DISSIDIA is a good looking game. The PSP’s fantastic screen helps.
In terms of audio, it’s a treat as well. The game features remixes of many of the most famous themes from Final Fantasy games. I kind of partially used the game as an FF jukebox. There is also some good original music, such as “Cosmos”.
However, some of the voice acting was a bit off. JD Cullum, the voice actor for Kuja, addressed this in YouTube comments. The voice direction for the original game was spotty. The voice acting for 012 is generally regarded as superior, but the cutscenes for the original story mode were not redubbed, creating a discrepancy in the overall quality of the voice acting.
The stories of the Warriors of Cosmos are decent but abridged versions of the plotlines of the main games. The backstory of DISSIDIA and the interactions between Cosmos and Chaos always confused me. There is a lot of backstory to DISSIDIA that is only discovered through unlockable reports. I think it’s a part of Square Enix’s tendencies in recent years to tell stories in the most convoluted ways possible.
The gameplay of DISSIDIA is pretty fun, but I always kind of sucked at playing it. I get annoyed with patient and turtling/dodging AI in fighting games. When I went back to the game to get more info and stats, I could barely win any matches.
I found that, while I still have fond memories of being obsessed with DISSIDIA, I don’t really have a desire to play it anymore besides nostalgia. Maybe it’s because I had to play through the 13th Cycle twice for both versions of DISSIDIA. I hate being an early adopter.
DISSIDIA was understandably popular enough to influence other spinoff games, such as Theatrhythm and Final Fantasy Record Keeper. Theatrhythm is basically the cutesy musical version of DISSIDIA, and even features Cosmos and Chaos, as well as some of the music from DISSIDIA.
A stronger gameplay influence may be felt in FFRK, where several Final Fantasy villains/antagonists are being rolled out as playable characters, such as Garland, Golbez, Exdeath, Gilgmaesh, Kefka, Sephiroth, Edea, Seifer, Kuja, Jecht, and Gabranth. Characters that have yet to debut outside of the Japanese version include the Emperor and the Cloud of Darkness.
There is also a new version of DISSIDIA developed by Team Ninja that made it to arcades in 2015. It is presumed that it will eventually be ported to the PS4. The new DISSIDIA removes the RPG elements from its predecessor. New characters to this version include Ramza (Final Fantasy Tactics) and Ace (Final Fantasy Type-0).
DISSIDIA originally began life as a fighting game with Disney characters. Disney got queasy with the idea of their heroes fighting each other, but Square Enix retooled the idea into the game we know today with FF characters.
1-on-1: Lets you battle an AI opponent in single combat. You can choose a random stage and one of several different AI behaviors. You can also set your opponent’s level, but no higher than that of the character you have chosen.
Party: Pit a party of your own against your opponent’s.
Arcade Mode has two settings: Quick (three battles) with preset characters, and Standard, which lets you use custom characters in five battles. Win, and you will see a picture of the character that you beat the mode with.
Labyrinth: Explore a deep labyrinth with branching paths. Features Job Cards, like the Duel Colosseum in the original DISSIDIA.
Vaan is so good. He rules at any range, although his Crossbow is a bit narrow. Learning Curve: Low.
Laguna is a decent attacker with long ranges. He seems to have better attacks in the air. His complete EX Burst attack is THE GREATEST ATTACK EVER. Learning Curve: Low.
Tifa is a much smoother melee brawler with good tracking ability in her moves. She kind of plays like Tidus. Her HP attacks feel a bit awkward. Learning Curve: Low.
Warrior of Light is a decent enough melee fighter. I would have liked more long-range attacks. Learning Curve: Low.
Cloud’s Limit Breaks are smoothly integrated into his fighting style here. Learning Curve: Low.
Tidus has agile attacks. His HP attacks leave him a bit open. Learning Curve: Low.
Golbez’s attacks have so many different attributes that he is a great all-rounder. Learning Curve: Low.
Jecht is a close-range melee fighter with great strength and tracking ability. Learning Curve: Low.
Gabranth is such a weird character. His default HP attack charges his EX Gauge. He only gets genuine HP attacks when he enters EX mode, which also changes his Bravery attacks. He is slightly slow; must be the armor. Learning Curve: Low.
Prishe is a speedy melee fighter with good moves. Learning Curve: Low.
Yuna requires patience to master due to the odd range and properties of her aeon’s attacks. Learning Curve: Medium.
Firion can mix things up with his long-range attacks. He has magic for his aerial BRV moves. However, the range of his HP attacks is ridiculously linear and narrow. A fun character regardless. Learning Curve: Medium.
Onion Knight is a character with many tricky and peppy attacks at all ranges, but his attacks can be slightly narrow. A fun character, like Firion. Learning Curve: Medium.
Bartz is a weird character because his moves are taken from other characters. He is a Mimic, after all. Learning Curve: Medium.
Squall seems to lack mid-range attacks. Learning Curve: Medium.
Zidane has tricky melee attacks… and not a whole lot more. Learning Curve: Medium.
Garland is slow and heavy, but he hits hard. Also, he is voiced by Chris Sabat. Learning Curve: Medium.
