LAN Mob Gaming Review - Dissidia Final Fantasy NT

After 3 years in the arcades in Japan and a closed & open beta, the newest installment of the Dissidia series has been released. NT takes a new approach by introducing 3v3 combat as opposed to 1v1 in the past two entries on PSP.

Take note that this game is pure fan service. Giving you the ability to square up characters from the Final Fantasy Universe against each other. Does it work well though?

Each game in the mainline series has one representative along with a few special guests:

Final Fantasy I: Warrior of Light & Garland
Final Fantasy II: Firion & The Emperor
Final Fantasy III: Onion Knight & Cloud of Darkness
Final Fantasy IV: Cecil, Kain & Golbez
Final Fantasy V: Bartz & Exdeath
Final Fantasy VI: Terra & Kefka
Final Fantasy VII: Cloud & Sephiroth
Final Fantasy VIII: Squall & Ultimecia
Final Fantasy IX: Zidane & Kuja
Final Fantasy X: Tidus & Jecht
Final Fantasy XI: Shantotto
Final Fantasy XII: Vaan
Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning
Final Fantasy XIV: Y'shtola
Final Fantasy XV: Noctis
Final Fantasy Tactics: Ramza
Final Fantasy Type-0: Ace

That is partial of the selection screen

It's a really nice character selection. I was hoping for more but 28 it will make due. With 6 more characters slotted as DLC (with no announcements of who as of yet). And developers have been on record supposedly saying they were aiming for 50 with all past Dissidia characters available for play. I'm hoping to see a lot of lasting replay value to this title. Especially with the target of an eSports approach.

The stages are very well designed too! With areas spanning from all fifteen mainline titles it's cool to have a fight with all the different characters in places like Midgar or Alexandria. Adds to that sweet fan service.

Battle System

NT's battle system was completely revamped from scratch, with a few elements of the past games staying intact. Characters will be divided between four classes: Vanguards (Power), Assassins (Agility), Marksmen (Ranged), and Specialists (Trait-Based). The mechanics in Dissidia are vastly different in comparison to other fighting games. There are two different attacks; Bravery and HP. When performing Bravery attacks, your bravery level goes up and when your opponents drops to zero, a Bravery Break will occur. Giving you a Bravery boost, which then you will use your HP attack to completely drain your enemy of their health. The controls are easy to get a hang of and its very fun to master. Each face button corresponds to certain attacks. Combining down/up/left/right/neutral & circle will each do different attacks both on ground and air.

Story Mode

Sadly, the story mode lacking. Massively. You progress by playing games online and leveling up. Each level giving you two "Memoria" for you to use to unlock paths in the story, much like a sphere grid. There are XX amount of nodes to unlock which consist of mostly cut-scenes and a few battles. It feels like the Story was rushed to meet deadlines and to at least say "Hey, but we made a single-player mode for you!" The regular battles were very easy. Luckily a few summon battles presented a challenge. Yes, there are summon battles. You fight Ifrit, Shiva, Odin, Leviathan, Ramuh, Bahamut and Alexander. The hardest ones for me being Ramuh and Alexander. Then comes the last battle. You fight the 'Planesgorger" Shinyru. A being that is threatening the existence of the planet you are on. It thrives from battle. So you and the villains conduct a huge battle to make the beast show itself. Once it does, it begins the final battle. You choose your team and the worst boss fight I've had in awhile starts. Shinyru, like the rest of the Story Mode, lacks as a final boss. Though he was pretty difficult, I switched to Bartz and ended up winning easily after spamming his attacks. Once Shinyru is defeated to watch a quick cut-scene and it's over. All that's left is "Hard Mode" which is just fighting the Summons and Shinryu again on a higher difficulty. Again, it was severely lacking and it felt like a waste of time.

Main Menu layout


So since this is a primarily online-focused game, I figured I'd make a section dedicated to it. Most of the time the online works beautifully. Like a fighting game should. Then there are times when it doesn't work. Which is incredibly frustrating since it happens every 4 matches or so. Aside from that glaring issue everything about this game works very well and is well balanced (to an extent). For example if you're a Vanguard like Cloud and you're trying to square off against a marksman like Shantotto or Ace, you're going to have quite some trouble engaging thanks to their ranged attacks. Where as if you were to go against an Assassin or another Vanguard it would be a more accessible match-up. Characters can be leveled up to 10 and with every few levels granting another HP attack for you to equip. When jumping online if you're going against a level 10 character you're most likely going to have trouble due to those HP attacks having some crazy range. While you cant attribute some of those issues to skill, some attacks are absolutely ridiculous and could hinder your experience in this competitive game.

One of the bigger issues in my opinion is the rewards. The costumes, icons, and weapons are nice especially when there are no microtransactions involved. But when I get the treasure it still feels like I didn't get anything out of it. It's stuffed with icons and I feel there should be more weapon/costume options considering how many weapons are available in each Final Fantasy game. Plus the online rewards are nothing compared to playing the offline modes. You can spam the Core Battles and get more Gil and EXP than playing online. A full round of Offline Core Battles gets you (depending on skill level) 10-30 times the amount of Gil you'd get playing online. There is no real incentive to playing online if you don't get better rewards on Online play.

Some sweet treasure right here.

Another problem is the summon animations. Yes, it's cool to see once or twice but not having to see them once or twice a game. Why not just nullify the animation when it comes to online play? It stops the flow of the game completely. Having it stop for the character summoning the say whatever is fine to make it aware to everyone that a summon has occurred. But there is no reason to play the whole summon animation.

Yeah, I'm pretty good with Cloud.


While I think this game is pretty solid, the people that have fond memories of the PSP titles may look at Dissidia NT with disdain. I feel it would be difficult to enjoy the game due to the different paths Square-Enix and Team Ninja took. I do have quite a bit of fun playing it but I definitely burned myself on it pretty hard. I wish there was more single player content as well. What we got in this game is honestly garbage. If you are living in an area that doesn't have online or if you just don't have it the game is pretty pointless. Unless you are a BIG fan of Final Fantasy and can get past the flaws in this or are just looking for a competitive game I would recommend it. If not I wouldn't pick it up. It's online focus has it's give and take because of it. I really hope this game can take off for the better because if not I feel like we won't see another Dissidia.
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