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Reviewing 101: Learn How Games Work Before Bitching

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20120622

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Reviewing 101: Learn How Games Work Before Bitching




Thought I'd do something a little different.

So, game reviews. There's good and bad. Guess which kind of review I'll be looking?

So, this little look at Dissidia by UltimaterialiserX tries to explain to you why the game is absolutely horrible and how Square sucks so hard now. Will we be seeing factual, intelligent arguments for this?

...

...

... Let's find out.

"Squaresoft's version of MUGEN in 3D, only with a developmental budget."

No one told me you could get 3D MUGEN engines. Or that MUGEN supported Bravery/HP systems.

Sakaguchi can be fired over one mistake, yet no one else ever gets touched despite everything they've done since he was axed? Really? Just get rid of Tetsuya Nomura, already. He won't be missed.

Except he voluntarily left Square. And look, senseless Nomura hate out of nowhere! What relevance does this bullshit have to do with the game? Um... er... Nomura... designed some costumes...? But really now, firing Nomura because of Tidus' Dissidia costume is more than a little silly.

Dissidia is the latest in an ever-growing line of mixed bag Square games since Sakaguchi was canned.

Voluntarily left.

Squaresoft is pretty blatant about treating Final Fantasy as a brand more than a video game series these days, and their misses are well documented with such titles as Final Fantasy X-2 and whatever other Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles 2.0: Friends of the Forever Universe title they're peddling this week.

Are they now? Huh, so just because you hate a great sequel, Square suddenly gives no shits about their games? Look, I find XII horrendously dull and all, but a five year development time, and a director having a breakdown over his desire to make it a great game really doesn't sound like they're going with a mere 'brand' attitude.

But once in awhile Square does show flashes of what put them on top in the first place,

You mean virtually every Final Fantasy game ever?

Unfortunately, Square also likes to ruin any good thing they do,

Look, I hate dodging lightning bolts as much as anybody, but I didn't declare the entirety of FFX to be ruined because of that.

Apparently Square's new strategy of making games is to a game that seems fun at first, but has eons of things wrong with it later.

You'll get a hell of a laugh out of the 'eons of things wrong'. Assuming you didn't bust your guts at the 'eons' thing.

On the surface, Dissidia will try calling itself a fighting game-RPG hybrid.

However, when you get right down to it-

This is a flat-out lie.

...?

Call it a free-flowing action sequence, an RPG without a home or whatever else, but do not call this a fighting game.

Um... the gameplay involves two characters settling their conflicts via violence.

Fighting games have throws,

Is this required by law?

health that make sense

WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS THING MEEEEEAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN

Dissidia is Square's version of Smash Brothers -- take a bunch of Square characters, throw them into a big mess and let fans enjoy watching their bad fanfics come to life.

Hey! My Terra yuri fics never came to life! Shut up!

Heroes and villains alike from the first Final Fantasy all the way up to Final Fantasy 12 are in the cast, and for the most part each game is represented by a hero and a villain. The potential for a good story could obviously stem from this, but this is Squaresoft we're dealing with. All they do here is have good guys versus bad guys, with the lamest possible plot ever conceived guiding them.

Why do I get the feeling that this 'lamest plot' is actually just 'hur dur who be gr8 will too hard t no fuk this'?

Also... good guys versus bad guys? Isn't this a crossover of heroes and villains? The fuck did you expect? Everyone drinking beer together?

In a nutshell, Dissidia's plot is "conflict, cosmos, chaos and discord, resolution, love and friendship and happiness, wild roses blooming". Rinse and repeat a few times. This is not an exaggeration. Play the game for yourself and see.

Still better than most fighting games.

In fairness it will of course seem awkward for Zidane and Bartz to work together for no real reason other than both being good guy main characters

How so? They have an established friendship in the game, and I don't see why they'd hate each other otherwise.

but Dissidia's plot is a bad FF1 fanfic meeting its end in a meat grinder. It's so terrible you can't even laugh at how bad it is, plus the ending is the absolute lamest plot twist in the history of fiction. Even Star Ocean: Til the End of Time would cringe.

