RELEASE: March 2011
After it's release in 2008, the original Dissidia title was received well by fans of the series. It allowed the player to play as favoured villians such as Emperor Mateaus and the ever popular Sephiroth, in a whole new idea. The idea was to combine all the past heroes and villains in an alternate universe where they are caught up in a battle between the gods, Chaos God of Discord, and Cosmos Goddess of Harmony in an attempt to quell the endless cycles of battle and the struggle between good and evil. The player was presented with the package of an RPG and an unconventional "Bravery" based battle system.
Before I go any further, let me explain the bravery system .What you see here is a typical battle scenario. You have the vertical bar which is your character's EX gauge (fill this up, do a HP attack, press Square and something VERY nice happens). Then you have the 2 horizontal health bars showing the fighter's current HP. Above these are a set of numbers, each shows the character's current "Bravery" which is either increased or decreased depending on the other fighter's attacks. Lost yet? It took me a while. If you run out of "Bravery" you enter "Break" which nullifies your HP attacks, until it recharges OR you do a moot attack which only serves to recharge your Bravery. When you do a HP attack, providing you have the Bravery, your attack will take that amount of HP from your opponent, so if your Bravery is 1208, then your HP attack will do 1208. Also, that little number between the bars? Well that is what is known as "Stage Bravery", all this means is that when you inflict break, you get that "Stage Bravery" added to your Bravery so that you can do some REAL damage.
It was somewhat confusing and they only seemed to tell about 75% of the story. The heroes all learn about friendship and team work while looking for crystals in order to save the world from utter chaos. This game, it must be said had me swearing with frustration at first, but once you get past it and enveloped in to the story (which seemed a bit weak in places it had to be said) you do start to enjoy it and it rewards you with Accomplishments and PP (to buy new elements for the game).
Duodecim seemed a little bit of a moot point really. The scenerio unique to this game was decidedly rather short, then was coupled with a truncated version of the original game's story mode. That seemed a little bit of a waste, but then I looked in to all the hidden extra stuff you have to play with and was blown away. Such as the Reports mode where you have a story and as you read it, you can highlight certain areas to see either a short FMV sequence or a fight with 1 or 2 characters.
It also seems that they have tidied up the more complex part of the game, in battle it seems a bit smoother and things like Bravery are more fairly distributed among the players. The Battle Colosseum of the original game (which I spent hours slacking off with) has been replaced by a more challenging Labyrinth mode where your character is stripped of equipment and accessories and tossed in to a 2D labyrinth and has to battle their way out. Other new features is the addition of a free-roaming environment for the characters to gain treasure, summonstones and other skills to give them the edge in the next Gateway. In addition to the 20+ character cast in the original game you are given some extras, Lightning Farron (FF XIII), Yuna (FF X), Laguna Liore (FF VIII), Tifa Lockheart (FF VII), Kain Highwind (FF IV), Gilgamesh (FF V), Vaan (FF XII) and Prish (FF XI).
In all, I feel that this is a good game, but I don't think it is as good as the original, but as it is a prequel, it does whet your appetite enough to want to go back and play the original again.
My score out of 10: 7