Ah, Dissidia. The first game that ever taught me what “hype” was and the first game I was forced to do serious search and research upon and the japanese language in general to understand what was going on. While some games I had bought before that were in japanese and were japanese-heavy in text, they already had guides in english and explained the hiragana / furigana / kanji the games had so it wasn’t much of a problem for me. This one was new for the time and I would buy it the same time as everyone else and I certainly couldn’t wait for who knows how many months before it had a guide, I couldn’t wait anymore…I had been waiting for 10 years already and the trailer that made my dreams come true was hitting me hard on the head with its awesomeness.
Needless to say that when Cloud and Squall were announced, I was ecstatic, but a bit dissapointed that Tifa wasn’t in the game and neither was Auron or Lulu, but my two favourite leads and Ocarina of Time Link’s “rival” would finally be playable in an action game and it was enough for me. And in December of 2008, I finally had it my hands and have clocked in over 600 hours in just the first game.
5 years later, I still crave for more Dissidia but not necessarily the Final Fantasy one anymore. Maybe this one isn’t so random as other ramblings, just maybe but for this post I’m going to write about the manga, anime, visual novels, tokusatsu and even other video game series that can benefit from the gameplay system of Dissidia should they ever be or are in need for a good fighting game.
Before we move to the titles and how they can benefit from it, we have to look at the gameplay system of Dissidia and see its features and what characterises it, what makes it different from other 3D fighters like Ys Vs Sora no Kiseki, Virtual On and Gundam Vs Gundam for example.
- Floaty Kung Fu. The Final Fantasy characters in Dissidia seem to have mastered not only martial arts but the over-the-top art of Wire-Fu that is ever-present in many over-the-top martial arts movies and it’s done in a very good way in the game,presenting some really cool and stylish moves with much hidden depth and great gameplay. The control scheme is also important to have in mind as it incorporates two attack buttons, a jump button, a movement pad, a camera pad, a guard button, a traverse / action button, a button to reset the camera position[select], a pause button[start] and a final button that in Dissidia’s case, is used for selecting a target and in any other game that uses this engine, it can be anything as it doesn’t need to use Dissidia’s “Lock-On Targetting” mechanic and opt to have Dissidia’s enemy targetted state of the player as the standard and only camera focus. Finally, one shouldn’t forget about the stylish transitions between stage hazards or other types of obstacles or structures that one can move onto.
- Ability to customise the characters moveset. Compared to other fighters that allow customization over the characters specials and super moves in the form of choice so that the player can form his or her own fighting style with that one character they like, Dissidia offers complete customization of that kind over all of the character’s moves. This is extremely essential, as it opens the doors for characters to have massive and varied movesets that the players can customise for individual use.
- Individual Awakenings. A feature that was made popular with the Gundam Vs series was the Awakening system which in Dissidia’s case, is called the EX Mode. It’s essential a timed power-up system that has one or two common power-ups for every character, in Dissidia’s case the, it’s Regen ability, allowing characters to regenerate a calculated percentage of their total health every few seconds. All the other abilities granted to the characters are unique to the individual, though few of them are present in other characters due to the overall design of the game they came from, like most of the characters that gain Ultima Weapons in turn receive and Attack boost depending on how full their health is. The characters are also able to use their ultimate attack called the EX Burst to deal major damage and show a cinematic finisher.
- Exaggerated traversing movements. As previously stated, the Wire-Fu presented in the game doesn’t just allow the characters to pull off some very impressive moves and gives the game some depth, but it also allows for some really cool moving around, like jumping from one floating platform to another in a single bound, rail-skating, running on walls all those actions called Quickmove in the game, each characters can have multiple jumps, dashing, aerial dashing, aerial dodging and even acrobatic ground dodging with the appropriate invincibility frames.
- The ability to alter the rules. A trend that isn’t exactly recent in fighting games, Super Smash Bros started it way back as a nod to the no-rules arcade brawlers but as of recently, games outside of brawlers like Max Anarchy / Anarchy Reigns started using this, games like Dissidia 012 Duodecim and Ys Vs Sora no Kiseki. They have started using it to either spice up the matches or even make rulesets that are either more balanced than what the designers thought was balanced or just use overpowered rules for absolute destruction and some funny times that can be caught on video.
Having all that in mind, here’s a video demonstration before finally moving on the franchises.
The classic battle manga by Akira Toriyama is a great contender for fighting games of almost every kind, as shown by the magnificent Budokai series, especially in it’s later life cycle with Budokai 3, Shin Budokai 2 and Burst Limit, traditional 2D and 2.5D fighters like Hyper Dimension, Ultimate Butoden and Super Dragon Ball Z. But what about 3D fighting games? The newest Dragon Ball Zenkai Battle Royale : Super Saiyan Kakusei that hit the arcades the past summer seems excellent even if it plays like a Gundam Vs Gundam clone, a tremendously good one mind you…and then it’s the Tenkaichi series…which are practically Dragon Ball Z fight simulators, not so much actual fighting games, at least not in the traditional sense, with Tenkaichi 2 and 3 being the high points of that.
