|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: TBA||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
January 30, 2008 - Final Fantasy: Dissidia has most recently been described officially as a "work in progress for the PSP" by Square-Enix. That is the official word on this game. No release date, no official character rosters, nothing has come since the first footage of this title was shown at the Square-Enix Party, and it was first playable at the Jump Festa in Japan last year. But that hasn't stopped the Final Fantasy hype machine from going into overdrive in the past few weeks. Details are slowly being leaked from Japan like water through cheesecloth, and from what we know so far it seems pretty apparent that Final Fantasy: Dissidia is going to be pretty awesome.
So what exactly is Final Fantasy: Dissidia? Well, in short it is a fighting/ RPG-style game that features characters from all the different Final Fantasy universes in one giant crossover. Think about that for a minute. Are you excited yet? Just the idea of a giant crossover game with all my favorite Final Fantasy characters interacting is enough to turn me into a rabid fangirl.
Naturally, after you are calmed down from the prospect of a Final Fantasy mega-crossover game, you'll probably want to know who will be in it. The answer, however, is somewhat complex. No official character rosters have been released, but through early game footage and screenshots we do have some idea of who will be showing up in this title. The Warrior of Light will be included from the original Final Fantasy, as well as Garland. Firion and Emperor Palamecia are confirmed from Final Fantasy II. And these are the only real vintage characters from the Nintendo era that we have seen so far. From the PlayStation era, however, we have seen a whole bunch more. First up is Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. Although Cloud has not been confirmed, I am fairly sure that he is somewhat of a shoo-in. Squall and his evil counterpart Ultimecia from Final Fantasy VIII are going to be making an appearance as well as Zidane and Kuja from the underappreciated Final Fantasy IX. The last character we have seen is Tidus from Final Fantasy X. I'm sure there will be many more characters revealed as we get closer to the release of this super-anticipated game. And don't worry XII fans, I can almost bet that Balthier or Vaan will be making an appearance somewhere in this game.
So now that we have the vital statistics out of the way, it is time to talk about the gameplay. Final Fantasy: Dissidia looks like it will play somewhere like a cross between Tekken 5 and Final Fantasy XII. I know you're thinking that these two games have nothing to do with each other, but just hear me out for a second. Final Fantasy: Dissidia is going to have an active battle system that will have you doing some pseudo hack n' slash with your opponents. It is essentially the same as in Final Fantasy XII, just with a few tweaks to make it play better in a button-mash 2-player setting. But the stages that you will be playing in resemble those of Tekken 5. You will have enough freedom to run around, and your environment will be interactive. Early video shows characters climbing up walls and performing environmentally-based special moves.
Visually, Final Fantasy: Dissidia looks excellent. The scenes I've seen so far look a great deal like the upcoming Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, and that is definitely a good thing. Characters all look very smooth, and some of the older ones have definitely benefited from a little 3-D re-imagining (I'm looking at you here, Warrior of Light). The environments also have a good amount of sleekness to them, and the whole thing just looks great. It is amazing to see such power on the PSP (This game could easily pass for a very well-made PS2 game), and I'm happy to see Sony's little handheld come back into the spotlight.
Overall, Final Fantasy: Dissidia is already one of the most anticipated games coming down the pipe from the folks at Square-Enix, and it doesn't even have a release date yet. Some are a little skeptical whether this game will come out in the US, but I could probably guarantee that. The fact that Crisis Core (which was also unconfirmed for the US for a long time) is coming out later this year lends more credence to the argument that once Final Fantasy: Dissidia sees a Japanese release, a US release won't be too far behind. I'm sure Final Fantasy fans are really excited for this one to come to their PSPs soon, and I personally can't wait for this one's release whenever that may be!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer