Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 30.03.2015 17

Review for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy fans have waited a long time to finally get their hands on Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. It was released on the PSP in Japan in 2011 and although it hasn't come over on the ideal platform (surely PSP to Vita would have made the most sense), this HD remaster on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One brings the original PSP game with a complete overhaul of the graphics and audio along with brand new cut-scenes and a bunch of new features. Now it's finally here, though, along with a demo for Final Fantasy XV, was it worth the wait?

Although Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is not set in the same universe as the Final Fantasy XIII titles and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix grouped these into the Fabula Nova Cystallis Final Fantasy subseries, since, despite not being based in the same world, they share a common mythology and terminology. There are l'Cie, Eidolon summons, Crystals and Focus, along with many of the classic Final Fantasy mainstays. Players will find themselves riding Chocobos, fighting Cactuars and saving up Gil for that next piece of marginally better gear.

The plot is based around the world of Orience, which is separated into the four nations of Rebrum, Militesi, Concordia and Lorican, each holding one of the crystals that are essential to the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology. The nation of the Militesi Empire's Emperor goes missing and its military commander takes up arms against the other three nations. After dropping an Ultima bomb on one, he begins a war against Rebrum using a device that negates the magical ability of their forces. Only a special group of students from Rebrum - Class Zero - are unaffected by this device and while Militest and Rebrum treat for peace, Class Zero is used as a covert squad against Millitesi.

The overall story requires the full attention of the player, throwing out history and exposition massively right from the very start, resulting in something that just feels heavily contrived and jumbled, with the motivations of the characters really confusing. Class Zero - yes, all of them - need to be taken charge of, and although the large cast of playable characters is a real strength for gameplay, with a lot of fun based around the experimentation of each different character, it's a negative to the story. It makes it hard to care about the individuals of Class Zero because each one is not developed enough and they instead act like two-dimensional caricatures. On top of this, the story FMVs throughout are presented like old wartime footage, along with a narrator. It's an interesting story device but, unfortunately, it just doesn't work well, separating the player more from the story, and fails to provide a link to the characters.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PlayStation 4

The whole game runs on a timer, although not real-time, but each action takes up a few hours and story-based missions are set-up at intervals over a number of hours or days. Completion of a story event gives the player time to go do other things until the next mission timer runs out and there are plenty of things to do. Talking to classmates will give a small reward and cost two hours, attending classes can increase stats but takes away two hours, too, and actually heading out of the city to the world map to attempt side missions will take a whole six hours, and trying to complete the considerably high level "expert missions" takes a massive 12 hours. This time management is fairly lax, and despite this certainly not being like the juggling skills necessary in the Persona games, it does require taking some things into account to maximise the potential time.

Each of the missions, once completed, can be replayed from the main menu and the rewards taken into the main game. This replayability adds a lot to the experience, while the missions are particularly enjoyable. The sporadic "Sortie" based missions are not, however. These are a mix between RTS and Tower Defence-style games where each camp needs to be captured. They are frustrating, slow and seem like a tacked on mini-game that's not really enjoyable… bring back Triple Triad or Tetra Master!

It should be noted that Type 0, surprisingly, is missing the multiplayer aspects of the original Japanese release. Square Enix has stated that to add them in would put an extra year onto the development cycle, so in their place is a drop-in drop-out system of NPCs. This aspect is optional and is offered at the start of each mission with the player deciding to stick with the team they have picked or allow support to drop in. The reward to this system is the same as the original multiplayer, SPP, which is a currency used to buy some of the best weapons. There's a nice little twist, too, where each of the NPCs are named after a member of the team that made the game.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PlayStation 4

Fans of Final Fantasy spin-off titles will feel right at home with the combat system since it uses the same basic underlying system known as "ATB Kai" that was developed originally for Final Fantasy X-2 and then used in Crisis Core. The system has undergone a lot of changes but fans will still feel the familiarity. Dodge, Attack, Defensive/Heal ability and two character specific abilities or spells can be mapped to the face buttons. When it comes to these abilities and spells, there is a mammoth amount to play and experiment with. For magic, there are the usual Blizzard, Fire and Thunder elements, along with series mainstays like Bio, Holy, Quake, Tornado, Meteor and Quake. Each of the Blizzard/Fire/Thunder spells then have a different attack style to choose, all based on artillery weapons that change the behaviour and functionality of the magic - "Bomb," "Missile," "Rifle," "Rocket Launcher," and "Shotgun." That's a good deal of spells to equip and as they are levelled up, they progress through the classic Final Fantasy-style of Blizzard to Blizzara to Blizzaga, too.