So Dragon Ball is starving for a good 3D fighting game to capture the essence of the series and that’s where the Dissidia engine comes into play. Almost all the key ponts are present in the manga and the series can benefit from such a game engine. Some minor tweaks and major ones should be done to make it a true Dragon Ball experience. The minor ones would be adding teleportation on the Quickmove options, making the stage damage permanent, adding visible damage to the players, all the characters being able to glide like some Dissidia characters but faster, add some more blocking options like a more traditional guard, being able to use an Ex Burst only after hitting the opponent with a Ki attack during EX Mode and finally add more defensive maneuvres during the EX Burst to emulate the feeling of being able to escape like guard evade and intercept options, granted the characters have ki to spare.
Now the major changes would be these :
- Remove the Brave and HP system and instead have the HP Attack and Brave Attack buttons be physical attack / martial arts and ki attack buttons respectively.
- Removal of the Brave and HP damaging system which opts for a far more streamlined way of fighting, the one that is most common in Fighting games.
- Remove summons completely and tweak the assist system to make it like an assist and tag system.
- Remove equipement and replace it with skill trees that are unique for each character so that even characters can have several different playstyles among players.
- Add instant move as another option for a chase mechanic, similar to the instant move after certain hits by an assist.
- Add clashes, both physical and beam based by having the characters strike each other at the same time which will lead in a small cinematic flurry of hits that requires some button mashing to get out of for the physical ones while simply having two beams of equal power clash head on and mash the ki button for some time to win.
- Add changeable forms like Super Saiyans and make them work like Lightning’s Paradigm Shift in the game, changing by pressing L + R at the same time. Characters that have multiple forms are able to only choose one other form to transform to during battle and each form is built differently by the player and has slight differences from the base one like higher base power.
- Add a Ki meter identical to Shin Budokai’s system : There is a Ki meter that has 8 bars of two different sizes, small and big sizes with the big ones indicating the base power level of the character. The ki bars recharge slowly on their own if they fall below the base levels and the ki bars fill when the player’s character hits the opponent. Ki bars also affect strenght and defence parameters, having less than the base ki results in slightly lower defence while having more than the base ki results in strenght buffs. The level of ki a character has is also visible by his or her aura that acts the same way as the Shin Budokai games but the size, colour and intensity differs between characters and even transformations. Finally, when a character transforms the base ki level changes and so does almost everything else.
Ougon Kishi GARO
Ougon Kishi GARO already has a great game in it’s disposal for the PS2 that hits everything GARO related and only needs some improvements to be more than a good GARO game and be a good game, period. As much fun as it is reliving the GARO adventures with the titular Golden Knight it can be as much fun using the many characters from the series for a nice 3D fighting game. GARO is much easier to work than Dragon Ball as a Dissidia based fighter as very, very few changes need to be made to make it like GARO.
First of all, the game can work with and without the Brave – HP system, whether it’s kept or not, it won’t affect the fighting that much anyway, both versions would have two attack buttons like the PS2 game. The summons should be removed, the equimpent shouldn’t be so overpowering like in the main Dissidia series, smaller buffs and status effects are welcome, but the overpowering accessories don’t have any place in a GARO game, for the Makai Knights have the human forms a bit nerfed while the EX modes for them, in short their Makai Armours be over powered, compared to their base forms that is. Finally the EX mode here shouldn’t be generated with Ex Force, but instead use the timer system of the PS2 game.
The classic manga about teenage soldiers named Saints protecting the Goddess Athena and the world’s love and peace with manly armour and 80’s badassery with the help of greek myths…and actual greeks as some Gold Saints were and the Gods as well. While it has some nice fighting games made by Dimps, resembling the Budokai series it also has a really good Musou / Warriors like game due to its increasing popularity as of lately and its new show. Yet, there’s still to exist a proper 3D Fighter for the series.
So yeah, the way fights were conducted over there fit perfectly in context with the Dissidia engine. Just remove the equipment system and replace it with some kind of skill tree system, remove the EX Force gathering and instead just have the characters be able to generate Cosmo on their own to enter EX Mode…which will be nerfed from Dissidia’s, a bit. Seriously, why isn’t Saint Seiya Dissidia a thing yet? It’s easy money, right off the bat.
Kyoshoku Shoko Guyver
Poor Guyver hasn’t got one simple game yet ad it’s such a wonderful series…aside from some measly Guyver sprites in MUGEN, it hasn’t got that much attention unfortunately. It was a contender though for the TOP 30 series that should get the Musou / Warriors treatment in a recent japanese poll…that made them the Hokuto Musou / Fist of the North Star Ken’s Rage series, don’t remember the number, but it was middle of the road, along with Godzilla , Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.
Despite that, even this niche franchise needs a game and what better one than a 3D Fighter with a visual novel-like storytelling…you know, kinda like the 3D Fighter equivellant of Blazblue…which would be a more elaborate version of Ys Vs Sora no Kiseki’s story mode.
