Dissidia was undoubtedly one of the greatest games in the PSP and there’s no surprise that eventually it’ll come to consoles worldwide. But while that came true, I felt that it came in a different and slightly weird way that I was expecting. From the regular one-on-one battles to the now very hectic and confusing three vs. three which more often than not becomes a “shit-show” of epic proportions. Combat is strategically good yet button-mashingly difficult. And the amount of things going on in the screen at any given time becomes a nightmare to the point of no return. From the overpowered attacks of summons with the tremendous and horrifying area of effects to the annoying amount of dash meter making everything more about running away than brawling it out in nostalgic maps throughout the series.
While I can’t deny the amount of fun I had on the first few hours of the game, it just became undeniably boring and repetitive considering the amount of chasing I had to do every four minutes of a match despite having the advantage, it isn’t enough to see the victory screen flash before my eyes. With the story mode only adding up to the fueling rage I have as each scene is locked behind walls… walls I can’t break without having to do the gruesomely repetitive gauntlet mode for some much-deserved player levels and memoria. Memoria is a currency of sorts which gets used up after every node makes the story take a huge backseat that turned the game from awesome to awfully clumsy. And with such great casts from every main Final Fantasy game until the 15th to even Type-0 and Tactics, it’s such a wasted opportunity to put some beefy content into the table. It felt nothing more than barebones fan-service with how short the story is and how minimal the battles are.
And speaking of battles, it is one that is filled with annoyingly and more often than not disgustingly cheated boss battles. Large and awesome looking bosses which get honestly difficult with the number of attacks they do to the scale and range they do it. With having a slight delay in dashing and guarding it simply makes it more annoying than it needs to be which additionally got paired up with the fast-paced action to make it a terrible nightmare. So while I am a very patient and calm person, it just grinds my gears with rage despite loving games similar to monster hunter. The insane scale of AoE attacks makes the challenge a bit more than I can swallow despite being able to crawl my way to the final battle which ends up becoming a game that I am better off seeing on YouTube to know the outcome.
Regular character battles are a bit fun yet being class-based makes others far better suited to players of similar play-styles. From the vanguard classes which are considered the in-your-face brawlers, assassins that offer more mobility options, marksman that stays at the backline for opportune moments to snag a kill and specialists which I guess they’re special just because they are and who cares even if they’re not. With that, the game offers two modes from standard to core battle. Standard battles pits you against an opposing team with the goal of incapacitating any of them three times to win the round and core battle which has a different win condition of destroying the enemy core and keeping your own safe. They’re both straightforward yet requires a strategically planned course to take the win before the time runs out and face defeat.
The hero versus villain setting is simply an excuse to pit every character together in large arenas but it’s one that I at the very least enjoy despite not having a lot of the ones I desire. And yes it’s the waifus! Though in respect to the ones that did manage to be brought in, they offer tons of flashy move sets and unique skills that makes the fanboy in me tear up in joy. And if that wasn’t enough you can also mix and match with the unlocked EX Skills in your arsenal to the four unlockable HP attacks for the specific character after reaching certain levels on each. This makes the game more versatile and customizable but sadly that’s pretty much it. The combo system is pretty basic with bravery attacks that increase your bravery count per successful hit and an HP attack that depletes the enemy’s HP depending on the amount of bravery you have.
Weapons from being an integral factor in the game now become nothing more than aesthetic luggage in your inventory and while that offers a balanced gameplay in online matches it does, however, take away from the single-player experience that I was most excited about. And considering there’s only a butt-load of weapons included in the shop, and by the way, when I mean butt-load I honestly mean a butt which I guess most only has one. Now, where was I? Oh right! Weapons or rather weapon skins only take form in threes at best and in case that doesn’t sit well with you, there’s also a paid DLC to include 27 weapons that aren’t even included in the season pass. So Square Enix, why?! And while the weapon system is a letdown, don’t let that get to you yet as costume skins will do too! As the costumes only offer two types and each of them having non-customizable palette swaps or slight design changes that gets further burned with paid DLC for the future DLC characters.
But I guess the one thing that made me come back to this time and time again is that everything is locked from the start. Costume and weapon skins need to be obtained from treasures or bought in the shop as well as background music and player icons pertaining to the series. It’s one that I would’ve enjoyed unlocking if not for the condition of only getting two treasure boxes per player level. This gets very repetitive after a few levels in by doing more repetitive battles in the gauntlet although spending gil is also an option but costs quite a hefty sum in order to get most of it.
Meanwhile online is still alive and well despite the game’s age with quite a few rooms active during most hours thanks to the worldwide matchmaking. It does its job right in case you find a suitable room with the same skill level as yours but gets disturbingly frustrating getting pounded by some people that are way above your league. Going in alone with ranked matches does offer its negativities due to the lack of players doing them. Something that turns off people like me that prefers to go in without dedicating the time to make a team ahead of playing hours.
As far as the art style goes, it does wonders on the console version making some really good screenshots and nostalgic feel as you see the original games get fleshed out in 3D. The cutscenes in the story are outstanding along with the battles tied to it. But I can’t praise it enough without having to give credit to the music that completes the experience. If only it was longer and meaty, I would’ve sung in glee.
SEASON PASS? I’ll give it a PASS! Season passes, in general, is a huge pass for me and this one is no different. In fact, this feels a far worse pass than most but slightly better than Koei Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 5 season passes. Only offering six additional characters with two costume palette swaps and two additional weapons, it doesn’t feel nor in fact worth it for the price tag. How about a new map to go along with it? Or a costume that doesn’t feel like a palette swap. For something worth as much as half the game’s price it doesn’t particularly give replay value other than playing the characters in more repetitive battles through gauntlet or online. Definitely, NOT WORTH IT at this point! But let’s be optimistic about this until February of next year once everything is out whether it’s a total waste or a slightly attractive offer.
It’s a fun looking game that got mixed with weird elements that just ruined it. There’s terribly too much going in which makes the target audience a bit scarce to the players who would take the time to master it and give a huge pass to the people who just want to dive in. This makes the online community a little less than what it needs to be to make ranked matches a bit more active while keeping it fun. But despite its negatives, the value comes in with the hardcore fans that just want to play casually despite the story being filled with a mediocre plot line. It’s graphically and nostalgically good in terms of the experience. If there’s one thing I kind of wanted though, it should’ve had more than one map per series and maps that have more things going on compared to the others that just looks good but feels empty.