Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia: JRPG Lite, Without Aggressive Microtransactions

8
  • RPG
2018-02-01
dffoo logo
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia combines traditional JRPG combat mechanics with strategic elements from previous Dissidia titles, such as Bravery Points and HP. Square Enix

Heroes and villains from across the 30-year history of the Final Fantasy series come together to take on a new set of baddies in Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia. The game blends the franchise’s classic turn-based RPG combat with elements from the new fighting game, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.

The goddess Materia has summoned warriors from a variety of Final Fantasy worlds to save her homeland. Guided by her emissary, Mog, our warriors of light must close up dimensional disruptions known as Torsions that have popped up in a variety of locations. Ever wanted to see Cloud kicking butt alongside Zidane and Cecil? Now you can make it happen.

As you work to eliminate the Torsions, you’ll navigate a grid-based map system full of icons for battles, character interactions, treasures and more. In order to progress through locked gates into new locations, you’ll need to fulfill certain conditions, such as recruiting a new ally or defeating a set number of a specific enemy type. There’s a pretty balanced mix of character interactions and combat, with some fights featuring two or more standard battles, most of which don’t take longer than a minute.

 
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Combat in Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia. Photo: Square Enix
 

DFFOO ’s simplified turn-based combat will be familiar to fans of the series, but adds a distinctly Dissidia-flavored twist. Like the three-on-three fighting game, battles use the Bravery system, which encourages a balanced approach to offense and defense. You’ll need to whittle down your opponent’s Bravery points (and bolster your own) by using Bravery attacks, before striking enemies with an HP attack. The two types of damage take some getting used to, but it’s fairly easy to settle into the rhythm after a few battles. While some characters have healing abilities, there’s no Phoenix Downs or Potions in this game. If you get K.O.’ed, you either have to pay 100 gems to continue or take it on the chin and start over.

You can have three characters in your party at once, and set 10 different configurations. DFFOO encourages you to mix up your squad while also allowing you to have favorites. You’ll often see bonus awards for bringing a specific character, but for the most part, the game never forces you to use anyone you don’t want to. (I’ve stuck to Cloud and Tifa most of the time, swapping in a random third here and there, though my loyalties may be further torn once I start seeing more of the cast of FFIV, VI and IX).  

This is not Final Fantasy All-Stars with a sweeping, epic story: DFFOO definitely feels like a free-to-play mobile RPG, best enjoyed in short bursts, and not something I’d struggle to tear myself away from after six hours. There’s no opportunity to explore, no dungeons, towns or a traditional world map to roam in. That said, I’ve still found myself picking it up a couple of times each day to chop up baddies and find new companions. It’s the perfect distraction for the elliptical or stationary bike at the gym.

Speaking of which, if you need to momentarily tune out from the game, DFFOO provides an auto-battle option. Having tested it out in a few fights, the AI seems pretty reliable. Your party will use Bravery and HP attacks appropriately, so you can look away from the action for a bit and not worry about losing progress or getting clobbered.

The game’s single-player mode is pretty accessible, with no crazy difficulty spikes. However,  Hard Mode on previously cleared levels offered a significantly greater challenge, with timed event quests falling somewhere in the middle. I wasn’t able to experience the game’s co-op mode during the review period, though the single-player mode offers the option of selecting another player to sub in for a few turns. It can be handy if one of your party members is looking a bit wobbly.

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Enhancing weapons in DFFOO. Photo: Square Enix

Something that’s kept me coming back to Dissidia FFOO is that the in-game purchases feel emphatically optional. Unlike some recent mobile RPGs (looking at you, Alchemist Code), Opera Omnia never feels like an overwhelming deluge of different kinds of currency, upgrades, crafting materials and items. None of the characters are locked behind a paywall. While there is an RNG element, letting you spend gems for randomized high-level weapons and armor, it doesn’t feel essential. You can use gems to purchase a small selection of support items, which allow you to earn more EXP or items for a set window of time, usually 30 minutes. Again, it’s a nice perk, but you can move through the game just fine without these items. As in other free-to-play RPGs, you’ll get bonuses for logging in and completing daily missions, including gil, gems and support items. So far, those have been enough to scratch my itch for customization and upgrades, without spending real-world cash.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia will be available for Android and iOS Feb. 1.

Will you be checking out DFFOO? If you’ve already tried it, what did you think of the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

REVIEW SUMMARY
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
8
JRPG Lite, Without Aggressive Microtransactions
This is not Final Fantasy All-Stars with a sweeping, epic story: DFFOO definitely feels like a free-to-play mobile RPG, best enjoyed in short bursts. That said, it's a delightful casual distraction you'll want to return to.
  • Huge cast of classic FF characters
  • Engaging, strategic turn-based combat
  • No characters behind paywalls
  • Passive Microtransactions
  • Limited exploration potential
  • Weapon and armor enhancement can be confusing
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