-recalls ending- Only terrible thing I recall is Onion Knight getting the worst and most generic parting message possible while Cloud tries way too hard to be cool. and... what makes this plot twist lame?

This said, no one plays fighting games for a compelling story. They play to kick the crap out of people, and at the core Dissidia's gameplay is decent. Every fight is a 1v1 duel to the death on a (usually) really big stage, complete with some cool moves and combos combining FF fanservice with "holy crap we need to put a lot of moves into this game or it'll suck" and it's mostly pretty fun.

And yet you hate absolutely everything about the battle system.

So the next two paragraphs is basically listing content and stuff, really feels the need to point out a game preaching 'lol friendship' makes you play as the heroes in the story mode... Then we get to the 'flaws'.

The Brave System: Far and away the worst idea in the history of video games. Even Hydlide and Superman 64 are better. In most fights, the following scenario takes place:

This guy honestly said those two games are better. Nevermind the fact that their gameplay has fuck all to do with fighting games. And here's an example of why it sucks:

Bartz unleashes several full combos while Squall continues staring off into space. They do next to no damage because he forgot to build up his Brave first -- and let's face it, Bartz would totally forget something like this.

As would the player, apparently...? And whatever happened to base bravery and bravery recovery? These exist.

Since Squall is a level 100, fully decked out godly pro owner fighting game master, he is prepared for such a challenge. He firmly pops out of daydreaming, swearing up and down he will break that Cloud in half one day.

Ever fought a monster in an FF game that is far stronger than what you can handle? Basically the case here.

Squall steps on Bartz's toes twice, breaking Bartz's Brave and rendering it 100% impossible for him to deal any real damage. Squall's own Brave shoots up to 9999, meaning all attacks will do 9999 damage and kill Bartz. Squall decides to finally pick off that nagging hangnail and flick it at Bartz's face. The ensuing nuclear catastrophe vaporizes Bartz, Squall and the entire eastern hemisphere off the planet in seconds.

you have to be pretty bad at dodging if Squall can hit you so easily, but okay. You're saying the higher-levelled character is stronger.

...So, what are the flaws?

That's Brave in a nutshell. The damage you deal to the enemy's health bar is entirely dependent on a separate value. You can potentially stab someone in the face 18 times for 0 damage, then get countered and die from getting sneezed on. It's a completely broken system that makes no sense. What's so wrong with a simple health bar?

Why do I get the feeling you fought someone with a better equipped character once and decided they were cheating? And don't give me this 'enemy takes no damage' bullshit. I've seen enemies in FF games dodge attacks by standing completely still and getting skewered.

The counterargument to this is obviously having both HP attacks and Brave attacks. Brave attacks will increase your own Brave while crippling the enemy, and if you do enough brave damage you'll break them. This gives you safety from HP attacks for awhile since HP damage is nonexistent while broken, and any stage brave in the middle all goes directly to you. In a game where stage brave can get into the several thousands, stage brave is another huge part of a system that doesn't even feign balance.

It can also get into the tens of units, and pretty much every non-Omega stage caps at a fairly low number of stage bravery anyway. Besides, if you're getting broken enough times for this to matter, you're clearly just not good enough.

Even more fun is how HP attacks work. They do damage equal to your current Brave value, then your Brave goes down to 0 before resetting to whatever your base value is. Then the cycle starts anew: build up Brave, attack, don't get countered, or simply build up enough Brave to win in one hit. In short, the game punishes you for any combo that doesn't end the fight.

...What? How the hell do you get punished for not ending the fight in one combo? For someone who constantly bitches about game balance, he sure seems fond of the idea of instant wins.

You can immediately be broken afterwards, which is ungodly stupid. And as a side note, some characters get to directly link Brave attacks into HP attacks with no opportunity for the opponent to dodge in between.

Except the game alternates between slow and instant brave recovery, never mind the equipment you can use to speed it up immensely. And if you're getting yourself broken after attacking... well, it's your own god-damn fault. That's like saying BlazBlue sucks because you can Barrier Burst/CS Equivalent a combo and move on to beat your opponent.

