Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is the recent Remaster and double port of the Japanese PSP only release from, increasing the quality of both the graphics and gameplay as well as bringing it to USA and Europe on the PS4 and Xbox One. Developed by Square Enix’s 1st Production Department and HexaDrive, FF0 brings the series into a dark direction, with a higher emphasis on war and the death tolls it racks up, blood and gore are commonplace in this game.
The story starts off rather dark and bleak, the world is wrapped in a war between 4 nations, with yours being at the forefront of the story. With a Chocobo covered in blood and countless people getting shot to death you are shown just how brutal the war is and how dark the themes in the game are. The Vermillion Peristylium is under attack and with a crystal Jammer; the mages of Akademia cannot use their magical powers to push back the invading Militesi Empire. Then the heroes of the game come out from nowhere, wearing their crimson capes, Class Zero.
Drawing their magic from somewhere else, Class Zero can continue to use their magic while the Crystal is being jammed by a new device and this is what makes your team special. After a quick mission, you destroy the Jammer and its accompanying army and push back the Milites troops. After a successful defensive mission your group are invited to learn and stay at Akademia under the tutelage of Dr Arecia Al-Rashia who Class Zero refers to as Mother.
Going on a number of missions to get back your territory you will uncover the reason behind the war, the backstory of the different nations and cities that occupy the world and a deep dark secret held behind enemy lines. Betrayal, bloodshed and battle are always present in the story and you will need to keep both an eye and ear open to find out the truth as you fight for your country.
Depending on difficulty and how far you go in the world, the game will last around 20-40 hours. With new game plus you can replay the game to see all the other side-stories, character relations and requests you missed the first time, with 4 difficulty levels to try out your skills. It really is worth going through a second time to see all the events you missed, or to get a higher ranking in the missions.
The gameplay in Type-0 is split up into 3 different parts, the off-duty timed sections, exploring sections and battle. While you time will mostly be taken up by Off-duty and missions you can choose how long you spend in each, with a speed-up option to go straight to mission time and you can merely go to the end-bosses in a lot of the missions.
Missions can differ in timeframes greatly, both story and side, from 5 minutes to almost an hour per mission. You will be tasked with killing an end of the level boss, finding a certain item, linking up with a datacentre or escaping an area. Main story missions are almost always mandatory though some have the option for you to sit out and go straight to some more off-duty time.
Combat is done in a similar way to the Crisis Core game on PSP, you move your character around with the left thumbstick and press circle to dash and dodge. Holding Square will make your character do their specific combo, moving the thumbstick will cause them to do different styles either with melee attacks, rising attacks and charging attacks. You also set skills and magic to the Triangle and X buttons, unlocking double magic through Ability Points. Skills range from buff and healing skills to ranged and close attacks of flashy design. Magic is split into Fire, Ice and Lightning and a special set for attacks, with varying attack styles from missile style magic to shotgun attacks.
To get to the missions in questing you will need to traverse the world map, which can feel rather big at first, but with the use of Chocobos and Airships it can be a snap to get from one city to the next. Whilst moving on the world map you will enter random battles with enemies native to the area you are currently in, with a chance of increasingly hard waves of enemies. You have free roam of the land, to a point, and can enter any of the cities currently liberated to talk to the citizens, complete tasks and buy items.
Off-duty feels very similar to a Dating Sim, or the school periods of Persona 3 and 4. You have time to walk around Akademia, talking to students, attending lectures to increase your stats and complete tasks for the inhabitants of the world. Each talking scene with a classmate of interest takes 2 hours to do, the same as lectures, and 6 hours is taken up to leave Akademia. You are given 6 hours at the start, then 12 hours, and days are added onto that as the story progresses, giving you more time to interact with the school. With leaving Akademia and Elite Trials this time can be eaten up rather quickly, leaving take 6 hours and Expert Trails taking 12 hours. You will need more than 1 playthrough to see all scenes.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music for Type-0 is spot on again, like most of the previous releases in the franchise, from the orchestral tunes that accompany your travel and downtimes to the action packed tracks for battle and boss themes. It felt a bit empty during missions where nothing was going on, but that didn’t last long as fights were only 1 zone away at most. I kind of wish some more effort was put into the graphic side of things as the game still looks and plays similarly to a PSP game most of the time.
I saw quite a distinct lack of facial animation in this game, besides the pre-rendered cutscenes. During conversation characters stand in two spots and are swapped out which is really distracting and detaches you from the immersion as people feel like placeholders instead of deep characters with purpose. This is emphasised even more due to having 14 characters in your team, with not enough screen time for each character, I didn’t feel much emotion to a lot of the team, Ace and Seven being my favourites due to style and weapons, the rest of the team merely had too few lines or hid off screen.
Overall I give Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD a 4/5, the story could have done with a bit more pacing and discoverable lore and the transition between PSP and PS4 is a bit too noticeable. The gameplay is satisfying and keeping track of all your team members, making sure they are well equipped and optimised opens up for a wide range of setups. Chocobo raising, side-quests, collectables and all the optional parts of the game really add to the overall Final Fantasy experience. The Dark themes are a welcome change to the series and allowed a deeper connection to the world and its inhabitants. Fans should enjoy this release as well as new people to the series, though some of the changes from the PSP version can be disputed.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.