On top of all of the spells available to each member of Class Zero, each character also has unique weapon-based abilities. These are unlocked by levelling-up the characters and spending AP. There is a really surprising amount of abilities and with the size of the pool of characters it means most players will barely scratch what is available. The fighting styles of each of the 14 members are unique, too, and thankfully there is an arena to experiment with and learn how each plays, from the slow moving Katana wielder, the stance changing boxer, to the card throwing Ace. Plenty of practice and experimentation is needed to get the most out of the considerable cast.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PlayStation 4

Combat itself is all based upon reactions and counters. It is possible to just whittle enemies' HP away using attacks, but the focus is learning the attack patterns of each enemy and then striking while it's vulnerable. Each enemy has attack patterns and, at breaks in these, the enemy is marked with a reticule for a "Killshot." A well-timed shot here will do big damage or instantly finish the enemy. It makes for a great system but also makes the game a little too easy at points, even on higher difficulty settings. Ideally, it should do a little less damage, especially on bigger enemies. An extra challenge is added, at least, thanks to Special Orders (SOs), which are offered to the player during missions as a pop up message: "Don't take any damage for two minutes!" for instance. Succeed and there are worthwhile rewards awaiting, yet fail and explosions will detonate for fatal damage.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is definitely made with replays in mind. There is the massive codex to fill up and plenty of missions to replay, plus there are numerous parts of the game that hold very high level mobs, just waiting for players returning in New Game Plus. This is both in missions and out on the world map. For example, one Level 30 mission will find an unbeatable mini boss of Level 75 randomly roaming around, and although it is possible to take it down with a lot of time and dedication at the initial level, it's certainly not designed for that.

Despite the replayability aspects, it's a little disappointing that there isn't more end-game or post-game content. With so many characters and so much to level and customise, this is a part of Final Fantasy games usually done so well. Ultimate Weapons to farm towards, arenas full of super hard bosses, the signature "Super Bosses," and more. Type 0 has a surprising amount of playtime for the regular play-throughs, regardless of this post-game matter - easily 30 hours or so.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There are so many aspects of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD that work well, but as a whole it just feels off. It's like so many good ingredients being put into a bad recipe. At its core there's a great game here with a fantastic combat system, but it's buried under the story, graphical issues and frustrating gameplay aspects. It's certainly worth giving this a go… but wait until it's on sale. It's a shame this wasn't ported to Vita where it would have worked better.

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Pretty harsh but I can see what you mean. Personally I'd give it an eight taking into account the fact it was and still is and HD upscale of a PSP game. Not quite up there with many ps4 games but definetly the definitive version of type0.

I actually like the story and, for the most part, the graphics. I think its a shame its marketing was all geared at the FFXV demo though...

has SE ever given a statement as to why it wasnt on vita?

60 bucks for a 4 year old psp port is really steep...

Insanoflex said:
has SE ever given a statement as to why it wasnt on vita?

60 bucks for a 4 year old psp port is really steep...

I reckon that has to do with the added value of their FFXV demo. Without it, Type 0 sales would have been pretty small. I still would have bought it though.

A vita version would have been ace!

Sandy Wilson said:
Insanoflex said:
has SE ever given a statement as to why it wasnt on vita?

60 bucks for a 4 year old psp port is really steep...

I reckon that has to do with the added value of their FFXV demo. Without it, Type 0 sales would have been pretty small. I still would have bought it though.

