Posted June 19, 2017 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature

E3 2017: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is One Big Free-For-All (Hands-On)

You may remember the Dissidia Final Fantasy from its run on Sony’s PSP – a giant crossover fighting-game event, featuring heroes and villains from every mainline Final Fantasy game, locked in an epic battle with the fate of the universe at stake. It never came to home consoles, possibly due to the popularity of the PSP in Japan, or the development costs involved in remastering everything, but that’s now set to change with the series’ third instalment – Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Developed in partnership with Team Ninja, and originally released in Japanese arcades, Dissidia NT ports the game to PlayStation 4. I went hands-on at E3 this year, and while I only played it for a short time, it’s very different to its predecessors.

The game is still a 3D arena fighting game, but while the PSP games used to be 1v1 bouts, this has now been expanded to 3v3 multiplayer. With six players on the battlefield at any one time, you can imagine this makes for some pretty hectic bouts, with characters flying all over the screen.

The character roster is gathered from across the Final Fantasy series, including fan favourites like Cloud and Squall, as well as Cecil, Warrior of Light, Firion, Terra and Lightning. It was clear during the E3 demo which characters were the most popular – in the group I played with, the 3v3 battle consisted of two Clouds and one Squall on one team, and the other was entirely made up of Clouds. Final Fantasy fans can be so predictable.

Just like the older Dissidia games, your main offensive methods are ‘bravery’ attacks and ‘HP’ attacks. Bravery attacks don’t actually damage your opponent, but instead diminish their BP points, while adding to your own. This will power up your HP attacks when you unleash them, which are what actually damage their hit points. There are also special movesets you can allocate beforehand, to customise your character. Since I chose Cloud (don’t judge me), I equipped him with Cross-Slash. It’s just like Cloud’s second-level Limit Break from the original Final Fantasy VII game, even with the same on-screen visual effects, and it’s a mighty powerful one that takes out a good chunk of a health bar – I actually used it to KO two enemies in a row.

Platforming and traversing environments are also kind of important, at least moreso than in a traditional fighting game. All characters move quickly, and environments have high and low areas, meaning you quite often have to chase down your target, or if you’re on the defensive – run away and find a new strategy. There didn’t seem to be quite as much collecting as I recall from previous Dissidia games – I didn’t spot any EX cores around the map, used to unlock EX burst moves, but then again it was very frantic with six players all battling at once, and it’s possible I just missed them.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is incredibly hectic, fast, fun and with a very unique style of gameplay. It’s also a treat for Final Fantasy fans, who finally get to see all their favourite characters meet, and not just in low-res PSP form, but with high resolution PS4 graphics. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is scheduled for a 2018 release.

Adam Ghiggino

Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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