Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy review
Wouldn’t it be great if instead of flouncing around saving worlds, the amazo-haired cast of Final Fantasy ditched the do-gooding and decided to have a massive scrap? Yes it would, and that’s exactly why Dissidia 012 is delirious, choppy fun.
It’s built from the same crazy bones as its predecessor: take a moonload of characters from the Final Fantasy series and make them batter each other ugly. Originals such as Cloud and Tidus return from the first game, alongside new additions like fanboy-favourite Tifa Lockheart and Lightning, the floaty heroine of FF XIII.
If that sounds straightforward, it really bloody isn’t. Dissidia 012 is unlike any other fighter out there. Single button combos build up bravery points, with each blow increasing your score while draining your opponent’s. Once your bag of pain is full you can convert the points into damage with a finishing move.
Assist Mode adds a slice of tactical cheese to the fist sandwich, allowing you to bring in a team-mate to soak up or dish out extra damage. Fighting is cerebral and bizarre, like a chess set carved out of toe bones.
If that’s not mad enough for you, each fight is set in a vast, dynamic scrap-scape. Characters can scale vertical walls to scoot out of harm’s way or pursue fleeing opponents. At times the camera (and your fragile human brain) has trouble keeping up with what’s happening onscreen, but nothing here is broken except those delicate, pretty faces.
The sequel improves on almost everything about the first game. It’s got the Square Enix polish, and while the chaos vs cosmos storyline is forgettable fluff pulled from the Final Fantasy navel, energetic presentation and irresistible music make this a classy, challenging package.