Final Fantasy X’s Jecht and Tidus (made to look younger to match the overall theme according to Tetsuya Nomura) put Dissidia Final Fantasy back into the news again recently. Let’s hope it’s won’t be another half year for us to learn something new about the game (the last character revelation was back in December with Firion, Emperor, Squall Leonhart and Ultimecia). I got a copy of the Weekly Famitsu (two issues late…) that contains the updated details about the game and an interview with the developers, so let’s see if there is anything else we need to know.
The battle system gets a little revisit in the mag, many of which we’ve known from various reports before, but this time with updated screens. Fighting in Dissidia are more of a battle for the Brave ponits, the number at the bottom center of the screen. It can be accumulated by attacking your opponent with a special skill (launch with the circle button) that will drain his/her Brave points (number at the top of the HP gauge). When this number reaches 0 or “Break” as Square like call it, it will be transferred to your character. The system was created in order for characters with lower levels (maximum level is 100) to win battles against more powerful enemies.
Brave can then be used to make HP Attack (the square button), which obviously drain your opponent’s HP, higher Brave points means more powerful HP Attack. The characters can launch special moves unique to them with HP Attack as well, they will be available once certain conditions have been met. An on screen indicator will then pops up to show the player how to time their button presses. Characters will gain more special moves as they level up.
An even more powerful special move is available when the EX gauge (the vertical bar to the edge of the screen) is full. Called “EX Mode”, it basically power-up the character greatly with elaborate effects that FF series is known for, some characters can even have up to four type of transformations. According to Planning Director Mitsunori Takahashi, enemies AI was heavily considered as well, the characters will react differently in every encounter.
Another important aspect to battles is the the red orb found next to the character’s “Brave” points, which the developers would not reveal what it does yet. However, they say it’s something closely connected with the FF series and it’s an item players have to decide to equip it or not. Other secrets that are yet to be revealed are the use of “Gil” and AP.
On to movements in the 3D environments during battles, besides running up the wall, your characters can glide freely on some surfaces. Both are activated by the triangle button. The stages revealed so far were given a brief introduction, they are Chaos Shrine (FF), Pandemonium Palace (FFII), Clock Tower (FFVIII), Crystal World (FF IX) and Braska’s Final Aeon (FFX).
When asked if the game has any RPG elements, Nomura says players don’t have a world map to move around and the only RPG element is the leveling up of the characters. Takahashi added that there are several choices players have to make during the game, like what treasure chest to open or which enemy to take on first.
On the characters, Takahashi says those in heroes camp have been designed for easier control. Nomura revealed what has been taking them so long to make the game… the characters just have too many moves and “EX Mode” also means multiple appearances for each of them, resulting in huge amount of time spent in order for them to look right. As a result, 20 is the final amount for the cast with probably a few “small surprises”.
Director Takeshi Arakawa (planning director for The World Ends with You) says that this is a young development team who grew up with the series, and they are very particular about making the characters look and feel right and treat the source materials with the highest respect. The end product should matches the expectation of FF fans of any kinds.
Moving on to the all important development progress. Nomura, who has taken a back seat from the project, says it’s a chance for the young developers to shine and plenty of time was spent on the game design process. When asked for specific development progress, Arakawa says it’s 50% and they are at the closing stages of finalizing the character design. Takahashi says the most important stage is the difficulties adjustment and that alone could take up a lot of time. Nomura later teases that release date has been finalize and it will be during the good time to buy games…
Note: The same guys have also given Dengeki PlayStation an interview of the game, the translation with some new details can be found here.