Final Fantasy games certainly don’t carry the same expectations they did a decade ago. The release of any game bearing the name often comes with caveats and grounded expectations. Type-0 is actually a remaster of a PSP game that never made it stateside. Square-Enix has brought over the original experience, almost intact, and of course tossed in some new visual flare; hence the HD monicker. However, a lot of what made this game special on a handheld falls flat here, and with a confusing story that takes a while to pick up, the experience is less than satisfactory.
Type-0 dons a darker tone than most in the franchise. The gritty combat and war-torn world feel like a departure from the traditional themes the series is known for. There is still an overall narrative of technology versus magic, but the events unfold in a more serious tone. Sadly the dialogue ruins this most of the time. Cringe-worthy is an ample descriptor. Early on there is a scene where a villain mutters “This sucks” over and over; even twice in the same statement. It is bad all around. It also doesn’t help that the voice acting is utterly atrocious. I had to switch it to Japanese at one point just to distance myself from the awful performances.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $39.99
Time to Beat: 30+ hours
This is a mission-based experience with classroom bits in between. There are fourteen characters to play as, sadly I had a hard time distinguishing between them. Even with the dialogue options between missions, these protagonists are almost indecipherable at times. Their abilities on the battlefield differentiate them more than their personalities.
The between mission stuff is neat at first. Being able to attend classes to level up skills, or just roam the open world to grind levels feels like a nice distraction from the core missions. After a while, though it starts to grow monotonous much like the missions themselves. The plot doesn’t kick in and start making sense until halfway through the game, thus making it hard to keep plodding through.
The combat itself is extremely satisfying. The real-time nature makes battles extremely enjoyable. I loved swapping between my team and unleashing various attacks. As with everything else though, there is a downside to this. The camera moves too fast to keep up with the action, and there is no setting to turn it down. Also missions do not explain which team is best to bring for each situation. This led me to keeping a standard set of ranged, melee, and support, regardless of who I wanted to bring with me.
It is important to remember that this was a PSP game, which probably explains the clunky controls and sporadic camera. This also means that only so much can be done with the visuals. Characters have that classic dead stare during dialogue interactions, and there are still plenty of muddy, low-res textures scattered around the world. Yes it looks better than it did on PSP, and for that hardware it was impressive, but bringing it into this new generation of consoles at 1080p, showcases all of its faults on a grand scale.
It is also worth mentioning that the cooperative multiplayer from the original PSP game is gone. There is however, a new difficulty setting that can aid in the original’s punishing challenge. It can be switched anytime during a play through, which I always appreciate in cases where games ramp up the challenge too dramatically.
There is a lot of content in Type-0, including a demo for Final Fantasy XV which I absolutely adored. I went from not caring, to having to own the next numbered Final Fantasy game, it is that good. Still the demo doesn’t warrant the full price of a retail game, and Type-0 falls flat in too many areas for me to make a solid recommendation. Still this is the first, truly large RPG for these new consoles, and fans of the original PSP version likely harbor some nostalgia for the title, not to mention the sea of players who never got to play it at all. Just be prepared for what you are going into, this was a PSP game, and there is only so much a remaster can change.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.