Also, BRV > HP attacks... you do realise these belong to characters that would otherwise have a hell of a hard time hitting otherwise? Try playing as OK without his HP links. Have fun.

Square is known for having mailed it in since the Enix merger, but this is bad even for them. Having to raise a separate value before stabbing someone in the chest does numerical damage is pretty much the worst idea ever, and it gets even more painful when you consider what goes into actual character strength. More on that one later.

So you would rather every attack in the game did HP damage? Or just keep the HP attacks? Yeah, just try and imagine how that would go.

As for character strength... um... equipment and level? Much like, oh, I don't know, a Final Fantasy game?

Bad Camera Angles and Unplayable Levels: This isn't a Smash Brothers situation where no one can ever agree on stage bans. Dissidia players universally agree that most of the game's stages are total garbage, and that's even if the camera wasn't god-awful. Add that in, and you have maybe 5 or 6 of the game's 25 levels being useable. Tops.

Holy shit, something resembling a legitimate complaint! Did we get a different reviewer?!

Anyway, bad camera angles - it can be a little annoying sometimes, yes, but unless you're doing nothing but running into a corner, it shouldn't fuck you over. At all.

Stages... well, everyone has their preferences. I can't stand Planet's Core, some people kick all kinds of ass there. No stage is unplayable.

...Well, okay, there's the Omega Sky Fortress Bahamut, but that doesn't exist yet, so...

This game's camera is seriously the worst in the history of games.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Oh wait you're being serious? Oh... oh my.

Even Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus and Superman 64 are jealous of how bad this is.

I don't even.

If you choose to lock on to your enemy especially (and you should, lest you get stabbed in the ass and die), good luck. Wild camera swings, getting stuck in corners when you can't see what's going on and not being able to look at what you're attacking dominate all the indoor levels.

How horrendous do you have to be at this game to fuck up camera control so badly? I'm not saying it's perfect, but you'd think this guy was doing something OTHER than playing the fucking game. You're automatically locked onto an opponent. Tap a button to change to an EX Core if you want. Again, unless you decide to smash your face into a corner, there shouldn't be problems of this scale.

The levels with a lot of different floors are equally terrible thanks to getting stuck under floors all the time,

Omni Air Dash.

and have the added bonus of the computer knowing how to attack you perfectly from blind spots.

True, but it might as well be the equivalent of 2P actually knowing how to play a game. They don't share a screen with you, remember?

Square also put in a stupid gimmick where parts of every stage can break, which loosely translates into "We're going to put as much useless crap in your way as we possibly can, have fun".

Because static stages are so amazing. It doesn't hurt the game in any way, so why even complain? Oh, right, because the game isn't realistic enough for you.

Even on good levels, you still have a balancing act to worry about. Do you lock on to the enemy and lose some sight of where you're going

Yep, this guy never bothered to play the game. Just see for yourself how many camera issues there are in a normal game.

or remove the lockon and avoid all the junk Square threw into every map? This matters a lot if for example you're doing a Destiny Odyssey and fight something much higher level than you. One mistake, you die.

fighting higher-levelled opponents is often fraught with danger, yes.

More silly is the random weird features Square threw into the environments. Since the levels are usually really big, Square had to make all the characters into skateboarding demigod birds so they could get around well. Every character can effortlessly run up walls at any angle (including running DOWN; try to figure that one out),

You do realise this is a fighting game based on a FANTASY series, right? Are you seriously going to bitch about physics when these people are capable of infinite jumps, magic, and meteor-throwing? Come the fuck on.

infinitely fly and "grind" (seriously) on these predetermined skateboard energy track things.

The hell is his problem with quick move environments? Is it too fast? Did the rail-grinding cutscene in FFX make you hate it forever? -Checks reviews- Apparently not, but I DO see you hate some awesome games. No surprise.

It's pretty absurd, if not altogether pathetic. The potential infinite air time is worth noting, by the way. A lot of your fights will be a Blue Angels air show from start to finish, which is some serious bad news when mixed with how this game's camera works.

