The next in the Final Fantasy chapter comes to the Playstation Portable from award-winning developers Square Enix. Will Prologus follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and live up to the high expectations they have set? Let’s find out as we put Dissidia(012)Prologus under the GamesMediaPro microscope.
With Dissidia (012) Duodecim having just set the handheld charts alight with its compelling storyline and challenging gameplay, is it possible that Square Enix could ‘do the double’ and score another massive hit with Dissidia(012)Prologus? Read on to discover the truth as we bring you the full review of the latest game in the record-breaking franchise.
For those gamers out there who are avid followers of all that takes place in the Final Fantasy universe, as we here at GamesMediaPro most definitely are, Dissidia (012)Prologus will offer up a solid introduction for those waiting to sample the delights that are to be found in big sister to the download only title, Dissidia (012) Duodecim. Billed as a tantalising prelude to the highly impressive Dissidia Duodecim, Prologus is a short tale of action and intrigue that see’s the player stepping into the high-kicking boots of Final Fantasy XIII’s ‘Lightning’ once again. Although there is another download available to players that will allow for a further surprise, that will no doubt bring a smile a mile wide to all fan’s of this best-selling series.
The plotline to Square Enix’s ‘prequel’ goes a little something like this: ‘Cosmos’, the Goddess of Harmony, is in an eternal battle against the evil God of Discord ‘Chaos’ and has summoned our heroine Lightning from her home world to assist in the struggle against the villainous Chaos and his despicable Minions. Along the way, as Lightning fights off numerous vicious attacks by Chaos warriors, the beautiful Lightning makes the acquaintance of the enigmatic Kain, a soldier himself of much prowess and renown, and in turn the two also happen upon another pair of wandering combatants in the shape of Jecht and the mysterious ‘Warrior of Light’. But is all that it appears to be in this distant realm, and is Lightning herself merely being used as a pawn by her new-found companions? That, dear GmP readers, is for you all to discover in Square Enix’s stunning opener to the Dissidia world.
Remarkably shot in stunning detail, as we have come to expect from all Square Enix and Final Fantasy related titles, Dissidia Prologus is as beautiful and visually impressive as any of its larger sibling. The same trademark textures and superb attention to every conceivable detail has been woven into every line of coding that has made up this fantastical fantasy world. Lightning looks as stunning as ever with her huge sword cutting through swathes of ‘bad guys’ in her perilous quest to rid the realm of the evil stench that permeates from the loathsome God of Discord, Chaos himself.
The gameplay and the combat are instantly recognisable and have. thankfully, not been altered or tampered with in any shape or form from previous outings of the Final Fantasy handheld titles. The same style of control’s also make their welcome return as Square Enix have followed the time-honoured rule that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And Dissidia Prologus is far from in need of any fixing. Combat still takes place in the impressive arena styled locations that we all know and love so much, and the actual mechanic’s are the Bravery and HP build up attacks that have worked so well throughout the entire handheld series of Final Fantasy titles. In another nice addition to the already cracking combat formula, players may now summon an ally to aid them in their plight against more powerful or numerically superior opponents. You do this when the appropriate meter is filled to the required level and turns ‘orange’, from there its just a case of pressing of the summoned character bashing at the enemy with a Bravery attack. However should you choose to let both bars in the meter turn orange, then you are rewarded by the summoned character being permitted to perform an all-conquering HP attack which sends the enemy sprawling.
The game itself is a solid affair offering up the perfect distraction for all those anxious fan’s of the Final Fantasy franchise as the await the arrival of Duodecim with bated breath. But although the actual story is short there is also the added bonus of the smashing Arcade Mode that will see players having some epic battles with some truly spectacular enemies and Bosses. With an outstanding five enemy ladder that comes complete with (level)20 characters and a further impressive twenty enemy ladder with (level)50 characters that are available for players to revel in, we think that Prologus goes a long way to shaking off the short story emblem with this far meatier affair that is just awaiting your presence in the alternative mode. Then there is also the fact that you get eight corking characters to take command of in your quest for mastery of the Arcade Mode, with everyone from Lightning and Kain putting in an appearance and you will soon agree that for a mere £2.99 prequel, Dissidia (012) Prologus has got a lot more to offer than a good many full priced digital download titles.
Graphics: As spectacular as anything in the Final Fantasy back catalogue, with everything that we have come to take for granted from Square Enix when it is related to their flagship franchise. Fantastically detailed and beautifully rendered Prologus is yet another example of the cutting edge visuals that come as standard with all Square Enix titles. 10
Gameplay: With the same format as all of the Dissidia and Final Fantasy handheld titles Prologus scores a similar tally as we would have given its bigger brothers and sisters for that very fact. Far from being a mere ‘demo’ this is, in fact, a genuine pre-cursor to the main event and should be treated as such. Prologus has far more ‘bite’ than just the ‘bark’ of a demo, and this is nowhere more obvious than when you play the first-rate Arcade Mode. With easy handling control’s and a cracking story to get you all in the mood for Dissidia (012)Duodecim, Prologus will satisfy those needs as you await the arrival of the main meal. 8
RePlay Value: The short story is fleshed out by the chunkier Arcade Mode, but let’s all face facts here, we are all waiting for the day that Dissidia (012) Duodecim arrives on the doormat and so the lifespan of Prologus, unfortunately, can be measured by such a time scale. However, that being said it is still a genuinely entertaining ‘short’ that will keep you entertained for many an hour as you await Duodecim with nervous anticipation. 7
Presentation: Once again Square Enix prove that when it comes to delivering even a short story to keep their fan’s happy, then they do it just that little bit better than most. Prologus may only have a short storyline, but then it only had too, as Dissidia (012) Doudecim is just around the corner and so players will get the full treatment from that game. But we have to keep hammering this one home to put it in perspective, this game only costs £2.99. What are waiting for…? 9