Final Fantasy Smash BrosFrom the Mognet Head Office
I'm glad you've taken an interest in Dissidia 012, kupo! A fighting game centered around...you guessed it, Final Fantasy! And while one might be forgiven in assuming that this is a game planning to get by on this gimmick, you couldn't be further from the truth. Dissidia 012 is the second Dissidia game, and exist as a prequel to the original. Also, the story mode includes a remake of the original games plot with lots of side stories added in. Now, this is a fighting game unlike any I've played before, and one with a strong rpg element. A spectacle, with combat that looks straight out of the movie Advent Children. Full 3d environments, air and ground combat, tons of unique characters, varied and inventive ways to approach fights, smooth and quick combat, and unreasonably proportioned swords that are swung with startling ease.... Honestly, what more could you want? Dissidia is a game with as much depth as any Final Fantasy game, and stands tall among fighting games in general. While it may seem simple at first (you'll find no overly complicated button presses to pull off combos here), it's designed with such elegance that you'll constantly be discovering new way to turn your opponents to mince meat. And all this with a roster of your favorite Final Fantasy characters. Enough with the broad strokes here though, it's time to get to the details.
This isn't a category, but I wanted to give this it's own section, so I could go into more depth about the unique combat system, and strong rpg elements. First, I'll talk a bit about story mode. Unlike most games of this nature, story mode boast an entire world map for you to run around in. Fights are still one on one matches in the usual arcade style, but it lends an element of exploration to a genre that doesn't often have it. And while this is a fighting game, the rpg elements are undeniable. You have tons of different equipment, and it all changes the way you fight. Your characters actually level up as you progress, and learn a host of new passive abilities, and moves as they level. Also, as they master abilities they gain room to slot even more. You have several abilities, but can only equip so many at a time, meaning you have to think about how you're building your character, and how it will help them in battle. Speaking of battle, as I stated it's full 3D. You can run up walls, and even fight mid-air. In fact, you don't even have to touch the ground the entire fight if you don't want to (barring the fact you start on the ground of course). You come equipped with two types of attacks. Bravery, and Hp. You also have a base bravery stat. Basically, bravery attacks knock down the oponets bravery in a manner equal to your attack stat, while raising your own bravery. Hp attacks deal a set amount of HP damage equal to the amount of bravery you currently possess (resetting you to base). In addition to this you have an ex gauge that fills up, allowing you to unleash more powerful attacks, or enjoy a temporary stat boost. You also have assist characters, and as your assist bar fills up, you can trigger it to have the assist character deliver a one shot attacks. Summon stones can also be equipped, and used once per fight. Summons all have various effects, and used properly, can quickly tun the tides of combat. I would explain all the various things you can do in combat in more detail...but I simply don't have the room. Suffice to say, no two characters are the same. And given the many different tools you have at your command, you have a multitude of ways you can approach combat in this game, ensuring you never get bored.
This is a Final Fantasy game, so naturally they put a lot of works on the appearance of this game. I find it impressive how they rendered many of the older characters. Giving them a look that fits the current level of graphics, yet still retaining their style. The animations are top notch for psp, the cutscenes are stunning, and the characters look amazing. Each character has a few alternate outfits as well. While a few of the alternate outfits are kinda pointless (looking your way Sephiroth) most of them are pretty well designed. Not a lot of attention has been given to some of the stages, but most look pretty good. Of course, all stages are taken from previous FF games, and are generally easy to recognize if you've played the corresponding game. Many of the moves look impressive as well, and ex burst are beautifully done. My only complaints graphically are some of the stages are boring, and the camera sometimes has trouble keeping up with the full 3D combat system. This makes it hard to find your opponent at times. These are small complaints however, and for the most part the game looks like a work of art.
SoundOk, so it looks pretty, but how does it sound? Soundtrack is easy. Basically the sound track is comprised of songs from previous FF games. Many to unlock as well, and you're encouraged to do so as you can pick the song for the fight. Or you can just let it cycle through. Final Fantasy has always been known to have a pleasing soundtrack, and while dissida used many songs from the past, don't let it be said that it brings nothing new to the table. This game has number of songs original to the game, and they are masterfully done. The voice acting is superb as well, with characters sounding very natural, and talking as you would expect them to actually speak. There is a ton of spoken dialogue, with each character having not only generic lines, but lines for each other character in the game for when they meet them in battle. And that's not even talking about the story mode, with cutscenes that have full voice. And lots of them as well. Some of the in battle lines that correspond with attacks get annoying when you opponent is spamming the attack (or you are you cheater :p), but that is the only complaint I could dig up. And believe me, I had to dig deep for that one.
