Dissidia Final Fantasy – The story so far

Samuel Alexander

Square-Enix is a strange beast, one that makes some very odd decisions of late – from a second, pretty much identical, re-release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 to inadvertently offending many LGBT gamers. And that’s just Final Fantasy (Rise of The Tomb Raider Xbox One exclusive? I’m still fuming!).

Their latest unexpected decision is bringing back the Dissidia Final Fantasy series (see the initial teaser trailer below). But don’t get your hopes up yet …

For the unfamiliar, Dissidia Final Fantasy was a beat-‘em-up game set in the Final Fantasy universe made for the franchise’s 20th anniversary.

Dissida was an interesting attack on the franchise, but I welcomed it as the closest we’d get to the action of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in gameplay (sorry Final Fantasy XIII, I know you tried…), plus it was actually pretty fun.

The game was a true Final Fantasy homage, boasting a 22-strong character roster, with a hero and a villain representing each main game so far. Not to mention a great score consisting of original and remixed tracks from the series, with some original compositions thrown into the mix.

Each hero had their own story that basically condensed their character developments from their original games, with a face-off against their relevant villain.

In true Final Fantasy fashion, an original story overarched and extended these sub plots, giving more depth without being too overbearing.

Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy 012 arrived a little later with updated gameplay. I know, I didn’t think Japanese naming conventions could get any more bizarre either.

New characters took part in the fight this time and formed the playable cast of Duodecim’s comparatively short story. As if to make up for the length, the first Dissidia’s story was also included.

The platform choice? Playstation Portable…

Okay Square, I get it. With a large character roster, not having to worry about detailed visuals must’ve been a load off, and it looked great regardless. The PSP was very popular in Japan, but the West…

No doubt the sales figures didn’t meet Square-Enix’s high expectations. Dissidia went silent and instead of prettier sequels with the new handheld generation, we got Theatrhythm Final Fantasy on 3DS. Let’s not even go there…

Now, Square-Enix has revealed a gorgeous looking Dissidia reboot is on the way!

The platform choice? Arcade systems…

Square, Square, Square … Again, I get it. Arcades are still very popular in Japan, and the Dissidia gameplay formula is arcade-ready … But I can’t think of a time I’ve ever seen an arcade system powerful enough to handle anything more demanding than House of the Dead 3 in the Western world. I’ve no doubt they exist, but are they popular enough to get this game out of Japan?

There’s hope, though: Square-Enix showed comparison footage of the game running on arcade systems to the Playstation 4 (see the video below). There’s no confirmed Playstation 4 release yet, but that seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just for a comparison, and with their current trolling track record (looking at you Final Fantasy VII for Playstation 4) Square-Enix can’t afford to add to that reputation.

It’s probably safe to say that at some point Dissidia will be coming to home consoles. As for coming to the West, well … Keep those fingers crossed!

Details on the game itself are a bit sketchy, but it has been confirmed that Team Ninja (the team behind Dead or Alive) are onboard to help out.

Fifty planned playable characters have been cut down to only 14 initially, featuring fan favourites (that totally haven’t had exposure overkill) like Cloud and fan not-so-favourites like Lightning (I for one think she’s amazing, so tough). Some cool arenas were teased too, like Midgar from Final Fantasy VII (is that another troll…?).

No villains shown yet, but with 14 being the current number of main Final Fantasy titles, we’ll probably initially only have one hero from each. Villains may make it in as Square-Enix has expressed interest in adding more characters post-release.

The trailers so far show off the new three against three battles that hopefully won’t get too confusing. Then again, Dissidia isn’t known for being anything less than hectic, even in its original one on one formula.

The summon mechanic has been overhauled too, with series mainstay Ifrit bathing the arena in an inferno. It looks pretty epic and we’ll no doubt see more familiar fanged faces in the final release.

Dissidia was an underrated gem that got lost in the saturation of spin-offs with its unfortunate platform choice. With its beautiful visuals (as someone that’s dabbled in animation software, I have this to say: THAT HAIR!’), exhilarating gameplay and potential place on home consoles, Dissidia will hopefully make a strong return. And get a release outside Japan …

Be sure to take a look at the latest trailer!

About Samuel Alexander

Samuel is freelance writer, occasional illustrator, craft enthusiast and fan of all visual creative media. He is a published author who splits his time between client copy-writing and creative writing.