading screen. You are given the option of dodging to the left or right or jumping over the opponent. It is really easy to explore a stage thanks to the simple push of a triangle which allows you to run on walls or grind off objects such as railings or even by use of the lifestream. Finally, we have burst attacks which play the part of a special move. Each character has an Ex Burst bar that gradually fills by absorbing little orbs and at times there will be an Ex Orb that appears which will greatly boost the Ex Burst bar. When the bar is full, characters can turn into their Ex Mode on command. Certain characters will have more noticeable changes than others. For example: Cloud's buster sword will turn into his Ultima Weapon (his best sword in Final Fantasy VII) or Terra will morph into her Esper form. If a character manages to connect with an HP attack in brave mode before the brave bar depletes, then he or she will unleash a special attack. Besides being able to use a special attack, Ex mode gives each character special bonuses like regen (which slowly gives back HP) Each character is different and therefore will have their own unique abilities in Ex mode.

 

dissidia final fantasy          dissidia final fantasy

 

There are many special skills in Dissidia and many will have to be unlocked through leveling up. Square Enix was very successful in maintaining the RPG feel to the game. The stronger you get, the more your stats are raised and the more moves you'll obtain. Certain FF elements such as summons even make an appearance in Dissidia. You can also obtain and equip new weapons and armor (no visible change) and accessories can boost strength, defense, luck, etc. It really is commendable how much effort Square Enix tried to make this feel like a real Final Fantasy game. If you find yourself having some trouble in story mode, it may be a wise decision to level up your character in the quick match mode.

 

Something worth mentioning is the RPG mode for players who aren't experienced with fighting games. It seems like Square Enix thought of everything because you can fight through menus just like a real RPG game.  In my humble opinion, Dissidia should be played through as a fighting game and I found it near impossible to win a match through menus, but I'll admit that it's really neat that they went out of their way to include a menu based system.

 

Visually, the game is very appealing, but what else would anyone expect from Square Enix? Character models look great and the preFFVII characters do look loyal to Amano's art. Even the VII and on characters have alterations to create a nice blend of Amano and Nomura's artstyle. You can even buy an alternate looks for characters from the game's shop. Some characters like Cloud have a more drastic alternate look. You can choose whether he has his SOLDIER gear or his Advent Children attire. Environments look great and are interactive (lots of things to destroy). It's nice to see a lot of familiar looking places get a revamp.

 

There's a couple of music tracks from each game which further heightens the nostalgia factor. Sometimes the english voice acting is a bit rough around the edges, but in my opinion some characters like Firion and Cecil sound great. 

This is a treat for any Final Fantasy fan that owns a PSP. If any non-PSP owners are on the fence about getting one, Dissidia is one of those reasons why you should. There are plenty of characters and each with their own unique storyline. Dissidia will surely last many hours before a FF fan will get bored of it. I highly suggest a purchase.

 

- J'Tonello

(December 4, 2009)

 

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