Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a 3v3 fighting game featuring all of your favourite characters, music and locations from the series. The game’s main story mode is divided into nodes that require points called ‘memoria’ to unlock. They can be a short cutscene, a regular battle or a fight against a Summon. The cutscenes often focus on character interaction, but exist only to push you to the next fight.
While the structure of story mode isn’t a big issue, it’s the rest of its design that creates a problem, one that could have and should have been avoided. Players earn memoria by levelling up, gaining one every time. To complete the story, your player level needs to be at least 30, which needs a lot of grinding. Finding matches isn’t that fast and you need to fight multiple battles, and perform well in those fights in order to level up. As you can imagine, unlocking all the events of story mode is a pain and I ultimately decided to spend hours grinding offline in order to earn memoria as fast as possible. The other option of unlocking cutscenes piece by piece will consistently break the flow. On top of that, most of the cutscenes are largely inconsequential and boring. When coupled with the fact that the difficulty in balancing in this mode is all over the place, I can easily conclude that the story mode is a massive disappointment
Thankfully, combat in Dissidia is a lot of fun. Action is often fast and frantic, but its deliberate nature means you must time your attacks or get punished. It is heavily reliant on dashing, dodging as well as wall stuns. It revolves around a bravery system, in which hitting or getting hit increases or decreases your bravery respectively. Once it reaches zero, that character enters a broken state and can then be finished off with an HP attack. There are only three lives per team and battles can end in mere minutes. Players can also destroy crystals in order to use their assigned Summon, which grants you various bonuses such as greater maximum HP.
I have played dozens of matches online with mixed results. Sometimes the connection is perfect, while other games are unplayable due to the lag. More often than not, there is some amount of lag which ruins the game, especially since timing is so critical. Matchmaking takes longer than it needs to, and if you cannot find matches in a few minutes you are paired with bots. It’s definitely not the smooth multiplayer experience one would expect.
But you can play solo in Gauntlet mode which includes a series of fights. Here you can take part in standard battles, story trials and core battles, which tasks you with destroying the enemy core crystal before they destroy yours. Perform well and you will earn gil, treasure boxes and memoria.
When it works, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is fun to play, but that’s where its achievements end. The single player modes are not up to par and the multiplayer can be a hit or a miss. Even the biggest fans of the source material will get bored after a few hours and its easily one of the most disappointing Final Fantasy spin-offs in recent years.