+An intricately weaved storyline that leaves plenty of fans to build up their theories regarding the L’Cie that are also mentioned in the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy.
+Multiple Characters to select during combat leaves plenty of combat scenarios to occur.
+One of the most beautifully crafted soundtracks in the most recent of Final Fantasy titles.
+Side missions (Trials) as well as side quests (tasks) leave for plenty of things to do outside of the games main campaign.
+New Game+ offers more to be had as well as an ending to be unlocked
+The use of Eidolon’s comes at a decent cost that will leave players trying to level them between missions in order to enjoy them to their full potential
–Rem and Machina’s romance quickly overshadows the overall story and at times overpowers the rest of it.
–Confusion about L’Cie and Fal’Cie could potentially sore some peoples takes on the story and its tie in with Final Fantasy XIII’s three titles that discuss the Crystals, Fal’Cie and L’Cie
–Leveling can be very time consuming and painful to those looking to enjoy a quick story due to the level requirements.
–The PSP version’s (Japan only) multiplayer was left out of this version
–Portions of the game have been graphically updated, but the blurred and some blocky faces take away from some of the games enjoyment.
Final Fantasy, it’s a name that many fans of RPG’s can relate to. It is a series that has become one of the few to stand and shine through the ages and manage the fan base it has, but also has managed to grow it in size. In many years, Final Fantasy has remained a series that has always had intricate, deep, and rather well scripted stories that touched the hearts of many, but one remained almost untouchable for Western audiences for a rather long time. Finally landing as an HD Remaster, Final Fantasy Type-0 has remained as a hidden gem that has long evaded us, but here it is in most of its former glory and giving us one of the most serious stories to have ever launched in Final Fantasy’s long-running history.
Enter Final Fantasy Type-0 HD a game that delivers one of the best combat systems to date, one of the most serious stories that takes place during a war between the Dominion of Rubrum, Concordia, and the Militesi Empire, which have all set their sites upon each other in this all out war that has begun by the Militesi leaders in order to expand their reach, in return? Class Zero has been sent in, all fourteen students specializing in Magic, their own set of Abilities, and even the capability of wielding Eidolon’s (Summons). As the war has progressed we have been introduced to fourteen of the most serious characters that have set a place in the hearts of fans that have enjoyed Final Fantasy, but also for those who are familiar with the lore behind Final Fantasy XIII’s story arch (soon to be expanded somehow by Final Fantasy XV as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy Saga). Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a game that heavily emphasizes itself upon war, the triumphs that Class Zero goes through, heavy casualty counts, but also the consequences of war that the world around our fourteen heroes will experience. As players trek through each of these war torn zones that they eventually conquer, Type -0 will constantly keep players in check by reminding them that the game is about a group of very gifted teenagers who have lead on countless campaigns, taken out countless enemy troops, but also fighting despite their own loses when they occur. As the game opens, players are introduced to this harsh reality as players witness a city under attack, students as well as residents are gunned down by Militesi forces, which leaves one to see just how the mechanisms of this world’s wars occur. Within minutes players also do get to witness the first deaths within the game, a soldier, a chocobo, and a handful of enemy troops as Class Zero descends upon the battlefield in order to settle the score.
Starting in 2011, players who owned PSP’s in Japan or have imported were able to turn the cogs of war as they battle continued on for them, but as of recent, this HD remake allowed Western fans to wage a war of their own. As Final Fantasy Type-0 HD spilled onto PlayStation 4’s and Xbox Ones, fans were able to push on through their own battles throughout the world before them, but also helping bring the war to a close in one of the most emotionally captivating titles made to date. In this title, Class Zero’s students will allow fans to interact with the characters as their stories are introduced in small cutscenes, but also small conversations that will occur outside of the games combat system as fans explore the world around them in “days” between each of the games sortie missions, but also the main battle campaigns that will lead them trekking across the world of Orience. As fans explore the world about them, the game will easily let players see that this game isn’t just a tale about war, but a heartfelt as well as engaging story about Rem and Machina who soon become the forefront of the games storytelling as Machina learns the truth as to what happened to his brother. Though some of this is quickly clouded by the squabbling between characters such as Eight who constantly throws out mindless sentences that usually end with the word “Yo,” and reflect the fact this character seems to have an opinion about everything, but that isn’t as harsh as the narratives that are quickly flooded with terms such as “L’Cie”, “Phantoma”, and even the newest of terms for creature summoning such as “Eidolon”. Unfortunately, even as a fan of the Crystallis Saga (for short), it’s hard to understand what these words mean since they are very briefly discussed by the mysterious “Mother” and the “L’Cie”, but are never fully explained for those who haven’t truly delved into the games lore. As the story begins to unwind, players get to meet dozen’s of characters, some that will be seen once that die or just simply play no solid role, some that will be seen multiple times, or some that just all together vanish once their appearance is done with, which leaves their supporting role unfinished and questionable.
