If you have ever heard me on the GiN Lounge or read some of my other Square Enix reviews, then you already know that I love the Final Fantasy series (and Square in general). So I’m sure it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I liked this game. Well here comes the one thing you probably aren’t expecting.
I HATE the story of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Surprised, aren’t you?
Though my fanboy senses should be completely and utterly blown, they aren’t. Though I should be lost in the mashup of all the main Final Fantasy villains and heroes dueling in the ultimate battle of good and evil, I’m not. Fellow Final Fantasy fans please take a step back with me and look at the story of this game. Don’t be overrun by the awesomeness that is all your favorite characters coming together in one giant battle. Instead I ask you to really look at the story.
The various heroes of the Final Fantasy series are summoned by the goddess Cosmos to fight for her, easy enough to understand. On the flipside, multiple villains from the Final Fantasy series are summoned by the god Chaos to fight for him, still easy enough to understand. So how about we examine these characters and ask ourselves when and where exactly they come from.
Let us take a look at the Final Fantasy X characters Yuna, Tidus, and Jecht. Yuna comes from the time in between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. This is made obvious by her mentioning that she is still looking for Tidus after his disappearance at the end of FFX along with her dress attire. That being said Yu Yevon was destroyed at the end of FFX with it all of the Aeons. So how can Yuna still able to summon all of her Aeons?
Now let us look at Tidus. Dissidia states that the warriors of Chaos still retain their memories from before they left their respective worlds. Since Tidus (who for some reason is a warrior of Chaos) doesn’t know who Yuna is this would mean he comes from before the beginning of Final Fantasy X or from that very small amount of time when he enters Spira but has yet to meet Yuna. All of us who have ever played an RPG know that a character from the beginning of a game is a complete and utter pansy. Yet despite this Tidus can fight off any other character in the game.
Finally let’s take a look at Jecht. Jecht is a warrior of Cosmos this time around which would leave you to believe he comes from the point in Final Fantasy X where he was still a good guy (ok, ok, he was never really evil).This would mean that he hasn’t gone through the Final Summoning yet to become the Ultimate Aeon (which eventually leads to becoming Sin, the big baddie, kind of). Still, when you enter Jecht’s EX Mode you’ll notice that he looks like a miniature version of his Ultimate Aeon form. I think you see what I mean by the story not making sense.
I’ll leave it off here so as to not distract from the real point of this article, the review. This isn’t to say that there aren’t more continuity errors; I just felt that one example would be enough to help you notice all the others. Also before some fanboy tries to attack me with the statement "Cosmos and Chaos are gods so they can do whatever they want!" Alright fine, I accept that as making sense. It doesn’t change the fact that it was an unoriginal and lazy way to explain everything.
Now that I have enlightened you, we should talk about the actual story of the game and not just the problems with the timeline. The story pales in comparison to any of the stories that are in the main series. So besides telling you that it’s a weak story there really isn’t much else to it. The only other thing I can mention is that the "real" main story is also incredibly short. After you beat the main story you’ll unlock the original story of Dissidia Final Fantasy. That’s right everyone, Square was so lazy when making this new game that they just slapped the original Dissadia into the game as well (granted it’s slightly retooled to include mentions of the new characters).Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to actually flesh out the incredibly shallow story some more rather than copy and paste an old one?
Even though the story sucks, I have to admit that the rest of Dissadia 012 is done really well. Gameplay will be a good place to start this off. When asked to compare Dissadia to another type of fighting game, I use to have trouble explaining it. With its lack of button combos, it doesn’t fit into the normal fighting game style and being on a 3D plane mixes it up as well. The easiest thing to compare it to would be to take the Super Smash Bros. series and then make it a 3D fighter.
What I mean by this is that you have two distinct and different move sets. One set of attacks will raise your Bravery for every hit you land on the enemy and another set that will use that raised Bravery to deal damage to an opponent. It’s a unique system that makes for some more strategic thought process in a fighting game.
Another fun addition to the fighting is Assist characters. Now you’ll see a set of two bars below your health. It’s an easy idea, fill the bars by attacking and then use them to call for help. What Assist characters do varies depending on who is your assist character and what type of attack you tell them to use. By just using one of the assist bars you can have them deal an attack to build your Bravery or you could use two bars and have them do an attack that will damage the enemy’s health. It adds a little bit of variation to the battle system that helps keep it refreshing.
Square also found it in their hearts to add some new characters in this game. Some of which I’m extremely happy with (Laguna and Tifa) and others that I absolutely hate (I’m looking at you Lightning and Vaan). So an additional eight to ten characters depending on how you look at it. Not too bad, but I have to ask why there were so many heroes added and barley any villains. I’m sure we would all love to play as those secondary bad guys. After all they are usually the ones who torment us all game long before we ever find out who the true baddie is.
Following the Square Enix tradition Dissadia 012 Final Fantasy has amazingly beautiful graphics. There really aren’t any surprises to be found here. The only thing I can think to mention is the presentation of battles. It kinda falls under the gameplay aspect but also into the graphics as well. All of the high speed movement and flying through the air feels and looks epic. So kudos to Square for making the battles always seem over the top and epic.
Next up we should talk about the musical score in this game. This game is filled with the classic sounds and songs from all your favorite Final Fantasy games (and if you act now you’ll get free shipping! Sorry I had to.) So yet again like with the graphics we know what to expect here.
On this same note is the voice acting in the game. Plenty of great voice actors represent the characters from older games such as Johnny Yong Bosch as Firion or Dave Wittenberg as Kefka. Those characters that already had voice actors mostly have their original voices or at least have very good replacements.
So overall this is a game where the gameplay is absolutely great but the story sucks. Not exactly what I would have expected out of Square. Then again I think we are starting to see a change occur within Square. Anyone remember when every game Square put out was golden? Now it feels like they’re more willing to settle for mediocre and let their company name do the selling. Times are changing my friends.