Maybe if you're playing Firion. And stop bitching about a non-existent problem, already. We get it, you sucked at the game, stop being a petty dumbass looking for excuses.

Whatever They Tried Calling "Limit Breaks": EX, to be specific. This isn't to say supers in fighting games are bad -- quite the contrary, in fact. They're virtually necessary to keep a fighting game interesting. It's just that Dissidia's way of doing them is luck-based and imbalanced.

Oh boy, here we go, the whole 'finishing moves shouldn't be able to kill people' thing...

Remember Power Stone? Of course not, because no one bought a Dreamcast.

Sorry for not having the money to buy every console ever.

you and your opponent would fight on a 3D map and go after 3 colored stones. Once all three showed up, you'd beat each other up until the other guy dropped their stone. Eventually someone would get all three and unleash a super attack. They were good and powerful, but still balanced and avoidable.

so the whole point is to find three stones and kill someone with them? Sounds like a totally awesome gameplay mechanic and should be the main point in every fighting game. Brawl would have been so much better of every fight revolved around the Dragoon pieces.

So he goes on about how EX works and how it's unbalanced and crap...

Then EX Cores (Dissidia's version of Power Stones) come into play. EX Cores are these stupid white bells with wings that pop up on the map, and whoever gets it has their EX raised by a lot.

Or a little, depending on the amount of EX they absorbed beforehand.

Double whammy of imbalanced nonsense, and there are some characters where EX Cores are an "I Win" button.

If they connect with their hit, yes. And again, this is supposed to be strong. It's their powered up form, after all.

And unlike Power Stone, there's no way to knock EX off someone once they get it, barring lategame accessories. Worse yet is the core's appearance is entirely luck-based. Literally. How close a core appears to your character is dependent upon their Luck stat, so one character can potentially never have a chance at getting cores. This wasn't a random accident, either. The in-game tutorial explains it clear as day. Good job, Square.

Higher Luck stat means better luck? What next, better strength stat means more damage? You'd think he never played an RPG (or RPG-like game) before.

It's worth noting that when you EX burst, your brave resets to 0 before you start any combos within the burst. So all that nonsense about building Brave before HP attacks? Out the window, since your burst does HP damage before you even get into your super.

...So then you build your brave up during the Ex Burst. Seriously, you bitch and moan about Bursts being broken, but then you bitch that they aren't even fucking strong enough?! If this such a big deal, main Shantotto.

Then it goes to 0 again afterwards. So make absolute sure your super wins the match, or the game effectively punishes you.

So by this logic, you must never use an HP attack that won't win the match, because you'll be 'punished' (Read: You can't spam the same HP attacks over and over for 9999 damage because LOL THAT TOTALLY ISN'T BROKEN)

It's also worth noting EX bursts are cutscenes; they're not an actual attack that happens during the fight. If someone lands an HP attack while in EX, they are given the option of using a super. The recipient has no say in avoiding, parrying or even attempting to dodge.

Because they've already been hit you dumb fuck.

If you get hit by an HP attack from someone in EX mode and they hit the square button, you're getting bursted. No questions asked, no opportunity at avoiding or blocking it, no balance in it whatsoever.

Again, you've already been frickin' hit! At least be glad there's an option to be merciful! If you don't want to get Bursted, learn to dodge.

Your only recourse is to run away until the other guy's EX runs out, though a smart player will just burst in the middle of a combo and skip the part where you have any chance at running. Good job again, Square.

And then you'll end up crying over how broken and/or useless Ex Revenge is, right?

Chase Sequences: Impractical at best, completely absurd at worst.

Hey, at least you could mindgame with them in this version.

Some brave attacks have an added "chase" effect, which means you have the option of pressing X and playing tennis -- er sorry, "engaging in a cinematic midair battle sequence that accurately depicts the struggle of life and death between two characters giving it their all for peace, love, understanding and ending the conflict of the gods during massive slowdown that lets the player appreciate background art, existential Japanese animation as well as Tetsuya Nomura's "vision of something-or-other"

That's a hell of a lot of rambling just to take a potshot at Nomura's amazing stage desig-

Creative Producer & Character Designer - Tetsuya Nomura

-Repeated Headesking-

In reality, whoever designed this was high as a kite, drugged their co-workers and snuck this into the game. It's the only explanation for it.

