Dissidia Final Fantasy NT review – Die-hard Final Fantasy fans will find plenty to love about it
The latest brawler from Square Enix is a niche offering, catering for die-hard Final Fantasy fans and lovers of Japanese arcade games.
Much like last year’s Gundam Versus, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a team-based battler which sees players duke it out on a large scale 3D map.
These stages are much bigger than anything you’d see in Tekken 7 or other games of its ilk, meaning fights can be spread out over quite a distance.
Likewise, the combat system is also very different to your typical beat ’em up.
Dissidia plays like a cross between an RPG and a fighting game, with physical attacks, summons and magic abilities all at your disposal.
It’s a lot to get your head around, especially since battles move at a fast pace – meaning you don’t get much time to think.
The first few bouts may seem like utter chaos, as you struggle to figure out which attacks to land and get to grips with the game’s lock on system.
However, slowly but surely, the more you play the easier it becomes to understand the frantic nature of Dissidia’s fights, and how to master it.
And, for those willing to put the time in, there are plenty of characters to get to grips with.
Dissidia features characters from every main numbered entry in the Final Fantasy series.
In total there are 28 characters available to play at launch, with characters separated into four different classes.
For each fight you choose three team members, but you only control one fighter at a time – with the other two computer controlled.
Each class can be strong against one set of characters, but weak against another one.
So, one of the keys to winning is ensuring your team complements one another and stacks up well against the opposition.
Dissidia also has 14 arenas to fight on, each one set in a Final Fantasy game ranging from the original to Final Fantasy 14.
So, no matter which Final Fantasy game is your favourite – you’ll find a character that’s right for you.
Despite the great roster of characters, the amount of modes on offer leaves a lot to be desired.
For those who prefer to play offline there’s a gauntlet mode, which offers single player matches and an arcade style series of fights, in addition to a story mode.
And, well, that’s about it.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT review – There are plenty of Final Fantasy characters to choose from
What makes the content at first seem so spare is the story mode isn’t your typical single player campaign.
Playing through offline and online matches will net you rewards – including Memoria tokens.
These are then used in the Story mode. When you load up this mode, you’ll be greeted with a branching map that features different spaces on it.
The Memoria tokens are then used to unlock individual spaces on this chart one at a time.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT review – The combat system is complicated, but is a lot of fun
There are multiple paths that players can take, with the majority of the unlockable points on the map just cutscenes that drive the story forward.
There are also spaces on the map taken up by battles as well as boss fights.
It’s a peculiar way to approach the single player campaign, and is probably a result of Dissidia originally being an arcade game.
If feels like the story mode was shoe-horned in, trying to take advantage of the game’s existing set-up – instead of being designed from the ground up.
It doesn’t help also that the Memoria tokens needed to progress aren’t dished out regularly, which means you’ll move through the single player campaign very slowly.
Besides Memoria tokens, Treasure tokens can be unlocked after completing offline and online fights.
These are then used to open Dissidia’s own version of loot boxes.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT review – Dissidia seems more geared towards online play
Skins and weapons for characters can be dished out, as well as icons for character screens and music to use in battle playlists.
Unfortunately, the way this system works isn’t clearly explained in the game – which means you’ll probably end up Googling it to figure it out.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT undoubtedly has flaws, and seems geared more towards fans who will be battling online than offline.
The single player offering is disappointing and the game has a steep learning curve.
For casual fighting game fans looking for a pick-up-and-play game to dip in and out of, Dissidia probably won’t be for them.
Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, Injustice 2 or Dragon Ball FighterZ will arguably be better options.
But despite its flaws, I’ve found plenty to enjoy and appreciate about Dissidia which has kept me coming back for more.
For die-hard Final Fantasy fans, and for lovers of Japanese games in general, Dissidia offers a compelling package.
The fast, furious and in-depth combat works extremely well when everything falls into place.
It may be a niche package, but those its aimed at will find plenty to enjoy about Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.