A vita version would have been ace!

you saying SE wanted to charge 20 dollars for a demo???

naaawww... They would NEVER do such a thing Smilie

Insanoflex said:
naaawww... They would NEVER do such a thing Smilie

Never ever... Smilie

( Edited 31.03.2015 16:55 by Sandy Wilson )

I really wanted to love this, held off on the fan translations, managed to avoid spoilers but I just couldn't.

I thought the story was just all over the place, motivations not explained, there were great aspects and I felt a lot of promise but just cluttered and messy.


i hated this game...

played it for about 5 hours in and i had to return it.  thank god i wasnt assigned to review this.


the game throws a crap load of story concepts and characters talking about shit they all already know and it is never explained. im reminded of the phantom menace how it was full of boring political dialogue.\

the first things said in the game is references to concepts like "falcie's" and the game is expecting us to know what that shit is.

To be fair itis a ffxiii spin off. Originally ffxiii agito

They learned nothing from FF13 then.

Think I've been right to hold off on this. Lots of mixed views and sounds better suited to portable, as intended. Really disappointed in no Vita version.

Sandy Wilson said:
To be fair itis a ffxiii spin off. Originally ffxiii agito

i find this highly suspect since type0's definition for these terms are very different than the terminalogy used in ff13.

even so- it is very poor and sloppy story telling to assume every player will know what these concepts are whether they played FF13 or not. Type0 lacks a relatable character to ask questions or for other characters to explain this shit to. No character explains this shit since they all automatically know what it all is.

i keep coming back to the fucking phantom menace in how mind bogglingly bad the way the story is told. If the viewer has no concept of what is going on then there is no way for them to connect to it- with out that there is no story. 

I think back to ff10 and how it's story wasn't the greatest- it did tell its story in the most genius way possible thanks to the fact that Tidus was essentially a foreigner or stranger in a land he never been to before. This way characters would have to teach him things about the culture and explain to him how things work and why ways things are. Tidus is becoming invested in the story and by proxy- so is the player. 

The he fact they got this shit right all the time back in the day makes me believe SE has no idea what the fuck they are doing and are completely lost without Sakaguchi.

Insanoflex said:
Sandy Wilson said:
To be fair itis a ffxiii spin off. Originally ffxiii agito

i find this highly suspect since type0's definition for these terms are very different than the terminalogy used in ff13.

even so- it is very poor and sloppy story telling to assume every player will know what these concepts are whether they played FF13 or not. Type0 lacks a relatable character to ask questions or for other characters to explain this shit to. No character explains this shit since they all automatically know what it all is.

i keep coming back to the fucking phantom menace in how mind bogglingly bad the way the story is told. If the viewer has no concept of what is going on then there is no way for them to connect to it- with out that there is no story. 

I agree that it's extremely strange in the way everything is presented but I had a blast playing it.
I also, contrary to everyone else, found the story okay and quite easy to follow. Don't start the game and ask questions from the start, wait for it to explain itself to you over the course of the game.

"The title, "Agito" stems from Type-0 '​s earlier title Final Fantasy Agito XIII."

also for reference (I realise wikipedia is not the best thing to cite but it gives the general jist)

( Edited 06.04.2015 18:04 by Sandy Wilson )

Sandy - sounds to me like you're up for writing a C3-2-1 to share your positive opinion on the game!! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley said:
Sandy - sounds to me like you're up for writing a C3-2-1 to share your positive opinion on the game!! Smilie

Maybe I will after editing my other c3-2-1 and the preview of project root. Smilie

It's not reaaaaaaally a spin off of 13, much like 15, it's same Universe and the like but not the same world, it would have made more sense if it truly was.

I didn't think the story was overly confusing or hard to follow, just more that they purposefully tried to make it obtuse and never explained character development or actions.

Wonder if Agito will make it over here now too.

They are not the same universe. They simply use the same mythology.

( Edited 11.06.2015 00:01 by Azuardo )

The mythology between the two games isn't even consistent.  Is more like- they recycled a lot of the same fancy terminology but gave them new meanings like some kind of retcon or that the two teams making the games had no idea of what the other team was making.

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