We’re just a few weeks away from Dissidia Final Fantasy NT‘s launch in the West at the end of January. The team-based brawler is shaping up to be a must-play for fans of the Final Fantasy series, and definitely for any fans of the original Dissidia Final Fantasy games on the PlayStation Portable. Here’s everything you need to know before jumping in.
Dissidia is a team-based brawler where matches are 3v3 in large, 3D stages. In single player, you can switch between these three characters, while the two you aren’t using at the time are AI controlled. In multiplayer, provided there are enough players, you control one character and your allies control the other two.
The goal is to reduce your opponents’ HP to zero, using your characters’ equipped HP attack. HP attacks deal damage based on your current Bravery level, which you increase by unleashing basic Brave attacks on your opponent. Characters also get two unique EX Skills, which provide boosts to your character and/or your allies.
A new feature not from the original Dissidia games is the class system. Each character belongs to either the Vanguard, Assassin, Marksman, or Specialist class. The Vanguard class is powerful and defense-oriented, the Assassin class is focused on high mobility and fast attacks, the Marksman class attacks from long range, and the Specialist class is unique and provides a supporting role.
There is no requirement that your three characters should each be from a different class, but you’ll geive a severe advantage to your opponents if you don’t have a varied team.
So far, we have 28 playable characters available at launch. At least one character from each of the 15 main installments is included, as well as Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics and Ace from Final Fantasy Type-0. The only game so far with more than two characters is Final Fantasy IV, which as well as Cecil and Golbez, has Kain returning from Dissidia 012.
More characters will be added later, with the first six available in a season pass (that comes with the Ultimate Edition). Square Enix shared hints about these: there are four male and two female characters, where three men are from the “new half of Final Fantasy games,” and one is from the “old half.” Both women are from the “new half,” and one previously appeared in Dissidia 012. We also know that many of the characters to be added later share relationships with characters included at launch (explaining their low amount of scenes in the story so far).
The stated goal of the developers is to reach 50 characters, but they’ve also said that even this feels like a small number to them. Many Square Enix developers, such as Testuya Nomura and Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida, have weighed in publicly on characters they want added to the game. It’s safe to assume Dissidia will be supported for a long time. Each new character (presumably including their cutscenes) will cost 800 yen, which equates to roughly $7, while a pack of six cost 4000 yen, roughly $35.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT‘s story revolves around a conflict between the gods Materia and Spiritus. Fans of the original Dissidia and Dissidia 012 will point out many similarities between these two and the conflict between Cosmos and Chaos. While the story is completely unrelated to those two games, it’s likely there will be similar themes.
Unlike the original Dissidia and Dissidia 012, NT does not have the same story structure, where the story is told through a campaign. Instead, story scenes are unlocked as you play different matches in the game, in scenes known as “Memories.” 30 of these will be available at launch, with more scenes added later with the new characters. Story missions do appear to exist, but they simply add points towards unlocking the cutscenes, and the two are not intrinsically linked.