REVIEW: Dissidia Final Fantasy

Developer: Square Enix| Publisher: Square Enix| Format: PSP

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Reviewer: Craig Jay Gallagher The Final Fantasy series is one of the longest running and most successful gaming franchises in the mediums history. Each addition to the franchise has offered compelling story-lines, universally liked characters and a sense of adventure unequalled by any other title. With the release of Dissidia Final Fantasy Square-Enix has transported the characters to the PSP for a no holds barred brawler. The game takes a variety of heroes and villains from the various entries in the series and brings them all together for a battle royale the likes of which we have rarely seen. The storyline has the heroes of Cosmos fighting against the villainous Chaos. Each side has their own characters from one of the games. At least one character from from Final Fantasy I-XII being featured. All the big names are included with Cloud, Sephiroth, Kefka, Golbez being just a few examples. Each of the characters has been redesigned by the series long-time designer Tetsuya Nomura. From first impressions the gameplay seems to be pretty basic. You pick a character in either of the two game modes, Arcade or Story and commence on your journey. You quickly discover that there is a far more complex and evolving game here than you expected. The story mode plays ouyt through a series of Destiny Odysseys which are divided into 5 chapters each. Each hero character must attempt to collect the pieces of their crystal and in doing so gives you some more of the story. The combat system is similar to the last Star Fighter title. You fight in an small enclosed area and must defeat the enemy in a set period of time. You can can dodge, block or utilise your two basic attacks. Your first attack drains battle points wile the other drains health points. Utilising the BP attack makes your HP attacks more powerful, as such strategically planning each move is the ojnly way to win. As fun as the battles are they do have a tendency to be a little too impressive looking. The larger attacks and special moves are visually impressive but are also quite confusing given that at times it’s near impossible to make out what exactly is going on. As with all entries in the franchise the level of depth on offer is staggering. When it comes to customisation the game is the equal of any next gen RPG release in recent memory. You have the usual array of features such as levelling up, new outfits as well as the ability to purchase new content as well as challenge friends with the games ad-hoc mode. There are also a slew of unlockable characters which alone adds far more re-playability than most titles. The game ranks as one of the best looking titles on the PSP. The character design is second to none and the animatics are visually breathtaking. Shame then that the camera has a habit of getting lost in the action. At times its as if the game is too fast for the camera to follow and you will often find yourself lost. As a brawler Dissidia Final Fantasy is a solid title which manages to impress even when it’s shortcomings are taken into account. Fans will certainly lap it up while more casual gamers will be impressed by just how good it looks.

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