Dissidia Final Fantasy Review

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Review copy provided by the publisher

By Yaris Gutierrez

September 8, 2009

When I first heard that a Final Fantasy game was in the works that consisted of just about all the badass villains and heroes from the series, my body produced a surge of excitement and adrenaline that concluded in what I would like to dub a chubby. My pants were mushy with a gel-like substance that felt like warm pudding, and my face was hurting from holding a smile in place for half an hour. At this point, these occurrences didn’t matter to me. A shower would fix the spooge problem in my pants and splashing some Anbesol on my face would probably numb the pain for god knows how long. Those of us who are rabid RPG fans raved at the title that Square Enix was producing. Dissidia Final Fantasy was shown, and it felt like I was watching an orgy of every single woman I have ever masturbated to ten times fold… at the same time.

For those of you who aren’t too aware of this PSP title, Dissidia Final Fantasy takes both heroes and villains from the first ten Final Fantasy games, throws them in a mixing bowl with a cup of insane battles followed by a tablespoon of pure greatness. In the world of Dissidia, the Goddess of Harmony, Cosmos, is waging a heinous war against the God of Discord, Chaos. With their ridiculous power, both gods summon warriors from across time and space to beat the crap out of one another. And this is where things get saucy.

People are a bit clueless as to what to label the game. I myself consider it a fighting game. I wouldn’t consider it a fighting game in the traditional sense, of course, being that it doesn’t require intricate inputs and isn’t really on the same plane as well-known fighters out there. If any of you have played Kingdom Hearts (for those of you who haven’t, I curse you with Hepatitis C), the combat in Dissidia very much so resembles the combat system experienced in Kingdom Hearts. You run around a monstrous arena and perform visually orgasmic attacks at your foes with a couple of button presses.

I’m under the impression that most of you reading this right now are sighing in disappointment because you’re thinking of how simplistic the system is. This isn’t a linear fighting system, folks. Don’t think you can rent a retard and have him become a wizard in the game. Dissidia requires quite a bit of skill to play. Fights require specific timing and learning to dodge, block and gauge distances to perform effectively against your opponents. Radio cannot, I repeat cannot, take this game and master it over night. I don’t care that he knows how to perform football plays and scrub dick-dirt from towels like a virtuoso – Dissidia requires a respectable amount of effort and skill to master.

At first glance, the battle system might be a bit overwhelming. After a couple of hours with the game, the whole thing becomes as natural as breathing. Each character in Dissidia has a bunch of Bravery Points and Hit Points (HP) to keep track of whilst fighting. Using Bravery Points, you increase your character’s Bravery while lowering your opponent’s Bravery. Once you get the timing correct, you can execute an HP Attack that decreases your opponent’s HP in the amount of equal to your current Bravery. If your attack hits, your Bravery resets itself to zero and you start the process again. Right now you’re reading this and saying “What the freak did you just say,” but as you play the game, these things become very familiar to you. To sum it up and make it a tad easier for you to understand the battle system, Dissidia is more about consistent balance between both Bravery and HP. Your first few times will probably frustrate you (and this is a warning for those of you who have anger issues and enjoy Frisbee-ing your PSP to your non-respondent wall), but, again, after a few hours you’ll definitely pick it up.

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Now, one of the most fascinating aspects of Dissidia has to be the various systems that it offers. The grinding, flying, and intricate wall-running that the characters can perform make battles visually appealing and enjoying. What improves the experience is the fact that you’re doing this with a crapload of familiar faces like Cloud, Tidus, and Terra, who will duel against foes from the series in an eye-fraking experience that will have you smirking to yourself quite a bit.

Although we can label Dissidia a fighting game of sorts, it wouldn’t be what it is if it didn’t contain RPG elements conjoined with a ridiculous amount of customization opportunities. Bet your ass that like traditional RPG’s, players can level their characters to 99. Weapons and armor can be equipped, summons can be used (wouldn’t be Final Fantasy if you couldn’t), and tons of other things can be uncovered throughout your progress. Literally, players can tweak their characters beyond belief.

One thing to definitely take notice of, though, is the number of modes that Square Enix has thrown into Dissidia. Features like a full replay editor which lets you edit the camera and cut footage to make your own custom movies reside in the compact UMD, along with other features like character files and a calendar which rewards players for playing on specific days. Hardcore players will indeed be entertained for quite some time with this installment of the Final Fantasy franchise.

The Story Mode is split into two main parts: Destiny Odyssey and Shade Impulse. Destiny Odyssey is broken up into ten chapters and describes how each individual hero obtains his/her crystal of light. They all run parallel with each other, so, realistically, you’re hearing the same story regurgitated for each character in different perspectives.

The Shade Impulse mode is a linear story that takes place after the events of Destiny Odyssey. Don’t think, however, because you’re choosing different characters that you’ll have different outcomes. Nope. Regardless of who you choose, you’ll always end up with the same conclusion.

Although two modes sound great, I personally felt that Destiny Odyssey lacked in a lot of areas simply because the characters in the game didn’t really develop a personality for players to attach to. The battle system is great, but one thing it lacked, unlike previous Final Fantasy’s, is the emotional/personal attachment that besieges players. You’d think that each character would sound different in so many ways, especially with the barrage of clashing personalities from other worlds in this game. You’ll be disappointed to know that every single one of these farcekers have the personality of a mob of goats. It’s like each character mimics another in some ways and, because of this, this mode kind of feels bland (with regards to character development, of course).

Shade Impulse, however, presents a different perspective on things. Both plot and mechanics are refreshing and accepting in ways that will keep you hooked. I’m sure a lot of you are experiencing an epic, unforgettable story to consume you with this vast cast of heroes that permeate this world. All I can say is that the Story Mode is fun, but it isn’t really what I was looking for.

There are bosses in games that are frustrating. Then there are bosses that will cultivate the talking voice in your head to pressure you to go duct-tape a baby onto the roof of a sanitation truck during a blizzard. One of the most frustrating boss battles that I have ever encountered will probably have to be the boss in Dissidia. Yes, the battle is epic beyond belief and you will feel a great surge of excitement while fighting the thing; however, be prepared for a crapload of curses and screams. Let’s put it this way, once I beat his ass, I felt like I had a room full of naked Swedish prostitutes in knee-high stockings fallate me simultaneously. That’s the pleasure I felt in whooping that bastard’s ass.

Graphically, Dissidia is a great looking PSP game. I expected a couple of CG movies being that it is a Square Enix game but, to my avail, that didn’t happen. A couple of annoyances in voice acting will be noticed, but nothing that will distract you from the overall experience. The battles are extremely pleasing to the eyes; with the addition of a incredible soundtrack, the game itself becomes a rewarding experience.

If you’re pondering whether or not you should scoop this title up, contemplate no more. I’m telling you now, get your butt up and give this one a go. Although it won’t leave you with the same feeling of accomplishments as the previous Final Fantasy games have (some), you’ll definitely get the sense of satisfaction in experiencing a brand-new, innovative combat system that feels rewarding in its own right. What better way to experience intense battles than to do it with your favorite heroes in the Final Fantasy games in one roster? If you’re a devote fan of the series, you really need to treat yourself to this game.

Game: Dissidia Final Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Standalone software MSRP: $39.99
Release Date: 8/25/2009

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Yaris Gutierrez

Born and raised in New York City, Yaris is one of three co-founders at DualShockers. Gaming since the inception of Nintendo in the 80's, he has grown to avidly appreciate games of every genre, maturing his preference specifically now to third-person action games, first-person shooters and JRPGs. He's a software engineer, father and husband during the day, and mildly attempts to hold onto his "hardcore gamer" title during the evenings. An attempt that he tends to fail miserably at.

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