Despite being a TV Temper I'm still rather limited in my means of capture equipment so for now I'm sticking to written reviews. Sorry. But after not really bothering to do any reviews, I decided to do the recently released Dissidia 012. Side note, this only my second PSP review. You'd be surprised how long PSP games take to really get your head around them. <div align='center'><img src="http://www.videogamesblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/dissidia-012-final-fantasy-duodecim-artwork.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div> Now, I'm not really a big Final Fantasy fan if you haven't noticed from my time being here. I kinda avoided the first Dissidia for a while due to my lack of interest in Final Fantasy and in fighting games combined. I picked it up just so I could see if trying the new one would be worth it. I was rather surprised with it and found it quite compelling, so trying this was a no-brainer. And all I can say is that this improves on its predecessor in every way, adding incredibly large amounts of content, tweaking the battle mechanics slightly, and fixing the few annoyances of the original. Dissidia 012 is the game to get for the PSP. Dissidia's storyline is based around the war between Cosmos and Chaos, the two rival gods of the Final Fantasy universe. In the first game, you played as the original cast of Dissidia characters (well, the main heroes and villains of Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy X). This game, however, serves as a prequel to the first, starring the heroes and villains of the rest of Final Fantasy XII and XIII as well as side heroes and villains from older games (such as Kain from Final Fantasy IV or Yuna from Final Fantasy X). The storyline itself isn't horrible albeit suffering from the typical Final Fantasy cliches, but honestly you won't miss much from skipping the storylines. In the end you "bought" the game to see your favorite Final Fantasy characters smack each other across the field, not for a good story. Still, even if the story is forgettable, they did a good job rendering the cast of Final Fantasy into the game, especially the older ones that have seen very little action outside of their 8-bit domains. If you've already played the original Dissidia then you can just skip this part, honestly. Gameplay is rather unique for the genre of fighting games. Dissidia is essentially a 3D fighter on a large scale. Instead of being constricted to some limited movements and small fields like other 3D fighters such as Soul Calibur, however, fields are large and movement is very free. You can run around with ease, jump, dash, dodge, whatever. The game also takes some elements of simplicity from, say, Super Smash Bros., where combos are pretty much nonexistent, with all attacks mapped to a button and a position of the analog stick (such as Back+Square, Forward+Square, etc). The other unique element is how combat progresses. All characters have two types of attacks: Bravery Attacks and HP Attacks. Bravery Attacks gain your character Bravery Points as well as decrease your opponents amount of Bravery. HP Attacks then convert the amount of Bravery you have into damage on their health. There's also multiple intricacies to the fighting system. You can perform a Break, where you deplete their Bravery completely and gain a bonus to your own. You can launch enemies through the air and chase after them with a follow up attack, or your opponent may dodge the counter attack and you'll be in a game of reflexes in dodging and giving blows. There's also EX Mode, where you gain multiple benefits as well as the ability to do a super special attack. As for the ARPG elements, characters will level up and have their stats improve as they grow. They also can be equipped with different equipment and accessories to give them benefits on the battlefield. Overall, the combat oozes style and feels epic, as well as being deep and rewarding. For returning Dissidia fans though, there's been some improvements. The game adds Assist Attacks, allowing you to call on an ally to attack once your Assist Gauge is filled. There's also a few other changes to the combat but overall the classic gameplay is essentially the same. However, returning Dissidia fans can rejoice over a revamp of the Story Mode structure. Originally, players were given a character's storyline to play and thrust onto a grid-like map. They then had an allotted amount of turns to defeat enemies, gather items, and final get to the end of the level to either face a boss or move on to the next level. The Destiny Points, as they were called, were a pain and would detract from your score at the end if you went over the limit. It was still a fine mode to play in but definitely in need of improvement. Fortunately, 012 changed the system up. Instead of going from grid to grid, there's an open overworld map to travel on, with some enemies to have small fights with as well as treasure to collect. Your HP is also completely healed when you're on the overworld map, and you can