The matchmaking was quick and most of the matches I had felt like a fair fight – which is to be applauded in any fighter. The netcode seemed solid for the most part, though a few matches suffered from some pretty horrendous lag. Luckily these were the exception to the otherwise sturdy rule. Quick commands assigned to the D-Pad meant that I could let my team know what I was up to or if I needed help immediately (and in character) without feeling like I had to get my headset out and try to rally the similarly mute troops.
As a package that aims to celebrate Final Fantasy rather than add anything particularly fresh to it, Dissidia NT excels. After each match you’re awarded with numerous in-game currencies which begin to make sense once you’ve visited the shop a couple of times. There’s a whole host of customization available to FF superfans, including loads of new costumes for each playable character to stroll into battle with, catchphrases and voice clips to spam in the lobbies and during matches, and the usual Icon and Title doodads to equip your player ID with. Random loot boxes give you a selection of goods, but if you’re desperate for anything you can just but it with the in-game Gil you earn from every match. It’s a refreshing system that gives the thrill of RNG-determined loot whilst also allowing you to make up for any bad luck you have, and there isn’t a real money microtransaction in sight.
The game looks very nice too, with highly detailed character models, flashy animations and plenty of beautiful stages to duke it out in. The simple Promised Meadow from FFVIII was a favourite of mine, a barren wasteland that comes into bloom during the match (and usually at moments of high-tension in my experience) and sent me back to my days as a stunned kid watching the opening cinematic of that game over and over.
The music is equally as nostalgic, with a host of upbeat battle tunes ripped from the games I devoured growing up. You could argue that trotting these familiar numbers out time and time again would be lazy if the music wasn’t just so damn good.
“Dissidia NT” is a great addition to a very particular fighting series and a swath of hugely enjoyable fan-service. The single-player content is a bumpy ride and the online multiplayer can feel daunting at first, but within a couple of hours I was having an absolute blast with the entire package. Packed full of history, this deceptively deep, strategic brawler makes for some really chaotic fun.
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