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September 15, 2017

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Not many fighting games can boast original mechanics – this genre is known to be conservative and static. Formulas derived from Street Fighter II, Tekken and Virtua Fighter 3 are still relevant today. If experiments do occur, they are much more often ventured by newcomers rather than old-timers of the market. Do you think Square Enix, the forge of blockbuster RPGs, has anything to do with fighting? Back in the late 90s, the Japanese company released the original Bushido Blade (I wrote about it in the article “The Skin and Bones of Unusual Fighting Games”), Tobal No. 1 and Ehrgeiz. In Ehrgeiz, it was allowed to play Final Fantasy characters – over time, Square Enix brought the idea to a fan squeal in Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy. Both, however, came out only on the PSP – the publisher got to home systems only now, with Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT.Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT game review

The demo version was generous to a dozen and a half people. The creators are aimed at fifty fighters.

Dissident from the world of fighting games

In a time of darkness when even Street Fighter V and The King of Fighters XIV eschew arcade machines, Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT made its debut in coin-hungry surroundings back in the fall of 2015. Having tested the game in this way (and certainly recouped the costs significantly), Square Enix set its sights on the PS4. But why only Square Enix? It’s time to name the developer too – it’s Team Ninja, the famed Japanese team behind the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series. Already this fact from the announcement could reassure the audience that in the end the matter would not turn into, for example, an awkward clone of Super Smash Bros., parasitizing on the audience’s love for the heroes of the blade and magic.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT is far more outlandish. Like its predecessors, this is a three-dimensional fighting game with spacious arenas (in the manner of Dragon Ball: Xenoverse). The main idea is to split the attacks into Bravery and HP attacks. After spending the first one, the duel will replenish his own Bravery Level and devastate the enemy one. Its value determines how successful the HP technique will be. The latter, as the name implies, hits the enemy’s health bar. If the explanation turned out to be vague, check out the lecture by Square Enix itself in the video below.

Regular gamers got the chance to evaluate Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT in the closed beta test, which took place August 26 – September 4. The ascetic client of the game offered 3×3 multiplayer matches (the main and only format of fights) and training showdowns with bots. Rivals were looked for reluctantly – the authors should think about the modes 1 x 1 and 2 x 2, otherwise the network part will become an annoying appendage. Yes, and the frame rate in multiplayer battles often sagged noticeably – unforgivable for a fighting game, but understandable, given the shameless revelry of special effects on the screen.

Cloud Strife, Lightning and other FF pop stars rely not only on melee weapons, but also on spells. Team Ninja divided the fighters into four classes: the slow and powerful Vanguard, the fast and agile Assassin, the Marksman, who bombards enemies from afar, and the Specialist with unique “skills”. This diversifies the fights somewhat – against the background of extremely limited lists of hero movements (it’s not without reason that Dissidia: FF is called a “two-button” fighting game). A nice addition is the ability for individual characters, say the Bow Knight from FFIII, to switch between two forms with different moves.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT game review

The beach, palm trees and girls are references to the popular Team Ninja line of fighting games.

In Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, it is customary to ignore gravity, making double and even triple jumps, and the local “dash” is not a jerk, but an imposing flight towards the enemy. Timely “sidestep” (dive to the side, just reminiscent of “dash”) or block can save you from damage. In order for gamers to almost hide behind the “shield”, they made it destructible – a so-so panacea for several attacks in a row.

As swordsmen and magicians feast on each other on the ground and in the air, Team Ninja implemented a targeting system that switches between targets. Unfortunately, it spoils the view by pinning the camera to specific objects. In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, breathing is much easier.

The cumbersome interface adds to the turmoil – the Summoning Gauge (responsible for summoning creatures), health and courage points of comrades-in-arms and enemies, a mini-map, skill icons and a squad life bar, divided into three sections, blink in a festive way on the screen. The one who first knocks out three enemies wins, even if the same weak link dies over and over again. The idea is interesting, but with all of the above, Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT starts to look too much like a network action in the spirit of For Honor.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT game review

As giants and monsters enter the stage, the display seethes with thunder and lightning.

***

Fortunately, the story campaign for the final version has already been confirmed. Yes, and traditional fighting game modes in the game may appear – the release on PS4 is expected only in January. An important clarification – with Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, the series finally stepped online (the multiplayer of the previous parts, I remind you, was rather spartan). At the moment, there are a lot of claims to the project. Will Team Ninja manage to get out and forge another hit? We’ll find out soon.

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