Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Preview: Rock the House
Kalvin Martinez / Jul 18th, 2017 No Comments
The PSP was home to a lot of beloved games that never seemed to get the attention they deserved. One of the more unique franchises on the system was Dissidia Final Fantasy. It mixed the fighting game genre with action-RPG mechanics to create something original.
Almost a decade after the series first graced the PSP, it is returning to the PlayStation 4 with gorgeous graphics and new mechanics. While it is now a team-based fighter, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT feels like a smoother, much prettier version of the PSP game.
Final Fantasy Draft
The Dissidia series has always been about fan service. It’s simple premise of bringing together fan favorite Final Fantasy characters to duke it out gave fans exactly what they wanted. With the new installment, nothing has changed. The full roster for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT hasn’t been revealed, but a demo we played allowed us to choose from protagonists from the 14 main numbered games (minus Noctis).
This is great if you’re a huge fan of popular characters like Cloud, Squall and Tidus, but you also have the option to play as more off-the-beaten-path characters like Onion Knight and Firion.
Each of the 14 characters fall into different classes: striker, long distance and mage. These classes each have advantages and weaknesses, especially within the bravery system.
Strikers are better at getting in quickly for lots of bravey damage and have shorter charge ups, making them experts at delivering a coup de grace. The drawback is you have to get in close, leaving you open to lots of counters.
Long distance attackers are good for racking up bravery while keeping your distance, but they lack some of the speed and immediacy strikers have.
The mage class can delivery heavy bravery damage and keep some distance, but they lack the speed of either. That makes them susceptible to attacks during charge ups, and especially vulnerable to a team of strikers. They are best used by more advanced players with high-level strategy because newbies are easy prey for an organized team.
How Do You Do?
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT’s bravery system is not the easiest system to get your head around if you’ve never played the series. However, once you know how it works, you’re able to get down and dirty in the game.
There are three types of attacks in the bravery system: bravery attacks, HP attacks and EX skills.
Bravery attacks don’t damage HP; they increase bravery, which is your attack power. Avoiding attacks keeps it high, but you can easily lose bravery by taking damage.
HP attacks allow you to take down an opponent’s health. Bravery is your attack power and dictates how much damage you can do with HP attacks. Keeping bravery higher than your opponent’s health means you can knock them out.
EX skills are special skills that can buff allies and debuff enemies — like increasing attack power or regenerating health. Each character has a unique EX skill along with two other generic yet customizable EX skills.
Any EX skill can be used multiple times in battle after cooling down. You can toggle between each different EX skill by pressing triangle or toggling up and down plus triangle.
A new wrinkle to the series is summons. Before each match, both teams select a summon for their team. At the beginning of each match, teams gain a special buff from their summon.
Players can activate summons by attacking summoning crystals that appear on the battlefield. If a team gains enough summoning crystals, they can bring their summon down to the battlefield to gain a lot of bravery and turn the tide of battle in their favor.
There is a lot of give and take with accumulating bravery and using HP attacks to whittle down an opponent’s health. Dodging and blocking are important to keeping bravery high and delivering a high damaging HP attack to knock an opponent out. It is a delicate balance between utilizing EX skills and focusing on the W.
Victory in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT depends on two things: smartly using your three different attacks and teamwork.
The biggest change in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is the change from a one-on-one fight to a three-on-three team battle. It may seem odd at first to fans of the series, but once you get over the newness of it everything feels super smooth.
The matches play out quickly despite having three characters on each team. The objective is to knock out the other team’s three lives. The three-on-three style adds a new dimension and a lot more strategy to the franchise.
Things may seem chaotic, but the ease of switching targets makes combat manageable. Being able to switch targets on the fly is important to the teamwork strategy of the game.
Teamwork is highly important to ensure victory. Communication may be the difference between winning or losing. Keeping track of your lives and the lives of your opponents may force you to change strategies at different points of the match.
Do you all take on individual targets or do you call a lateral and focus on one weakened opponent to get a quick knockout? Coordinating teammates with high bravery or using EX skills to get useful buffs plays a part of the game’s larger strategy down the road.
The demo only gave a hint of all these different elements, but even in a small snapshot, I got a good sense of how much depth the gameplay has.
Waiting is the Hardest Part
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT won’t be out until early 2018, but the demo shows a game that is very polished and has a lot of promise. Both in terms of gameplay, speed and overall look, the game is shaping up to be something both fighting game and Final Fantasy fans will enjoy.
For those that can’t wait, there is good news. Sqaure Enix announced a closed beta will happen soon, and you can register to be chosen for it at Square-Enix’s site with a Square-Enix membership. If selected, a PS4 code will be emailed out around the time of the closed beta.
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