To save a world
At the end of January, Square Enix launched both Dissidia Final Fantasy NT – a PS4 port of its popular arcade arena fighter – and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, a kindred turn based free-to-play RPG on Android and iOS. The games follow similar story lines, and you play on the side of the heroes. At this moment, Opera Omnia is an incomplete story – chapter six just released – that releases new chapters periodically and maintains consistent events in the meantime. Is the game, however, worth whatever time and, if you choose, monetary investments you may decide to invest?
At its core, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is structured like most free-to-play games of its time – you get login bonuses, and micro transactions can help you improve your characters and unlock better gear. What sets most of Square Enix’s ftp (free-to-play) games apart is that, in most cases, actual purchases are unnecessary (like in Mobius Final Fantasy).
Opera Omnia follows all of our favorite heroes from the Final Fantasy as they attempt to save the world – the one they were summoned to – from the planesgorgers. Where Dissidia Final Fantasy NT featured a good handful of characters, each with a plethora of skills that made them unique, Omnia Opera draws in an exponentially higher amount of characters. For example, from the beginning of Omnia Opera, you control Rem, the Warrior of Light, Vivi, and quickly find yourself with Sazh, Hope, and more as allies. Shortly after I began, an event was featured that allowed me to recruit both Squall and Vanille. My current roster includes 28 characters, ranging from the likes of Steiner to Laguna to Vaan. Basically, Omnia Opera is the ultimate fan service of Final Fantasy RPGs, as you can play as almost all of your favorite heroes. To this point, none of the villains are recruitable, but that may change in the future.
Each available chapter consists of many battles and ‘cinematics’, so there is actually quite a bit of content packed in to the original five – now six – chapters. The feel of the battles is a mixture between Mobius Final Fantasy and something like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes in that many of the battles you engage in often have multiple ‘rounds’. Unlike any other game, however, Opera Omnia features one of the best turn based combat systems I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. With the HP/BP (bravery points) system borrowed directly from the Dissidia franchise, Opera Omnia incorporates its own version into turn based play. Each enemy and every one of your characters begins with a set amount of HP and BP; as you use BP attacks, you can lower the enemy’s BP while raising yours (when they break – or when their BP is struck below zero – your whole party gains a BP boost). As your BP heightens, you can turn that into your HP attacks (attacks that deal damage to the opposition’s HP). For example, if my Squall had 3,500 BP and attacked a foe with 1,200 HP, he would deal 3,500 HP points; after the attack, his own BP would fall to zero. And therein lies a strategic portion of the game. As you expend your BP in attacks, you leave yourself vulnerable to a break. Fortunately, you can tell who each enemy is targeting and can therefore strategize your BP and HP attacks accordingly. The entire system is deep, and characters eventually learn some extra BP and HP attacks that cause more damage, induce buffs or debuffs, and more.
Included in Omnio Opera, too, are weapons and armor that boost your characters’ abilities. As you play, you’ll be rewarded with gems that can be used to summon gear (5,000 gems will summon gear that includes a guaranteed 5 star weapon). The better the gear, the more stat increases your characters will receive. If the gear is made specifically for each character, they receive more boosts, too. Characters can use weapons and gear from any game as long as they’re proficient with the weapon (Laguna can use pistols from Final Fantasy XIII and Sazh can use Laguna’s SMG, for example), so if there’s a character you’re itching to try, chances are you can equip him/her with reasonable gear. Here, however, is where microtransactions come in to play. Players can buy more gems with real life currency, allowing them to find the best gear for their characters. Fortunately, I have yet to even feel a tiny urge to buy these gems, as I’ve obtained 5 star weapons for Cloud, Squall, Yuna, Rem, and more from just what I’ve played.
In addition to the combat and gear, your characters can be powered up with crystals. Each character type has a matching crystal color, and amassing crystals will allow you to unlock more abilities for each character (they may, for example, unlock more base HP/BP, new attacks, attack upgrades, and more). Should you run dry, daily events allow you to battle for various crystal colors (I believe each color matches a day of the week, with one day featuring an event that awards crystals of every color). It’s a neat system that allows you to level your characters up to 50 and also bring their crystal level to 50, too.
In all, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia continues to draw me in to, at the least, collect my daily login bonus. As content further enhances the game, I will assuredly return to explore. Mobius Final Fantasy has provided me with hours of enjoyment for the past two years, and I don’t see why Opera Omnia will prove different. If you choose to forego the unnecessary micro transactions, then you’ll legitimately have an entirely free-to-play experience that isn’t hindered by roadblocks or paywalls. As Square Enix continues to embrace the mobile platform, I see the quality of their ftp games increase, and the micro transactions to become less of a burden. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, Opera Omnia is surely to tug on your nostalgic heart strings while offering up some of the best turn based gameplay I’ve seen.