The name sure is a handful.
I'll get the gameplay out of the way first. Firstly, the camera is behind you, third person, almost all the time, and you are free to move around pretty large arenas. You can move in any direction, you can double jump, you can run on walls or rails at the push of a button, and you can dash towards your enemy. After you get used to moving around, then comes the fighting, there's two numbered gauges that you need to keep track of, HP and Bravery. Circle attacks sap your opponent's Bravery and adds it to your own, you can then press Square to use a Special Move that actually deals damage equal to your Bravery to their HP. It's way easier to understand when you play. If at any time your Bravery drops below zero, you enter Break status, where your attacks don't sap Bravery(But do add to yours) and you can't hurt their HP, you exit Break status by letting your Bravery raise back to its default number. There's two other gauges at play, Assist and EX. The Assist gauge is made up of two blocks, using one block lets you summon your partner to deal an attack that saps Bravery, while using two blocks makes them use an attack that deals your Bravery into damage. EX is raised by grabbing orbs that drops when you hit your opponent or grabbing the EX icons that appear on the stage, once it's full, you can enter EX mode that raises your stats and lets you use a special ender if you hit with a Bravery attack. While the camera is not perfect, it does a good job at keeping up with the action and not getting stuck behind objects, except when your opponent goes above you, in which case you depend on the D-pad to move the camera up. It sounds convoluted, but it's actually very easy to just pick up and start playing.
Going back to customization, there is another layer: equipment. Luckily, equipment is shared by everyone, so buying something for one characters means that everyone gets access to it, if they can equip it. I can see the value of this sort of customization, I do, but I would've preferred something that's more balanced, so that it doesn't matter what your equipment is, or what your level is, characters would be well balanced so that skill would do all the talking. Regardless, the game takes customization to another level by actually allowing you to somewhat tweak the mechanics so that you can create your own rulesets for use in Free Battles! This is actually really cool, as it can make for widely different experiences. The game also offers a Quest Creator, if you are so inclined, so that you can create custom quests for other players to take part in! If you are the sort of person that loves tweaking with stuff, this is your game.
There's about 32 characters, each one has 2 alternate costumes, and there are over 20 stages, even if some are just alternate versions of other stages. While the cast is not very diverse, as it consists of, mainly, very effeminate men, it does contain every main character and main villain of the first ten numbered Final Fantasy games. Most stuff has to be unlocked with PP, but there is an overabundance of extras to unlock, you won't be getting done with this game any time soon, and that is actually fantastic.
Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy is the first must-have title I have played on the PSP, there's just so much for the player to do, it just keeps on giving. The Gameplay, while hardly competitive, is very easy to get into.
9.0 out of 10.