Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
If you thought the fall of Aeris was a violently impactful moment for the Final Fantasy series, the new PSP game heading to Japan is bound to shock you. The opening cinematic strikes me as one of the most gripping scenes in the franchise to date. It involves soldiers struggling through a war torn city, and a man and his chocobo’s final moments.
Soldiers are scattered across a city street as explosions sound in the distance. One blast hits too close, and wipes out all but one warrior. The bloodied, armor clad man struggles to stand as two enemy soldiers approach. Just as one enemy readies his gun to end the suffering man’s life, a chocobo sprints from the distance and tramples the thug to death. The wounded soldier climbs the chocobo which carries him closer to the city gate. Exhaustion gets the best of the knight, who falls from the giant bird’s back after a short while. Being the majestic and regal animal it is, the chocobo stands near its master as he slips closer to death. Everything fades to black.
The duo awakens to a deafening gunshot. The unmistakable warble of a chocobo fills the air. The dirty yellow bird collapses to the ground, its feathers splotched with red. The enraged soldier rallies the strength to reach for his sword and drive it into the man who killed his ally. Suddenly another explosion rocks the area, taking out the encroaching enemy soldiers. The man weeps openly as he rests his head against his dying friend. The beast the lifts its beak into the air and croaks one final complaint before slipping into death.
Three young heroes, the protagonists of Final Fantasy: Type-0, stumble across the dying soldier and attempt to heal his wounds. Nothing works and they watch sadly as the brave soldier joins his feathered companion in the afterlife. Ace, Nine, and Queen then continue through the burning city in an attempt to ward off the infiltrators.
The demo of Type-0 I played was entirely in Japanese, but I was able to decipher a few core elements about the game. This is an action title with RPG elements. As switched between the three characters on the fly, casting magic spells and throwing energy cards Gambit-style, hit points ticked away above the enemies’ heads. If you fail to dodge incoming enemy fire, you can leech the remaining life from fallen foes. Swapping between the three characters allows for frenzied action with a variety of attacks. I shot fireballs, summoned spikes of ice, and bashed in enemies’ helmets with melee attacks. The lock-on function makes targeting enemies a snap. My time with Type-0 ended after I was demolished by a gigantic flaming bird which threw horrific fireballs at my party.
Because the game is only slated for release in Japan, I really have no idea what’s happening in the story. What I do know is that I adore the gritty, brutal edge that the opening movie brings to the usually squeaky clean series. Hopefully the game is destined to hit the West and I’ll be able to get my hands on a translated version. I’m eager to learn more about the intriguing scenario and engaging combat.