The Value Question
Many people will never let go of the notion that Prologus is a “paid demo,” a quick slice of a game that publishers used to be happy to give us for free. Those of you strong in this belief, I don’t know that anything can convince you otherwise; however, for the rest of you, Prologus does offer more value than the average free sample, though the amount of value varies depending on whether or not you have plans to buy the full game.
At $2.99, Prologus includes an arcade mode featuring seven playable characters and a short story mode with a plot more characteristic of fighting games than Final Fantasy ones. I was able to complete the story, which was some vague thing about FFXIII’s Lightning not trusting the Warrior of Light from FFI, in about twenty minutes once I figured out a winning strategy. That doesn’t seem like a lot of value, but the real meat of Prologus is the arcade mode.
Arcade is split up into normal and hard modes. In the former, you’re given a level 20 character and challenged to clear a series of five battles, whereas in the later the game gives you a level 50 character and challenges you to defeat 30 opponents to clear it. That’s seven characters, 35 fights each; it’s a lot of play time.
Now, in general, a demo is replaced when the full game is released, ie. people don’t continue to play a demo once the full game is available because there is no reason to. Prologus remedies this somewhat by unlocking the support character Aerith and various accessories that carry over into the full release. In a way, it insures that even though you may have bought Prologus to play it, even once you stop playing it in favor of playing Duodecim you still got something for your money.
So, the way I see it, $2.99 gets you the App version of Duodecim, a smaller Duodecim experience that is complete as a fighting game, varied enough to feel content rich, and actual built off the same assets and for the same system as the full version of Duodecim. If you don’t plan on buying Duodecim, Prologus is pretty good value.
If you do plan on picking up Duodecim, some of that value is diminished, since the only part of Prologus you can’t get in the full game is Aerith, a character who may be worth $2.99 alone to some people, but that is up to you to decide for yourself.
The Game Mechanics
Dissidia [Duodecim] Prologus: Final Fantasy is a fighting game with mechanics designed to make the crazy acrobatics, gravity-defying mobility, and devastating power of Final Fantasy CGI cutscenes actually playable. Fights are exciting to watch and the gameplay is unique in the genre.
To explain how the game works, you know how there are many points scored in a basketball game, but in the end, the outcome often comes down to the last few points, as if the rest of the game didn’t really matter; except the rest of the game did matter because the ups and downs are the plot and drama of the game? That’s kind of how matches in Prologus play out.
There are two attack types. One attack type decreases your opponent’s BP, or bravery points, and increases your own BP. Think of BP as the amount of power your attacks have. The more bravery points you have, the more damage you can inflict on an opponent’s health points (HP) with the other of the two attack types. When your opponent runs out of HP, you win.
So, just like the basketball game, there are numerous “exchanges” during a Prologus match, back and forth, BP lost and BP gained. The contest for BP is the story of each match and what makes each one exciting, but in the end, the HP attacks are what determine the final outcome. Add to this unique system large, destructible environments to wall run, double-jump, grind and glide through, and you get a clever and exciting entry into the fighting game genre.