Hands-On: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4)

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Hot off of the heels of the announcement that the popular Japanese arcade Dissidia: Final Fantasy would be hitting the PlayStation 4 sometime in 2018, I was able to get some hands-on time with the new Dissidia Final Fantasy NT at E3 2017 through the Sony E3 Media Showcase that occurred shortly before the media conference.

Thankfully, Sony was kind enough to extend an invitation to their media showcase this year. The showcase is absolutely incredible, and I’ll spend an article in the coming days talking about what was inside. One of the main titles that piqued my interest was being able to play Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.

The short demo, which featured a cast of several well-known characters across the Final Fantasy franchise, puts players in teams of three. The X button pushes forward Brave attacks, which build up a counter that can be applied to deal actual damage. Brave damage in Dissidia is superficial, but the real damage is applied when the skills are used. Brave damage is similar to simple actions like slashing the sword or firing projectiles. The damaging skills are closer to the attacks that have special effects, or spells.

Having played the original Dissidia: Final Fantasy and its sequel Dissidia Final Fantasy: Duodecim extensively on the PlayStation Portable, I was glad to see that the mechanics were familiar to jump into with some new elements. The biggest element is the addition of two extra members on each team, which adds a heightened strategic element to the gameplay. I found that, even though I had emerged victorious with the most points at the end of the round, I found myself playing a much more defensive game, learning to evade more of the attacks rather than charge in with Brave attacks and skill attacks. With two additional faces to monitor on the field, it’s a much bigger game at stake. While I wish I had the overpowered characters of my old Dissidia save files, this one brought things back to basics.

I left the demo feeling quite impressed and wanting much, much more with the title. 2018 feels incredibly far away. Developed by Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja, I had my expectations set on the side, and I’m glad that most of those expectations were met. Tecmo Koei is well-known for their set of titles in the hack-and-slash genre, Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. Thankfully, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT did not bring it to that level, but brought instead the musical tastes from those franchises over to Dissidia. The menu and character selection themes for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT had a lot more rock and electric guitar elements, which the Warriors franchise brought to the table in its later titles with more prominence. The graphics are beautiful and characters rendered quite well for the PlayStation 4, with incredibly nice, scenic backgrounds full of vibrant color. It’s going to be a long couple of months, that’s for sure.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT comes out for the Playstation 4 in early 2018.