by Keith Crandell Jr.

*Editor’s Note: This review covers Dissidia and Dissidia 012*

Dissidia’s initial selling point was the conflict between ten heroes and villains from the numbered installments.

One of my favorite games of the series, Dissidia Final Fantasy, was a must buy game that convinced me to finally purchase a PSP. While incorporating much of the lore from the series, Dissidia was a revolutionary concept; a one-on-one fighter, which draws in popular characters from the main numbered series. Heroes and villains alike make up a cast of 22, and 31 playable characters in Dissidia and Dissidia 012, respectively.

Cosmos, the god of harmony, and Chaos, the god of discord, are locked in an endless cycle of war. While Dissidia 012 not only tells the story of the 12th cycle of war, it also covers the events of Dissidia. This includes extra cutscenes and background information which references previous cycles of war. Both sides have summoned warriors from Final Fantasy legends, and throughout the endless cycles of war they do battle, and once one side is defeated they are revived and the cycle continues.

Dissidia’s story isn’t a strong one, which is disappointed coming from such a great series of narratives, but it gets the job done of getting this cast together. The fan service given to this game is astounding, but like the story, the graphics are a bit boring. Square Enix’s ability to craft gorgeous cutscenes is not apparent here, but the characters generally live up to what we expected of them within their respective games.

Image

This battle’s combatants are Cecil and Squall. However, Squall is being attacked by Sephiroth, Cecil’s Assist character for the battle.

Combat is broken down into one-on-one battles. Each of the playable characters have very unique fighting styles. Two of the more interesting of these are the Emperor, who focuses on trapping foes in order to deal damage, and Exdeath, who almost exclusively waits to counter an opponent in order to attack. Characters attack using Bravery and HP attacks. Bravery attacks build up the potential damage than can be dealt, and HP attacks deal actual damage to your foes. If a character’s Bravery points fall to zero, the other character gains a massive boost as a reward. Summons can be used to affect multiple aspects of battles, and in Dissidia 012 assist characters are available; essentially, another character can be called into battle to do a single attack, making combos and battles more strategic. Combat is fast paced, but strategic, and is not necessarily easy to get good at. But once the battle system is mastered, it is extremely satisfying.

Wrap-Up

All told, Dissidia is the ultimate time-suck; battles can last anywhere from thirty seconds to ten minutes depending on the parameters. I’ve had numerous wonderful/late night experiences with Dissidia, and all told I’ve put well over 500 hours into the series, and I’ve still hardly scratched the surface. Unlockable costumes, levels, fully customizable characters and equipment, and a game which actually expands on the individual Final Fantasy canon are just a few things that help make this a fantastic experience. PSP owners and Final Fantasy fans should check out this game.

+Tons of fan service

+A deep and satisfying combat system

+Dissidia 012 fixes the combat balance issues of the original

-Graphics are lackluster, but battles are vibrant

-Weak story

Score

Dissidia: 8.0

Dissidia 012: 9.0

The cast of Dissidia 012. The heroes of Cosmos (top) and the agents of Chaos (bottom). Notice that not all the characters are on the side that you’d expect.

Keith Crandell Jr. is feeling under the weather today, but believes that comedy can be found in just about anything. His favorite PlayStation 3 game is Super Stardust HD, and he has 33 Platinum Trophies (much to the disappointment of his mother). Follow his insanity on Twitter @kmcrandelljr and continue to read his reviews at www.thosereviewguys.wordpress.com so he can do more awesome things like this!

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