Dissidia may live up to the hype

Due to release in 2018, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will be a welcome addition to the PlayStation 4 library.

 

Square-Enix sent codes to several consumers and fans to offer them a chance to participate in the closed beta test for the game.  I was fortunate enough to receive one of those codes, so I decided to tell you guys, as a fan of the series, what my first impressions are.

This review is specifically for the closed beta, not for the game.  Therefore, it will only serve to offer insight into my first impressions of the game.  I understand that the game does exist as an arcade game, but only in Japan and if it did happen to be imported to the U.S. in some arcades, I don’t have access to it.

With that said, I took time to play as every single available character in the beta.  Having played Dissidia before on Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP), I had an understanding of the games mechanics so the refresher was nice.  Anyway, LET’S GET ON WITH THE REVIEW!

Visuals

The game is beautiful. Period. With it being developed by Team Ninja, its not hard to see why.  The game still holds the visual appeal of its PSP predecessors, while taking advantage of the PlayStation 4 hardware and generating highly detailed environments and characters.

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test_20170901215705
Squall Leonheart is the protagonist in Final Fantasy VIII.  He is one of the many heroes and villains featured in the game. DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test Screenshot via PS4 (Cornelius Thompson)

The spell effects look wonderful and the particle effects are just as good.  For a beta, the game is astounding to look at.  The interface is similar to the original, but shifted to accommodate the new gameplay elements that are being incorporated into the game.

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test_20170901215856
Bahamut enters the fight to deal massive damage to the opposing team. DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test screenshot via PS4 (Cornelius Thompson)

The renders of all the characters, summons and environments are very much as beautiful as one would expect to come out of the collaboration between Namco, Team Ninja and Square-Enix.

Gameplay

To me, gameplay is one of the core elements to Dissidia, so this has to be right if nothing else. NT is presented to us as a 3v3 fighter in a similar style as the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series, J-Stars, and Dragon Ball Z Greatest Legends.

Three characters take the field (1 player controlled, 2 AI controlled) in an all out brawl.  Once the fighters’ bravery counter is glowing, they can deliver a devastating HP or Hit Point attack to knock out their opponent.  Each team is given three “downs” or lives and if that team becomes incapacitated 3 times, they lose.

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test_20170901215720
Squall Leonheart leaps into battle. DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Closed Beta Test Screenshot via PS4. (Cornelius Thompson)

Because this is basically a gameplay beta, we get a lot of the basic ideas and mechanics to experiment with and get used to.  The game handles well.  Combat is just as accessible as in previous titles and techniques, although limited for the beta, work well and still create an exciting experience.

If this is a bare-bones showcase of what to expect, I’m happy to report I’m excited…for the most part.  The one thing that I was hoping would show up and doesn’t seem to exist in this version of the game are the Limit Breaks.  Yes, it would seem that Cloud’s Omnislash, Squall’s Lionheart and the rest are MIA.

 

Also seemingly missing are the capabilities to fly from one piece of the map to another (i.e. the dimensional castle map from the original Dissidia Final Fantasy) and the light streams that allow you to sail across the map at high rates of speed. The maps given don’t really take advantage of being able to run up and down and alongside walls, which makes it feel more like six characters running around in a field.

 

Hopefully these things will make a return to the final game.

Sound

The sound in Dissidia is great. Continuing with the tradition, there are a lot of different arrangements for the tracks from other Final Fantasy games.  The sound is crisp and clear and the voice overs are very well done, with most of the cast of the original games returning to voice the characters for this game.  Some of the arrangements aren’t very pleasant, but that’s just me.

Bottom Line

I feel very confident with saying that there is a lot of promise in this game.  I’m not too terribly happy about some of the things that were seemingly taken out, but again, this is a beta focusing on the six-player multiplayer online aspect giving the players just enough to have a decent fight.

If, in the end product, some of my issues with it are dealt with, then I’d say we have a worthy successor to the Dissidia throne and a very interesting game for everyone interested. The beta is fun and I’ll continue to play around with it and keep up with the patch releases as it moves forward.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is expected to release January 30, 2018.

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