The news from Japan is in: Dissidia: Final Fantasy is a gem, and most certainly not dissapointing like its spiritual predecessor Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring (and distant cousin The Bouncer) was to some. Notoriously tough publication Famitusu has given the game a total score of 36/40 (10,9,9,8). Other reviews include Tales of Hearts (33/40) and Gensou Suikoden Tierkreis (34/40).
With the review comes some details and of course, impressions. As it were, the game takes about 40 hours to complete the story mode and 100+ to unlock everything -- quite impressive for a fighting title. The reviewers seem to agree the controls are "easy" and the customization options are plentiful, while the story is praised for being "more than just a gathering of FF characters". I'm sure most wouldn't have minded anyway, but that's definitely a big plus, and no small feat. As for battle actions, one reviewer in particular loved the pursuit battles which required you to attack and defend; another compared them to scenes in Advent Children. As long as games have budgets, people will have complaints, and with this one they say it's hard to keep track of things sometimes (presumably in battles), and there are too many "special terms", which a tutorial would be good for.
All in all, looks like this one has shapen up quite well. Still no release date for the West, but Square Enix seems to have a habit of making gamers wait. Final Fantasy IV was released December 20, 2007, for example, and in North America July 22, 2008, with no confirmation we'd get it for quite some time. As such, I'd bet this one will see passage to America about mid-July, 2009!
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