Cosmos vs Chaos
So what is this game? For those who don't know about it, imagine they took every main hero and villain from the first ten Final Fantasy games also including one from 11 and 12 and then turned it into a fighting game where you choose your favorite and fight in an eternal conflict. Or as the story goes. It's a pretty fun game with a unique sort of battle system and a large roster of characters to play. It also includes a pretty lengthy story mode, quick battle modes and a Colosseum where you fight random warriors to pick up various items for crafting.
The story is about two gods, Cosmos and Chaos, who have been in an eternal conflict and have summoned the greatest fighters they could find to help fight this battle for them. The story is extremely basic in my eyes but has some interesting twists about what is actually going on in this conflict, how long the chosen fighters have actually been fighting, and whose side they have been on in its various incarnations.
Recently I decided to pick this back up and play it some more and finish up some loose ends I left with it such as beating the alternate levels and working on various characters I never took the time to play. I also need to farm materials for weapons and armor for my lineup as I never realized there was so much of it to get. But here it is, my top 5 characters I frequent the most.
# 5 Onion Knight
If you aren't familiar with this character I don't blame you. He was part of a nameless roster in Final Fantasy III and the game wasn't released in the US until they remade it for the Nintendo DS. It's main feature is a job system that allows you to change your four characters into various types of classes and tailor them to the way you'd like to play. I still haven't fully played the game myself but I will get back to it eventually.
When I first played this guy in Dissidia I didn't think much of him but as I started to go back and collect things in each characters stories he stuck out to me. He has some pretty interesting combos and a nice mix of magic and melee skill that allows me to mix up my fighting styles if I'd like. He also has some of the most annoying moves to get caught in and be unable to dodge which makes him fun to fight with and terrible to go against. My only issue with him is he is probably one of the weakest fighters in the game especially compared to my other favorites but I have worked with him enough that he holds a spot in my top 5 now.
# 4 Firion
The main character from Final Fantasy 2, a little better known than Onion Knight but some may not have played this game due to it's difficult battle system. It's been ported to several platforms and is usually bundled with Final Fantasy 1. It's unique feature was the battle system where there is no experience and no levels per se, but instead you level skills by using them. The more you use your sword, axe, fire magic, healing or whatever else, the better and more effective it is. This also includes your defense, hit points, and every stat you can think of. Very difficult to work with but the story was interesting enough to keep going at it.
Like Onion Knight I didn't think much about this guy at first but when I got some levels on him he became this beast that just amazed me. The way he can draw your opponent in and just decimate them is right up my ally. He also has a nice shield move that will block just about anything and follow it up with a powerful attack. The only reason he is so low on my list is because he's just not as fluid to me as my other choices but he is still fun to play with and easy to pick up on.
# 3 Terra
Terra comes from Final Fantasy 6 but you may know her from Final Fantasy 3 as its called in the US. Several years after being released as 3 in the States, it was re-released as 6 and bundled with 5 on the Playstation. It then got many more ports to various handhelds. This game was by far one of my favorite Role Playing Games. It had a great story, huge cast of playable characters, an easy to learn battle system that involved learning spells from equipped summons and every character having their own unique abilities they could use. This was also the first game to offer a type of Limit system where a character could unleash an ultimate attack dependant on certain variables.
I love this game so much but why is she #3 on my list? Well for one she is primarily a ranged attacker and magic user. She has one melee attack and takes some time getting used to. I do enjoy her magic attacks though, having some nasty spells your opponents can have a hard time trying to get out of including Flood and Tornado. I also enjoy using her as a change of pace and switching it up from my normal all out melee attacking I usually do on most characters. She has an interesting fighting concept and unlike most of the Cosmos roster, she is a range based fighter which makes her unique in that aspect and puts her at #3 on my list.