Going by the basics, a Guyver fighter would be very close to Dissidia, but not quite : the two attack buttons remain but the BRAVE-HP system, equipment, levels, summons and assist attacks are all removed. The individual awakenings would have to be less unique, as the Guyver characters don’t have any special characterists when they power up and the customization of the moveset feature shouldn’t be as elaborate as that of Dissidia’s, instead have the skill customization system of Ys 7 and the ability to have four characters at the same time fighting, like Ys Vs Sora no Kiseki. Sounds like bit of downgrade of Dissidia, but not really. While Dissidia is unique, a Guyver fighter would require a lot more traditional fighting elements put into this type of game engine, something the Ys 7 engine has and is used in the recent Ys games, even in their official fighting crossover one. It’s not bad, just a mix of two really good game engines that, unfortunately, would make a poor first impression before aweing the players with the depth of the combos and playstyles.
Since Bleach is some sort of Saint Seiya crossed with Dragon Ball of the newer generation of Jump titles, it’s a given that it will probably be almost identical to a Saint Seiya Dissidia, but instead of summons, I guess it could have some kind of buff gained from the character’s Soul Slayer Sword, again remove the equipment system and replace it with a grid-like interface skill system, like the one from Bleach Soul Ignition and finally add the form changing mechanism from the Dragon Ball Dissidia I described above…and done! You have a Bleach Dissidia. It can also be done as a Dragon Ball Dissidia though.
Sacred Seven would work either as Saint Seiya Dissidia type of game or it could work like a Guyver Dissidia and add an original story along with the one from the anime to lenghten the game. Also, more use of the alternative costumes would be nice.
Compati Hero already tried that with Heroes VS…but being a game developed by Spike meant that the game was basically a gimped clone of Tenkaichi Tag Team / VS and therein lied the biggest screw up…it should have used the Dissidia engine as originally described.
One of the best anime ever, a modern odessey with a bit of a tragic conclusion…even if it was almost avoided in the sequel…but since it wasn’t concluded, it’s still sad but only because we were never shown the final confrontation to end the saga.
This one will work like the Guyver one but with some sort of Super Boss Fights so that they can cover the giant bosses that some Radam have from the show as well as some special bosses that are other Tekkamen from Tekkaman Blade II. While this one doesn’t conclude the story normally it could go the Dororo : Blood Will Tell route and add it’s own ending or rather, finally complete the work. Thankfully, the writter of the show, Kawasaki Hiroyuki is still alive and we can finally see the end of the Tekkaman Blade saga…and perhaps another new begining and make it the GARO of anime heroes.
Same as the Tekkaman one…though the best thing would be to combine the Tekkaman and Orgun one into one game.
Fate / Stay Night
Fate is another franchise that could benefit from that system in the 3D fighting field, while it has Fate / Tiger Colloseum it’s more like a fun brawler with a comedic story as its focus, not so much a proper 3D fighter. It’s also one of the games that could benefit from a dual fighter system.
The game should play, again, like a Guyver Dissidia but also include a tag mode. The differences between this and the Guyver Dissidia idea would be that, while the Servants would use the classic flaoty kung fu etc, the masters would have almost none of that. But due to that limitation, the aerial game of the servants will be pretty useless against Masters to compensate for that. Finally, the tag mode would work like Crucis / Fatal Fake with having the masters figthing against each other and servants against each other, but in the same field of combat, but also have the masters affect the servants specials with their own mana reserves and add a layer of tag strategy.
Lost Child / Project Cerberus
This one could work pretty well with that system, but again it would be a either a Dragon Ball Dissidia expy or a Guyver Dissidia expy from above.
Demonbane has Kishin Hishou Demonbane to cover the 3D field, but it’s only for the robots…and they need something for the humans as well…which would probably be a Dragon Ball Dissidia expy, but that’s ok, it fits well. So, in essence it’s a game with two different fighting systems for two different occassions, something that fits the series and several other Super Robot shows.
The Final Verdict
I could go on for a while, but I don’t want to make it that long-winded. At least not now. There are many series that can benefit from that as I said and they fall into several categories from the ones I described above. Even then, they would play pretty differently, just because I simply describe a concept doesn’t mean I have fully envisioned it. For all I know the differences between a Tekkaman Blade Dissidia and a Detonator Orgun Dissidia could be so humongous they wouldn’t even dare call them the same game and that’s not counting the different story and characters in it. So, I hope these get made as always, would love to see the ideas get utilized as always. 🙂 The rest of the series that would follow suit and fall into the categories are the following, as well as the series I described above will be listed below, do not be surprised if you get to see some fit into more than one category. Enjoy. 🙂
Ougon Kishi GARO
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
[Dragon Ball Dissidia Type]
Lost Child / Project Cerberus
Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman
Black Rock Shooter
[Guyver Dissidia Type]
Kyoshoku Shoko Guyver
Fate / Stay Night
Lost Child / Project Cerberus
Ninja Senshi Tobikage
[Demonbane Dissidia Type]
NG Knight Lamune & 40