Sentimental Shambles – Dissidia Final Fantasy NT – PlayStation 4


For Final Fantasy fans and enthusiasts, Dissidia Final Fantasy
NT provides a cast of high-profile characters ranging from the series’ inception
to its modern-day road trips. Having Sephiroth, Kefka, and Golbez take on
Cloud, Terra, and Cecil in an arena soiree is the stuff fans dream of.  However, a dramatic dissonance forms between
these neat offerings and the core experience. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a
disjointed mess of multiplayer meanderings, threadbare single-player options,
and puzzling story content that demands you spend time doing non-story activities
to progress.

 

The cast is divided into broad buckets that give players an
idea of their playstyle, though every character has their own feel. Dish out
fast and furious attacks with high-damaging assassins like FF XV’s Noctis, or
assault your enemies from afar with a marksman like FF IV’s Golbez. Vanguards
like Sephiroth excel at staying at the forefront of the action in the middle of
battle, and specialists like Exdeath defy traditional class distinction.
Dissidia presents an interesting mix of character roles and a ton of favorites
from games old and new (even Final Fantasy Tactics brings Ramza into the
fray!). Unfortunately, these awesome characters are thrust into a conflict that
doesn’t give them the opportunity to shine.

 

The main mode of Dissidia (and the one you spend the vast
majority of your time on) is 3v3 battles. These team-oriented battles typically
take several minutes, with players frantically slinging skills and spells at
each other. To incentivize action and keep players from running around the
spacious arenas in circles waiting for a perfect time to strike, summoning
stones create critical zones to battle over. If your team successfully summons an
iconic Final Fantasy creature into the arena, like a fire-breathing Bahamut or
a field-drenching Leviathan, you gain a powerful advantage. These summons often
are loaded with incredibly powerful skills that topple your opponents outright
or create space for you to bring them down yourself.

 

On paper, this sounds like a freaking blast. In practice,
combat is difficult to control and parse, with many characters firing things
off at once. Despite a solid tutorial that lays everything out in an easy-to-digest
format, everything goes to hell when several players start ganging up on one,
or when you lose sight of your allies. This happens a lot; the camera is
awkward at best and devastating at worst, and getting lost in the chaos is too
easy. Simply put, the 3v3 format is sensory overload. Too much happens at once
in all directions, and it’s difficult to get actionable information at any
given moment. The combination of elements from multiple genres like fighters,
brawlers, and MOBAs just doesn’t work here. It’s not fun.

 

The lackluster multiplayer takes the center stage, with meager
single-player offerings attempting to buoy the ship. The story and associated
cutscenes are fun, but to unlock them, you must dive into multiplayer or grind
against A.I. controlled teams – and neither are enjoyable.

 

On the plus side, plenty of Final Fantasy loot is waiting to
be acquired and admired. You’re always earning gil even if you’re being
demolished in the arena, and you can spend your hard-earned coins on awesome
new weapon visuals, skins, portrait icons, and classic Final Fantasy music
tracks. That these cool Final Fantasy tributes are attached to this particular game
is tragic; it is a great celebration of the series anchored to something no one
should play.

 

Undeniable Final Fantasy charm flows through Dissidia Final
Fantasy NT, and it pains me that the gameplay doesn’t justify a delving into
it. The roster from across the series puts on a great show and is fun to
customize and engage with, but the crux of the experience is the multiplayer,
which doesn’t hit home. Unless you’re a hardcore Final Fantasy fan that really
wants to get Golbez a new outfit, it’s not worth suffering through the arena
for the perks.

 



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