Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review: Dissidia- Final Fantasy

Dissidia: Final Fantasy, is one of the few games I’ve ever felt comfortable reviewing before I’ve taken part in everything the game has to offer.

This is not laziness on my part or even suspect journalim. There’s simply too much content to get through on this RPG/fighter mash-up. At more than 30-hours of play time, I have yet to finish the story mode for all of the characters.

I’ve tooled around with quick fights and arcade mode, played online (flawlessly, I might add), shared friend cards, fought ghosts, and done about a zillion other things and still I’m barely scratching the surface of what this title has to offer.

Dissidia’s roster is meaty with twenty main characters and two to be unlocked (each with their own deep ability set to dig into), then there are even more game modes to unlock after you complete the campaign.

Speaking of the campaign, this is one of my only real gripes with the game. I actually quite enjoyed the chess board game map (that takes a bit of strategy to navigate) and leisure cutscenes where little more than talking occurs, but after about your sixth character, it tends to get repetitive.

For the RPG fans out there, there’s a ridiculous amount of customization to be had. It’s almost overwhelming at first when you consider how many items can be made, how much equipment can be discovered and used, what abilities work best for you, and even what days you play on may earn you extra goodies.

The more I write, the more I want to keep ranting about the vast amounts of content, so I’ll just leave it at “there’s a whole lot.”

For the fighting fans, this game delivers in spades. What initially feels like a shallow two button masher with one-hit victories quickly evolves into a truly deep and surprisingly original fighting system.

You can run, jump, fly and grind all over the large maps, dodge, block and more. Summons, which you equip in the order you want to use them, activate automatically and can be a real game changer in sticky situations.

One attack button(up to three different versions on land and three more in the air) attacks a character’s “bravery.” Bravery determines how hard a character hits when they land a successful HP attack.

The second attack is, you guessed it, to HP. Again, you can eventually set up to three different button combinations for this attack on the ground and in the air.

With modifiers like “chase” and “wall rush” thrown in, we are left with what could actually be the most complicated fighter to date. Thankfully, the ease of commands and creative design make it a synch after just a few battles.

With so many options for the type of opponent you can face, the battles have a lot of variety as well.

You may take on a villain that starts with enough brave points to wipe you out with a single blow, but only one HP, thus creating an edgy game of cat and mouse to see who can make contact first.

Conversely, tougher opponents can take upwards of ten minutes to tackle as you learn to use the entire environment to your advantage in an effort to land perfectly timed attacks.

While the music is terrific and the graphics are some of the best the system has seen, a less than engaging story and the occasional terrible camera angle provide a couple speed bumps in this otherwise smooth ride.

SquareEnix has managed to craft a fighting and RPG lovechild that actually works, and for that, they should be applauded.

This is a wonderful love letter to fans of the series and, if you own a PSP, your game collection should not be without this title.


Jeff The Jeff said...

So how many cupcakes are we talking here? If you don't have a numerical rating system how am I supposed to know if you liked the game?
I mean what do you expect me to do? READ THE REVIEW?!

Seriously, though - 17 cupcakes out of 20? 16? Help me out here.

-Ryan Winslett said...

37 cupcakes out of 45. You know very well the cupcake scale goes to 45. None of that funny business, mister.

Jeff The Jeff said...

I can't wait to read your Uncharted 2 review, wherein I expect you to give it at least 46/45 cupcakes. At LEAST.

-Ryan Winslett said...

I might have to break out a new scoring system entirely for that one. It's gonna be 'uge.