New Final Fantasy Dissidia fighter lets you play as Ramza from Tactics!

“Final Fantasy fighting game?  Are you serious?”

If you’re asking this question then chances are that you missed the lovely Dissidia series on the Sony PSP.  Dissidia: Final Fantasy was a gorgeous, featured-filled RPG-fighting game hybrid that reviewed highly but did not get the exposure beyond Japan that it probably deserved.  Dissidia asks the player to pick from a hero or a villain from each of the first ten Final Fantasy games, equip weapons and spells and take them on an FMV-filled journey to level up and take down evil alongside their fellow heroes and heroines.  Dissidia was so packed with extra gameplay features, summons, stages, songs and other fan pandering gifts that it would make Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai blush.   Eventually Dissidia spawned a sequel (012: Duodecim because Nomura decided the Kingdom Hearts titles weren’t confusing enough.  Duodecim was another PSP exclusive, retaining the same familiar tight gameplay while adding several new playable characters such as FFXIII’s Lightning and FFVII’s Tifa.

It has been long-known that Square Enix had been planning an arcade-based sequel but it wasn’t until today’s closed-conference that a very select crowd was exposed to a bevy of sweet details. First and foremost, the new game will be developed by Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja, the same team responsible for the Dead or Alive series.  SiliconEra reports that new Dissidia runs on the PS4 core-engine, heavily suggesting that the game will eventually be ported to the console though the development team stressed that they wanted fans to experience it in the arcades first.

Running at a solid 60 fps, the fighter will introduce a new 3 v. 3 battle system without abandoning the series core gameplay roots.  Equipment and spells are still in use although summons will now be shared and assigned to a team of 3.  Finally, Square Enix and Team Ninja boldly announced that they game will feature over 50 playable characters in a growing roster that will benefit from system updates and free upgrades.  One of those 50 characters was revealed by renowned Final Fantasy art director and Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura to be Final Fantasy Tactics protagonist Ramza Beoulve.  This marks the character’s first appearance in the Dissidia franchise, sporting a slightly updated look that doesn’t stray far from his original design (see below).  Though he won’t be immediately available upon the game’s initial release this fall, we will see him in a major update shortly afterwards.

It is unknown whether or not we can expect to see additional Tactics characters (Delita anyone?) but we may learn more when the game is exposed to the public for testing on April 17th.

Take a look at the official press release and feast your eyes on the new trailer below- though you might want to turn down your volume because that (admittedly awesome) rock remix of the Dissidia theme is going to punch you in the ears:

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…and you haven’t explored the Final Fantasy Tactics series, do yourself a favor and pick up Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.