Dissidia Final Fantasy and it’s prequel/remake Duodecim were without doubt two of the best and highly regarded games released on the PlayStation Portable. A console update is then a long time coming, even if it is a port of an arcade game, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is finally here.
If a sequel or continuation of the PSP games is what you are hoping for with this new release then it’s hard to say one way or the other whether it truly is. On the face of it, the story does follow on from the events of the previous Dissidia games and each character present in those games even references their time during previous instalments in the story of this. So in that sense, it is a continuation, however, the game itself is definitely different to what we have experienced in the past.
That said the game appears similar enough while made to accommodate a new 3v3 mechanic is not so far removed from its predecessors. The basic formula is still in place. You still need to perform Brave Attacks in order to build your bravery, these attacks do not damage your opponent. Once accumulated the bravery can then be unleashed by using HP Attacks which will damage your opponent while resetting your bravery. It can be confusing and overwhelming to newcomers especially now that matches are 3v3 but it is a simple mechanic once you understand how it works.
Matches can be very fast-paced and it may be hard to know what is happening at times when starting out. With six players darting about the field using various attacks, skills and summons it will feel very overwhelming especially when it comes to online matches. Once you’ve grasped the essentials it’s much easier to follow what’s happening and see that it all comes down to knowing your character, how they are best played, reaction speeds and most importantly teamwork.
The game itself is very bare-bones, you can tell its a port of an arcade game, outside of the story there’s only two modes Online and Gauntlet. Unfortunately, and possibly poor judgement by the developers, you can’t jump into the story and complete it as your first point of call as you might with other games. To proceed with the story you need to earn Memoria. This can be earn by playing in the other two available modes. Gauntlet is a good place to go if you’re new to the game as this is essentially just your offline mode. Annoyingly, until you progressed some of the story you’re not left with many options within gauntlet but you do unlock more with the story.
Online can be frustrating. If you’re new to the game and want to play with friends, which can be very fun, online is unforgiving, to say the least. Without a firm grasp of the basics, and even then that’s not likely to be enough, you can expect to be on the receiving end of a really frustrating beatdown. Online isn’t all bad though as once your in the swing of things and you have a couple of competent friends you’ll be taking names in no time.
It’s a shame though that Memoria can only be gained from these two modes, and from my experience it’s a slow process, making the all-important story elements a grind to even get to. Once you have completed the entry requirements the story is bittersweet as this selection of cutscenes and battles are short and ultimately not worth the effort it took to unlock them. If a story is what you’re looking for then, in all honesty, I would turn your attention to the free mobile game Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia available on iOS and Android as that’s where the story element this game lacks appears to be hiding.
If there is one area that should be praised within the game it’s in the unlockables. By winning matches you’ll earn gil and Treasure Boxes which work like Loot Boxes and contain a handful of skins, weapons, music tracks and avatars etc… you can also buy these items with the gil you’ve gained through the game and the best thing is there are no real money transactions whatsoever. Everything can be bought solely with in-game currency.
The game may boast a pretty large roster of playable character but as a Final Fantasy fan, I still want more than just the main character and main villain of each series. There are a few exceptions here and there plus the DLC but as far as the base game goes it’s a very safe effort. Given how bare the game at large is throwing in more characters couldn’t have hurt.
Although Dissidia Final Fantasy NT lacks a good selection of different modes to play through, no doubt a side effect of starting life as an arcade game, there is a lot packed into the game for Final Fantasy fans to enjoy. The actual gameplay is solid and is worth checking out for anyone who likes to test their skills against other players online. Playing online with friends is probably the biggest draw as teamwork is key to success not to mention a lot of fun.