The final review for this short month is another Better Late Than Never Review. It's Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, a game packed to the brim with content-- just what Final Fantasy fans ordered. How does it play? How is it overall? Let's find out with this review.
A Rapture for Final Fantasy Fans
The Final Fantasy franchise has seen better days to many fans. Final Fantasy XIII is seen as inferior to many mainline titles before it, and Final Fantasy XIV is seeing a relaunch because the original launch was so terrible. That said, the spin-offs the series have seen are anything but terrible. 2009's Dissidia Final Fantasy brought the franchise into uncharted territory, a three-dimensional arena fighter, quite unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. Two years later and Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy launched on Sony's PlayStation Portable. Is the experience one of harmony or one of discord?
Chaos, the god of discord, and Cosmos, the goddess of harmony, are locked in an eternal conflict. To the victor goes the fate of the world. Fighting alongside each deity are familiar faces from the Final Fantasy franchise-- both heroes and villains. With little in the way of memories, the heroes, including the likes of Warrior of Light (FFI), Cecil Harvey (FFIV), Terra Branford (FFVI), Cloud Strife (FFVII), Squall Leonheart (FFVIII), Tidus (FFX), among many others, yearn to end the conflict and return to their home worlds. While the plot sounds interesting in theory, it amounts to little more than Final Fantasy fan-fiction, and a pretty poor one at that. You know when the newest element to the story is focused around an obnoxiously jaded Lightning, you are in for a disappointing and immensely groan-worthy story. The mode you'll be playing in the most is, in fact, the story, following along the plot of the game full of shallow conversations and dialogue.
The new members of the Dissidia roster star
in the all-new 012 Scenario.
A new feature of Dissidia 012 is
this 3D world map.
|Final Fantasy V's hero and villain face off.|
Garland makes contact with Bartz.
And it's a home run!
|While Tifa's EX gauge is full...|
|...She can let loose a wild EX Burst attack.|
|Call in some backup for when times get tough.|
Therein lies the biggest problem of all with Dissidia 012. As I alluded to earlier, the game's learning curve is relatively high, and it is one that will put off a lot of players who are too impatient to learn the intricacies of the game. After constantly losing, not knowing when to block, not knowing how to evade consistently well, and continuing to make little headway, I know I was very close to putting off the game entirely. However, I am very glad that I pushed onward.
Guarding and evading are just as
important as hacking and slashing.
Come up with your dream Final Fantasy
match-ups in Dissidia 012.
Graphically, Dissidia 012 is one of the best looking games on Sony's first portable hardware. Characters are highly detailed, battlefields are destructible and have grand effects tailored to them, and everything occurs with nary a drop in frame-rate. Regardless of whether you think the Final Fantasy franchise is going in the right direction or not, I think many of us can still agree that Square Enix knows how to present their games.
The cut-scenes are remarkably well done.
The actual script? Not so much.
[SPC Says: 8.75/10]