The Fighters of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT

Dissidia Final Fantasy was one of my favorite games on the PSP.  It was a fighting game featuring characters from the popular RPG series, and there were two of them on Sony’s first handheld.  I always thought it would be neat if there was a version of Dissidia on one of the big consoles, so I was excited when Square-Enix announced Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for the PS4.  I’ve been playing it recently, so here’s a blog about the characters and stages you can find in it, as well as some brief impressions of the game as a whole.

The core gameplay is the same, and it’s pretty unique as a 3-D fighter.  You can run around 3-D areas and even do mid air dashes and run up walls!  It kind of reminds me of a cross between Kingdom Hearts and one of those 3-D Dragon Ball Z fighting games.  You have two kinds of attacks and health bars.  Bravery attacks will take away points and add them to yours.  Using HP attacks on opponents will take off the same amount of HP that your Bravery points total, so you must figure out which is the best time to use which attack.

But that’s where most of the similarities end.  In the PSP games, the fights were one-on-one, but in the PS4 game, it’s three on three.  I had enough trouble keeping up with just one character on the PSP.  I just can’t keep up with three at the same time!  You have a much more limited amount of summon spells as well.  In the PSP game there were a lot more (you could even summon Ultros for crying out loud).  There are also a lack of gameplay modes on the PS4 version.   You have three online modes, two offline modes, and a story mode.  On the PSP, the story mode was really robust, and the second game even had an overworld!  But in this one, you have to play other modes to earn points to unlock bits of the story, and so far I’ve only unlocked the rights to view five cutscenes.  Ugh!

Another thing I liked better about the PSP games is that Square knew that certain fans might not be as good at fighting games, so they designed the game accordingly.  I was able to beat the PSP games, but I don’t think I’ll ever beat the PS4 version.  It’s just so hard and not very rewarding.  Team Ninja helped make the PS4 game.  Leave it to them to ruin another one of my favorite game franchises (the other being Metroid).

I know that Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was originally an arcade game in Japan.  In fact, one of the reasons why I ordered this game from Amazon was so I could enter to win one of the arcade cabinets!  But the contest was so convoluted I’m not sure I even entered it right.  That’s one bad thing about the Internet is that entering contests on it is such a chore.  Whatever happened to the days where you could just send in cereal box tops?  Anyway, normally I’d be all for bringing the arcade experience home.  Heck, I’d even like to have a Mario Kart Arcade GP collection on the Switch, and those games aren’t as good as Mario Kart 8.  But in the case with Dissidia NT, I think it probably should’ve just stayed in the arcade.

The game isn’t complete garbage, though.  The graphics are great and it’s still somewhat entertaining.  It’ll get a spot on my Game of the Year award, but nothing higher than Runner Up status.  Anyhow, let’s take a look at the characters and stages in the game.


So I think we’ll divide things up by the games.  Most of the main games in the series are represented by one main hero and one main villain.  The hero for the first game is the Warrior of Light.  I guess they made him look like how he looks on the box art, because I don’t ever remember him having a helmet with long horns in the game.  I remember the Fighter from the game having red hair and clothes.  But what’s cool is one of his alternate outfits does have him with red hair and clothes!  The bad guy here is Garland, an evil knight who kidnaps the princess at the start of the game and ends up being Chaos in a time loop.  The stage for this game is Cornelia, a big overworld type area with lots of grass and trees.  Very Breath of the Wild-ish.


Firion is the hero from this game.  He uses all types of weapons to attack, so he’s a pretty good character for beginners to start with in Dissidia.  The bad guy here is the Emperor.  He uses lots of traps to attack, making him tricky to use but also tough to beat.  Their stage is Pandemonium, which is pretty much just like the stage in the PSP games.  Just a big purpley maze area.


The main hero here is the Onion Kid.  Since he can take on class jobs like in the game, he can turn into a ninja or white mage and whatnot.  And Cloud of Darkness has to be the most underdressed female villain ever.  Whew-wee!  Their stage is the Floating Continent, which is where you start out in the main game, I believe.


