Updated: Mar 3, 2019
It's been about a month now since Final Fantasy Dissidia NT came to North America. A handful of us die-hard Final Fantasy fans have played it; some love it, some hate it, some are ambivalent. Spectacular reviews for this game is scarce; I haven't seen a stellar review about this game at all. But for me, I love this game, flaws and all, but I can sit here and say that it leaves a lot to desire. Having given hours worthy to call a "RPG hours", it's safe to say that I have some good insight on what can make this game more than it has made itself to be. So here are my thoughts on what can make this game 'level up' from its subpar reputation.
It comes across as no secret that Dissidia is definitely lacking in this department. For those who are yearning for something a bit more engaging when it comes to the story mode, you are not alone. It is a Final Fantasy game that we are speaking of. And while it is a fighting game, it is still a spinoff of a Final Fantasy game. For good or for bad, every installment of Final Fantasy has some kind of story, elaborate or simple.
Now I am aware that there is a story mode in Dissidia NT, but that it leaves too much to desire. First, it's very simple and at some parts a little cringe worthy. Second, the way to access it is not something most people can find welcoming (check out My Review on Dissidia). As a story mode, there's not much to offer in regards to finishing it. Sure players will get the standard trophy, gil, treasure, and the satisfaction of finishing the main story, but that's not entirely something I can consider Final Fantasy worthy.
Now is the time to choose. Tell a story that fans desire.
I think Dissidia should have taken some pointers from SFV and its mistakes. Sure Dissidia NT and Street Fighter V are two different beasts in the fighting game world but with the two lacking a good arcade mode (or none at all) at release date means that its a fighting game set up for failure.
The roster of Dissidia NT is huge! To simply just gloss over that fact is kind of a disservice to us Final Fantasy fans and a disservice to the Final Fantasy series. So where am I getting with this? How about taking some simple pointers from past games like Street Fighter? Every character has a few random battles and then for the 'final fight', said character will go against its respected counter part; for example: Terra vs Kefka or Cecil vs Golbez.
While I'm not asking for a big story mode, I think a few special dialogues will really give each character something beyond what the story mode of Dissidia NT offered. It also gives players an incentive to try out each character on their own accord with its own rewards without having to be forced to play certain characters within the realm of rigid and lackluster sequences.
We have the lackluster story mode, the online game(offers very little variations), and then the gauntlet mode offline(also lacking variations). Needless to say, we deserve more things to do outside these options. There are plenty of missed opportunities and from the handful of reviews I have read and watched (ex: Eurogamer, Destructoid, IGN), Square Enix should take heed and really try and implement some of these constructive criticism with Dissidia NT's future. Adding some variety in their already established modes could really help out.
I said I'm on your side, this is really what we want.
Aside from adding a unique arcade mode for each character, putting more options in their online gaming could also do some good. I think co-op modes versus summons could do really well! With a lot of the complaints about the story mode's difficulty spiking up without warning, I think having some friends go against Shiva or Shinryu would be a lot more gratifying. Also, chaos mode versus summons with friends would be more appreciated.
To ride the bandwagon of co-op gaming, the chaos modes against the AI would also benefit greatly from having online modes. The grueling grinding against reactive but predictable AI would be a lot more satisfying when you have unpredictable and fallible team members.
And this is just throwing it out there, but wouldn't it be something to go against a very powerful AI three versus one? How will that work? How about the option if going against Materia and Spiritus, online and offline? That wouldn't be a game changer, but it would certainly add another layer of depth(small and minor it might be).
A gallery mode. More on that later.
A victory especially online is gratifying, that much is certain. But wouldn't it be nice to have some reward after winning aside from the glory to say you won and the fancy victory fanfare sequence? Yes, Dissidia NT does offer gil, treasure nodes, and leveling up, but it does fall rather short when we are talking about a game known for customizing characters, learning skills & magic, and getting awesome weapon that boosts one's power beyond fantasy when winning a grueling boss battle and/or random encounters.
This is how it should be done.
Offering us alternate costumes and weapons is nice but does it really have to be just for cosmetics? This was definitely a MISSED opportunity on Square Enix's part considering that weapons and equipment in the Final Fantasy realm do a lot more than make a character look a certain way. They are everything in terms of defense, attack, HP, MP, elemental defense, and a whole lot more. Now I'm not saying that they have to adhere with the elemental defense or go in depth with status building equipment; what I'm merely trying to point out was that they could have given it a little more value than just aesthetics. They could have taken some pointers from Call of Duty (I used to play CoD back when World at War was the thing) and have minor boosts with each skin/weapon (faster dash recovery, slightly bigger HP/Bravery points boost, etc). And perhaps each kill/level up would give a little bit more enhancement. Akin to what the summons do, they could have given something to each skin and weapon; something to give players who put effort and win that level up feeling.
Winning the suggested enhanced Story/Arcade mode should provide with more treasures. Depending on which character a player finishes the game, a reward of some sort should be provided beyond gil, treasure, and the meaningless level up system. Perhaps a picture? A homage to the game that said character comes from?Needless to say, it could add more depth to the suggested gallery mode!
And to piggy back on the idea of winning the suggested Arcade/Story mode, an exclusive costume just for finishing the game with a character should unlock. I'm also VERY open for the idea of getting an exclusive weapon.
Milestones such as winning certain number of matches in rank modes, getting a certain amount of hours in the game, or reaching a level with a character (or even player level) should unlock special EX skills and/or character exclusive weaponry. I want to feel like I have more control with how my character plays. I also want to feel a higher sense of reward after accomplishing certain feats!
As I've mentioned on my review of Dissidia NT, there are more than enough flaws that deters this game to be a great one. Sure certain reviews might point out things that are subjective--things that revolve around what a player seeks and prefers. The three versus three gameplay and open map battle system is an acquired taste, but the glaring flaws I speak of is something that really breaks a lot of games out there.
Lick our wounds and taste the game's weakness.
It's discouraging to play online when most of the time it takes too long to get a match. Rectifying that will add a lot more value to getting more matches than not.
A patch to help fix the issues of lag would be nice, though I'm sure most of that is based off the connection of the players.
I also feel at times that the match ups are uneven (for good and bad). I found more often than not that I am teamed up with players who obviously just started while the opposing team are veterans; suffice to say, the results of these matches were massacres to my own dismay. Though that may be a small complaint and could be rectified by one person's performance (I've had the joy of feeling like the main MVP as Terra taking on three while my teammates were slaughtered), finding oneself against three experienced players while your teammates are AIs, that is frustrating! Patching that issue would be a great remedy for some of these unfortunate events.
My Final Fantasy
I love this game! Despite its major flaws, I'm still playing it. I find myself playing this for a long time. It might frustrate me, but it's still one of those rare feeling. To quote the Last Samurai: "The Old Ways have joined The New". Hopefully Square Enix has some of the things in mind. It's already a known fact that we are getting Character DLCS (RPGsite breakdown). Hopefully this means we are getting more weapons, more DLC characters (RIKKU!), and hopefully an upgrade with game modes and such. Final Fantasy Dissidia NT could level up if Square Enix considers some of my suggestions. Well, that's my thoughts. Hoping to see some of these improvements, or at the very least, variations of them!
And just for kicks, here's me playing as my ONE and ONLY Terra Branford!
Until Next Time!