At least it’s NT-ertaining
As one of the more pressing titles I’ve been looking forward to playing ever since watching trailers for its arcade release, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a game I’m glad exists. Playing it, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Even with the many hours I’ve put into the two previously released PSP titles in the series, I still had trouble gauging exactly what was going on.
Gorgeous as the animation and stage layout may be, I couldn’t possibly enjoy them underneath a sea of meters and systems I had too little time to fully comprehend. But then a Leviathan showed up, so that’s cool.
Like the previous entries, Dissidia Final Fantasy is a less than traditional fighter. In order to lower an opponents HP, first you need to lower a Bravery meter to the point of “breaking” them, and thus leaving their health open to attack. This was a fine enough system on its own, but NT complicates things by adding four other players to the mix. I managed to play through a few 3-on-3 matches and not only did I have to monitor my meters, but my teammates as well. It wasn’t necessary to care whether or not they were as successful in the round as I was, as there’s no healing between teammates as far as I could gauge, but you don’t want to be left alone with three full health opponents. The layouts of the stages have the same amount of movement potential as the previous entries, but with more opponents it’ll at least be harder to cheese someone out of a win.
Speaking of cheese, Dissidia is as operatically cheesy as ever. The score is well produced, seeing these classic characters in high definition is fantastic, but this is basically an equivalent to cake fondant. It’s a decoration meant to disguise the cake underneath. Once you get passed the visuals, and the busy hub, the core gameplay seems to be perfectly translated from the PSP titles. Some movements (like the dash) aren’t as tight, the lock is extremely chaotic now thanks to a combination of distance and multiple opponents, but my standard Cloud and Vaan strategies were still sufficient here.
The biggest addition here is the summon mechanic. After some time, a summon stone would appear and everyone would rush to it to break it. Doing so brings out a circle in which one player has to stand for a few moments, filling a meter, and then starts a summon cutscene where a summon the three players have voted on arrives and has various effects. I could see this being entertaining with more time, but at face value it’s chaotic and random.
The major highlight of the Dissidia series has always been single player content, so hopefully the full product can deliver. The 3-on-3 matches are just not a good idea for this system, but it’s not a dealbreaker if you just want to look at pretty things being pretty.