I’d be lying if I said that I totally enjoyed Dissidia Final Fantasy NT’s new battle system from the start. I wanted access to more than one HP Attack (And I still do), I missed having flashy EX Bursts, customizable equipment, and pulling off sweet combos with the Assist Change. However, after pouring some good time into the game, I’ve come to enjoy the chaotic battles for what it is—a team-based 3v3 brawler.
In the latest installment of the Dissidia Final Fantasy series, Square Enix decided to go with a 3v3 battle system instead of the traditional 1v1 battles from the PSP games. While some features were left intact such as the “Bravery Attacks” used to boost your Bravery and lower the opponent’s, there are some other big changes like only getting to pick one “HP Attack” used to actually damage your opponent’s health. I’ve been playing the Japanese version of Dissidia Final Fantasy and thought I could share my struggles as well as tips I learned to become a better player.
After learning the basics to start the game, I was able to handle AI-controlled opponents with ease by mostly throwing barrages of Brave Attacks and taking advantage of AI exploits. I spent a few hours in Rush Battles, but I wanted to earn EXP quicker, and this was possible through online battles. I was able to take on high difficulty AI opponents so that meant that I should be set to fight other players in online battles, right? Well, not quite.
It only took a few matches for me to realize how naive I was going in thinking I could pull off the same tricks I used against the AI and cheese my way to victory to earn those sweet experience points for unlocking more story scenes. Granted, the game did throw me against higher ranked players, and while I had some good fights against other fellow E-rankers at the beginning, the gap between us noobs and the more seasoned players was as clear as day.
I hate losing in any competitive game and it bugged me to no end how “free” I was to these higher ranked players. I decided to spend some time in the lab against AI opponents and other players to figure out what made them so much better. I never did find a magic solution to instantly become a better player, but I was able to familiarize myself with the characters and their moves by playing against the AI and over time I learned to accept the game as a team brawler by playing with and against other players.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is less about landing impressive combo chains and more about situational awareness, reading your enemies, landing HP Attacks, and most importantly team work. The nature of the game makes for a lot of cat-and-mouse moments where players with low HP do their best to avoid getting hit by HP Attacks while those with high Bravery do the chasing. For this reason, the more savvy players are much better at evading and escaping, and knowing what they can and can’t do when parameters are low. However, that doesn’t mean you should never chase. When an enemy’s health is low, it’s definitely important to beat them down but it’s just as important to not get too carried away with the tunnel vision and also keep class matchups in mind. There’s nothing more frustrating than bringing an opponent down to one-shot health only to be baited into a 2v1 situation in their favor. That’s right, it’s a team game.
Having good vision on the field and being able to read your enemies is only half the battle. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know your HP Attacks in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. The reason for this is because, as I mentioned earlier, you can only select one HP Attack of your choice and it’ll be your bread and butter for each match. I recommend familiarizing yourself with the HP Attacks of your favorite characters to get a better feel for them before anything. It also helps to play with other characters to get a better understanding of their range, timing, and weaknesses. The execution is just as important in combat. If you’re out there spamming your HP Attack, opponents will have no problem reading your next move, so you’ll want to mix things up a bit.
Being the best player by no means guarantees victory if you’re unable to work with the team. One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen in new players is fixating on a single target. I, too, was guilty of this when I started. When you over-commit to one target, it becomes pretty obvious and the better players will find a way to bait you into a disadvantage or simply waste your time by keeping you away from the action, effectively minimizing your contribution. When you find yourself in this situation, instead of continuing the chase, I find that it works out best to look around and see what your teammates are doing. Your buddies can always use an extra hand, whether it’s to help finish an opponent with low HP or help getting out of a pickle.
I’m currently a B-rank and I find that the battles a lot more entertaining in a strategic sense compared to how it was when I first started. At times the fights can feel like those team fights in a MOBA game where parties are grouped up, just waiting to pounce the side that makes the first move, which can be oddly exciting in its own way. There’s a also a sense of satisfaction and camaraderie when playing with likeminded players and knowing they’ll have your back as long as you have theirs.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT might not be as flashy as its predecessors when it comes to gameplay mechanics, but after learning how to play my cards right like Ace and strike like Lightning to protect my buddies, I found it to be a much more enjoyable 3v3 team brawler experience.
Food for Thought: In online matches, the game lets each player vote on a summon before a match to determine the party’s summon. I kid you not, almost 90% of my games have Shiva as the summon of choice. Whether it’s on my party, the enemy’s, or both, Shivas everywhere. I don’t really get why, I mean she’s not even that gr-
Okay, I stand corrected.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is available in Japan on PlayStation 4. The game releases in North America and Europe on January 30, 2018. If you prefer playing solo and still on the fence about buying the game, I recommend checking our previous report to get a better idea what the game offers.