While most RPG gamers are waiting for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV video game, Square-Enix released a different FF game to the tune of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. A gussied-up version of a 2011 PSP game by the same name, Type-0 HD brings the presentation of the portable original to a high definition standard so that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can experience the game on their HDTVs.
The game is part of Square-Enix’s Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy sub-series and revolves around Class Zero, an elite class of recent recruits who, in addition to wielding a variety of weapons, have access to incredible magics and abilities. Every member of the class are made unique, though only a few are actually memorable by any degree. Those worth making note of include starting character Ace who attacks using a deck of enchanted cards and childhood friends Machina and Rem who take up the role of the group’s outsiders. Beyond those three, everyone else in the group fall into the trappings of your typical schoolyard archetypes including the brainiac, the tough guy, and the class clown.
Each member of the class has his or her own unique weapon. Unlike with most Final Fantasygames, however, these weapons can’t be swapped out for others or used by other characters. Rather, each character uses the same weapon all the game through. They can be upgraded as the game goes on, thankfully, so at least there’s that.
Parties are comprised of three active characters with the player controlling one in specific while the other two are A.I. controlled. The user-controlled character can be hot-swapped at the press of a button with either of the other two, which adds a bit of flexibility to the active (that is, non turn-based) gameplay. Furthermore, other characters can be put into reserve and swapped out completely at the game’s various save points. Even with all of the versatility provided to the player thanks to the large cast of playable characters, though, there are often times when it seems like the combination of active characters simply isn’t quite right for the situation at hand.
The game flows in a very structured and deliberate manner. Players are given a set of missions that tend to involve running through the game’s maps (which, by the way, tend to be comprised of a number of disappointingly small areas linked together), combating the occasional over-powered boss character, and helping the overall war effort as established in the game’s rather enthralling opening sequence.
As should be expected from a JRPG, Type-0 HD offers a good amount of side content outside of the main mission set. They way this side content is set up, however, is a tad disappointing. Accessible only during the class’ periods of “free time”, missions can be undertaken one at a time and provide players with items upon completion. While early on this seems just fine, as players progress into later parts of the game and one’s free time gets more valuable they prove to be irrelevant distractions at best.
Visually, it’s pretty easy to tell that this game wasn’t made natively for the current generation consoles. Still, as a prettied-up port the overall presentation is pretty good. Cut scenes are, in a word, amazing. Gameplay visuals, however, are a bit lacking. While the graphics themselves aren’t half bad, there are camera issues that really get in the way of things. These issues range from providing players with poor views of the action to jittering in confined spaces.
Thankfully, many of Type-0 HD‘s visual shortcomings can be overlooked thanks to the intriguing story that’s quite a bit darker and more mature than that of your average Final Fantasy game. Core gameplay isn’t ideal thanks to some control gripes dealing with enemy targeting, but it can carry its own. There is also quite a lot of content and players can expect to experience hours upon hours worth of gameplay, which is somewhat surprising considering the game was originally released for a handheld system.
For JRPG and Final Fantasy fans, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is well worth playing. For those who want to hold off until FFXVeventually comes out, please take note than Type-0 HD comes bundled with a playable demo of the upcoming game.
final rating- 8.4/10
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