Outside of trying to sift through the confusing bits, the game has a rather well rounded story plot that fills in with the battle between the ‘kingdoms” of Concordia, Dominion, and Militess. As the story unfolds, the overall picture is grim, there is war, there is death, and Militess is seeking to take over through its military prowess and the use of mechanized weapons, but also the threat of their very own L’Cie only known as “White Tiger”. As the war grows to its deepest moments, which lead us to a heavy focus on Machina’s love for Rem and her ever growing weakness, the reactions based upon the rest of Class zero becomes palpable, and even feeds upon the narrative the game has, which shows that even in war stories, a hint of love can outshine the darkness of war, but also feed upon it as the accomplishments of the war effort as they are witnessed.
When playing through Final Fantasy Type-0 HD there was a noticeable draw into the games combat system, which to this date, is the most unique out of them all since players will learn how to utilize all fourteen characters of Class Zero. In doing this, players will get a unique feel to each of them as none fight, act, or even use any of the same abilities as the other thanks to their fighting styles, but they can all wield the same magic as well as the same support abilities, which gives them some resemblance to the most. Sadly, some may find characters such as Trey, King, Ace, Queen, Rem, and or Machina when needed as they seem to be the most powerful of the team’s members, which also proves them as some of the best combat capable members. Each of them providing both powerful offense, defense, and even supportive capabilities depending upon how players set them up, but the most memorable thing about them is the fact each character can be used in both combat and out of combat based upon how the player chooses to utilize each of the characters. Characters such as Trey, Ace and King offer a prowess in long range combat while also utilizing hard hitting specials when not using their defensive capabilities in order to keep enemies at bay while managing to dish out devastating attacks. Meanwhile, players can utilize characters such as Queen, Rem, and Machina in order to keep enemies at bay in close range combat while dishing out rather devastating attacks that knock enemies back one by one and quickly destroy their health bars in a rather harsh manner by using extremely powerful close range attacks that vary to single target and multiple target hits that help wipe out wide areas of enemies.
When not spending time in close quarters combat, the game does offer another form of combat that’s even a bit more confusing to some, and can even be just as annoying as it looks, which is the games “Real Time Strategy” like component. In this component fans will be able to utilize the chocobo’s they’ve bred, but also the chocobo’s in which they’ve captured in order to utilize them besides world travel with no combat. In this scenario, which is referred to as sorties, players will take their favourite characters into combat and begin to invade outlying regions in order to further extend Rubrum’s reach. As players do this they will find themselves going to each of the town to support the outside troops while bringing down the defenses of the outlying location before invading it. Once inside (invading), players are able to go into the town in search of the enemies leaders within that town, take them out, and claim that town for Rubrum, they are able to visit it once the sortie is completed. Once completing the sortie, however, players are left with a timeframe before the next mission begins. This mission usually signals a next step in the chapter progression or a step to where players will find themselves ending that chapter with a rather long siege into enemy territories while witnessing rather long cutscenes.
Looking away from the games combat, which is its deepest mechanic outside of leveling the Vermilion Bird attack, Eidolon’s, or even each character; Final Fantasy Type-0 HD offers a very intricate filling of problems that I have brought up multiple times when in discussions with fellow reviewers. Unlike a title such as The Last of Us and Tomb Raider, instead Type-0 HD suffers from one very real problem that many others have. While the game has been upgraded graphically, audio wise, and even ratio wise to be improved on larger screens, there is a big problem; it still looks and feels like a PSP game. Due to this I found myself grunting when watching some of the cutscenes that felt as if they were simply upscaled from the PSP’s 720×480 (480p or lower), which proved one thing that was wrong with this whole ordeal outside of some of the characters still looking like they originally did on the PSP itself, but also left a very real problem that the game itself was suffering some larger issues when it came down to the blurred faces when cutscenes weren’t being played. Even with this uglier appeal, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD provides one of the most emotionally driven games possible as it focuses upon the hardships, the strives, and efforts the characters made when going through the games story, which will most certainly leave an impact on most when they come to the games conclusion, but there will be a question left unanswered – how does this game tie into the Final Fantasy XIII series and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV? The truth is, no one truly knows, but there is an answer out there and it is left for players to discover.
Overall, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has become one of the most well told stories that will leave players hungering for more once they complete it, and it is sure to set place where players will wanting a sequel. For those wanting one? It seems hints at Final Fantasy Type-1 has been made for those looking to get into it. This is definitely a Final Fantasy that should be added into a Final Fantasy collectors shelves and put away once they have completed this beautifully tragic story of war, love, and friendship.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
Ethics Note: Our review was based upon a purchased made by the reviewer post-release. The title is now available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, MMO’s, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable and can’t be softened by even the biggest names in the gaming industry. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. To follow Dustin, hit him up on Twitter over at @GamingAnomaly, find him on his Google+. Wanna game with him? You can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.