Dissidia 012[Duodecim]: Final Fantasy - Review

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Release Date: 04/04/2011

Dissidia 012 Duodecim: Final Fantasy on PSP at GAME

Fighting Fantasy

Who is the greatest Final Fantasy character of all time? It a question that JRPG fans have hummed and hahed about for many years, but there is no clean-cut answer. Cloud is the obvious choice because everybody loves a blonde emo, but when Squall is packing a blade with a built in revolver the trusty Buster Sword doesn seem quite so impressive.

And what about Ultimecia? Could the time travelling witch bring down the mighty Sephiroth without worrying about the price of Phoenix Downs? It seems that Square Enix asked itself the same question - but rather than settling on an answer, it released Dissidia: Final Fantasy.

Dissidia merged the spiky-haired heroes and malevolent villains from across the Final Fantasy back-catalogue into a shared universe one where the opposing Gods of Harmony and Discord were seeking recruits for their external struggle.

It was an elaborate ruse to see Tidus trading blows with Kefka, but by combining an arena based battle system with a range of RPG elements, the game offered a surprisingly deep fighting engine that had fan service and exciting bouts in equal measure. So how does Dissidia 012 improve on an already winning formula?

Dissidia: Final Fantasy on PSP at GAME

Warriors of Plight

Rather than a straight up sequel, Dissidia 012 is set before the events of the original and focuses on six new warriors. These include no-nonsense Lightning from FFXIII, pretty boy Vaan from FFXII, soft-spoken Yuna from FFX, happy-go-lucky Laguna from FFVIII, kung-fu fighting Tifa from FFVII and draconic Kain from FFIV.

In terms of fight styles, Lightning can switch between her Commando, Ravager and Medic stances on the fly, while Yuna can summon Aeons like Ifrit and Bahamut for flashy combos. And with three unlockables bringing the character tally up to an impressive 31, Dissidia 012 is a game with many stories to tell.

The original Story Mode was a tad laborious with its chessboard layout, so to make the narrative feel less disjointed, Square Enix has included a new world map that has you hunting for hidden treasure while fighting visible foes.

Then, once youe levelled up and bagged a few accessories, you can continue the story by teleporting to a more familiar grid which must be battled across in order to progress. Overall, it a much more fluid system that compliments the revised combat.

Providing Assistance

The combat system is tricky to describe in words but makes perfect sense once you experience it firsthand. Attacks are split between two distinct types. Bravery attacks net you points while HP attacks use these points to deal damage. It a refreshing and highly tactical system that lets you devise your own strategies.

Dissidia 012 also introduces an Assist gauge which lets you call in a partner for tandem takedowns. Half a charge can be used on a Bravery Assist, while a maxed meter offers a potentially lethal HP Assist. This adds another layer to a system that already teeming with variety.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy on PSP at GAME

The virtues of the fighter and RPG are usually very different. So to give its core audience something less dexterously demanding, Square Enix have devised a new RPG mode. This replaces the hands-on controls with a menu interface that allows you to dictate the pace of an AI controlled character, and while it no substitute for the full-blown intensity of Action mode, it an unobtrusive alternative that anyone can enjoy. It also demonstrates the subtle complexities which make up the unique combat system.

Let Me Be Your Fantasy

As a package, Dissidia 012 is a perfectly pitched follow-up. It offers enough new content to be a worthy purchase for fans of the original while smoothing over the barriers which made it a tad daunting for beginners.

It's a series offshoot that entirely different from just about anything else out there, and if you decide to fight against your friends in the ad-hoc multiplayer then maybe you can decide once and for all who the greatest Final Fantasy character is. But if you ask us, it clearly Vincent Valentine.

GAME's Verdict

The Good:

  • Excellent new character choices.
  • Well-implemented Assist system.
  • A plot crammed with fan service.

The Bad:

  • The new stages are bland.
  • No true online mode.
  • Where's Vincent Valentine?
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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.

Genre

RPG

Customer Rating:

No rating yet

SKU:

Reviews-183500

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