Best of E3: Final Fantasy Dissidia NT is exactly what it should be
It’s everything Dissidia originally should have been without the weird Japanese shit that made it unwelcoming.
While the PSP didn’t exactly have a long and successful life cycle, it did manage to gather one of the greatest fighting ideas ever – Final Fantasy fighting like Dragon Ball characters. The original Dissidia had this weird-ass hybrid mode of a strategy RPG grid that limited your moves to complete the puzzle while encountering enemies or attacking control spheres would lead you into a head-on third person fight pitting the hero you chose against other heroes from the expansive worlds of the Final Fantasy universe.
Does any of that make any sense? Of course not, because it’s pretty ridiculous – but the only way to effectively describe Dissidia is to tell people to simply play it.
Dissidia 012 Duodecim came out later, which was effectively a prequel to the original game but featured characters that weren’t even present when the original game was released, which added another stupefying element of WTF. Doesn’t matter cause it gave you the option to ditch the stupid SRPG grid which never fit the game in the first place and play in action mode which granted access to a weird open world area where you could play as Lightning, aka bae.
There were a lot of modes and elements in the original game that were all badly explained and a good majority of players never really understood how the game worked – but once you figured what Break meant and the advantages of things like EX Mode, Dissidia became a superior fighter hidden beneath a bunch of layers of terribly confusing weebaoo nonsense.
Thanks to passionate cult fan outcry, Dissidia was released in a new form on the Arcade without all that other bullshit and presented primarily as a straight up fighter with Team Ninja at the helm and I couldn’t be happier that it’s finally coming to the PS4. You don’t have to stick to the Cosmos/Chaos stories (which was basically Good/Evil) and this time you just play who you want and go beat some ass. While it’s completely different than Dissidia on the PSP, the baseline familiarity is there for fans of the series which means that even without any knowledge of the changes you can still jump right in and lay some smack down.
I got time with Final Fantasy Dissidia NT twice at E3. Once during Sony’s pre-press conference mixer where I played as Cloud and two computer controlled AI versus a team of three computer controlled AI so I got a feeling for what the single player experience would feel like – and it was very good. I was often taking on all three members of the opposing team because of my previous Dissidia experience, but my teammates AI was fairly terrible so I’d break an enemy and my allies would often spend time trying to get range instead of rushing down to finish the job.
A little bit frustrating, but still extremely satisfying for a pre-beta environment. On the actual show floor, I once again took the helm and led a team of two other players who were new to the franchise onto the field as Firion. While I did a steady amount of damage, the enemy team had more knowledge of Dissidia than my counterparts who had absolutely no idea what was going on so we met defeat pretty quickly as nothing taught my allies to flee when broken except for my commands which were hard to hear on an already roaring and bustling show floor.
I still had an absolute blast playing Dissidia NT and I am super hyped for the final release next year. The demo build we played only had a select amount of playable characters – but I saw familiar faces such as Firion (FF2), The Warrior of Light (FF1), Ace (FF Type-0), Ramza (FFT), Cloud (FF7), Squall (FF8), Lightning (FFXIII), Y’shtola (FFXIV), and a few others. I’m really excited to see who else shows up as there are something like 22 playable characters in the arcade version. I’m sure there’s a whole lot of people who are ready to wreck face with Zidane Tribal’s dual daggers and monkey boy tail, and if that’s not good enough for you then you’ll be pleased to know that the crown Prince of Lucis and Insomnia’s favorite boy-band leader Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum is slated to enter the fray with the closed beta coming in just a few weeks.
It takes a lot to really put a smile on my face while playing a game, but I had an ear-to-ear grin while I played Dissidia NT. There was really only one other game that I nearly as enthusiastic about this year, and as you might have guessed, it’s the one Josh talked about a few days ago. If you missed out on Dissidia from the PSP days or you considered it to be too challenging because of all the weird fluff just to get to the combat, this is absolutely the game for you. It’s a three on three fighter that feels very different from the other competitive fighters on the market right now and that makes it a very special project that I’m looking forward to seeing the impact in the fighting game community.