Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a highly technical online fighting game featuring 28 different characters. Each character has their own special moves and abilities, none of which are referenced in the game whatsoever. That’s not good.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a console port of a Japanese arcade game, so an amount of console unfriendliness isn’t completely unexpected. Game modes outside of the core three-on-three battles are pretty sparse, and the story mode isn’t extravagant. That’s fine, but I would have hoped that developer Team Ninja would have taken advantage of having more space for information than the side of an arcade cabinet to provide players of this unconventional Final Fantasy game with little more background. Like how characters work.
Here is all of the in-game information on one of the characters, the Emperor from Final Fantasy II.
It’s not a lot. Going into the customization menu allows players to change his model and weapon skin and select his EX abilities, basic spells and skills that are largely non-character specific.
But again, no information on the Emperor’s unique moves. How is a player to know about his Stygian Swell move, which allows him to create a wall of lightning in front of him? Or the fact that holding down the X button when using the ability lets him control the position of that wall? Where can that information be found?
For a game that’s got a lot of crazy shit going on in battle, Dissidia NT doesn’t offer up much information to help make sense of it all. There’s a basic battle tutorial that goes over the basics, but nothing character-specific. Hell, the game’s main tutorial menu purposefully withholds information until you stumble upon it on your own.
Thank goodness for dedicated fan communities like the Reddit group or Dissidia.Community forums, who’ve done an outstanding job of getting out information the game lacks. Without them, I never would have known about using the game’s sparring mode to create a makeshift practice mode by removing all but one enemy AI character and setting them to stationary.
But the burden of teaching the most basic aspects of this complicated game should not be on the shoulders of players. Move lists need to be in the game. A clear practice mode needs to be in the game. Character bios, maybe a model viewer and other quality-of-life improvements would be great, but first let’s get to the stuff that should be in there from the start.
A Square Enix representative, responding to my inquiry about the omission of this sort of key information, said that the devs see Dissidia NT as an ongoing service and that tweaks aren’t out of the question. If enough players make enough noise, maybe one day the dream of not having to go to an outside website to learn character moves will become a reality.