With any all new Final Fantasy’s there is one inevitable question, is it as good as Final Fantasy VII? Does Final Fantasy Type-0 HD reach the fabled heights of its predecessor or would we rather have it wiped from our minds like one of the games dead?
Final Fantasy Type-0 is a very different type of Final Fantasy adventure with a darker storyline and real time combat. Type-0 was originally announced in 2006 as Final Fantasy Agito, part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub series. Agito was to be a mobile game and be connected to Final Fantasy XIII and Versus XIII which will now be released as Final Fantasy XV.
Type-0’s story of an all-out war, weapons of mass destruction, and child soldiers will be easier to empathise with than most of the more fanciful entries in the series. Strong nations declaring war on the rest of the world could have been pulled from today’s headlines leaving it as relevant today as it was in 2006.
Then to a real time battle system similar to Kingdom Hearts makes the game feel more like Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII than any of the series main entries. It also looks to be similar to the one we will find in XV. Moving from the turn based combat found in most over Final Fantasy, this new and refreshing system makes Type-0 some of the most fun I’ve had in a Final Fantasy game for a long time.
Each of the games fourteen playable characters have their own unique set of weapons and skills acquired by AP points. Ace for example uses magically enhanced playing cards to deal damage to enemies but acquiring new can boost attacks, boost support statutes or provide healing magic where as Trey the archer can change arrow types and improve distance attacks.
Each character is also a defensive magic that can be used while standing still, most of the time I found myself sticking to healing magic and dodging rather than something like Wall. The dodge button is one of the most important in the game as staying still too long will result in even high level characters being killed quickly.
Locking on to targets during combat enables the Break Sight and Kill Sight abilities. Pulling of a Break Site attack will deal increased damage to an enemy, while Kill Sight results in a instant kill but these skills usually requires standing still to lock on. This risk vs reward will challenge players to change up the way they play against stronger enemies for a bigger pay off.
While completing missions for the military academy Class Zero can receive help from higher level members of other classes. While this does happen at random intervals and the help does replace one member of the three person team this help can be indispensable. Using these helpers builds SP points that are used to by some high level items or as part of time side jobs.
While working through the games main missions players are offered an extra challenge in the form of SO missions. An SO mission can be activated upon entering each new area and while they the rewards are high, failing on means death for the active leader. Failing a mission results in three death portals opening and attempting to capture the soul of a character, these can be dodge but will make the mission harder to concentrate on.
Type-0’s allows each of the fourteen characters to equip any of the magic the player has unlocked. These do replace an active skill but the Altocrystarium allows players to upgrade each spell. To afford the upgrades players must collect Phantoma from fallen enemies before their bodies disintegrate. The Altocrystarium system is a lot of fun to play around with and players can make some incredibly powerful spell, although for every upgrade their is a penalty to MP cost.
Some of the drag from grinding can be skipped by using the Secret Mission option in the training area. By saving and stepping away from the game the active character will receive an XP boost from training. This system can be abused by moving the systems clock ahead to get the most from each save, this does help keep some of the lesser used members of Class Zero at the same level as the rest without hours of grinding or helping a reviewer getting their review done quicker.
The Eidolons make a return to the series in Type-0. Similar to Final Fantasy XIII the Eidolons are controllable and one of the strongest moves in Class Zeros arsenal. Unlike previous games in the series, Eidolons require a sacrifice to summon. Each member of Class Zero can summon an Eidolon but will be left unconscious afterwards, as players only have a set number of support characters they can summon on the the battlefield this should be seen as a last resort. This new Eidolon system is great fun to play around with and having to sacrifice a character is a genuinely tough decision compared to previous games MP cost.
There are two types of mission in Final Fantasy Type-0, main story missions that usually take the form of clearing out enemy controlled cities and RTS battles in the open world. While the story missions work well the RTS battles can be rather difficult to navigate. The camera can be a major problem at times, making it hard to navigate and fight.
Between missions the members of Class Zero can interact with other members of the military academy. To me this segment felt very similar to another popular Japanese series, although with the same level of depth and reward. Interacting with one of the many students will start a short non interactive conversation on cut scene. Taking part in these introduces new characters and rewards players with new and helpful items, although there is very little incentive to take part.
As a HD re-release of a PSP game, Type-0 graphics are not the best around, the open world textures feel flat and many characters faces seem to be out of focus. The pre rendered cut scenes on the other hand look fantastic and it’s nice to see the wartime news feel used throughout. Like most Final Fantasy games, the soundtrack to Type-0 is fantastic and its main theme is one of the series best so far.
While most people have probably bought Final Fantasy Type-0 for the Final Fantasy XV – EPISODE DUSCAE demo that comes with it, Type-0 is a different type of Final Fantasy that is worth your time. It certainly isn’t the best looking game in the series the real time combat and open world to explore more than make up for it.
This review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD provided to us by Square Enix.