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Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy – TGS hands-on impression

By Janelle | September 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy hit the Tokyo Game Show with the now-famous two new playable characters (FFIV’s Kain and FFXIII’s Lightning), so I picked it up to play for a bit. If you weren’t expecting the game to be basically the same as the first, prepare to be astounded. If you were, great! I can skip to the part where I tell you what’s new and interesting.

I took both Lightning and Kain into the ring for a few fights. Lightning seemed like a very “safe” character choice, with well-rounded skills: she could switch between Attacker, Blaster and Healer Paradigms, the last one being able to increase her Brave in case it became dangerously low. On the other hand, Kain required a little more finesse to control.  Most of his moves would launch him high into the air, and often would leave him wide open to attack if he missed. Still, his Jump attack was a ton of fun to K.O. opponents with.


A small but strategically crucial new addition was the Assist bar. Each character had a second character that could be called in for a single attack before vanishing. In the demo, the Assist character was already assigned, but maybe the full version will make the Assist character selectable. Filling up the Assist bar halfway would allow an Assist Brave attack to be used, while filling it completely would enable an Assist HP attack.

A surprise addition to the Dissidia formula was the introduction of another fighting control mode. After selecting a character, the player could choose between “Action-Style” and “RPG-Style.” Selecting the former gives the player free control of movement and actions as in the original Dissidia. The latter, however,  seems to eliminate the player’s ability to control the character, and instead allows the player to select the general sorts of actions that will be performed and then let the computer perform them, a la Final Fantasy XIII‘s Paradigm system. It’s for people who don’t like (or suck at) action games but still want to sort-of control their favorite Final Fantasy character in a one-on-one deathmatch, I guess.

RPG-Style battles were awkward to control. It felt strange not being able to control where Lightning was moving. I could direct her to lunge forwards, flee, perform Brave or HP attacks, or block, and she would perform the selected action continuously until another was selected. I could also control midair lunge attacks and whether to use the Assist Gauge or not. The lack of direct control could work in something like FFXIII, with ally AI characters, but in a one-on-one action game like Dissidia, it felt too detached for me to really enjoy it.

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy has only a vague release window of 2011.

Topics: Previews, Tokyo Game Show 2010