Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Final Fantasy Type-0 released in Japan in 2011, but it never came out in North America due to flagging interest in the PSP. With the release date for the remastered version confirmed (not to mentioned a certain tantalizing demo), Final Fantasy fans’ eyes are now turned toward Type-0 HD.
As someone who hasn’t touched the original PSP version before, I wasn’t quite sure what I should expect. However, after playing through a demo of the game during TGS 2014, I can point to a few clear things that fans of the series should know before picking up Type-0 for themselves.
This isn’t a remake or an extended cut of Type-0. It is the original game, but with better graphics, slightly modified controls, and some additional difficulties. On one hand, that means you aren’t getting a bunch of new special weapons or boss fights. On the other hand, it means you are experiencing the game as it was originally intended and designed – and there’s something to be said for that, too.
When you see them side-by-side, there is no question that the new-gen version of Type-0 looks much better than its handheld counterpart. However, don’t expect this to be the RPG that sets the visual standard for the new wave of hardware. It looks good, but its handheld roots still show through – particularly in the environments and character models. However, as long as you aren’t hoping for cutting-edge graphics, the visuals won’t disappoint.
Even when main Final Fantasy games veer away from the standard turn-based approach (like in the three Final Fantasy XIII games), they still retain some of their slower and more tactical roots. Type-0 is a straight action/RPG hybrid with demanding combat. You can’t stand there planning your next move while a group of enemies is rushing in; you need to act quickly and be aware of your surroundings. Avoiding enemy attacks and strategically using your special abilities are key components of the battle system. This results in fast-paced encounters that have the potential to be a lot of fun…or frustrating, if you just don’t like action games.
Different Characters, Different Powers
Over the course of the game, you have access to over a dozen characters. The mission I played had three students (members of an elite force called Class 0) fighting against an occupying army. You can switch between your party members freely, but the choice isn't just cosmetic. The members of Class 0 use different weapons and have certain specialties. For instance, Seven wields a whip-like weapon and is better suited to melee attacks, while Rem is a mage with more spells at her disposal. Bringing different characters along results in a different suite of abilities at your disposal during a mission.
Nods to Fans
Even without a Roman numeral in its name, Type-0 is unmistakably Final Fantasy. In the brief slice of the game I played, I saw Magitek armor, summoned Ifrit, and heard a reference to a l’Cie. Even though the characters are new, the game has plenty of familiar elements to make fans feel at home.