Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dissidia 012:Duodecim Final fantasy

Gamespot score:8.0(great)

my score:8.0

(+)Pros:-Combat is still tight and lots of fun,-new assist feature adds more depth to the fighing system,- new characters are all awesome,-great graphics,-story mode has some cool new additions,-plenty of modes to keep players interested.

(-)Cons:-Feels like not much has been done to really enhance the game (it feels like a dissidia 1.5),- weak story that doesnt show off all characters unlike the previous game.

Gameplay time:100 hours+

About a year ago I reviewed the magnificent Dissidia: final fantasy. Its rich combat system was both fun and flashy, it was a great experience to both play and look at. Combine that with the cast of 22 characters and you have a stellar experience that is easily one of the best games on the PSP. Earlier this year, dissidia 012:duodecim final fantasy was released, and of course, dissidia being one of my favourite games of all time, I immediately picked this up. I played it quite a fair bit, and while it still is awesome, it didnt feel that much different at all from the original dissidia, I felt like I was playing the same game. Of course, the game has new features, and while they arent much, the fighting system has been tweaked for the better and this makes the game still one hell of a kickass one.

The original dissidia had quite a weak story to begin with, the duodecim's story is downright lousy. Duodecim tells the tale of the endless cycle of battle between the forces of cosmos and chaos, and while the game has more characters, duodecim is actually a prequel to the original. While dissidia tells the 13th cycle of battle, duodecim tells the 12th one, with more characters and some characters on swapped sides. Unlike dissidia which told the tale of all of its cosmos heroes, duodecim only tells the tales of the new characters, so its lightning and gang exclusively. Also, its the same story of cosmos summoning her crystal for the cosmos heroes to find so that they actually stand a chance at beating chaos. Its more or less, the same, but lousier in many ways, more on that later.

And clouds finishes lighting off.
 Duocdecim remains mostly the same as the original dissidia, so if you've played a fair bit of the original yourself, most of this stuff will immediately be familiar to you. The core battle system remains mostly unchanged, and the game looks as great as it was before. The only changes to the battle system this time round, is probably the assist system. But the segment of the game that received the biggest overhaul... is probably the story mode. Unlike the original where you pick and choose which characters you want to play and see thier story, you have to follow a set path this time round. The story puts you in control of the new warriors, lightning, vaan, tifa, kain, laguna and yuna. The story follows and switches the characters as it goes on, and while that is a change, the biggest change is probably the world map system.

When you jump into the game's story, the world map is the 1st thing that greets you. Its vast, big and beautiful, its too bad it feels a bit empty. In the world map you roam around, attacking crystals for the next gate, or fighting roamin manequins that walk around. You can also find chests, some of your team mates that are roaming around or buy stuff from the moogle shop. This is, no doubt, a good distraction from the lousy story, the world map is a good addition to the story mode. Next up would be the overhead grids. These are carried over from the original, and remain mostly the same, but later on in the story, you get access to party battles, which consist of you fighting a party of enemies with a party of your own. These are also, needless to say, good additions.

Lightning kicks ass.

Now lets go over the changes in the battle system. For one, I am not going to post how the gameplay basically works since its the same thing as dissidia, from head to toe. However, there are a slight couple of changes and tweaks, for one, the assist system. The assist is probably the biggest new addition to the gameplay system, it definetely adds more depth, and opens up for some devastating combos that couldnt have been possible before. For the assist to work, you have to fill out the assist gauge below your character's health bar, and to do so you land bravery attacks. When appropriately filled, you can call on your assists, but however if you call an assist and they get hit, your assist bar will be locked down for abit. Another new feature to the battle system would be the EX revenge.

Gone are the days of EX canceling out of attacks (that was pretty badass, I guess it was too overpowered and they had to remove it), and if you enter EX mode when attacked, you enter EX revenge. You stagger your opponent, and time slows down, allowing you to attack them as you wish, but you can no longer gain bonuses from EX mode or perform EX attacks. A sad waste of the EX bar if you ask me, but at least its more balanced this way. The new characters are all awesome in thier own bout, all are fun to play, but my personal favourites are laguna and yuna. These guys add more to the already expansive roster.  Finally, like the original, the additional modes in duodecim will suck away your life, like the original one on one battles, the new multi character battles or the labrinth, something similar to those wave after wave battles in the original, where you constantly earn rewards. Everything here is packed, and while there is no online play, local play can be a blast if you play with friends.

The overworld looks great, too bad its coupled with a lousy sotry.

Duodecim suffers from one thing that makes me feel like its....not much of a different game at all. I understand there are changes...but other than the assist system, the rest feel extremely minor. Sure there are new characters, but which sequel to fighting game doesnt have them? The old characters play mostly the same , maybe with additional moves for some of them but thats it. Most of the new stuff is found in the story mode, which is honestly really crappy. Unlike the original where all characters had thier piece in the story (you could play as each and every one of them), duodecim only brings forth the new characters, and the old ones feel like they don't even have a place in the damn story. They are like, minor side characters that get less than 10 minutes of screen time. They included the original dissidia story in there to not let the old characters feel "left out", but really square? No new story for the old characters?

Duodecim doesnt have much to differentiate it from the original dissidia. It still is a great game on its own, but it looks and feels too similar, with almost nothing new added to it. It feels that I'm playing the exact same game, where I invested a couple of hundred hours into! Sure duodecim's new characters are all pretty damn fun, but I only invested about 50 hours in here, nothing compared to the original. Honestly, if you played dissidia, duodecim will not impress you as much as the original did. Still....if you want to play the new characters, go ahead and get it, the battle system is still fun and flashy as ever.

Happy gaming.