Dissidia Final Fantasy NT arrives exclusively on PS4
Following two previous entries on Sony’s PSP, Square Enix’s arena brawler Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has launched exclusively on PlayStation 4. If you aren’t familiar with the game, let me tell you a little about it. Essentially, it is a Final Fantasy and fighting game mash up featuring intense 3v3 RPG inspired battles.
This team-based brawler is filled with tactical gameplay and iconic characters, which makes it one of the most unconventional fighting games in recent memory. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT revolutionizes the series with all-new combat mechanics built from the ground up. It features a star-studded roster from the mainline Final Fantasy games, and a couple of characters from Type-0 and Tactics.
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Some of the most beloved Final Fantasy Characters
Final Fantasy Dissidia NT ships with a total of 28 characters to choose from. These include 13 main heroes from the previous Dissidia games, characters from Final Fantasy Tactics, and Final Fantasy Type-0. Characters are categorized into several different classes: Vanguard, Assassin, Marksman, Specialist, and Summon. Each have their own special attributes.
Pretty much all your favourite characters from the Final Fantasy universe are in the game including some of my personal favourites such as Cloud, Ramza, and Lightning. Each of the game’s characters feel unique. This is mainly because of each character’s abilities and attack modifiers. For example, spells can change form depending on how long you wait between consecutive attacks.
In addition to the screen-filling spectacle summons you can perform in the game, each provides a set of buffs to your team. Some will raise both HP and Defense stats for the whole match, while others offer movement and dash bonuses. Needless to say, Summons can swing the match heavily in one team’s favour.
Challenging fast action
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT relies on only two attack buttons to deal damage to your opponents. Though, some may disregard the game based on this alone, let me tell you its gameplay complex. You see, you simply cannot take out your opponent outright. You must first deplete their Bravery, which for all intents and purposes is a shield.
Once your opponent’s Bravery is depleted, its only then when you can take out your opponent with direct attacks. Characters are equipped with Bravery attacks that change based upon which direction you press. These range from long-range projectiles, to weapon attacks, or even a combination of the two. What really makes Dissidia Final Fantasy NT accessible to a wide range of players is the absence of complex controller motions.
The true challenge and skill with the game relies of you knowing the range of both your character’s and your opponent’s attacks.
Training is the key to victory
To be honest, my first few matches were absolutely horrific. It all boils down to the game’s HUD. To put it bluntly: there’s a lot going on. You’ve got HP bars for each 3-person team, individual HP bars for all 6 characters, a Summon meter, and a Bravery counter.
And those are just the meters. You’ve also got EX Skill indicators, a mini-map, and chat short-cuts on screen. It’s a lot to take in, especially for newcomers to this series. A lot has changed in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT since the PSP games.
Luckily, there are plenty of tutorials to get you up to speed. I highly recommend, even veteran gamers, to run through the tutorials. Tutorials are divided up into Combat (Basic, Advanced, Core Battles) and a bunch that review the systems. By going through the tutorials you’ll learn the fundamentals including targeting, defending, the Bravery System, EX Skills, Summons, and more.
If there’s one thing the Final Fantasy series has always prided itself on, it’s first-rate, cutting-edge graphics. Let me tell you, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT doesn’t fail to impress. It has perhaps the most detailed representations of iconic FF characters yet. Each character is created with absolutely stunning detail.
Seeing gorgeous 3D-polygonal versions of FF1‘s Warrior of Light, Terra Branford, or the Onion Knight is mind-blowing at first sight. Characters like Cloud Strife, Squall Lionheart, and Lightning have each received detailed touch-ups as well.
Several different gameplay modes
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has several different gameplay modes both offline and online. The game’s Story mode presents a map with branching paths. The basic premise behind the game’s story is two powerful forces bring together legendary Final Fantasy heroes and villains for an ultimate showdown.
One of my favourite offline modes is a mode called Gauntlet Mode. Here, you face a series of increasingly difficult A.I. battles for a variety of rewards. These rewards include raising your Player Level, your Character Levels, and your Character Rankings. Leveling up offers rewards like new EX Skills, HP Attacks, and treasure. Treasure can then be claimed for additional bonuses like new skins, player icons, and battle music tracks.
Online modes include Custom matches, and Ranked Solo and Team matches. Ranked matches are 3 vs. 3 online where you are matched up with players ranked similar to you. This is where I spent the majority of my time, and boy was it fun. All that training that I went through earlier on was well worth it.
While Dissidia Final Fantasy NT at its core is a team-based brawler, I couldn’t help but get a MOBA style vibe from playing the game. The flow of the game reminds me of League of Legends team fights rather than say a round of Tekken or Street Fighter.
One thing is for sure, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT offers a unique experience that you can not find anywhere else. If you are a fan of the previous games in the series, you won’t want to miss out on this one. Just remember, put the time in to go through the tutorials as it will make things much easier on you in the end.
+ Deep and rich gameplay mechanics
+ Decent amount of playable characters right out of the box
+ Challenging and satisfying battles
– Steep learning curve
– HUD has a lot of things going on and can be confusing at first
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5