Monday, April 4, 2011


Square Enix has over the years become my favorite game designer of all things RPG for over 2 decades. Now and each and every release seems to express a collective improvement over the last. Needless to say, the elders at Squenix have chosen to do it again. Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 Duodecim is here and ready for your gaming consumption. If you need to know just what that subtitle means it basically means the number 12 (Duo=2 Decim=10). So let’s start with a little back story, a couple of years ago a concept was created at Square that revolved around having many of our beloved characters from the “Final Fantasy” Universe come together in a tournament battle with each other to decide the fate of the “Overworld”. It was felt that if Square went the way of Soul Calibur or Mortal Kombat that they would just create yet another cookie cutter fighter title that would ultimately feel lopsided due to a certain characters initial traits. Thankfully that idea was scrapped and the decision then seemed to focus on a turn based battle system that also seemed to feel rehashed. Then genius struck, why not make the game a melding of both? Fast action fighting with turn based fighting control schemes, Dissidia was born, but there were a few complications that occurred during delivery.

The original Dissidia, once released had a very favored following in its natural habitat of Japan, but American tastes were of a more discerning pallet. When I first booted up the original I instantly felt the game was extremely over complicated where it did not need to be but alas it was what it was and I came to love it, feeling that if it had been simplified a bit it would have gotten stale quickly. Dissidia’s heir apparent Doudecim does try to repair some of these issues and in many ways succeeds, but there are also a few lingering issues, but none that diminish this title enough to be concerned about.Okay, let’s dive in! It is a rare thing in this world of ours that the sequel out matches it original. Many players will want change and just as many want things to stay the same, but yet still be better and different. I hear it every day in my chosen profession that a player will hate on a game for the changes made and others will love it because of those changes. Still, others will love it because they just love the franchise all together regardless. I can honestly say Doudecim pretty much remains the same yet feels new with the inclusions of new Final Fantasy favorites. First up is Lightning from XIII (Stop it, why are you hating?). Lightning is definitely in charge in this game and then we have Yuna from X, Tifa from VII, and Vaan from IX. There are more but those will come from playing, but I should tell you that all of their respective annoying traits are here. Thank god I haven’t seen “Hope” from XIII in here yet.

Gameplay is basically the same but with a few new features like being able to sap Bravery points from your opponent weakening them considerably before moving in for the kill. This function can actually turn the tide in a match and allow you to win just when you were sure you were done for. Also there is now an Assist system that will allow you to call upon one of your teammates and have them lend a hand when the going gets tough, yes its cliché but “The tough get going”. These battles are awesome and beautiful and kept me going to see just what was next. Now, on to the Story Mode, ah yes the story mode. While I absolutely love the signature Square benchmark of computer generated realism from their cinemas, there were quite a few spread out within the game and though I was looking forward to each and every one of them, something seemed to be missing. For a game with over the top flashy battles and enough characters with Uber angst issues I really thought the story would at least throw me an Inception like curve similar to what seems to be the norm now in current American Cinema (Now that I think of it, that is asking a bit too much).

Thinking of this release as a whole; the battles, characters, and their drive considering the predicament that they are in during the story make this is an excellent addition to the Final Fantasy canon. I recommend this to any Final Fantasy fan and overall I do believe that players will enjoy it fully. Thank you Square for another quality title in the waning days of the aging PSP. Now Square I ask you this… WHERE IS MY HD REMAKE OF “FINAL FANTASY VII? You have to know that title would be a cash cow and the new NGP is just begging for a release like that. While I am at it, Kingdom Hearts 3? All in all, it is no secret that I am a Squenix Fan and probably always will be.

This review has been fun, but Zircon has other places to be for the moment so till next time I bow out.

It is with great pride that I give this Title 7 out of 10. Z man out.

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