#2 Warrior of Light
From the original Final Fantasy, he was slightly remade from being just the Fighter class in the game to something with a slightly better background. The first game in the series provided players with a great starting RPG in the 80's along with Dragon Warrior and Phantasy Star. It had a random battle system, 6 classes to choose from that could later be upgraded to stronger classes, a unique spell system where you only had so many magic spells you could use until you where out, and a decent story to follow. Its been ported to several different platforms, being packaged with Final Fantasy 2 and its original Nintendo release was one of the hardest RPG's I've ever played to date. I have an interesting story about the first time I beat that game to just ask if interested!
I'll be completely honest about my top two choices. They are very easy to play and have very simple combo set ups and abilities. Terra should have been my #2 but as I played the others again this guy became one of my favorites. He is the most balanced character in the game, has an even set of melee and ranged attacks and some really nasty juggling and combo finishers. He is pretty customizable with his move set and is easily tailored to just about any style you like. I really don't have much bad to say about this guy only that some of his moves can set him up for failure if he doesn't land a hit. Other than that, this is a solid character to start with and I highly recommend him to anyone just starting out on the game. So then you might ask why he isn't my #1? Well that's reserved for someone a little more unique to my style of play.
The main hero of Final Fantasy 7 and part of one of the most heavily fan based Role Playing Games ever, this game is usually in many gamers list of best games they played. It was pretty basic for an RPG, random battle system, huge use of the active time battle, summons, magic and abilities that you had to equip to your gear in the form of Materia, and a story that is about as weird and crazy as it gets. I'm really not sure how this game became so big, maybe the graphics at the time? The fact that it was a Final Fantasy? I mean Xenogears came out about the same time and even Tactics was out but some how this game managed to overshadow everything at the time.
I know what you are thinking. He's a fan boy for this game. Not really, though I liked it, I actually have my own personal favorites in the series (Maybe another top list coming up?). The reason I like Cloud so much is because his fighting style is totally different from what I expected of him. I expected him to just pummel the enemy with brute force and decimate the field with his massive blade but what he ends up becoming is a defense then offense fighter. He's indeed a beast when it comes to damage and is able to take out people in one hit usually if they don't take to him cautiously. He doesn't have a huge amount of moves to work with so you can always expect whats coming from him but when he does hit you, man does it hurt. I'm usually an offensive fighter in games like this but since playing Cloud I've gotten used to actually holding back, blocking hits and then punishing the opponent by slamming them into a surface or through a wall. For now he is my #1 until something better comes along.
Honorable Mentions and Closing
A few characters I've played but haven't gotten down quite yet would be Sephiroth, Cecil, Zidane and Squall. Cecil is one I've decided to work with next because his fighting style seems interesting. He can switch between Dark Knight and Paladin forms to switch up his preference of air or ground tactics. Sephiroth, like Cloud, was something totally different from what I thought he would be and involves some pretty unique combos that involve timing your button presses. With Zidane and Squall I just feel like something is there to try to work with. Zidane is so agile and fast and Squall actually uses his damn gun blade to shoot so it intrigues me and is on my list of characters to start focusing on.
From my list you can also tell I haven't played practically any of the Chaos roster. They don't have their own story mode and you have to take them into Arcade, Quick Battle or Colosseum modes to fight with them. Sephiroth is probably the first and only one I've tried but others I'd like to look into from just reading about their styles are Golbez, Kuja, Kefka, Emporer and ExDeath.
If you haven't played this game or might be interested in trying it I highly recommend it especially for fans of Final Fantasy. I can't think of another fighter that has this kind of battle system and gameplay style. There is a ton of content to work with in it with various modes of play, tons of stories to follow from each characters perspective and an epic last boss fight that ranks pretty high on my list of most cheesy, spam ridden boss battles I've ever had the pleasure of taking on. Let me also clarify that my list includes no bias from myself of my favorites in the series, except maybe Final Fantasy 6, and is purely based on what type of play style I've picked up on from playing this game. Again, thanks everyone for reading my article! Comments and thoughts are always welcome!