TGS 08: Kickin’ arse with Onion Knight as we tackle Dissidia: Final Fantasy

If there is one upcoming game that I’ve been using to justify my perpetual love of the PSP, it’s Dissidia: Final Fantasy. A title that brings together all the heroes and villains from the core Final Fantasy franchise, it’s a fan service orgasm and makes no apologies.

Dissidia is on show at TGS and you damn right we were there to play it. I may not understand Japanese, or even have a clue exactly what was going on, but I played Dissidia and I played it with gusto. Hit the jump as I take the Onion Knight out for a spin and kick Tidus’ spicehole!

Despite all of the pictures, trailers and character reveals, Square Enix has never really taken the time to explain exactly how Dissidia actually plays. Fortunately, we’ve all been able to hazard a pretty good guess, so the 3D fighting game I held in my hand this morning was no great shock.

Playing as the Onion Knight, the TGS build of this game shows off the core gameplay, which was a little difficult to get to grips with thanks to Moonspeak instructions, but the fundamentals seem pretty explanatory. Different face buttons produce various attacks. For example, pressing square with the Onion Knight causes him to open up a rift and start firing energy balls which you can steer in the general direction of your opponent. 

At its most basic, Dissidia feels very much like an evolved Crisis Core. I couldn’t seem to make Onion Knight do a “basic” attack, as it all seemed to be energy balls and other special moves. This worked fine for the first two fights, but when I went up against Cloud of Darkness, it was difficult to land a hit in with such slow-to-activate attacks.

A tap of the R button will create a very temporary block, which means that you have to time it incredibly well. If you press X while blocking, you will get to be able to dodge which is a far more useful move. As well as this, you can also dash toward or away from the opponent, either on the ground or in the air. 

The stages can be multi-tiered and quite expansive, so it’s handy that a tap of the triangle button will make a character run up and along walls. Touches like this help make the battles look a little more like the impressive CGI fights that Squeenix loves to make but never really attempts to recreate in-game.

Not surprisingly, the game looks damn good up close, continuing to show that Square Enix are the masters at squeezing the best graphics from the PlayStation Portable. It’s bright and clear, but the camera can sometimes be a little unhelpful, not always wanting to show you where the enemy is. 

Without a lot more time to put into it, it’s difficult to give a robust evaluation of the title. However, this is most likely something that hardcore Final Fantasy fans will love, especially ones who enjoyed Crisis Core. Square Enix lovers would do well to continue keeping their eyes on this one.

James Stephanie Sterling