save anytime on it. The grids of the original are still there, but you no longer have Destiny Points (meaning unlimited turns) and there's also no tiles on the map that are blocked off by limits (such as needing to beat the campaign first or defeating a certain amount of enemies). Instead, the drive to defeat more enemies is to earn KP, or Kupo, to buy equipment and accessories that aren't available on the regular shop. Fulfilling the KP requirements per each match adds a KP, which is then multiplied if you "combo" your fights (meaning you position yourself so that enemies on the grid are adjacent to you in multiple locations). There's also "chains", which you can earn from treasure chests and in the overworld, which allow you to combo multiple enemies on the grid in different fashions. The Story Mode is also a lot more streamlined, varying up the character you play as in tune with the story. Perhaps the biggest thing to praise 012 about is the sheer amount of content. The original game already had a lot of it, but this one just outdoes the original in every respect. You get a new single player mode that'll take a good couple of hours. There's also, luckily, a revamped version of the original Story Mode, with the new 012 style of gameplay and Story Mode structure. Then there's also Labyrinth Mode, an odd dungeon crawling style (for lack of a better description) style single player mode, as well as a series of Records that adds some side plots and to the Story Mode and more battling (this also serves as a sort of villain version of Story Mode). There's also the return of the Arcade Mode, now with more options, and other no-brainer modes like Quick Battle, Versus, etc. Add on top of all of that a heaping load of unlockables, challenges, and of course the desire to get your characters to the max level, you'll have a lot of stuff on your hands. The only real downside to this is that it all focuses on the same 1v1 fighting, so if you find yourself getting sick of it, there's not much to vary it up. Graphically and sound wise, its just as good looking as the original was. The graphics are a bit better, although there's not a huge difference between the two. Regardless, the original still looks quite good, with fluid animations and effects combining with particularly impressive environmental destruction. I usually don't take much notice to Final Fantasy music but the stuff here is actually quite catchy and worth a listen. Voice acting, on the other hand, still feels a bit flat or overdone for many characters, but are still rather true to their voices from their respective games (well, the games that had voice acting, that is). Still a strong game on both fronts. Overall, Dissidia 012 is a fine game and definitely one of the PSP's best. Even if you're not a Final Fantasy fan (such as myself), it delivers a great battle system, tons of content, and a whole lot of fun. Returning Dissidia fans will also find its sequels improvements to all be for the better. And of course, this is the definitive game for Final Fantasy fan service, combining keynote characters from across the game's long history into action packed and stylish battles. Fighting fans, Final Fantasy fans, ARPG fans, and fans of games with a lot of shit to do are sure to check out Dissidia 012. <b>Presentation:</b> The story is average but does somewhat string together all the Final Fantasy characters and does fit the new characters into the timeline somehow. Regardless, the game still has good interpretations of Final Fantasy's most famous and infamous characters, especially ones that you haven't seen outside of their 2-D forms (well, unless you saw them in the original Dissidia). <b>8/10</b> <b>Graphics</b>: They're slightly better than the original Dissidia, in particular the new characters' models, although the difference is minimal. Still, the original Dissidia is still a fine looking game today and 012 looks great. Animations and environment destruction are particularly impressive. <b>9/10</b> <b>Audio</b>: Voice acting falls a bit flat but they're still accurate voices for the characters (mainly those who received voice acting in a previous game). Soundtrack is actually quite catchy and memorable, and brings back classic tunes and effects from across the series. <b>8.5/10</b> <b>Gameplay</b>: Combat is still essentially the same as the original but with a few good improvements. Revamping the Story Mode makes it a lot more playable and the new characters are a great addition. ARPG aspects such as leveling and customization are great as well. It's stylish, action packed, gravity defying, and awesome. <b>9.5/10</b> <b>Lasting Appeal</b>: An absolutely gigantic amount of stuff to do. With the new Story Mode, a revamp of the original Story Mode, Reports to read through, Labyrinth Mode, Arcade Mode, and things to unlock, you'll be spending tons of hours on that alone. Versus, Quick Battles, and even a Quest Editor keep the game fresh and easy to pick up now and then. <b>10/10</b> Overall: <b>9.5/10</b> A must-have for any PSP owner.