Final Fantasy is a loveable series that has stuck with me since I was a kid. And even though I wanted to sing all of the best praises about the series later addition, unfortunately, it is so flawed that even the better things about Dissidia Final Fantasy couldn’t save it.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Guide
Dissidia Final Fantasy: Great Concept, Horrible Execution.

Too Flawed To Be Playable

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has been reviewed by many popular sources, and I think this phrase recapped the entire game best: “chaotic, thrilling and deeply flawed”. Despite the fact that it has all of the potentials necessary to be one of the greatest crossovers in gaming and being a hit game for being free-to-play, it is still a bizarre title. NT technically took the traditional formula of past Dissidia games on the PSP: Solo slash multiplayer focused - and complicated it greatly. They have added so many unnecessary details it’s hard for most to find the game fun anymore, instead, playing the game and liking it had come down to taste. And that is very bad news.

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The headache-inducing UI that is Dissidia's.

If you’ve found yourself able to navigate the hellishly complex UI and mechanisms of the game, most likely through the mind-numbing walkthroughs and tutorials online. Then you may find NT to be a pretty good tactical game.

The tactical element of the game shone through its multitude of tactical options the players can take and the way combat encounters are designed allow for players to retreat and regroup more effectively. The combat is slower-paced, and you can navigate actions far more simpler than the UI of the game.

Bad Execution

Dissidia is a good idea and intention, but with below par execution. It’s a unique fighting game experience that combines the traditional fast-paced third person game with a fighting game. All of which are done under the guise of one of gaming’s most celebrated series makes the game even more worthwhile despite its drawbacks.

Like I said, the game’s execution is its downfall. Previous games made by Dissidia offered RPG story modes, meanwhile, NT has nothing. NT is a far more complex game than all of its predecessors, but it’s done a bad job at explaining its premise. At the very least, without the presence of a single-player mode the game could be saved by a solidly-built multiplayer mode.

The game could've been saved by having a great multiplayer experience. Except it doesn't.

But Dissidia failed in that, too.

Free-to-Play, But Unattractive Nonetheless

Branding Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a free-to-play game is a great idea. NT is a complex game that’s challenging to learn and play. If players were forced to shell out their hard-earned money to get into the game in the first place, chances are, they would be extremely frustrated at the apparent bad investment.

But by giving free access, players can be considerably more forgiving and would be willing to spend more time in learning the mechanisms. A portion of these forgiving players can even become hooked by the better things about the game. That is something NT desperately needs considering how it has struggled to find a player-base since its release owing to its faults. The free access also placates players who are sceptical of the game, giving them a taste of it first before giving them the option of whether to buy characters, costumes, or so on.

The game's free-to-play on both PS4 and PC. That doesn't mean it's worth playing, however.

Releasing the game as a free title also paves the way for an interesting come-back. As demonstrated by Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition, a troubled fighting game can at least try to fix itself over time, re-brand, then re-launch itself into a completely playable and loveable version everyone wanted in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not something Square Enix - at least for now - is interesting in doing. Beside from some DLCs, there are no signs that the company would do this any time soon.

Broken Multiplayer

You can download the game on Steam and PlayStation Network free of charge, though like I said, it’s not easy to get into. If you’re short on patience, you can find yourself deleting and forgetting about the game extremely fast. The game could probably be saved had it offered up a good online experience. Instead, what it has is a disastrous multiplayer mode.

Due to the game’s complexity, no one plays it. Quite literally. I have heard of reports people trying to match-make and at the end of a gruelling, four-minute wait they got assigned a game with two AIs. Even when they’re able to find a match full of players, the game’s still too laggy for the experience to be pleasurable.

Though this is Final Fantasy, Dissidia is not an RPG like its name-sake. It is a complete fighting game, and the best way to turn players away from the game is to introduce problematic match-making, and laggy gameplay.

Invitation to Cheat

That’s the console version. But if you hope that the PC version might be a little bit better to stomach, you’re wrong. It’s still a mess, and for some, it’s even worse than the console version. Whether the game even runs itself depends on your luck entirely. Some people can hit 60 FPS on the first go with older cars, while those with newer cards - due to the game’s horrific optimisation - can’t even play at all. It didn’t feel like the developers even cared about the game they were making by the stupid design choices that filled the game. Like how saves and character statuses are stored locally even during online plays.

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You shouldn't even be surprised when you fight against an undefeatable player in Dissidia.

And for some tinkers, that’s an invitation to cheat. Players are fully capable editing their save files to unlock all of the high-end gears. But wait, there’s more: Even the character’s online ranking is stored locally, so with an editor, you can boost yourself up to the top of the chart and no-one would be the wiser.

It doesn’t just apply to the out-of-match experience, trainers can easily give you unlimited HP as well as a myriad of other advantages. I hope that you have enough self-worth not to do this to other players and ruin the game even further. However, there are some out there gladly taking advantage of this and makes the game even less playable than it already is.

A Nightmare Without End

Dissidia is a nightmare without ends, and you have to wonder whether Square Enix even cares about the game at all.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is still a popular title in many arcades, still, it’s not even worth mentioning at this point that you shouldn’t even spend your time attempting the game. It’s simply not worth the efforts and the time you would put into the game knowing that sooner or later, you would shake your head and move on. Be it from the broken match-making, the lag, or the endless hacks. Square Enix has a lot of things to fix about the game, and until then, find somewhere else to spend your time.