Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
ESRB rating: Teen
Release date: Available now
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series is one of the most extensive of all time if you count all the side series and spin-offs that bear the name. Dissidia 012 (spoken as “duodecim”) is the second entry in the Dissidia side series. An action RPG/fighting crossbreed, Dissidia is the ultimate Final Fantasy tribute.
Dissidia 012 is a prequel to the first game. While Dissidia takes place in the 13th cycle of the battle between the gods of discord and harmony, 012 takes place in the 12th. The 12th cycle adds six new characters to the roster, and the storyline answers two important questions: why aren’t these characters present in the 13th cycle, and what is the origin of the copycat enemies known as manikins?
Dissidia 012 plays nearly identically to the original game, with small but notable changes. Expansions to the system include new and adjusted moves for all characters and the addition of the Assist system. Assist allows you to equip a secondary character who can be summoned when the Assist gauge is full to perform either a bravery or an HP attack.
While the original Dissidia was the holy grail of Final Fantasy fan service, 012 has thoroughly usurped that role. The quality of graphics and sound are just as nice as we’ve come to expect from Square Enix. The gameplay is even more addictive than it ever was, with new characters, new moves and assists. The depth of strategy and customization in what is essentially a fighting game is frankly awe-inspiring. The entire game is also a repository of references and easter eggs just waiting to be found, in everything from lines in cutscenes to secret unlockable voice clips. Finding and identifying them all is a fun exercise in Final Fantasy fandom.
I don’t have anything bad to say about 012‘s gameplay. The only thing that could be considered a disappointment is that the storyline is a fairly cheesy and overly dramatic excuse to have all the characters in the same world fighting each other. It’s not really up to the standard of narrative that fans know the Final Fantasy series can deliver. Given what the game is, however, the somewhat shallow story is a minor complaint.
Dissidia 012 is addictive. I’ve logged 95 hours so far and I know there’ll be many more to come. Though I’ve completed the main storyline, I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the secret and optional unlockables. I very much recommend this to anyone who enjoys Final Fantasy.