The Japanese arcade fighting scene has been getting some really high profile cross-overs recently, wouldn’t you say? Persona 4 Arena must have proven to be a really popular hit for Atlus, and that caused Nintendo to throw its fighter into the ring with Pokken Tournament. Now, Square Enix can’t leave well enough alone and is going all out with, you guessed it, a Final Fantasy arcade fighting game!
Of course, it’s not as outlandish as one might think considering that Final Fantasy already exists in fighting game form with the PSP’s Dissidia: Final Fantasy games. It is from these two handheld releases that Square Enix has borrowed the formula for its beloved franchise’s debut on the coin-op machines that pollute Japan’s dark alleys and otaku towns.
Yes, Dissida: Final Fantasy is really going to be an arcade game.
Despite my convoluted, destructive, and eternal relationship with this series, I still haven’t had a chance to get around to either Dissidia game. I snagged up one for my PS Vita during a sale a few months back, and it’s been staring at me with puppy dog eyes ever since. All I know about it is that it doesn’t play by the rules of a normal fighting game. It looks more like a Dragon Ball Z fighter with flying, magic and a lock-on system, and it stars an all-star cast of the series’ most popular faces.
Above we have the one and only Terra Bradford from Final Fantasy VI, an unmistakable Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, and… “She who must not be named” from some game I turned off halfway through because my brain couldn’t take it anymore. The shame about these Dissidia games though is that usually the best characters come from the supporting cast, and the heroes are usually the least exciting.
As for this new arcade game, I’m sorry. It doesn’t look that good. The environments are horribly flat and lack any detail, and the characters’ faces are just all creepy. I’m pretty sure the character models in the PSP Dissidia have more life than these. I’m sure it’s still a work in progress, but Square Enix really needs to overhaul this between now and release.
With the new consoles now in full swing, it’s going to be fascinating to see how Japanese arcades react to compensate. We’ve seen promising trailers from Tekken 7, Street Fighter V and Pokken Tournament, and now if we can get a genre in there that isn’t a fighting game, that would be just swell.