I finally got a copy of this game, Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the newest Final Fantasy game released for Sony PlayStation Portable or PSP. I have the Japanese version and the North American version will arrive in mid-2009. Honestly, I thought this game would not suit me, but I was wrong, too bad!
Story and game
After a fairly long but very enjoyable opening cinematic of good and evil, you will have an idea of what is going on. Cosmo, the goddess of harmony (good) and Chaos, the god of discord (evil) have summoned some of Final Fantasy’s past characters to fight for their side. Honestly, I didn’t know any of those characters before Final Fantasy 6 until I played this game. I was in sixth grade when Final Fantasy 6 (3 in America) came out, so I can’t blame myself.
Warrior of Light – Final Fantasy
Firion – Final Fantasy II
Onion Knight – Final Fantasy III
Cecil Harvey – Final Fantasy IV
Bartz Klauser – Final Fantasy V
Terra Branford – Final Fantasy VI
Cloud Strife Final – Fantasy VII
Squall Leonhart – Final Fantasy VIII
Zidane Tribal – Final Fantasy IX
Tidus – Final Fantasy X
Shantotto – Final Fantasy XI (Ah, our dear and adorable Tarutaru!)
Garland – Final Fantasy
Emperor – Final Fantasy II
Cloud of Darkness – Final Fantasy III
Golbez – Final Fantasy IV
Exdeath – Final Fantasy V
Kefka Palazzo – Final Fantasy VI
Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII
Ultimecia – Final Fantasy VIII
Kuja – Final Fantasy IX
Jecht – Final Fantasy X
Gabranth – Final Fantasy XII
Initially you have to go through the Prologue which acts as a series of tutorials for the game. I really like this game because it is a combination of a board game, action and RPG all rolled into one! The Prologue will teach you how to navigate the board, obtain items from treasure chests, fight monsters, etc. At first, you might feel overwhelmed, at least I am, with all the features and options. But because the menus are so elegantly designed, it was easy to get used to which button corresponds to which option. Unlike the Macross Ace Frontier that I reviewed about two weeks ago. This is what I expect from Square Enix of all their games and so far it has not disappointed me.
There are two main modes: the story mode and 1 on 1. The story mode will allow you to choose which character you want to play the story with. For me 1v1 is just a way to level your characters.
As you fight battles and complete stages, you will earn experience points, as well as items and gils (money) that can be used to improve your character’s stats and buy new weapons / items from the shop.
There are a lot of things to cover in terms of the actual game because it is separated between the board game part and the actual battles. I will try to cover as much as I can.
The board game part largely determines how many battles you will fight, on the board there will be treasure chests, healing items, monsters (for you to fight and gain experience and items), as well as a statue that you will have to destroy. to finish a particular stage (note that you don’t need to kill all the enemies to finish the stage, destroying the statue is enough, at least this is what I have seen so far. During each stage, you will be given points called Destiny Points, they are basically just points for you to navigate through the stage, if you manage to complete the stage without going negative, you earn more points after completing the stage, sometimes I find that you have to reach negative in to get to everything (or maybe I just suck.) You can recharge your PD by completing the PD opportunity like defeating your enemy in 10 seconds or activating your EX attack (the special move I’ll talk about later) in 10 seconds (not all enemies have DP Ch ance, so you have to plan the way you move around the board.
On the board, not only do you move, you also have abilities that you can use, such as heal 30% of your HP or cast negative effects on your enemy that is adjacent to where you are. Finally, you can also press R to enter search mode and check each enemy’s level as well as DP probability ahead of time. I don’t find it that useful though.
That should cover the basics of the board game part now in battle royale!
The battles are very fast, the square and circular buttons are to attack, R is to defend, L is to activate / deactivate the target (sometimes you want to go somewhere else and not look at your enemy all the time), the triangle allows you to walk on the walls or jumping from one place to another (very useful when fighting in a scenario where there is almost nowhere to walk, you will have to jump) and crossing is jumping. The EX attack or special move is activated when the EX gauge is full and pressing R + square. If you have Esper equipped, you can call him out by pressing R + circle, again when the EX gauge is full. You’ll slowly fill up your EX gauge when you attack, get attacked, or get the EX fill item that appears randomly during battle.
Once the EX attack is activated, you will be shown a sequence of buttons, you will have to get them correctly to get the maximum number of hits and in the end, you will press the button that will be shown to you during the final hit as well. However, I have not yet mastered this attack.
By leveling up, your character will not only get stats, but also get more abilities that you can assign to your keys. Pressing left and circle may have a different attack than pressing right / up / down and circle! So the combination is infinite, well, not literally, but you get my idea. That also applies to the square button attack. You can also choose a different EX attack from the EX mode menu. This should give you at least some ideas of what this game has to offer. I’m pretty sure there are more features I haven’t covered, like this mini game option that requires PP that I’m still trying to figure out what it is for, all I know is that I used 30PP to do something related to ‘scavenge in a cave”. Sorry, I can’t read too much Japanese.
There is also a multiplayer mode, but I have not had a chance to test it.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics are pretty impressive, and I’m not just talking about the CG intro, but the game’s graphics as well. The character facial animations are some of the best I’ve seen on a PSP, you can really see detailed facial animations for each character. The way their eyes blink at the way their mouths / lips move as they speak is so smooth that it’s like watching an anime. This is pretty much the best feature I like about Dissidia: Final Fantasy in terms of graphics.
The game’s lighting / special effects are also worth mentioning, whether you are moving around the board, scrolling through menus, or fighting enemies, as well as destroyable items and when you or your enemy are pushed against a wall, the wall will also break. All of this really improves the game by making it more realistic.
Square Enix has been known for having some of the best music composed in the gaming industry, if not the best. And Dissidia: Final Fantasy is no exception, but the game basically uses music from all of the Final Fantasy series.
If you are a fan of Final Fantasy I don’t see why you would want to miss this, of course, unless you don’t have a PSP I can’t blame you. But if you are a fan and have a PSP, I suggest you go for the Japanese version if you can’t wait for the North American version on eBay or yesasia. The fact that this game has features from traditional board games, action / fighting games, and RPGs should be more than enough to satisfy a wide range of players who are into different game genres. Finally, this game has so many features to offer that I think it is worth more than what I have paid for, you don’t watch many games like that too often!
9.0 / 10
To see the gameplay footage, visit my blog post