Final Fantasy Dissidia NT is a third person fighting game set in the Final Fantasy universe, pitting iconic characters against each other in chaotic nostalgic fun.
The game was originally only available in Japanese arcades but is coming early next year to the PlayStation 4. In the game, you play as one of three fighters in a team against another group in 3D environments. Game Director, Takeo Fujiraoka, tells SBS PopAsia the team have plans for a proper single player story, even though the game is player vs player focused.
In battle, your goal is to wipe out the other team, using two types of attacks: HP and bravery. HP attacks damage your target’s health but the strength of the attack is based on your bravery points, while bravery attacks drain your opponent’s power, triggering them into a staggered “break” mode - where they can’t inflict HP attacks and take extra bravery damage - if they’re bravery points reach zero. You can also cast magic, buff, debuff and summon iconic Final Fantasy beings like Bahamut, so Dissidia is more strategic than your average button-mashing fighter.
According to Fujiraoka, who has worked on the previous Dissidia PSP games, Kingdom Hearts II and the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy as a battle planner, the team designed combat like a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) in a fast-paced setting.
“The RPG battle of an MMO is our closest inspiration,” he says.
“Final Fantasy XIV and other titles where allies have to support each other, was a big factor. What we were very careful with was how to incorporate that feeling of supporting your allies into a high-speed battle, and also how to incorporate summons without breaking the game.”
“One of the big elements of the Final Fantasy series is exploring with your party and overcoming obstacles with them."
“We understand the battles can seem a little chaotic at first but once you really get into it, you start to learn the strategic elements of the game," he says.
Fujiraoka explains that when you're successful at delivering a difficult combo in a fighting game, unleashing it on another player, you feel triumphant. But, he admits that's really hard to get into.
“There’s a learning curve to it but Kingdom Hearts was all about how simple it could be while still feeling flashy. Since that is my basis for the Dissidia titles, Dissidia NT’s controls are not complex and everyone can enjoy it - and because of that, I believe that everyone will be able to look into the strategy behind it and get really good at the game," he says.
Everything about the game is grounded in the Final Fantasy mythos; the main menu opens to the main Final Fantasy series theme, moogles and crystals. Each of the playable rosters has a unique fighting style, class-archetype (Vanguard, Assassin, Marksman and Specialist) and they're animated in a way fitting of their respective games.
Final Fantasy VI’s dancing mad villain prances around the map casting powerful magic spells, Cloud charges into battle swinging his beloved greatsword, and Vaan from Final Fantasy XII can change between classes on the fly. In this way, Fujiraoka compares the concept of Dissidia to Marvel’s Avengers, “fighting with and against an all-star cast," he says.
“It’s a little different to [when we developed] the previous Dissidia titles [because of our partnership] with Team Ninja at Koei Tecmo. They’re fans as much as we are, and we all have these images of the characters and story as a fan."
“Having four different fighting types separate those characters so we can then pursue how unique we can make them within that class,” he continues.
There were some characters they had to avoid because they already have a similar character.
"Cloud has a greatsword, and when we think of another character that uses a greatsword, we have to think of another type of uniqueness that associates with that character to include them in the roster," Fujiraoka explains.
When asked about whether we’ll see Noctis and other characters and locations from Final Fantasy XV, Fujiraoka wouldn’t officially confirm anything but said it’s likely.
“We do plan to update the game with more characters as much as possible and as much as we’d like to, so in that sense, all characters do have a possibility to join the roster,” he says.
“The easiest difference [between Final Fantasy Dissidia NT and other upcoming fighting games is] that Dragon Ball FighterZ and Marvel vs Capcom are two-dimensional and ours is more of a 3D third person view [experience],” he says.
“A lot of the fighting games, and of course, they’re very good games, involve you fighting against other people. Dissidia NT is unique where there’s a lot of strategy [and] a lot of cooperation, so you’ll be able to get a different experience with this game.”
Final Fantasy Dissidia NT releases sometime next year on the PlayStation 4. More news, including new fighters and environments is expected to be revealed over the coming months.
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