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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dissidia 012 duodecim Final Fantasy on PSP Impression

The all-character encompassing Dissidia gets a radical round 2 roster and gameplay upgrade

Dissidia 012 duodecim Final Fantasy on PSP is a treat, plain and simple, for Final Fantasy fans. It takes and improves, tweaks, the original while upping the roster and giving a level of depth and detail, in a fighting game mind you, that only an RPG fan can truly enjoy. Pick up and play is possible but to truly appreciate all that Duodecim offers gamers really need to get into the customization. What about the rest of the game, the overall package, let’s take a look.

Gameplay – The battle between Harmony and Discord continues with even more Final Fantasy characters thrown into the fast paced battle fray. Battles pit the gamer vs. computer (or user) controlled opponents where battles are won with bravery breaks and not just straight on attacks. Gamers must ‘break’ opponents; build up bravery to then unleash special and finishing attacks. Story mode tells the tale of Harmony and Discord while varieties of battle and online modes get the friends involved. Controls remain intact from the first Dissidia, both good and bad while gamers are now able to traverse a world map which presents story driven portal and side-quest portals to battle boards, grids with obstacles and rewards on a grid. Complete the grid requirements complete the portal. Story driven battles against memorable foes are the icing on a cake full of cookie cutter foes that get tiresome to battle.

Graphics – The cut scenes are as beautiful as ever with some outstanding opening sequences and the in-game character models look good but once the action gets going it’s a bit blurry and hectic.

Sound – A true treat with many of the original voice cast reprising their roles and decades of musical scores to pick from make this one of the best sounding PSP titles ever … nuff said.

Design – A few tweaks to the original formula don’t change what was already a great PSP experience that is full of fandom for Final Fantasy addicts. There is much to learn and do with the roster and its great fun, well designed the first time and just more of the same here. Including the original game as an unlockable makes this doubly nice for fans that missed out the first time around.

Miscellaneous – Expanded roster satisfies even more Final Fantasy Otaku tastes. Adding in Lightning (FF XIII), Vaan (FF XII), Laguan Loire (FF VIII), Yuna (FF X), Kain Highwind (FF IV) and Tifa Lockhart (FF VII) really ups the roster of excellent characters. While the gameplay only feels tweaked and updated from the first Dissidia this expanded roster is what a sequel of this type should feel like.

Overall Duodecim is an outstanding package of a game for fans of Final Fantasy. Fighting game fans should not expect the next Tekken or Street Fighter but they should also expect a level of depth and playability missing in those titles. Square Enix has created a franchise, a type of game that utilizes all the best of a celebrated series and is much more than just a fighting game skinned with popular characters. A battle the twill never end, never see resolution between Harmony and Discord … does anyone else see more titles in this line, possibly on PSN or PS3 (hint, hint, wish list Square Enix).

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