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Paige FTW: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT: A Beautiful Mess

I was a huge fan of the original Dissidia games on PSP. The handheld console was hardly the most appropriate for a multi-plane 3-D fighter, but one makes do (with very sore fingers, as it were).

The franchise suddenly resurged in Japanese arcades under the eye of Team Ninja — and now it’s made its way to PS4, where it always belonged.

Unfortunately, the results are … mixed.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT feels incomplete and half-baked. The core of the game is here, but without the sleek polish that characterizes a Final Fantasy title (I guess it is Team Ninja-like in that respect).

Let me back up a little.

The core gameplay is unchanged: Alternate between Bravery and HP attacks to whittle down an opponent’s health while flying all around a gigantic stage and dodging hugely flashy special moves.

So that’s still there. But now battles are waged three-on-three with new mechanics — summons, EX attacks, stamina and probably more — all with a hugely obtuse camera and a terrible targeting system. Characters have fewer attacks (which eliminates a lot of the individuality that made the PSP titles so fun).

It kind of reminds me of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games, except worse because CyberConnect2 did a fantastic job on those.

But I could probably forgive a chaotic battle interface if the rest of the game had any idea what it was doing.

The story mode is locked behind a “play-to-play” wall. You have to use Memoria to unlock new story chapters (usually cute but too-short cutscenes). You can only earn Memoria by ranking up online or offline. It will take hundreds of battles to unlock the full story. There’s not even a traditional arcade mode.

I hate to say it, but you’re probably better off digging up that old PSP instead of investing in this.