Let me guess - you had no idea when a Brave or HP attack was being used, so it sucks, right? Oooooohhhhhh I bet you HATED Duodecim.

-Insert Chase system explanation here-

but they're borderline useless against a computer where 50-50 is never actually 50-50, since computers know your button press.

Do they? Feels much more like they have a dodge pattern. And become especially predictable depending on whether or not your HP attack will kill.

You'll get used to chase sequence attacks and improve the odds in your favor over time, but you're almost always safer and better-off using normal attacks.

Unless you're mind gaming.

Summons: Through your travels, you will find Huge Materia -- sorry, "summon stones". Summons are either completely overpowered or completely useless.

Or pretty damn annoying and simply delay the inevitable.

Very few fall into the fun middle ground, and all of them only affect Brave.

Well, what else would you have them do? Affect HP? So you could then bitch about being killed at any second?

A little variety could have been nice, or at the very least they could have some summons toy with the enemy's EX gauge. The methodology for why summons are imbalanced beyond belief is obvious enough.

Ah, but then if the Summon stole your precious EX you would cry about how overpowered it is, remember? And, uh... why is it obvious they're overpowered?

Menu Simulators: JRPGs have been a genre without skill from the very beginning, so no one will pretend this is anything new. But being a fighting game (in theory), one would think Dissidia strays from the "Pick the correct menu options and win as a secondary side effect" routine.

Which it does. Outside that menu battle mode, but funnily enough that takes a hell of a lot of skill to actually use!

Nope. The vast majority of your time "playing" Dissidia won't be spent playing much of anything.

So... 90% of the close to 1000 hours in total play time between the two games was spent outside of battle? Um... no?

You have to manage character levels, play plans, the calendar, equipment, which mode to actually play in, SP, AP, CP, PP, Whatever-Else-P, summons, and on and on and on.

If it seriously takes you hours to do this - in fact, you could safely ignore half this list if you wanted - then what the fuck are you doing?

JRPG fans will expect and enjoy this sort of thing, but it will continue alienating those looking for a more casual pick up and play experience.

Can't please everyone. Also, pre-set movelists and abilities. You have three slots for this.

This also happens to be the deciding factor in most fights, with player skill being a very distant second place. If you have the advantage in stats, level, skill selection and gear over your opponent, you're virtually guaranteed to win.

That's... generally what happens when you're a higher levelled person with superior equipment, yes. Isn't there other games that use equipment and levels in multiplayer games? Why not cry about those as well?

And for the record, a skilled player can still win at a disadvantage. I've done it.

This would not fly in a true fighting game,

-Rolls eyes-

and is a good referendum on why RPGs and fighting games simply don't mix. Imagine how ludicrous it would be if Hakumen had to level himself up before taking on Ragna the Bloodedge. BlazBlue would have been laughed out of the production meeting.

It's a good thing the dev's never once thought about making BlazBlue an RPG at all, ever. Also, 2D fighting games probably wouldn't mix too well with RPG's. There might be a way to do it, but anyway, point is, Dissidia and BlazBlue are both very, very different games in general.

Lack of Throws:

-Face palm-

Blocking is all well and good. Not being able to punish turtles with the obvious counter strategy is not.

HP Attacks > Everything not named Omni Guard or Jecht Block.

Throws not being in Dissidia is a horrid oversight.

So horrid, they would serve no purpose if they were included because there's so many god damn alternatives that would be so much safer than running right up to someone and hoping you grabbed them before they dodged away or punched your face!

There is literally no way to punish a smart turtle in this game. The only way to get through well-timed blocks is with well-timed HP attacks and go right through blocking, but smart players can and will learn how to dodge all HP attacks and counter the counter before the counter is even used.

...A smart EXDEATH player might manage that. Maybe. But seriously? You seem to be highly overestimating every player ever here.

