Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy Review

As someone who unfortunately missed the original Dissidia, I wasn’t truly aware of how different the gameplay for this “fighter” was. The sequel, Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, showed off Square Enix’s ideas of how different a three dimensional fighter could be. At its core, the title is one of the most strategic fighting games ever released and that’s a good thing.

The story of Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy is like many of the convoluted stories that Square Enix excels at. A second encounter between Chaos and Cosmos who use characters from the Final Fantasy universes to fight for them, the heroes and villains are sent against each other, for their own personal gain and that of the God they represent.

Obviously, understanding the story takes a lot of note-taking and analysis which many will skim in preference to the gameplay of the title.

Once again, the abilities of the PlayStation Portable are shown off to be a lot more complex than the original titles of the portable console showed off. The title has some of the best visuals in-game.

Characters of the 8-bit universe are realized in full three dimension, illustrating the excellent designs that the characters had. Even characters of newer titles get a bit of a tweak to match the new universe that they are placed into.

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy shows no lag even with a first generation PSP, all the action remains at an impressive pace and lighting effects can still impress.

Another smart move for Square Enix is the voice acting of the title. The English voice acting is above average, even skimming the “outstanding” as opposed to quickly dubbed lines from other titles. Music is taken from all the titles of the Final Fantasy series along with tracks made specifically for the title.

In essence, the polish of the Final Fantasy titles shows up even on the portable console really showing that the life of the system could have lasted longer than its eventual retirement this year.

As for the gameplay, the biggest change for fighting genre fans is the tactical aspects of the title. Two main attack styles for characters is the main way that victory or defeat will be found.

One attack is for Hit Points (HP) and the other goes against Bravery. The other way to look at it is Bravery is the weak attack and HP is the strong attack, but purely focusing on one will actually lead to defeat quicker. In the tactical aspects, using a smart combination of the two attack styles can break down an enemy, opening holes for combinations and assists from other characters, chaining large amounts of damage to HP and Bravery.

In the story mode, players are given the chance to learn many different characters as they level their abilities, earning money for equipment, and points to open new characters and extra items. One of the best inclusions is that characters feel different for the most part. Each character is balanced against another well, except in terms of how one might fight. A hand-to-hand may not fare well against a long-range character in the beginning, but opening up more attacks can equal these battles.

Additionally to the story mode, there is a free fight mode which can help learn character’s abilities. Even though the story mode is the main function for the title, there is a lot more content within the title involving the leveling of characters to really become like they are in their respective titles.

The equipment and accessories add another level to the RPG aspect of the title, adding stat bonuses and other effects during combat. It’s much like playing an RPG that uses the fighting genre in actual combat rather than turned based combat.

The only real drawback to the title is the necessity of the PSP’s loading system with the UMD drive. The break of immersion happens a lot, basically between every menu, every fight, and every change in the world itself. It’s not the longest loading, there is even the option to install data to a Memory Stick, but when the title presents so much; it’s difficult not to be bothered by it.

I really like Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy. It’s an almost perfect fighting title for the PSP. It does take a different style of thinking to become truly successful and requires a decent amount of time to complete the story mode; but the extra modes and options of the title, like the ad-hoc connection, can open even more enjoyment.

One of the most different fighting titles ever. Fighting fans should learn to play this one and Final Fantasy fans will love the content with seeing favorite characters outside their respective titles.

Review Copy Provided by Publisher