Hard To Say, Easy To Appreciate: A Review of Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 [Duodecim]


If anything unites gamers, it’s most certainly fanservice dished out in droves. Knowing this secret to instant success, Square-Enix brought the PSP a little title called Final Fantasy Dissidia, a strange fighter/RPG hybrid that consisted of characters from every numbered Final Fantasy title. Seeing as how it sold like Phoenix Down, Squeenix is back with a sequel, titled Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 [Duodecim]. Oddly named? Yes. But is it worth your time and money? That’s what we’re here to explore, so read on brave warriors of light!

Not a bad roster. I can totally get behind that.

The Final Fantasy universe is a special place where purely by coming from a game called “Final Fantasy,” any and every character gets an instant pass regarding dialogue and voice. Then again, this is also primarily a fighter, so the story isn’t all that relevant. I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so let’s start with the story.

Final Fantasy Dissidia 012’s story isn’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, scratch that. The story is great according to the imagination were you yourself to write the script for this game. For what it should be, the story is rubbish, making barely any sense. The tricky concept to grasp is that while this is a fighting game, this is also a Final Fantasy game, an aspect that sort of cancels itself out, meaning the story is neither good nor bad. Rather, it just exists in order to facilitate some sort of real progress toward unlocking characters and items, and for that it’s nice that it exists at all.

Where you’ll find the most disappointment is in the voices of the characters. Dialogue is bland and extremely awkward, despite the gorgeous visuals. That’s the strange thing here: Dissidia 012 is a beautiful game packed with cutscenes that will dazzle your eyes, but the voice acting will pain your ears. The sound itself isn’t at fault though since the soundtrack is lovely, feeling just like the epic Final Fantasy scores before it. It’s just those damned junior high attempts at voice acting that make you cringe again and again. I’d almost prefer the Super Smash Bros Brawl approach of just keeping everyone silent for cutscenes.

I think I understand what's going on here...?

What really sets the Dissidia titles apart from other fighting games is the unique way that nothing makes sense. Stop, I’m making a joke there. Dissidia 012’s fighting mechanics, as with the first Dissidia title, make sense once you figure them out, a process that takes a long, LONG time to really grasp. It can be rather daunting to look at trailers or gameplay footage and feel confident in your ability to figure out what’s going on, but rest assured that with enough diligence that curve levels out and things flow smoothly, ultimately drawing you in to experience each fighter and learn the vastly varied play styles each character showcases, a feature that gladly stands out since each character really does play differently.

If you’re a return visitor to the Dissidia universe after loving the first one, 012 (seriously, could they have thought of a more awkward name?) will essentially just be more of the same except with assist attacks, a welcome inclusion. There are some new characters with fan favorites such as Tifa from FFVII and Kain from FFIV, but not much has changed overall. It’s just more of what made the first game a success.

Never mind, I'm totally lost, but at least I'm okay with that.

PSP owners out there, this is one of those titles that I can’t recommend to you enough. It’s sort of one of the few reasons the PSP’s existence can be justified at all, so not owning one of the two Dissidia titles seems extremely silly, like owning a Wii without Smash Bros or the original Xbox without Halo. I mean you can do it, but why deprive yourself of a clear system seller? Go ahead and feel confident in your Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 [Duodecim] purchases. You won’t be disappointed.

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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