After three and a half years western gamers dive into Final Fantasy Type-0, a game that was exclusive to Japanese PSP owners, in a form of HD remaster for both the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. So should you embark on this Final Fantasy?
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is in fact a part of Fabula Nova Crystallis series, just like Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus (renamed to Final Fantasy XV). These games are loosely connected by having similar motives and themes, but ultimately stand on their own. This is the case for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, which can be enjoyed without playing the previous games in the series. Everything we need to know is explained in the lengthy opening sequence and makes for a nice start.
The game is set in Orience, a land of four nations, each in possession of a special crystal. Crystals mark individual humans as an l’Cie which gives them strength to complete a task they are given, called “Focus”. Each nation has an academy which studies the crystal and serves to protect it. The land is torn apart when the aggressive Militesi Empire of White Tiger Crystal launches an attack on The Dominion of Ruburum and their Vermilion Bird Crystal. This is where our heroes, the Class Zero, come from and as loyal servants to the country and the crystal they are bound to protect themselves and try to steer the war in their favour.
Class Zero consists of fourteen students which you can take into battle. Every student provides a specific play style as each has a unique weapon accompanied by different equipment and magic. Some students wield fairly standard weapons but then there are also some of the more interesting ones. For example, Ace’s weapon is a deck of playing cards, Deuce plays flute offensively and defensively, Trey wields a bow, Cather wields a magic gun and Sice wields her scythe. Each student has a backstory which you can find out along the way as you talk with different characters and by reading in Crystarium, Academeia’s library.
Missions in Type-0 are varied and cleverly crafted. They are challenging enough, that you can learn from your mistakes and find a way to get past any obstacle that the game tosses at you. This is where Final Fantasy Type-0 really shines. Each mission will give you an interesting challenge, for example, to destroy plans for a top secret new military mecha. Some missions will carry out on the world map where you will command armies in order to recapture a city.
Before going on a mission you can choose three characters as your main forces and reserve characters that you can call upon if members of your main forces fall in battle. Final Fantasy Type-0 features real time battle system where you can freely switch between your three main characters. You have your normal attack, magical and skill attacks, special group attacks, summons and more. The game offers a great variety to how you can tackle each mission. It gives you a lot of opportunity to experiment and see which play style you like. In case you get stuck mid mission because it can get overwhelming you can abort a mission retaining the experience your characters have acquired.
Behind Academeia’s gates is a sanctuary where your soldiers will rest after each mission. This is where you will have time to talk to your fellow cadets and teachers in order to gain items and reveal more of the backstory. Similarly to Persona you will be given a certain amount of time before your next mission so you should use it wisely. Or you could choose to advance the time faster and get straight to your next mission. Academeia feels alive as students go about their daily lives and there are different regular changes all the time so I recommend you definitely check everything out before a next mission.
There is a ton of optional stuff to do in Type-0. Not only is Academeia brimming with life, but also the world map with its different towns which you can visit after you have recaptured them. There are optional Tasks, Expert Trials and many hidden little tasks inside cities which you can do that will give you additional bonuses. In order to traverse these vast distances faster you are given Chocobos to ride, but not for long as each Chocobo escapes after a while. There is even a Chocobo Ranch at Akademeia where you can breed them.
There have been many enhancements from the PSP version to get the game to this generation of consoles. The Lighting and game models look vastly improved, though don’t expect this game to look like it was specifically developed for this generation of consoles. Given that this is a PSP game port I think that Square Enix has done a great job. To make the game more accessible there are now difficulty modes added as follows: Cadet (easy mode), Officer (normal), Agito (hard) and Finis (expert). Multiplayer features from the original game have been omitted. Instead you can obtain SPP points, which is like another currency to buy exclusive stuff in the game, by calling backup characters which help you on your missions.
The only gripe I had with this game was the game’s camera which can move a bit frenetic when you start playing which is intensified by motion blur effects that have been added. But after a while I got used to it and switching lock on to pressing R1 in the options helped a lot in battles.
The game includes both Japanese and English voice work. Soundtrack and sound effects have also been remastered for the new systems and it fits really great with the theme of the game.
If you are tired of the same old JRPG schemes and want a challenging but rewarding experience, this game is for you. Also if you have been disappointed in the recent Final Fantasy titles give this game a go. If you like tailoring your play style and experimenting this game is like a breath of fresh air. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has to offer more content then some of the next generation games coming out, so it deserves much more attention.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD launched for the PS4 and Xbox One with a bonus of Final Fantasy XV demo which we have covered previously.