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DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT’s 3-on-3 Fighting is Button-Mashing Madness

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT’s 3-on-3 Fighting is Button-Mashing Madness

It’s been almost a decade since the characters of Final Fantasy took their first leap from role-playing to brawling in the PSP title Dissidia Final Fantasy. In 2015, Japanese gamers were treated to an arcade installment of the series, and that game is finally making its way west in early 2018. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is built on a similar foundation to the previous games: heroes and villains from the long-running Final Fantasy series beating the hell out of each other. But to mix things up, this time around the battles are three versus three, making the action more chaotic—and sometimes confusing—than ever.

Dissidia NT boasts a cast of characters spanning decades of Final Fantasy games, from the 1987 NES original to last year’s Final Fantasy XV. Players taking the roles of the Warrior of Light, Onion Knight, Cloud, Tidus, Lightning, and Noctis (to name just a few) will find themselves equipped with a range of physical and magical attacks based on familiar abilities from the Final Fantasy series. Each team of three also has access to one summon, which can be called upon at certain points during each match to wreak havoc. It’s always fun to watch Shiva or Bahamut show up and drain the opposing team’s health bars.

A Square Enix rep described the game as an “action brawler,” which is an accurate way to describe its often hectic nature. Unlike most mainstream fighting games, Dissidia NT is less about pulling off meticulous combos and memorizing button inputs than staying on top of the action and spamming the attacks at your disposal. It’s a button-masher, for sure, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it makes Dissidia more approachable for Final Fantasy fanatics who just want to check out their favorite characters in a new arena.

When you find the character that best suits your playing style and everything clicks, Dissidia NT can be really, really satisfying. To my great surprise, I dominated my first few matches despite being generally terrible at fighting games. But even after several rounds, I still felt like I didn’t completely understand what was going on around me. There’s a lot happening on the screen at any given point—there are prompts for attacks, a half-dozen health bars, tornadoes and lightning bolts striking left and right, and damage indicators popping up as characters’ HP gets drained. It doesn’t help that the camera can often work against you, getting stuck in inconvenient positions just as you’re trying to defend against a deadly attack.

With a little more time, perhaps I could have understood the various systems at work within Dissidia Final Fantasy NT better, but I still enjoyed my half-hour in that world. I didn’t always know what I was doing, but I loved seeing those characters in action again. Ultimately, your enjoyment of Dissidia depends less on your affinity for fighting games and more on your love of Final Fantasy, and for the latter group, this looks like a promising way to get that fix when it comes to the PS4 in January 2018.

Images: Square Enix

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