I remember June 13th 2013 well. It was the date that my wife asked me to pre-order Final Fantasy XV, thinking she might see it at the end of 2014. Here we are into 2015, and nobody’s really sure when the game is going to be released. For series fans like my wife, however, there is a bit of a compromise to tide you all over in the meantime: a next gen release of a previously issued game. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is the next generation console port of the popular 2011 Japanese title for the PSP. Touted to be more violent than most Final Fantasy titles to date, this is a war story, based on historical influences but still holds true to the RPG style fans expect from the series.
Release Date: March 17th 2015
Rating: M – Mature
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is based in the Fabula Nova Crystallis (from the Latin “new tale of crystal”) subseries, for which the common thread is the concept that crystals form the basis of life, magic and soul and emanate from a variety of deities. In this game, set in the world of Orience, you are given control of twelve members of ‘Class Zero’ and two mentors (a total of fourteen characters), and sent on a series of missions across the war-torn country. The twelve cadets are fresh and still-in-training. This alone sets this game apart from previous titles that feature iconic heroes, and you’ll find that this story revolves around the reality of war for young military recruits of this kind. There is historical flavour there, some of it quite confronting. The game is gritty and in-your-face, with just enough blood (yes, in a Final Fantasy title) to remind you that the characters are fighting for their lives but not so much that it feels like Mortal Kombat.
The fight system is real time, action based and allows you to control three of the fourteen characters at a time, one in active control with two under AI, until you swap between them. The characters can perform moves alone or together for greater power. The death of a character requires more than just a simple Phoenix Down in Type-0 though, as they will be out of commission for the rest of that mission. While still within the mission, you choose another of the fourteen to replace the dead comrade. Each character has a unique weapon and attack pattern and gains experience through combat to unlock new abilities.
One thing you’ll find almost immediately about this game is how fast it is. The battles are brutal, requiring rapid changing between your three characters to optimize your short and long range defense against ranged foes and threatening melee tanks, while also dealing out as much damage as you can before another wave hits.
Despite the grim military style, the game does have a lighter side, with a Chocobo stud ranch to breed a bird fit for war, and features the return of the Moogle race who hand out missions too. In all, you can re-introduce yourself to a story mode that was around 30 hours long, with much much more playtime if you decide to go 100% on the title.
By the way, if you are buying this game just to tide you over until Final Fantasy XV, you’re in for a bit of a treat if you had pre-ordered this title.The Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo is now available too. Make sure you clear a bit of Hard Drive space though – The demo is more than 6 GB on the Xbox One, and just over 5 on the PlayStation 4. If you didn’t pre-order the game beforehand, you’ve still got a great game awaiting you.