As a teenager, I fell in love with the Final Fantasy franchise. The rich storytelling and interesting characters made me wish for more. It was during this same time that a fighting game called Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring came out. It put characters from Final Fantasy VII into the ring with other contenders. While it wasn’t a stellar game, that tradition expanded in 2008 with the release of DISSIDIA Final Fantasy for the PlayStation Portable and, ten years later, continues to pit storied heroes and villains alike in an eternal conflict in DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT. Within this article, I will be sharing a general overview and my first impressions of the game. We will be releasing a full review early next week.
What in DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT?:
DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT is a 3v3 brawler that pits characters from across the Final Fantasy mythos against each other on the battlefields of the series through online and offline modes. These gameplay modes are Standard Battle, Core Battle, Sparring Matches, and Gauntlet Mode.
Battle Modes: Standard battles are won by reducing the enemy team’s party health bar doing a short period of time. Every time a team member is incapacitated, that team loses one segment of their party health bar. The team who loses three segments of their health bar loses the match.
Core battles: Core battles are one part brawler, one part MOBA. Each team has a core that they must defend while attacking the opposing team’s core. Each core has a defense radius around it that makes it invulnerable if an enemy player is standing near their core. You cannot damage it until you have either dealt with them or they leave the circle. Players can still be incapacitated like Standard battles, but your core’s health is what truly matters.
Sparring Matches: These matches allow you to customize the battle. You choose from a series of rules to determine the type of match, how many rounds the matches go, time length, and what happens when time expires. In this mode, you also get to customize group composition for each team.
Gauntlet mode: This offline gameplay mode allows you to play Standard and Core battles in a series of six matches. These matches have ranks difficulties from Bronze to Mythril. Each round, you are given the choice of the difficulty that is paired with a team and a battlefield. Each match offers escalated difficulties from the one before.
Characters and Combat: Building and Fight with Your Dream Team
The roster of DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT draws from each game’s main hero and villain. This fits into the overarching story, but I will cover that more in the full review. The characters are broken down into four classes: Vanguard, Assassin, Specialist, and Marksman.
Vanguard is your heavier, but slower hitters like FFVII’s Cloud or Sephiroth, whereas Assassins, like Noctis (FFXV) or Zindane (FFIX) are quicker, lighter fighters. Marksmen, like FFIV’s Golbez or FFVI’s Kefka, function in a ranged capacity, while Specialists have their own quicks which put them into a category of their own.
Each character has their own themed set of attacks that are broken down into three categories: Bravery Attacks, Health Attacks, and EX Skills. Bravery attacks build up your Bravery stats – giving you extra power and vitality. Health attacks reset your Bravery to 1000, but connecting attacks will damage your opponent’s health, leaving them (and yourself for a brief window) vulnerable to being incapacitated. EX Skills are a little bit more customizable – you can choose two to go into battle with. These abilities serve as team buffs or debuff attacks.
Let us not also forget about Summons, a staple for any Final Fantasy game. Each match, you select a patron Summon for your team. They offer a passive bonus to your team and it you smash Crystals and fill up your Summon gauge, you can call on their aid and turn the tides of battle.
First Impression: That’s how it plays, what do I think?
DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT has me intrigued. I am getting the impression that it is more than a simple button masher and could take some time to master. While I am finding the gameplay enjoyable so far, most of my time has been spent in the Gauntlet mode to gain some modicum of mastery before entering the competitive realm. This will be a great title to watch from a competitive gaming standpoint.
One thing I am not loving about DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT is the camera perspective. Your camera is locked onto a target at all times with a limited range of movement in the camera itself. This makes traversing some of the battlefields a nightmare. I would love to see a free camera mode with target locking. Oh yeah, and do yourself a favor: turn off Moogle advice as soon as you can. They’re cute buggers, but, oh, can they get annoying!
As mentioned before, the roster seems limited to main characters within each of their respective Final Fantasy titles. This is a bit unfortunate because, honestly, there have been some amazing characters from the franchise that played second string. I will be interested to see if we will see new characters added down the road.
All in all, DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT does what Super Smash Bros. does for Nintendo. It puts characters you love together in a game to do that other thing we love: making them fight.
For our final review of DISSIDIA Final Fantasy NT, keep it locked in here at GameSpace.com
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PlayStation 4 with a code provided by PR.