Dissidia 012[duodecim] Final Fantasy
Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Square-Enix’s Dissidia: Final Fantasy was the true definition of appeasing their hard-core fans. It’s a tossed salad of memorable pieces from previous Final Fantasy games and the end result was a mash-up RPG/Fighter that was regarded as either a success or a failure depending on which side of the coin you fell on. With Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy, the hope was to give you more content and maybe address some of the issues that plagued the first; while they do give you a lot more, issues still appear.
The events of Dissidia 012 take place prior to those of the first game. This time around you take control of six newly implemented characters through a series of 8 chapters in which our heroes, being called upon by Cosmos, must take on a new menacing force called Manikins. Unfortunately, the story behind Dissidia 012 is awful in its delivery and doesn’t try to even make much sense. Yes, the various cut-scenes are gorgeous and the new characters such as Kain from FFIV and Tifa from FFVII are excellent inclusions, but overall, the story ends up being the weakest part of the game.
One saving grace to the the story is the inclusion of Reports, which are unlocked as you progress. These side-story missions give you the opportunity to play as characters from the first game. While Reports are initially text based, they have key points - highlighted in blue - that can be triggered, leading to either a cut-scene or have you take a specific character through a series of battles.
Another addition to the story is that there is an over-world your characters have to traverse. These sections are essentially just bland areas between the required story Gateways which advance the plot. There are a few items and enemies littered throughout, but they offer little else.
Combat hasn’t changed too much. For the unfamiliar, combat is done in two folds. You have Bravery attacks and HP attacks. For every successful Bravery attack you pull off, your meter goes up while your foes’ meter decreases. At any point, you can perform an HP attack, which is determined by how many Bravery points you have. It’s an interesting system that does force the player to strategically pull off various chains in order to cause the maximum amount of damage.
The biggest addition to the combat is the introduction of Assist Characters. Regardless of if playing in story mode or in the game’s Battle Mode, your character can have an assistant that can be called upon at certain times. These Assist characters, when triggered, can help in a number of different ways, depending on which one you pair up with.
While Assists are a nice inclusion, unfortunately, very little has changed in the combat and this is where most people will either love or hate the game. Combat is too inconsistent thanks in part to the fact that the AI is unpredictable at times and quite often over-powered. Regardless of which mode you play, you will need to grind your characters in order to get them to a reasonable level. Otherwise, inexperienced players will struggle to complete Gateways on their first try.
Another problem that Dissidia 012 faces is that the camera still causes a headache in every arena. Battlegrounds are quite large and it can be really challenging to track your opponent, especially if they are moving around quickly or on a completely different plane. There is the ability to lock onto targets and rush towards them, but if an object is in your way, the game will actually have you run into a wall or get stuck on a roof, which ends up wasting precious moments. This happens far too frequently and will frustrate everyone.
While the game play suffers in many regards, Dissidia 012 still exceeds expectations in both its audio and visual deliveries. Characters not only look fantastic on the PSP, but the voicework by all characters is really well done. There is a lot of voiced dialogue as well as text and not once did the syncing or delivery feel out of place. It is unfortunate that the story is underwhelming since these two aspects of the game really get the job done.
Essentially, depending on how a person viewed Dissidia, that same opinion will hold over for Dissidia 012. Those hoping that issues regarding the combat and the camera had been solved will be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, if you were content with how Dissidia played out and were craving more, then Dissidia 012: Duodecim: Final Fantasy gives you more of the same.
+ New characters offer something different
+ Outstanding visuals
+ Assists are a nice inclusions...
- Requires a lot of grinding
- Inconsistent AI
- Extremely weak story
- Camera issues persist
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Release Date : 2011/03/22
System : PSP
Publisher : Square Enix
Developer : Square Enix
Category : Action-RPG
ESRB : T
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