I just checked, and I have over 246 hours logged into this game, and I guarantee some people out there are thinking "That's it?!". The crazy thing is, I haven't even unlocked everything. I'll go more into the unlockables in the depth section, but my point is there is always something to do. Even if you aren't working towards any goals though, it's perfectly normal to spend hours on arcade mode partaking in fight after fight. Combat is fluid and exciting, and you may just find yourself saying "Just one more fight" 30 times in a row before finally forcing yourself to put down the game. And it's the type of game, that even after you haven't played for awhile, you'll have no problem picking back up and jumping right back in. And what's the first thing you see when you do? A letter from mognet saying how glad they are to have you back, Kupo! StoryThis is a story that takes place in a separate dimension. The forces who are Cosmos and Chaos, Harmony and dustruction, are locked in a never ending conflict. Both have pulled warriors from other dimensions to fight for them. These warriors never truly die though. The cycle repeats itself. The warriors of chaos destroy the warriors of Cosmos, and cosmos revives her champions who fight anew, with no memory of the previous cycles, or even who they are. This conflict has repeated for many cycles with no change. Yet on this, the twelfth cycle, something has changed. Dissidia 012 had a story that surprised me. I honestly expected it to just constantly reference the previous games, but it constructed it's own plot rather well. None of the characters were poorly depicted, and while it certainly did reference their individual stories from their respective games, it used that to make a new narrative. The characters grew, the danger become real, and the story showed a futile struggle that even many of the "antagonist" begin to question the point of. It was the futility of a war that no one truly wanted, but seemed to have no end in sight. And while many of the protagonist couldn't remember who they were...some bonds are too strong to be ignored. While the story did get a bit cliche at points...it was refreshing and well constructed. Desolate, and at time heart wrenching. Far more than I expected from a fighting game, even one with so many rpg elements. After all though, this is Square Enix
I would avoid this game if you are the type that has to collect 100% of everything in the game. Because this game is gonna take you awhile if so. Weapons, armors, skins, music, stages, accessories, summons, items, battlegen items, movies, and more. And that's not even getting into the various moves and skill available for each character. You also have Mognet, which will produce a letter every time you log in, that you can reply to in different ways. You'll even receive a letter back that responds to what you say. Even the story mode is exceedingly long with several bonus dungeons to explore. And too add to it, they included the story from the previous game with extra content. Oh, still not enough? Good thing they added yet another bonus story unlocked after the one from the previous game. A mode with it's own mini story, but it's true purpose is to test you beyond anything you've faced so far. The map is large enough to get lost, and you likely will. Keep on eye on that map. You'll run through dungeons, and replay fights, several times over in order to get all the best stuff. And you'll enjoy every minute of it. Also, you might just find secret items, and even secret shops. The game even allows you to set a bonus day of the week. If you play on this day, you'll receive tons of extra bonuses. This game has tons to offer, in, and apart from the main game. Don't worry, you'll have plenty to do.Difficulty
Not much to say here at all. The game is challenging. Some of the fights in the last story mode are down right insane. However, it's the good kind of challenging. The kind that can be overcome by increasing your skill (or picking Terra and spamming meltdown if you're boring :p). Combat is easy to get into, but difficult to master. All in all, it's a difficult experience...but rewarding to overcome. The game does offer a smooth learning curve however, so you'll have plenty of time to hone your skills before the challenge ramps up on you. Final Verdict
This is a surprisingly massive game, that will draw you in for hours upon hours of game-play, and you won't be bored. It's fun, unique, and massive in content. It's certainly a fighting game, but it has the depth and size of a full scaled rpg. Wonderful depictions of various familiar faces, all set in an original and intriguing story. Free form, and fast paced battles that'll make you feel like your in an anime, and a cornucopia of varied and interesting fighting styles, which combined with the heavy customization, allow you to find a style that perfectly fits you. Or, try them all. It's up to you. This is a game I highly recommend, especially if you're a Final Fantasy fan, but even if you aren't. Either way, this game has plenty to offer. So play Dissidia 012 today, and finally put to rest the question of who would win out of Squall and Tidus...or whoever .