Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dissidia Playing Log: Part 1

Hello, Space Monkees!

First thing I have to report is probably the coolest discovery I've made about this game so far. You can reverse the game's cover! So in case you want the villains on your PSP box instead of the good guys, here's your option.

After an unbelievably easy and slightly too long prologue tutorial session, the game opened up no less than ten playable chapters for me to enter. Each one is based around the ten main characters of the first ten games of the main series, and they're all named "Destiny Odyssey" in that old timey pretentious Final Fantasy spirit. So for the very chapter, I decided to go for "Destiny Odyssey I" since according to its name, it was the very first chronologically. I mean, it sure looks like the very first chapter, since it has the roman numeral for one in the title.

Turns out that is not the case. In fact, I just played through the last chapter, and possibly the most difficult. The game gives you little stars at the bottom of every storyline to warn you about difficulty, but I just ignored it. I was not going to let five red stars stop me from playing this game in the right order. And so I jumped right in, once again playing as the Warrior of Light, one of the playable characters from "Final Fantasy I". Yes, his name actually is "Warrior of Light".

On the Warrior of Light: first of all, I'm glad to see that Dissidia has been faithful to the non-existent character of Warrior from FFI by leaving this character a completely uninteresting and one-note jumble of dullness. I think the guy knows about three lines: its either "Cosmos!", "I want my Crystal.", or "I'm going to end this war." That's really all we got about this guy. He wants to save the world for the Goddess of Light, Cosmos, by getting his Crystal. Along the way several villains pop up to try to discourage him, but they are wasting they're time. They don't know that Warrior of Light is basically a robot, with no other programming but to fight evil and get his Crystal. And its not like his voice acting is doing Warrior any favors either. Not to mention that this script has dialogue so embarrassing that there are times that I wish I could switch the language over to Japanese. For example: Warrior comes in and meets Sephiroth. Sephiroth decides to ask him really stupid questions like "Why do you fight?" This would call for a snappy answer in my book, but instead Warrior decides to once again tell us why he's fighting, just in case you forgot. Remember the Crystal? Don't worry if you forget, since he's going to remind us about it in every single scene. Then Warrior fights Sephiroth, and they go on their separate ways.

Another thing I have to say about Warrior is this: I'm not entirely sure this guy actually is the main hero of FFI. At the start of the game, you pick out four characters out of six job classes, and one of them indeed is Warrior. But I'm perplexed why Warrior was picked. Anybody who has played FFI will tell you that Monk is a much better physical fighter, Black Mage seems more popular, and White Mage will save your ass more often than anybody else. I think they only went with Warrior just to keep up with this game's theme of heroes with swords. I mean, everybody here has a sword - except like three characters.

At the very least, the battles here finally give a real challenge, and its actually pretty fun to fight. Sometimes. It really depends, since battles here can end in a matter of seconds. I remember that the Sephiroth battle ended in ten seconds flat: I went into some kind of super mode called "EX Mode", used a Limit Break, cut him down, battle over. You wander around each level, which is a board game, fighting pallet-swap enemies and eventually reaching a boss fight. Since Warrior's level happens to be one of the harder ones, the enemies aren't kidding around. Usually they're all many levels above you. So you'll be one level 1, and they're on level 7 at first. It isn't easy, especially when I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. I just rush in, beat them down with Brave attacks, then mash the HP hitting one.

Warrior happens to really tick me off by having just one HP hitting attack that I could figure out: Light Shield. He takes a million years to charge up a blast of light that most enemies just dodge like its nothing. Actually, I could only figure out two of his moves. That Light Shield thing, and his regular Brave combo. I once got him to do a fireball attack, and I have no idea how I did it. Happily my former wiki is no help at all in figuring out how to perform Warrior's moves, so its onto GameFAQs, which doesn't help either. Great. For most enemies I still win somehow, but for some its just impossible. Jecht is that enemy. He instantly blocks whatever attack I want to use, then crushed me with a Falcon Kick. And I know that I said no more Smash Bros comparisons, but I know a Falcon Kick when I see a Falcon Kick. That's a Falcon Kick. Everybody else I could fight with some competence, though for some enemies I lost... a lot. Sephy's crystal form managed to take me out about seven times because I had to start that battle in critical HP. It was only later that I realized that damage carries over from battle to battle. Also it took me an inexcusably long time to figure out how to run along terrain. I'm just not that good...

So anyway, I still beat it all. I went through Hell and back, but I beat up Garland, the main FFI villain, and took my Crystal. So it is doable. And with one storyline chapter beaten, I can now say with all honesty and integrity that I'd rather be playing Smash Bros. No, no, no, no! Blue, stop it! Smash Bros is gone, forget about that game! We're playing Dissidia! Move on!

...Sorry about that.

Oh, here's a fun bit of spoilers for you. Right after Warrior completes his mission and gets his Crystal, all the other heroes pop up with their own. Actually, you don't even have to play any of their chapters because the game unlocks the final level right after playing this one. However, lets stick to the storyline. During the fifteen minutes or so of pure cutscenes, Cosmos appears before the heroes and is burned to a crisp by her rival God, Chaos. Chaos is this big evil dude with four arms and is played by none other than... KEITH DAVID!! That is so friggin' awesome that I'm almost at a loss for words. I know he's basically a low-rent Lou Gossett Jr., but still, its Kieth David. By the way, he's acting circles around whoever is shaming himself by playing Warrior of Light. Its so refreshing to hear emotion behind lines that I can go on gushing forever.

But I won't. Let's end this here. I do have some other good news. After every battle you win or lose, you get some PP. And with that you can buy the villain characters to use. So first thing I did was buy Sephy and send him out to beat up a super weak Tidus. However, the battle was over after just two combos, so I didn't get any real satisfaction at all.

Next up: Destiny Odyssey II. Me, Firion, and Johnny Yong Bosch are going out to beat up an evil Emperor. Maybe Warrior of Light just isn't my character, maybe the game will get better in other chapters. I'm still hopeful, but is it all in vain? Find out in next part of this series!


  1. Johnny Yong Bosch plays Firion?!

    Wait, the guy who was the (second) Black Mighty Morphin Ranger, the Green Zeo Ranger, the (first) Green Turbo Ranger, and the overall best ranger ever plays Firion?


  2. Dude, Dissidia kicks ass. I have all the characters, at least at Lv.59, and the battle system was easy for me to use (because it was my 1st FF game, got it X-Mas Eve 2009). I think you're just used to the original FF games and fighting games just may not be your thing.

    BTW, some of the accomplishments are annoying as shit. "Complete any Destiny Odesseys 30 times." "Complete Shade Impulse with everyone." "Get the shop to be able to sell everything." Motherfucking Square. Giving KH respect, but none for FF (After KH1, FF started going downhill. Didja notice that?!?! >_>).