Sephiroth is kind of quirky. Relatively easy to use, hard to master. I suck at using him. Learning Curve: Medium.
Kuja is a master-of-none mage. His spells consist of every possible range, but lack power. Learning Curve: Medium.
Wannabe kabuki actor Gilgamesh uses random weapons as a part of his fighting style. It adds a bit of fun to another swordsman in the game. Learning Curve: Medium.
Lightning can switch between the Commando, Ravager, and Medic Paradigms. Medic lets her increase her BRV with Cure spells; RAV focuses on magic; and COM focuses on melee attacks, but also lets her use the Ruinga spell. In this game, she is somewhat infamous for saying “Thundagaaa!” in an unusually hammy way.
I find her fighting style slightly awkward. Her attacks seem to work best at extremes. Learning Curve: High
I hate to say it, but Kain is so awkward with his melee attacks. Learning Curve: High.
Cecil has weird moves. His fighting style changes depending on certain circumstances. I’m not a fan of complicated stuff like this in fighting games. Learning Curve: High, due to the range of his moves.
Terra’s spells are stiff and slow. Learning Curve: High.
The Emperor is such an odd character with his magical traps. Kind of fun, though. Learning Curve: High.
Cloud of Darkness is an unusual character in that she has many more HP attacks than BRV attacks. The range of her HP attacks is awkward. Despite the fact that she’s wearing basically next to nothing, she is not as nimble as she looks. Learning Curve: High.
Exdeath is painfully slow. That is probably why some of his moves involve warping or blocking enemy attacks. Too defensive for my aggressive play style, but he hits hard and makes weird noises. Learning Curve: High.
I can’t stand Kekfa. His spells have such awkward ranges. Learning Curve: High.
Ultimecia has some fun BRV moves with long range, but good homing ability. However, her HP attacks mess her up with long charge times and narrow ranges. Her aggressiveness and close-range attacks are lacking. Learning Curve: High.
Shantotto is cute. Have I ever mentioned that before?
Her HP attacks are stiff and leave her wide-open, but they can be comboed. Learning Curve: High.
Old Chaos Shrine: A fairly large and open two-story stage.
Pandaemonium: A claustrophobic and confusing level. I don’t like it.
World of Darkness: Smaller than the Old Chaos Shrine or Pandaemonium. Has lots of rails.
Lunar Subterrane: Has lots of long rails and platforms for varying heights.
The Void – excuse me, THE VOID: A huge stage with platforms of varying size suspended over THE VOID
Kekfa’s Tower: A cramped stage with lots of things and walls to knock into. Not really a fan of this one.
Planet’s Core: Annoying. A long vertical level with some platforms. You can run up the “walls”.
Ultimecia’s Castle: Slightly labyrinthine. Multi-level with A VOID on the top and bottom of the stage.
Crystal World has platforms large and small suspended over A VOID
Dream’s End is similar to Crystal World, but more flat and with larger platforms.
Order’s Sanctuary is a pretty average stage. Large, but flat.
Edge of Madness is kind of a cool stage because it’s so small. No running around, just a direct test of strength.
The Empyreal Paradox is kind of like the Edge of Madness, but wider, taller, and much prettier.
Sky Fortress Bahamut is a strange stage. Imagine a long slab with slight circular rings attached to it.
Orphan’s Cradle is an admirable recreation of the very last area of Final Fantasy XIII.
The Phantom Train is kind of fun because it’s so small and claustrophobic. It’s basically a long rectangle.
Tactician: Defensive. Likes to stay away from opponents.
Valiant: More aggressive than defensive.
Cautious: Actually focused on defense.
Calm: Defensive. Focuses more on counterattacks.
Conservative: More focused on aggression.
Vicious: Actually more conservative than Conservative.
To my surprise, one character in particular came out on top in almost every category.
Most Battles: Lightning: 114
Most Wins: Lightning: 100
Most Wins by Opponent: Garland: 44
Most Losses: Lightning: 14
Most Losses by Opponent: Cecil: 11
Most Battle Time: Lightning: 4:18:05
Max Level: Terra (91)
Most Damage Dealt: Lightning: 314,427
Most Damage Taken: Lightning: 113, 937
Most Bravery Gained: Lightning: 114, 027
Most Bravery Lost: Lightning: 36,591
Average Damage (Highest): Squall: 3,494
Max BRV Gained at Once: Terra: 1,089
BRV Attack Count (Highest): Lightning: 3,406
HP Attack Count (Highest): Lightning: 655
Most Distance Traveled: Lightning: 100,826 meters
Most Blows Blocked: Lightning: 113 (ha)
Most Blows Evaded: Lightning: 493
Most EX Cores Obtained: Lightning: 196
Most EX Mode Activations: Lightning: 54
Most HP Regenerated: Lightning: 6,388
Most EX Burst Finishes: Lightning: 18
Most Damage to Stage: Lightning: 626
Most Battlegen Prizes: Garland: 85
Most Items Dropped: Bartz/Exdeath/Kefka/Kuja: Three
Most EX Revenge Uses: Vaan: Seven
Most Assists: Lightning: 83
Most Assist Locks: Lightning: 24
Time: 83 hours