And by the way, there's still quite a few ways to bypass Ex Death's various blocks, so...

Fighting game fans are routinely the most skilled in all of gaming, and it won't take long for Dissidia's metagame to flesh out. Turtling will be the predominant strategy in a game already lacking in reliable offense.

Lacking... in reliable offence.

I just... huh?

The Final Boss: SNK has absolutely nothing on this guy. It's okay for a final boss to be really difficult, but there is a certain level of absurdity here.

Well whaddaya know, he actually has a point.

Right up until you realise that Chaos id actually very, very predictable, and weak against WoL' Shield of Light and Terra's Tornado. Also Jecht in general. And Golbez' Genesis Rock...

Winning this fight quite literally means you have to outcheat him, and even then you'll need some blind luck. It's as if Square grew tired of hearing about how JRPG bosses were too easy and went as far in the opposite direction as possible. Square continues to flat-out not get it. Balance. Balance, balance, balance. It's all anyone wants.

Try not sucking a bit more. Learn to read attacks. Chaos really is pretty damn easy.

Rule Sets: These only really plague the Duel Coliseum, but "plague" is definitely the optimal term here.

If by 'plagued' you mean 'waaaaaaaaaaah I never checked the rules for the fight and now I'm frozen by discord waaaaaaaaaaaaaah', then I suppose you have a point there.

Stage rules are Dissidia's version of Mario Kart's blue shells, and we all know how well that lovely feature turned out.

Blue Shells - Punishes you for winning.
Cosmos Rule Set - Grants EX and Summon Recharge, usually in the middle of a finishing attack, setting of a chain of events that delay the final hit by about thirty frickin' seconds.
Chaos Rule Set - Makes attacks stronger and punishes you for running away.

I... think there's a bit of a difference here. Blue Shells ruin any point of leading the race. Rule sets can be annoying sometimes, but are really only there to shake the match up a little more.

If ever you're having fun in the Coliseum, a couple of moronic Cosmos Judgment-induced losses should clear that right up. Rule Sets make the Coliseum the least fun thing ever.

I don't think I've ever lost a fight because of a Cosmos Rule set. But removing them from the coliseum will not make fighting level 100-150 opponents any easier or more fun.

Glitches and Unresponsive Controls:

Wait, what?!

You will wonder aloud many times if the folks at Square bothered play testing this game before releasing it. The most basic part of any game is having it do something when you press a button. Dissidia lags or flat-out won't respond at an absolutely unacceptable rate normally;

...............

...............

...............

...............

He's... flat-out lying now. Unresponsive controls? Are you fucking serious?! You never fucking played the game after all, did you?!

forget about anything substantial online, because this game is proof of online gone horribly wrong.

OMG ONLINE LAG SUCH A NEW THING

But yes, it kind of sucks the only way you can play Dissidia online is to do a bunch of annoying stuff.

And these are just the obvious gameplay issues.

Non-existent issues, you stupid god damn-

There's a couple other glaring things in other walks of the game, though nothing too bad. If you look at the all-inclusive soundtrack, you see titles from the entire series. It's no surprise at all how recycled tracks are good, while nearly every single original piece is objectively terrible.

...Look, the remix of FFVII's boss theme is absolutely atrocious, but that hardly accounts for all the remixes/original themes.

Dissidia actually does an amazing job remixing some of the older Final Fantasy songs, but falls apart when it tries doing something on its own. If you think this isn't a microcosm of the game as a whole, you haven't played many recent Square games.

...Mind telling us what songs you think are so bad? Because, uh... The Messenger is fucking awesome.

Graphically, Square remains ahead of the curve. "Pushes console limits" is a phrase you've undoubtedly heard a million times, but with Square it remains true. Their games routinely seem out of place on their respective systems, because they graphically look so much better than everything else.

Really surprised he didn't try and say something like 'my character models were totally spazzing out in cutscenes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah' just to try and look more credible.

There is one final glaring problem with Dissidia: the lie on the back of the game case. If you look, it says "What will you fight for?" with equal focus given to heroes and villains in the artwork. You can even reverse the inner lining to your liking, which would overall cause one to assume equal focus is given to the heroes and villains.

