[MINOR SPOILERS] Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Review: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
+ Somewhat entertaining storyline
+ The new boss battles make the game feel fresh
+ Includes almost every protagonist and antagonist from all of the main Final Fantasy games.
+ Provides enough challenge to keep many players on their feet.
- The lack of the Limit Break feature makes the game feel somewhat dull.
- Some of the boss battles can very cheap and frustrating to deal with.
- Unlocking the game’s story content can feel boring and tedious.
- Compared to previous entries, this feels more like a barebones Dissidia game.
- Offline content is very short compared to previous Dissidia games.
One of the most highly anticipated games to come out for the PS4, is Dissidia Final Fantasy NT worth your money or is it just all hype?
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Review
When it comes to dream combat matches, it usually involves fictional characters from different companies coming together. It’s rare to see huge levels of excitement for dream matches involving characters from a single company but Square Enix has managed to do just that with their Final Fantasy series. Interestingly, the latest Final Fantasy fighting game was expected to be the company’s foray into the eSports industry. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Synopsis
Long after the events of the previous Dissidia Final Fantasy game, World B has collapsed and the ruling gods, Cosmos and Chaos, have ceased to exist. Somehow, World B has revitalized and the will of the old gods reincarnated in the form of Materia, the Sublime Goddess of Protection, and Spiritus, the Savage God of Destruction.
Both gods decided to summon the previous warriors of Cosmos and Chaos to become their champions for the sole reason of maintaining the existence of the new World B through energy generated by battles. Unlike before, all of the warriors are able to retain memories of their previous involvement in the War of the Gods as well as their origins.
With not much choice in the matter and seeing how this may be the only way for the warriors to return back to their respective home worlds, they decided to follow through the new gods’ plan; battle in order to preserve the existence of World B. Little did they know, the world is also under the threat of world destroyers known as “Planesgorgers”, and there is a rather familiar entity behind this looming threat.
A Unique Way of Approaching the Game’s Story
There are a number of options that you’ll be able to access but for most parts, you’ll only be focusing on 3 of these modes; Story, Online, and Offline Mode. For many first time players, the Story Mode is what they will be going after but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you’re able to do much here. That’s because you need to unlock bits and pieces of the game’s story using Memoria points.
The Story Mode itself is laid out in a similar fashion to the Sphere Grid / Crystarium leveling system in past Final Fantasy game. Instead of getting stronger by spending points on each part, you get to enjoy more of the game’s story. In order to obtain the needed Memoria points, you will need to level up your character profile, which requires spending time in the Offline and Online Mode.
For the Offline Mode, you will have the choice of going through Gauntlet Mode in regular battles or core battles. As you progress through the game’s story, you will be unlocking extra playable portions of the Gauntlet Mode where you will be utilizing specific characters against “Manikins”, crystalized versions of existing Final Fantasy characters in the game’s playable roster. Slight spoiler alert, there is also a Boss Rush mode where players will be fighting all of the game’s bosses, one at a time.
As you spend time doing this, you will slowly level up and gain some needed items, power ups, and the needed Memoria points to go through the game. While this may seem like a rather unique way of going through the game’s content and it gives players the motivation to practice, it feels more like Square Enix’s way of artificially lengthening the game’s content and make it seem longer than it actually is. If there was no need for unlocking, you can easily finish Story Mode in an hour or two at most.
Missing Key Elements in Combat
The one thing that made the Dissidia series stand out amongst other fighting games isn’t just the characters as the fighting system itself is unique. While other games will have any form of attack causing a reduction in the target’s HP (hit points), each character has 2 types of points that they need to take note of; Bravery points and Hit points (HP).
Bravery points are accumulated through Bravery attacks, which are ordinary strings of combos and attacks. These points determine the amount of damage you execute on your enemies via HP attacks. For example, if I have 5000 Bravery points and the opponent has 4000 HP, a single HP attack will instantly annihilate said opponent. From the first Dissidia game to this very same one we’re reviewing, the concept has been the same and this isn’t the problem with the game.
The problem with the game is that the combat system felt more like a step back from the previous game. You don’t actually level up your characters to strengthen them but instead, to unlock certain attacks and items, and there isn’t much attacks to unlock for each character to begin with. In the past, there’s a wide variety of Bravery and HP attacks that players can customize to their liking but that’s no longer the case anymore.
Summons have played a bigger role in this iteration of Dissidia as it can cause damage directly to your opponents rather than only have a buff or debuff effect. However, this seems to have come at the cost of no longer having Limit Breaks, which I feel is a staple in the Final Fantasy series. In other words, you will not be able to pull off some flashy Limit Break moves like Lionheart, Omnislash, and more.
That is not to say that the characters’ respective signature moves are not available as for some of them, they either appear in the form of EX Skills, which consists of skills that can buff allies and debuff enemies as well as special attack moves, or in the form of HP attacks when you’ve at least reached Level 10 for specific characters. My biggest gripe with this is that it’s not the same as having a proper Limit Break special move as not only do the moves feel underwhelming, you’ve taken away a sense of excitement.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Verdict
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was supposed to bring the epic experience players have had in the handheld PSP in the past, and deliver that on a grander scale on console. While the game itself isn’t bad, certain changes have made the game felt like a hollow incarnation of what could be a great game. Square Enix supposedly wanted this to be an eSports-centric game but with what we have right now, I’m doubtful that people would be willing to invest their time to build a competitive community around this game.
While it is true that Square Enix plans on having some form of DLC, especially additional characters, for this game throughout the year, there’s only so much that they can change and it might be too late by then. With that in mind, I give Dissidia Final Fantasy NT with a Bronze Pokdeward.