Dissidia Final Fantasy Hands-On

Final Fantasy meets Smash Brothers? We go hands-on with Square Enix's unique fighter.

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Dissidia: Final Fantasy
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Square Enix had several games on display at its booth, including the PSP exclusive Dissidia Final Fantasy. In a surprising change of pace, the game is a 3D real-time fighter starring some of Final Fantasy's most famous characters, such as Cloud, Cecil, Terra, Sephiroth, and Onion Knight. Although it may seem more akin to Soul Calibur than Final Fantasy, it features several unique features that make the game feel rather unique not just for a Square game, but for fighters in general.

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Each battle takes place between two opponents in a large, interactive arena. You have full control over your character in all three dimensions, with the goal to deplete your opponent's HP to zero. Now what sets Dissidia apart from other fighting games is something called "brave points," or BP for short. Each opponent starts the match with a set amount of BP, which determines the strength of your attacks. However, that number is anything but static, given that both opponents can steal BP from the other, enhancing their strength while lowering their adversary's. The goal is to gather as much BP as you can because the amount of damage inflicted by an "HP Attack" is equivalent to the amount of BP currently held. Dissidia also features an "EX Gauge," a meter that fills by delivering or taking damage. Once it's full, you can activate "EX Mode," which significantly upgrades the strength of your existing attacks while enabling all-new ones as well, such as the unavoidable EX Burst--a handy maneuver for gaining the upper hand.

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From our brief hands-on, the game felt good. Navigating the 3D environment was mostly trouble-free, though the camera did get in the way whenever we were forced up against a wall by our opponent, which made it difficult to escape without being pummeled. What we saw of Dissidia Final Fantasy looked interesting, and we're eager for the final product to come stateside later this year. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more as we approach the game's release.

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