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Dissidia: Final Fantasy review

10 different worlds collide in one apocalyptic fangasm

Of course, the main question on any fan’s mind when picking up a game like this is whether or not their favorite character is in it, and depending on how much of the preview coverage you’ve read, it might be on your mind as well. If that’s the case, then here’s the deal: Dissidia’s roster is made up of the main heroes and villains of each game, meaning that on the side of Cosmos (or Order, or Light), we have the Warrior of Light from FFI, Firion from FFII, Onion Knight from FFIII, Cecil from FFIV, Bartz from FFV, Terra from FFVI, Cloud from FFVII, Squall from FFVIII, Zidane from FFIX and Tidus from FFX. Meanwhile Chaos gets Garland, The Emperor, Cloud of Darkness, Golbez, Exdeath, Kefka, Sephiroth, Ultimecia, Kuja and Jecht.

Or to put it another way:

While all of the characters are rendered in a distinctly Kingdom Hearts style, they’re all extremely faithful to their original designs, which is great. There is, however, one exception: the Warrior of Light, who’s ostensibly from the original Final Fantasy despite looking absolutely nothing like his appearance in that game.

It’s a minor quibble, we know, but would it have been that hard to model a burly meathead in red armor with spiky red hair? It would have at least made him identifiable, instead of just another horn-helmeted pretty boy in blue armor.

That one, admittedly tiny issue aside, Dissidia’s presentation is near-flawless; the story is satisfyingly deep, the characters all feel true to themselves, the remastered music is great, the visuals look amazing by PSP standardsandthe dialogue can (sometimes) be interesting in spite of the voice actors' stiff,halting delivery. It’s a pretty appealing package, especially for Final Fantasy die-hards; just don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to understand exactly what you’re doing on its battlefields.

Is it better than%26hellip;?

Unquestionably yes. Judgment is the last time someone tried to bring together characters from across a disparate series for a semi-serious fighting game, but where Judgment did everything wrong, Dissidia does most things right. It doesn’t mess with its character designs like Judgment did, thereby dodging a bullet from fans, and the customizable attacks give Dissidia a lot more depth and variety. While it’s simplistic on the surface, Dissidia has more than enough hidden complexity to shame Judgment’s repetitive waggle-fighting.

Yes. Honestly, though, the main reason we’re even making this comparison is because the Budokai Tenkaichi games are the only other examples we’ve seen of Dissidia-like gameplay in a fighter. DBZ:BT3 is (unsurprisingly) a much more accessible experience, but in terms of sheer quality and content offered, Dissidia has it all over this older, simpler distant cousin.

Yes and no. As a pure fighting game, Dark Resurrection holds on to its title as the PSP’s best (at least until Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny comes out). But then, comparing a pure fighting game to Dissidia is comparing apples and oranges. Tekken: DR might have more coherent combos and a fighting system that relies more on skill than on grinding, but it also doesn’t let you jet around as Sephiroth and hurl Cloud into giant-gear hazards. We’re prepared to call it a draw.

Just for you, Metacritic!

In spite of nagging camera problems and an intimidatingly complicated battle system, Dissidia is an outstanding fighter that does a fantastic job of giving Final Fantasy fans exactly what they want.

Aug 25, 2009

More Info

GenreRole Playing

Dissidia: Final Fantasy delivers a great experience to fans with its deep storylines and presentation. For non-fans? One of the best fighting games for the portable system.

Franchise nameFinal Fantasy
UK franchise nameFinal Fantasy
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date25 August 2009 (US), (UK)


After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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