This was really the game that got me into 16-bit RPGs.  Depending on if he attacks on the ground or in the air, Cecil can turn into his Dark Knight or Paladin forms.  Kain was added to the PSP Dissidia sequel, and I’m glad they put him in here, too.  When I first played the original game, I thought Kain was really cool looking and I liked his Jump attack, which he can do here, too.  The bad guy Golbez is basically the series’ Darth Vader (Cecil, I am your…brother), but he does have a Dark Dragon that tags along like in one of the iconic battles from the game.  Their stage is the Lunar Surface, which is pretty barren although I do like the Lunar Whale resting in the background.


To me, nothing really distinguished Bartz from any of the other heroes.  Same goes with the villain Exdeath.  Their stage, the Interdimensional Rift, is equally generic, just a crystally world with a few crystal trees here and there.


So those of you who read my blogs and/or know me, you may also know that Final Fantasy 6 is not only my favorite FF game, but it’s also one of my top five favorite games of all time period!  So naturally my favorite FF character and villain come from this game, too.  Yeah my favorite FF character is actually Terra, who is playable in Dissidia.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re surprised my favorite FF character isn’t a Chocobo or Moogle.  While I do like those characters a lot, Terra is still my favorite.  She’s not overly fanservice-y and she can turn into a pink cotton candy monster!  In Dissidia she uses mostly magic attacks, so she’s a little harder to use.  I do like how Team Ninja gave her a different body type for her pink esper form.  They didn’t just slap a pink texture over her regular body.  They gave her more muscle in that form.  Anyway, Kefka is my favorite FF villain (even if he is a bit of a Joker ripoff).  He actually wins in the game and you have to pick up the pieces afterwards.  How many villains get to do that?  And that laugh, so memorable.  Like Terra, he uses a lot of long distance magic attacks so he’s also tricky to use.  The stage from FF6 is the Narshe Outskirts and it’s so cool!  It starts out as a snowy field with the mining town of Narshe in the background.  But at some point during the fight, a flash of light will envelope the whole area and it turns all barren, like how it does in the World of Ruin!  It’s way cooler than the past FF6 Dissidia stage, which was the Magitek Lab, and that was a pretty darn neat stage to start out with!


While I appreciated FF7 for being different, ultimately I didn’t like it as much as FF6 (or 4 or 9, etc.).  Cloud of course is represented here.  He’s been in a lot of fighting games, from this one to Ehrgeiz and even Smash Bros.!  At first I thought Cloud was cool with that spiky hair and big ol’ sword.  But once I played the game, I learned that Cloud was an annoying crybaby.  Since I ordered the Dissidia game from Amazon, I got a bonus which was an in-game code to unlock an alternate weapon for Cloud: a baseball bat.  I wonder when they’ll make Final Fantasy Baseball? (I’d play it)  And Sephiroth just pales in comparison to the villain who came before him (Kefka).  Plus his theme song, One Winged Angel, is way overrated.  It was cool when it played during his battle, but after listening to two orchestrated versions of his song at FF concerts I’ve been to, I’m downright sick of it.   The FF7 stage is Midgar, and while it’s neat to see the city in the background, the stage itself just looks like a warehouse dock.  It’s too bad that Tifa isn’t playable in this Dissidia game.  She was playable in the PSP Dissidia sequel.  I like Tifa not because of her fanservice qualities, but because she was a good fighter and actually nice to the other characters.  And she was cool in Dissidia, too.  But if there is one character that is a most likely candidate for DLC, it would be her.


While I appreciated FF7’s differences, the things I didn’t like about it were what they focused on in FF8.  So that ended up being the first FF game I skipped out on!  Squall is a grumpy guy with a gunsword, and the lady villain Ultimecia uses time-based attacks.  The FF8 stage is the most unimaginative thing ever.  It’s called “The Promised Meadows” and it’s just a small flat patch of land, and at some point it’ll change to have lots of flowers on it.  I imagine that may mean something to FF8 fans.  It’s the Final Destination of Dissidia to me.


