Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dissidia - First Impression

Well, this was a promised post, so here it is. I've played Dissidia for approximately 3-4 hours in one sitting (exactly as long as my psp battery lasts me :P) and I have to say I'm impressed. It's not just a fighting game, it has a load of smaller features, and it seems well worth playing again and again.

To begin with: Chaos vs Cosmos, a concept as old as storytelling is probably. Both sides gathered some warriors and the balance was... well, balanced. Then the chaos side did something odd and things went out of shape, and well, I dunno if I'll get a better explanation down the road but Cosmos went poof and now the ten heroes have to save the day. The story is kind of vague, but I realized it could really be seen as if all the final fantasy games were their own world's version of Chaos vs Cosmos and that they all ended exactly simultaneously at the point where Dissidia begins, in a sort of dimension-spanning timeline. Deep shit.

Centerpiece: This is a fanservice game, there is absolutely zero doubt about that. There's dozens and dozens of references to different ff games and characters and items and summons and... yada yada yada. The more ff games you've played, the more you'll like Dissidia, but that's not to say that someone not interested in ff would get nothing from it.

On to the fleshy part: The gameplay is actually very good. There's tons of equipment and bonuses and shit all around, but when it comes down to one-on-one on the battlefield it really feels as if it's you, the player, that makes the biggest differece; your skills and how well you know to use all that crap you've gathered. It also pays a lot to take a step back, think, and be a bit tactical about when to strike, and not just charge straight in. But! and here's the beauty of it, that also varies a bit between characters. Some make better for charging, some should rather stop and think. There is a real difference between how they play. Cloud has some fast, small attacks to keep enemies busy and then a few real close-range nukes to take them down quickly. Cecil is harder to handle and deals less damage but has more ranged attacks and a few tricks up his sleeve. Terra and Ultimecia are spellcasters. There's also several modes and lots of reasons to play stages over again to collect better stuff, but not in the sense of grinding. In story mode the heroes have a story each, and I've played two so far and liked the way they've built individual storylines too.

And of course the most important: Characters. But what do I need to say, it's Square. If it's one thing Square knows how to do, it's to make excellent jrpg characters. They've done an very nice job bringing characters from NES games into modern technology and graphics.

Final points: Music from the ff games, excellent, and the voiceovers are agreeable. Although... Cecil, from ff IV, who I liked in that game, has for some reason earned the voiceactor of ultimate emo that made the emo Prince of Persia... which ruined some. I also discovered that in contrast to the other, older characters (or from older games and more fantasy settings), Cloud's sometimes drawling american accent suddenly seemed very appropriate.

Complaints: mainly towards Cecil so far. Aside from emo-actor no1, there's also the strange fact that because he's an jrpg hero his Dark Knight armor has to be skin-tight and ugly instead of the massive impressice Dark Knight armor his evil brother sports. Strange. Because the hero line-up might have benefited from not being quite that effeminate... especially since they outfitted Bartz like a teenage gay escort. And why the hell did you steal fashion tips from Cloud's Advent Children outfit, Squall? As if broody lonewolf 1 and 2 needed to look like each other too... Anyway, gameplay-wise, not much.

I think that's it...

Yes, and also: I love that chocobo! <3


Kristin said...

Hmm. Maybe it's because it's late. Or maybe it's because it's about ff, but this didn't make much sense to me. That was a useless comment. Sorry.

Anyway, I agree with Rik on the contrast issue with the new look. It's very pretty... and very hard to read :(

Kristin said...

Actually, the lists to the left are easier to read than the body-text

Yeonni said...

It probably makes no sense because I wrote it for those who already know a little bit what Dissidia is, because I assumed no one else would be interested :P

Changed colors a little, do they work better now? This proves what I said before, because the text was perfectly readable on my screen and felt too bright otherwise (since blogger makes it so damned complicated to make other colors than the stupid few presets) but I think this works. No?