RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Final Fantasy: Dissidia

I do enjoy playing my PSP. So far, the game I've played the most is Dissidia. It's a very unique game for Square-Enix. The usual turn based action is instead replaced by a good old beat em up with a few interesting quirks. Super Smash Brothers or Soul Calibur are easily comparable to this combo based fighting game. It's also just as good.

Tidus destroying the low level AI.

Final Fantasy: Dissidia has a somewhat odd story, for anyone who has played a few games in the franchise. The premise is that every main character and antagonist from each of the games from I to X happen to be summoned into the same world as each other. This world is in discord; battles between the two gods Chaos and Cosmos are fighting to control the balance. Heroes and Villains struggle for the gods in a never ending battle. Each side wants victory, usually driven by their motive to fight their counterpart. Although this plot is a little ridiculous, it works just fine.

What's important about Dissidia is the action. There's a very intriguing fighting system in place, one that I've never encountered before. Each combatant essentially has two health bars; bravery and hp. Depleting the opponents hp bar is how you obtain victory. However, the damage you deal with a successful attack is dictated by how much bravery you have stacked up. Fighters can steal the enemy bravery with their abilities, raising their own and increasing the damage of the next hp move. Or, they can continue to use attacks that reduce hp, making themselves vulnerable. After reducing the opponents health, your attack damage is reset to 0. If your bravery is hit below 0 you will suffer a bravery break; massively increasing your opponents attack and leaving you in a lot of trouble. This system allows for a degree of strategy to be employed in your battles.

As you can see, there's a lot to choose from. And a chocobo!

Mobility is also important in Dissidia. In the fray you will be dashing around, running up walls and performing clutch dodges to gain enough advantage to wind up a combo. I really enjoy being able to maneuver so much, you can even perform some intricate movements in the air- combat whilst floating in the sky is an important part of the game. Some characters even get a wider range of moves whilst jumping, meaning you're more of a threat if you can bring the battle off the ground.

Besides your hitpoints, the RPG element of this game comes into play outside of battle. Throughout the many menus you can equip weapons and accessories onto your characters and buy gear from the shop. You will also accumulate new stuff from battles and level up. Experience gained appears to change varying on how you take down your opponent. You may also add a plethora of new combat skills to your attire, choosing abilities that suit your playstyle. Anyone playing Dissidia will not miss out on their fill of RPG content. You have to win to earn money, and there are a couple of currencies to provide you with new characters and equip more attacks.

Campaign map, with different tiles and music for each character.

What every FF fan will probably do upon playing this game, is jump into the campaign of their favorite character. I decided to save Cloud, Squall and Zidane for later on, and play 1 through 6 first. It was a good choice. Each character got an equal amount of coverage, so you won't feel left out because your preferred main took a backseat to everyone else. The bad guys also get a lot of camera time too, displaying a lot of personality and inner thoughts. Sephiroth is still my favorite, and Kuja was being a whining bitch as usual. What's concerning was the hierarchy that was established between the villains. The emperor appeared to be at the top rung, whilst Kefka and Jecht seemed to bow down to him. I didn't like it.

Graphics are very commendable for a PSP game, but expected of Square-Enix so I take them for granted. The characters all have plenty of cutscenes so you can see their iconic personalities. You also get to hear the voices of all the characters which is very new, anything before FFX hasn't really been voiced before. It's also very interesting to see each Final Fantasy character interact with their counterparts. Squall for instance, passes up traveling with Zidane and friends because he prefers to be alone. Warrior of Light from the first game appears to be the leader, yet he progresses through his campaign alone.

Zidane fighting Kuja.

There are a lot of nice touches to the game, such as individual music for each campaign and different tiles relating to the character. My favorite part is the diverse amount of content. There are hundreds of hours waiting to be lost in Dissidia. From the chocobo minigames to the gear optimization, you will always have something to do. Gathering all the potential items and summons is impossible in a single playthrough, it can take 3-4 runs to net everything.

I've been looking to get my hands on Dissidia for a long time, and was afraid my inner hype would expect too much from it. But when I finally managed to start playing this game did not let me down. It could be better, but not by much. My main problem was the lack of campaign difficulty. A lot of fights were so one-sided I could win them with my eyes closed. However, sometimes the higher level AI would really give you a lot of trouble- performing amazing dodges and comboing you to death. Ultimately, I believe after I finish all my other PSP games Dissidia will still be the game I play when I feel like taking my handheld out.

It should be cheap now, so by it or you're really missing out. Unless you don't play Final Fantasy, in which case you should go play Final Fantasy right now. Please. Pretty please?

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