Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Review
Follow Genre: (Action) RPG
Developer: Square Enix 1st Production Department, HexaDrive
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Old school feel, Lots of characters, Overall plot, Great port
Bad: Sometimes a bit too much to handle, Only able to take on one siqe mission at a time
User Score
9.6
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)

It seems the prayers of all Final Fantasy fans have been answered with the release of the HD remake of Type-0. The original Type-0 was normally intended to be a Japanese exclusive for the Sony PSP, in 2011. Nonetheless, after four years, Square Enix saw the light and now Type-0 HD hits the shelves, to offer you a chance to play this fairly unknown gem.

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Story

You’ll find yourself in the midst of the Dominion of Rubrum, one of the Crystal States of Orience – a peaceful state where tragic losses are wiped clean from one’s mind by the crystals themselves. Everyone believes you cannot live your life to its full potential if you are tied down by the tragic events of the past.

Even though all seemed well, the Milites Empire randomly declares war and tries to invade the other Crystal States, in order to gain complete control. All Crystal States use magic to defend themselves, except for the Milites Empire. The Milites Empire depends on the use of advanced technology such as guns, airships and even different kinds of nuclear weapons, but they have recently developed an even bigger threat for the other Crystal States, namely the crystal jammers. These jammers prevent magic users to exercise their powers.

This is where the mysterious Class Zero comes in the picture, as they seem to be drawing their magic powers from another place than the crystals. Even though they might serve as the saviors of the Dominion, they are not well received by everyone. The military tends to hate the fact that their so-called mother Dr. Arecia Al-Rashia is climbing the ranks, and the students hate Class Zero for stealing the spotlight. A story of unappreciated heroes is well underway it seems.

Overall the story is brought to you by short cinematics that provide snippets of information. At first you’ll be lacking a lot of information, but if you happen to love talking to citizens in the world of Orience, you’ll find the necessary information that enables you to enjoy a great tale, in this very dark Final Fantasy story.

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Graphics

It takes a lot of effort to make a title that originally appeared on the PSP, look good by today’s standards. Square Enix did a good job in creating a game that’s both appealing as well as up to date for the current generation. Overall you will be treated to a rather detailed environment, nicely animated characters and enough textures to keep the games from becoming too bland.

Class Zero and the main characters have been animated a tad better than all the side characters as well as certain enemies, but facial expressions are not always that decently done. At certain times, some characters will keep the same straight face throughout an entire dialogue, even if they are upset, angry or happy.

The world map looks both old school and modern. Just like in very old school RPG games, you will roam freely upon the (world) map, where your character is disproportioned compared to the overall surroundings (small towns, small trees, …). This style makes both the modern and the old school elements go hand in hand, creating a fun whole .

Even though the graphical updates are positive for the most part, there are a few other issues that Type-0 HD suffers from, namely pop-ups, invisible walls and ghostlike characters. When you enter a new environment, it always takes a bit of time for everything to render and thus you’ll often see certain characters pop-up out of thin air, if you start running around immediately in your new surroundings. Certain invisible walls tend to hamper your movement, whilst you are able to pass through many moving characters in the main town. Either your home country is haunted, or the developers forgot to make these poor citizens a tad more solid. A lot of the smaller villages don’t have this problem and thus we suspect the latter.

Overall Final Fantasy Type-0 HD looks like a great game that could be considered next gen, for the most part. The few small mishaps will never be a true bother, but they feel like minor flaws that could have been prevented.

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Sound

As always, the Final Fantasy games have an amazing soundtrack. Be it adventurous music, a sad score, a joyous tune, it’s pretty much all present in the game. You will never be bored with the music, even if the music from the main towns keeps looping.

The game offers you a choice between the original Japanese voice cast, and the newly implemented English voices. It’s easy to say that, even though the original voices are always more fun to hear, as they were initially ‘designed’ for the game, the English cast does a superb job. Every character comes across just like they originally did, and the voices are simply pleasant to hear.

Gameplay

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is an RPG that mixes both old school elements with the newer titles in the genre. This means that the game will be accessible by veterans and newcomers alike. When first starting, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the fact that you’ll have to manage 14 different characters throughout the course of the game. After a while you’ll get accustomed to managing the special Class Zero and then you’re pretty much ready to sink your teeth in this reasonably violent adventure.

The game itself consists out of different chapters, in which you will have to complete several missions in order to progress. Most missions are vaguely the same, seeing you simply have to kill all enemies, kill the boss at the end and sometimes you’ll have to complete a few puzzle elements during the course of a mission. Other missions happen to be a bit different, namely those where you have to capture a town on the world map itself. These are quite simple to understand, but they provide a fun change of pace from the normal missions.

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Just like in traditional RPG games, you’ll get experience by slaying monsters and solving some of the side quests. When you get enough experience, your characters will level up and you will receive ‘AP’. These ability points can be used to learn new abilities, thus giving your characters new powers. If you don’t use certain characters during missions, they will not receive any experience. Seeing you can only actively use three characters during missions, it will be quite hard to switch between all of the party members. You can replace active members at save points in missions (and towns) or call in the ‘reserves’ when one of your members dies. Luckily the game has a nifty feature, namely the ‘missions’ mode. This mode allows you to load the save file of your main quest, and use your characters to replay certain missions. This gives you the opportunity to use characters you’ve hardly used before, in order to allow them to catch up with the rest. After the mission is done, you’ll be able to overwrite the original story and receive the earned bonuses in the main story.

During missions, the controls are not always as responsive as they should be, especially the locking system. There seems to be little structure when switching between locked targets, often causing complete chaos when trying to find the target you actually want to lock upon. When you kill an enemy, you have the option to stay locked upon the body, in order to harvest ‘Phantoma’, which is used for your spells. Often the game does not recognize the target as dead, and thus you will keep attacking, which gets quite bothersome after a while.

Another option to strengthen your forces is to activate the SPP option. When doing so, random students from other classes will support your team. Allowing the help of your schoolmates will earn you SPP points, which can be traded at the right shop in order to receive special items.

The world itself is also a mix of two styles. As described above, the map itself is a 3D version of the old school maps in older RPG games. The towns and missions are along the lines of the Monster Hunter or Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce games. This means all these areas are divided in small rooms/spaces and in a way this hampers the otherwise smooth playing style of the game. Whilst it is not a real issue, it would have been a tad more interesting if you did not have to go through all of the (short) loading screens when passing from one area to another.

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In between missions you’ll have leisure, to do as you please. Each day can consist out of twelve hours of free time, and you’ll often get several of these twelve hour days in order to do certain ‘tasks’ for other characters or listen and talk to other inhabitants. When talking to other characters (with an exclamation point above them) you’ll lose two hours of your free time and when you’re travelling across the map, you’ll spend six hours of the remaining time. Often you’ll find yourself having too little free time, whilst at other times you’ll have way too much. If you’d rather skip all the random pleasantries, you’ll be able to fast forward until your next mission.

All in all, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has loads of content, loads of quests and a large world to explore, with a decent amount of towns scattered upon it. Although you can fly through certain chapters by skipping forward, the game will force you to level your characters, or otherwise you simply won’t make the cut during your missions.

Conclusion

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a great Final Fantasy title, that combines old and new. Older gamers will certainly find themselves enjoying the old school map and the fact that there is still a lot to do outside of the main story. The developers did a great job in porting a PSP game into the next generation. A must have title for a Final Fantasy fan who is reminiscent of the good old days.

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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - Review, 9.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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