Another tale of Final Fantasy as characters from every entry of the series you could imagine are summoned to a world in great peril. As two gods, Materia and Spiritus, bring forth these champions from the long history of Final Fantasy, the two clash and find meaning through their battles. It’s not just a simple fight between both good and evil.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Team Ninja
Release Date: January 30, 2018
This review is based on a review code provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has been an ongoing title for the franchise sporting a three versus three combat fighting system. Brimming with both colorful and flashy moves, the game also recreates the beautiful arenas from memorable places of each title in the franchise. A personal favorite of mine had to be Alexandria as it reminded me how I passed through the city the first time I ever played Final Fantasy IX. Simply put, the game is beautiful with well-polished 3D versions of your favorite Final Fantasy characters, and the flashy moves that you’ll be dishing out in the arena during clashes is a sight to behold. The game’s sound and music composition are simply amazing and it brings that final touch that’ll make you remember that they contain parts of a Final Fantasy title that you’ve definitely played in the past. From the arranged musical scores to the battle themes that you are oh so familiar with, it’s the icing on this very beautiful cake.
With a huge roster of 27 characters at launch to choose from, some of you might see a couple of names that you might not have heard of before. But every single one of them is unique because they all have their own specific move-set. At first glance, the fighting mechanics may look really simple as all you need to do is press one button to activate bravery attacks and changing it up with directional inputs or dashing, and another button for finishing enemies with a signature move through HP attacks.
But the game does not initially show you that each character is different and that they are all presented similarly to the original titles in the franchise that they hail from; making them all feel unique in their own way. Ranging from all the different abilities like Trance by Zidane from Final Fantasy IX to stance changes, or job changes like how Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII goes from COM to RAV stance. There is even more character specific details like Squall from Final Fantasy VIII where you perfectly time his bravery attacks and it allows you to activate the trigger for his gunblade; which then causes explosions from his weapon and shoots out extra damage. This made me realize the game mechanics are much deeper than I imagined and the best part is that every single character is fun to learn.
A few things I found odd was in the targeting mechanics. The entire game is viewed through third-person and every battle starts with you being locked on to a specific enemy. They didn’t polish how the camera works as there are times where you will get caught out in blind spots like when an enemy is too high above you; making it very difficult to even see them. Changing between targets doesn’t feel fluid and is rather clunky, making this one of the sore spots in terms of gameplay.
Another problem would be defending. There are times when the defend button takes too long to respond, resulting in me being barraged by enemies and their flurry of attacks due to the game’s fast pace. You actually have to be instinctive on timing your defense and it’s not as fluid as I would have liked it to be.
Out of the game modes available, I had the best time with story mode. It wasn’t that my focus was more towards the story itself, but rather these huge summon battles where you get to fight against your favorite Eidolons like Ifrit and Bahamut! I personally thought that these were the best parts of the game.
Now let’s talk about gauntlet mode. This is basically an arcade mode, but it’s a great way to enjoy the game at your own choice of difficulty; allowing you to marvel and learn how its mechanics work and leveling up your characters.
And the game mode I least enjoyed would be playing online ranked matches. As much fun as it is playing with two other friends together, ranked play does little to give you satisfaction as sometimes enemies tend to go through the opposing teams as quickly as possible. The queuing time for finding matches takes a good long while considering that it takes six players to start a match. There isn’t much of an incentive for playing the game online aside from battling with your friends.
What I feel the game sorely lacks as a Final Fantasy title lies in the story itself. There’s definitely the overused cliche where there’s a world in peril and heroes setting out to save it, but it lacks the sense of urgency and dread that all the previous entries in the franchise had. Sadly, the game’s plot doesn’t have much to offer and it seems like everything is fleshed out for you from start to finish. As a player, I was neither surprised nor excited as events unfolded to the point where everything was delivered too quickly; not giving you the time to grasp anything aside from the interesting character interactions of all the different heroes and villains.
Where this game separates itself from other fighting games is how it integrates a couple of RPG elements. Some good examples would be using summons during battle, equipping different spells, or simply changing costumes or weapons that you use. There is much enjoyment to be had in how much you can collect and customize within the game. Even choosing the music playlist for each of the different characters is simply amazing as I know which ones I want to hear and play over and over again.
Memories are brought back and dreams are fulfilled as this game brings back pieces of your favorite Final Fantasy titles through this enjoyable fighting game. Although some pieces are missing, there is too much to be loved and it definitely has something that would make every fan of the franchise feel as if the game has come alive and allows you to relive the characters you’ve always known and loved.