Two forces struggle for power
Chaos and Cosmos - the goddess of harmony and the god of discord - are in constant battle. They are the universe. As long as they are in equilibrium, all is well.
However, after aeons of fighting, the balance has shifted in Chaos' favour. Cosmos' band of heroes must defeat their greatest foes and collect crystals to restore unity to the universe.
In their greatest challenge yet, these ten warriors are all that is left to save the universe.
Staying faithful to the source
Dissidia: Final Fantasy goes to great lengths to appeal to long-term fans of the series. Each character is lovingly created and their fighting styles reflect their personalities perfectly.
Dialogue between characters from different games is crammed with references to the Final Fantasy canon, and there are plenty of deft touches in the presentation, such as chocobos guiding you through tutorials, obtuse messages from Moggles and occasional cameos from supporting characters.
The story is told with cutscenes between levels, each boasting the high production values for which the series is renowned. There's an incredible amount of depth to the customisation element of the game and hundreds of items to collect; the menus assigned to these are intuitive and make good use of the PSP system's controls to create shortcuts.
The final jewel in this game's sensory crown is the audio. Final Fantasy music is so revered that fans have flocked to concerts to hear orchestras perform it. Here you'll find many recognisable pieces from throughout the series, as well as the characters' original voices.
Heroes and villains
Dissidia: Final Fantasy features more than 20 characters - both heroes and villains - from the entire Final Fantasy universe.
Initially, you can play as any of the heroes from the first ten games in the series. They, and their enemies, are:
Final Fantasy: Warrior of Light & Garland
Final Fantasy II: Firion & The Emporer
Final Fantasy III: Onion Knight & Cloud of Darkness
Final Fantasy IV: Cecil Harvey & Golbez
Final Fantasy V: Bartz Klauser & Exdeath
Final Fantasy VI: Terra Branford & Kefka Pelazzo
Final Fantasy VII: Cloud Strife & Sephiroth
Final Fantasy VIII: Squall Leonheart & Ultimecia
Final Fantasy IX: Zidane Tribal & Kuja
Final Fantasy X: Tidus & Jecht
Taking the fight to new levels
The action-based combat in Dissidia: Final Fantasy at first seems a far cry from the turn-based fighting the series is known for, but dig deeper, and there are similarities.
Each character has two sets of basic attacks: HP and BRV. You and your opponent have a set amount of HP, or health, and BRV, or Bravery; BRV attacks steal Bravery from the opponent, making your attacks more effective and weakening their defences. You also have an EX Gauge which is filled by attacking and collecting items that appear on the battlefield. Filling this allows you to unleash a devastating EX Burst.
Battles are in 3D and can vary in style, depending on the map and the opponent. Flat levels and slower opposition generally result in more direct battles, with each fighter attempting to block or evade attacks in order to counter. Other maps are spread across many levels, and against fast opponents, often produce chases and aerial battles.
Tactical depth comes from the huge range of weaponry and accessories available to collect. These will all be familiar to Final Fantasy veterans, and while newcomers can jump into battle and get to grips with the basics, there are limitless tinkering options and advanced controls to master.
Story mode is where you follow the game's plot and develop your characters and there is also an Arcade mode, where you can choose from any of the heroes and villains and fight on a level playing field, with minimal equipment options. You can also fight against friends via Ad Hoc Mode.