|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 25, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
However, even though the focus of Dissidia: Final Fantasy is squarely on the combat, the game still retains its RPG roots. As you move characters through the different story modes, you will be able to level them up and gain special ability points that unlock additional attacks and eventually creature summons. You can also equip characters with equipment and accessories that you find in battle.
In addition to the meta-game, there is also a mini-game that is played inside the customization menu. This mini-game is known as Chocobo's Journey. When you win a match, the Chocobo will walk one step forward on his journey. If he finds a gyshal green to eat, he will be a in a good mood and provide you with bonuses during fights. The Chocobo can also provide lucky bonuses if you win several fights in a row.
If there was one major complaint I had about Dissidia: Final Fantasy, it is its lack of online support. Though the PSP hasn't historically included online multiplayer for its fighting games, I think if there was one game that needed it, it would be this one. However, as a consolation there is an ad-hoc multiplayer mode that has a small lobby and allows you to trade friend cards with nearby opponents.
The look of Dissidia: Final Fantasy is very polished, and the opening cinematic is definitely one of the best I have ever seen on the PSP system. The in-game graphics are a little less polished, but are on par with last year's Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. Though environments aren't terribly detailed, character animation is very fluid, even during high-energy fights, and the framerate never wavers.
Sound in Dissidia: Final Fantasy is outstanding. The game has several unique themes which are brought to life with energizing orchestration. However, even though these new themes are nice to listen to, what really shines here is the way that old themes from popular Final Fantasy games have been remixed and repurposed for Dissidia. You can expect to hear some very familiar tunes while fighting, including "One Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII, "Eternal Wind" from Final Fantasy III, and the title themes from the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV. Although some of the older themes have been cleaned up slightly for Dissidia, they all still retain their charm, and I couldn't be more pleased with the soundtrack here.
Although I will be the first to admit I was excited for the release of Dissidia: Final Fantasy the second it was announced, I had my reservations about the game's potential. However, with plenty of memorable character moments, a truly innovative battle/RPG hybrid combat system, and plenty of fan service, if you are a Final Fantasy aficionado, this is a must-buy!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor