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Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP) Review

October 21, 2009 | Posted by John De Large

Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Publisher and developer: Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
Players: 1, 2 via Wi-Fi
Rated: T for Teen

Dissidia’s battle system is much like Kingdom Hearts. Gone are the side view Active Time Battles that the Final Fantasy series is so famous for, battles are instead fought using an action RPG engine using 3D graphics.

Players using certain attacks to add to their own Bravery stat (Bravery dictates strength and defense), while sapping an opponents Bravery. Once Bravery is high enough, players can then use another separate attack to damage the opponents hit points. Monsters such as Shiva, Ifrit and Bahamut can be summoned and can influence bravery and other stats. Summons come into play either at the players will or automatically, intervening when the player approaches critical status.

Dissidia has several modes of play that will appeal to all different gamers. Arcade Mode plays like an action RPG that is paced like a fighting game with enemy encounters that come in increments of 5 and 8, while Story Mode/Destiny Odyssey plays a little like Tactics with the games standard action RPG battles representing the confrontation between the player and the enemy units.

There’s also a coliseum mode that lets you fight a never-ending horde of enemies in exchange for prizes, a Mognet system to communicate with in-game Moogles via letters and some sweet extras (music, cut scenes, costumes, characters, voice over tracks) you can unlock with points you earn through battle and even the aforementioned pen-pal relationship with the Moogles.

The graphics in Dissidia are unbelievably good; everything looks crisp and clear whether it’s the character models, the backgrounds (which will have scrapes from weapon marks) or even the menu screens (those won’t have sword marks on ‘em, sorry).

The answer: Ham…. and a bunch of experience and gil.

Some clothes, tattoos and certain accessories on character models might look drawn on or blended in, but it’s quite rare and not noticeable enough to make you wince or call the game ugly altogether.

Cut scenes are a wonder to behold, even though they make the characters look even more feminine and Albanese. The cut scene graphics are much better than standard PS2 graphics, although not up to par with the graphics of the seventh generation consoles.

Vocal work is impeccable. Each playable character has superb vocal tracks. Steve Burton, George Newbern, James A. Taylor and Gregg Berger return as their respective characters (Cloud, Sephiroth, Tidus and Jecht, for the uninitiated), while the rest of the characters have great voice actors to bring them to life. Kefka’s voice sound even more acidic and bi-polar than Mark Hamill’s Joker, if you can wrap your head around that. Other previously mute characters, such as Golbez and Exdeath, come to life with creepy and frightening voices that make James Avery sound like a pussycat.

The only knock I have against the voice work is that it sometimes gets repetitive to listen to battle-after-battle. The constant grunts and repartees as the result of excessive dodging and counterattacking might grate on your nerves. Thankfully, Dissidia’s sublime soundtrack should take your mind and your ears off the repetitiveness.

Dissidia’s sound track is virtually perfect. It will blow you away with its’ diversity and quality. Dissidia even features throwbacks from the NES and SNES counterparts (Town theme for FF1, all the way to the final battle theme in FF6, my favorite), updated and faster paced remixes of old favorites like FF7’s Those Who Fight Harder and FF8’s The Extreme, as well as new compositions from Square and the punk band Your Favorite Enemies. With this soundtrack, gamers will have no trouble finding the right song to make them fight harder or even just take a trip down memory lane.

Dissidia is the prime example of a pick up and play game. You don’t have to understand thing one about Final Fantasy or even action RPG’s to enjoy Dissidia. Regardless of what games you might usually play, the battle system is easy to get the hang of (here’s a hint, pick Cloud Strife or Onion Knight ’til you get adjusted).

Whether you’ve never played a Final Fantasy game at all or if you know the entire library inside and out, the story mode is just as fun as the fighting. Using the Story Mode, Dissidia gives you a crib notes version of the conflict between the respective hero and villain while fleshing out both characters very nicely. Those unfamiliar with some characters will get a whole saga condensed into a light and fun short story, while old fans will delight in watching the different conflicts unfold all over again.

Dissidia is a deceptively addictive game with lots of achievements, a plethora of items to collect, movies to watch, music to listen to, battles to fight and win and many different game modes. Collection fanatics (you know, those people who just CAN’T get enough of side quests and extra items) will love all the goodies and the expansive library of unlockable extras Dissidia has to offer. Even if you’re not the type who has to collect everything, you’ll be playing Dissidia for a while, whether you’re leveling up characters, collecting weapons or maybe unlocking a few songs and costumes for those one or two characters you absolutely love (see also: Kefka and Squall).

THE 411
Dissidia gives you everything you could want in a game and lets you take it anywhere with you. Between the amazing music, great graphics and adrenaline-fueled fights, it’s an easy game to pick up, yet quite hard to put down, not that you’ll mind.

Graphics9.5Amazing graphics for a PSP game.411 Elite Award
Gameplay10.0The game is fun, easy to learn, easy to play and never gets boring. 
Sound10.0A beautiful soundtrack is complimented by masterful voice over work and excellent dialogue. 
Lasting Appeal10.0Play it for 100 hours and you've just scratched the surface! 
Fun Factor 10.0Non-stop fun, fights, drama and even a little bit of humor here and there make this the best PSP game ever. 
Overall9.9   [  Amazing ]  legend

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John De Large
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