Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
Platform: iOS, Android
Released: February 1st, 2017
Series: Dissidia Final Fantasy
Intro: Unlike most other reviews, this game happens to be a free mobile game. I don’t often put a lot of stock into free mobile games since most are overloaded with ads and demand real money to get anywhere. Opera Omnia, however, is one of the extremely rare exceptions that contains no ads, and everything can be acquired in-game by normal gameplay. You would expect that something without ads or requiring money would be pretty low quality, but in fact Opera Omnia is anything but that.
Story: The story of Opera Omnia is a typical Dissidia tale, finding every excuse to bring together the various cast of each Final Fantasy game. Major elements are told through cutscenes. The main story is broken up into acts and chapters which introduces the mandatory characters. These are the ones that you must acquire to advance. Other characters are introduced through time limited events that are later brought back as Lost Chapters for permanent play. There;s also several other events and dungeons that add little bits and side pieces to the story. Honestly it’s a lot to keep up with and I find myself skipping most of it to get to the gameplay, but to be honest, every Dissidia game has had a very weak story that was basically just an excuse for the various characters to commingle and visit worlds other than their own. It’s not bad per se, but it isn’t the game’s strength. 3 out of 5.
Characters: There are a plethora of playable characters in this game; more than probably any other except perhaps Record Keeper. As of this writing there are 129, but the number continues to grow regularly. There’s representation from every game in the series, including some of the spin offs such as Crystal Chronicles and Type-0. A few games even have villains as playables, but the vast majority are heroes. The characters maintain their personalities and motives from their original games, but that aspect is pretty much not a big deal for this game. I love the selection and the fact that they are continuing to add more characters, guaranteeing that your favorites are playable, or will be soon. 4 out of 5.
Graphics: Square continues to impress with stellar graphics and this game is no disappointment. They are not on par for realism like FFXV, but rather the designs are more of a cartoon-style. This was most likely done for consistency as most of the cast were playable in either sprite form, or in more realistic form. This is a good combination between the two, closer to the style of Final Fantasy IX. The monsters are made in similar fashion, looking like they properly belong in the same world. The environments are pleasant to look at and equally as detailed. Sometimes it does feel like there isn’t as much variety in the fighting zones, but that can be overlooked easily. Another small tidbit that I like is that the weapons change based on what the character has equipped, giving a small but fun aesthetic change. The special effects used for abilities are just the right amount of flashy, often resembling their original game styles. All in all it makes for a well designed and natural image that is pleasing to look at and fun to battle in. 4 out of 5.
Sound: The game takes tracks from the various games and original ones as well. Special effects sounds are fine but nothing over the top. Character voices are in Japanese, so no English dubs. If you’re used to watching subtitled anime, you’ll not even think twice about it. I personally keep the sound off most of the time because I am doing other things while I am playing, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the sound. It’s top notch as Square always is. 3 out of 5.
Gameplay: This is where the game truly shines. It combines the best parts of Dissidia with turn-based battles, giving you a great hybrid of an RPG. You have your brave attacks and HP attacks, and each character starts off with one special ability that has limited number of uses. As you upgrade your character in various ways, you gain additional special abilities, extra uses to existing ones, and can even change the effects the abilities have. What is interesting here is that there are several different ways to upgrade characters, and to get the best performance from a character, you need to use all of them together. Regular level ups through experience points give you stat boosts like HP/ATK/DEF up but also increase your maximum and initial values of your brave attacks. (You use brave attacks to weaken enemies and strengthen yours so you can use HP attacks to deplete their HP). Crystal levels are gained by spending crystals of various colors and sizes and while some give you stat boosts, the most important thing they bring are additional abilities and upgrades to those abilities. A character at exp level 70 but crystal level 1 is vastly inferior to a warrior with both levels at 70. The next way to enhance your character is by way of mastering weapons, done through an upgrade system similar to FFXIII, with feeding weapons items to gain exp and special items to limit break them to their next form. Mastering weapons and armor both add stat boosts, but weapons can give you new abilities altogether or modify existing ones. Characters also get an affinity bonus if they equip a weapon designed specifically for them. So exp levels, crystal levels, and weapon upgrades, what else? Training boards! Special challenges award different types of spendable points that you can allocate to your boards, again gaining new abilities and modifying existing ones as well as stat boosts, and as a bonus, currency! Gil is used for buying weapon and armor upgrades, but the prime currency is gems. You collect those through playing the game and when you get enough, you can do several different things, one of which is taking a draw at a chance-based purchase of weapons and armor. The best part is that with each 10 item draw, you are guaranteed a unique and powerful weapon for a character. You end up with a lot of junk too, but you can feed that to the better weapons and armor to level them up. Oh, and even better than all that is that nothing in the game is locked by real world money. You can get absolutely every single thing in the game just by playing it. Sure, like any RPG there is a grind and farming factor, but that’s part of the fun of an RPG. It may take slightly longer to get some items than if you paid outright for them, but even if you pay for more gems, your draws are luck based so it could be a waste of money anyway. 5 out of 5
Content: There is so much content in this game. There is the story mode of course, but then there are a ton of side quests. Mandatory characters are gained during the story but additional characters are gained in bonus chapters, which usually include some extremely difficult foes by the end of the chapter. There;s also summon battles where you can fight increasingly difficult versions of your summons, and there’s various bonus dungeons and missions you can do to earn extra crystals, gil, or items. There’s daily mission rewards to collect, challenge boards to fill, and always at least one or two special events. There are so many options that sometimes it can feel overwhelming deciding what to do next. Thankfully there are no right or wrong scenarios; you play as you see fit. Nothing seems to be truly missable; you may just have to wait for it to cycle back to being a playable event again. I honestly feel like with the number of characters, the different ways to enhance them, the prizes you earn, and the multitude of side quests, there is never a dull moment in Opera Omnia. 5 out of 5.
Overall: This is by far my favorite mobile game I have ever played. I cannot say enough good things about it. The graphics are fun, the sound is great, and the gameplay and content are amazing. If I have to say anything bad about it, it’s that there is so much to do I don’t always know what I wanna focus on next. I give this game a very strong 4, very close to a 5.