...Wait.

...Hold on a minute.

...Let me process this.

...

...

...

Is... is he building up to an actual complaint?!

Don't get your hopes up, because it's absolutely false advertising. You will assuredly get a lot of playable focus on the Final Fantasy heroes; all of them get a Destiny Odyssey storyline, climaxing in a cinematic clash against their respective villain.

I think... I think he is...

The villains however get nothing. You'll see them in cutscenes, you can play as them in multiplayer or in Arcade and such, but none of them have a storyline to follow.

Holy crap a legitimate complaint!

Yes, it was incredibly disappointing how SE built up this whole 'fight for good or evil' and it ended up as 'fight for good then play as baddies later in free battle' instead. How much more awesome would the game be if you could make actual choices in morality?

It doesn't seem like a huge problem, but compare how you level up good guys and bad guys. The heroes all get a Destiny Odyssey, followed by Shade Impulse against high-level competition and then Distant Glory and Inward Chaos against even higher level competition -- they get their hands held all the way to level 100 and through several mastered abilities, basically.

They have an advantage, yes, but... EXP trick.

Hell, even then, the villains at least get to fight constantly in free mode, with no cutscenes to get in the way. Sounds a bit faster for them overall to level up, even without instantly shooting to level 100.

Villains get no Odyssey, so they get no boost to help them reach Distant Glory/Inward Chaos levels of skill. You have to Duel Coliseum or Quick Battle with villains to get them up to snuff, which isn't nearly as fun and you'll feel robbed of the villains having any character at all. Not that Dissidia's plot is anything but an unmitigated disaster, but even an attempt at the villain's stories would be nice given the back of the game box.

Oh well, look on the bright side - You won't have to struggle playing as Emperor or Ultimecia in a story battle.

It's worth noting that while the plot is a joke, the actual characterization of everyone is mostly spot-on. Fighter (er sorry, "Warrior of Light")

You DO realise that 'Warrior of Light' is about as much of a name as 'Fighter' right?

come off very noble and proud, Zidane and Bartz and Tidus are their spunky freelancing selves, Kefka is off his rocker, Ultimecia has about 5 brain cells and so on. Speaking of Ultimecia, there is a severe lack of females in the cast.

You'd swear people never realised that there was only one (two depending on your views with Terra/Celes) female MC in every FF up to XIII. Yeah, there's plenty of female Party members in each game that isn't I-III, but remember: Main characters.

Of the 22 characters in Dissidia, four are women. Six if you count Cloud and Kuja.

dur hur hur so witty

Square obviously had to go with the main character/main villain setup, but a few more characters to achieve some gender balance couldn't have hurt. More characters is almost always better than less characters.

Wonder if he's found a way to complain about more females being introduced in 012 now.

Yet despite the plethora of things wrong with Dissidia,

Most of these things being stuff you either made up or grossly exaggerated because you lost a fight or something.

there's still a lot of stuff worth defending. As lame an argument as "fanservice" is, this game does it perfectly. There's something oddly satisfying about Squall busting out Revolver Drive all over Cloud's face,

Well, beating up Cloud in general is always fun...

Sephiroth skewering Terra through a building or most importantly, Ultimecia being completely worthless.

Now why would Sephiroth Aerith'ing Terra be fanservice of any kind? And I can't tell if this guy is an FFVIII hater or just one of pretty much everyone who can't use Ultimecia.

Well anyway, the review concludes with him saying that multiplayer is actually great, as is the community for it. Shockingly fair, giving all the bull shit he's been slinging through out the whole review.

So, overall? He tries to hide his lies through a 'well-written' front that tries to look professional and well thought out, but when you take a look at the actual content... yeah...
Still, I suppose he did have on good point in there somewhere. And Duodecim toned down all the 'problems' he had, more or less, so unless he found a way to bitch about how he can't Climhazzard > Dodge Cancel > Slashing Blow > Omnislash V5 any more, he should be far happier with the sequel, right?
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