I really liked FF9.  It’s what 7 and 8 should’ve been, at least to me.  As a thief, Zidane has lots of quick attacks, and he has a tail.  One problem with FF9 is that they rely too much on references to other games, and sometimes things suffer because of that.  Case in point, the villain Kuja, playable here, is just a watered down combination of Kefka and Sephiroth.  The FF9 stage for Dissidia is super cool, though.  It’s the castle town Alexandria and looks just as I remember it form the main game.  There are lots of bazaar tents to jump on and places to hide.  And when it turns night, you can see fireworks and theater ships in the sky!


Tidus is the hero from that game and played a fictional sport called Blitzball, so he uses a lot of Blitzball attacks in this game.  I don’t know if Jecht is the main villain, but from what I’ve played of other Dissidia games, he’s Tidus’ dad and also supposedly the devil or something.  I don’t know, I never played FF10.  My brother Jeff says I wouldn’t like it, even though one of the characters uses plush toys of classic FF monsters as attacks!  The FF10 stage is Besald Island, which is a tropical beach area.  So if you want your Dissidia fighters to look like they’re on vacation while battling, take them here!  Oh yeah, one missing character who was in the Dissidia sequel was also in FF10.  Yuna had cool attacks where she would summon different monsters.  She’d probably be a good fit for DLC, too.


I never really felt compelled to try the online FF games.  Shantotto was originally a secret character in the first Dissidia.  She’s a short smug little elf dwarf like girl who speaks in rhymes.  I hate the FF11 stage, called Stellar Fulcrum.  It has these transparent walls and you can see what’s on the other side but you can’t walk through them and your attacks won’t go through either.  But you can still see people on the other side and it messed me up a lot.


I wonder if I should try FF12 sometime?  I probably won’t, but I sometimes wonder that.  Vaan looks rather generic, but I think there was another FF12 character who was a lady with bunny rabbit ears, and I think she would be neat to have in Dissidia.  Maybe.  The FF12 stage, the Royal City of Rabanastre, looks like an outside castle courtyard.  I think it was also in one of the PSP games, but here it looks like it has better graphics.


The only thing I know about Lightning is that she has pink hair.  Seems kind of grumpy, too.  The FF13 stage, Eden, looks all high tech, like the docking station on some spaceship.  But it’s just flat and open and not very interesting otherwise.


Another online game.  Y’Shtola looks like a more grown up catgirl version of Shantotto, and the stage, Porta Decumala, looks like another generic flat sci-fi looking area.  Although flames come out of the walls at one point.


I’m surprised there isn’t more representation of this game in the new Dissidia, since FF15 just came out last year.  The lone character here is Noctis, and he doesn’t even get his own stage.

FF Tactics

When Final Fantasy Tactics first came out, I was still a huge Square fan and bought anything they made, so I got this game, too.  The thing I learned from playing FFT is that I don’t like tactical strategy games.  The character here is Ramza, who looks like a girl but has a boy’s voice.

FF Type-0

And so it’s come to this.  I’ve never actually even heard of this game.  I think now I know less about the series than I know more.  I don’t think I can call myself a Final Fantasy fan anymore.  If I went back in time and told my high school self that I wouldn’t be interested in new FF games, my high school self wouldn’t believe me.  I guess I can still call myself a classic FF fan.  Anyway, the character from this game is Ace, who throws playing cards as his attacks.  I guess his name makes sense now.  But why couldn’t they have just used Setzer from FF6?  He WAS in Kingdom Hearts 2!

One more character I wanted to talk about in Dissidia NT is a talking moogle.  You can’t play as him, but he’ll guide you through the tutorial and you can even choose to have him give you pointers during regular battles.  Which is pretty handy since the fights can be very chaotic.  But man his voice is SO ANNOYING!  So much so that I’m tempted to turn off that feature in the game!

And that’s pretty much all the characters and stages in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.  While the game has some good parts, it was ultimately a disappointment for me.  In the comments section, let me know what you think of the game, and who your favorite FF characters are.  Later!  –Cary

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