Review: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Welcome to Class Zero
Being a fan of Final Fantasy Type-0 ever since it first released on PSP in Japan back in 2011, I was quite excited when Square Enix announced an HD Remaster for current-gen consoles during E3 2014.
Granted, the game being originally released in Sony’s first portable system, a PS Vita Remaster would have been nice, but I’m actually pleasant with the console release.
Prior to the announcement of the localization, I had the chance to play the game in English thanks to the hard work of Skyblade’s translation and thoroughly enjoyed it. That being said, even after fishing the game on PSP I still looked forward to the current-gen localization.
When creating your game save, you will be prompted to choose your difficulty (between Cadet, Officer and Agito), which is a new feature exclusive to this remaster.
While the game isn’t really hard, it seems that even playing as Cadet, which the equivalent of Easy, can be a little difficult since enemies can one-shot you.
However, I chose Officer since it’s roughly the equivalent of the natural difficulty in the original PSP version. Additionally, when playing through the Officer or higher difficulty, the rewards you net are superior.
Starting the game for the first time, players will notice thatFinal Fantasy Type-0’s story is very different from the average Final Fantasy main series and spin-off title, in terms of both content and theme.
The game takes place in the world of Orience, which is divided into four nations blessed with crystals that grant them unique powers. The four nations were at peace under the Pax Codex until Cid Aulstyne broke the peace treaty and staged an invasion using advanced military technology developed with the power of the White Tiger Crystal.
You can tell the story is pretty dark from the first few minutes of the game since you will witness the sadness, pain, and blood of conflict and war.
Due to these storytelling differences as well as the more methodical pacing, it was harder for me to enjoy the plot at first, despite me actually liking the characters.
Luckily the story built up more steam during the later chapters and, as an extra bonus, after beating the game and playing through New Game+, additional story lines will open up.
If you enjoyed the gameplay in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, which uses a real-time action combat system, Type-0‘s gameplay will be very familiar and enjoyable as well.
One of the differences, however, is that Type-0 is more party-based, as it consists of a plethora of characters who are all part of Class Zero.
You will be able to play as Ace, Rem, Machina, Trey, Seven, Eight, Nine, Queen, King nd Deuce — among others — and all of them have a unique play style to offer, considering they each wield unique weapons. I personally enjoyed playing as Cater the most due to her magic gun and her long-distance attacks.
Being a fan of action RPGs, I had plenty of fun playing through this game since it gives you plenty amount of freedom over your characters, as well as fair amount of attack options.
One of my gripes, though, is that it’s a bit annoying if you want to use an item that you currently don’t have equipped — you must remember to equip items before they can be used during combat, which is a rather restrictive mechanic.
Another issues stems from how sensitive the camera can be. You can make the smallest nudge on the analogue stick yet the camera will abruptly and wildly move in that direction. While it isn’t annoying when wandering through the Academia or the world map, it becomes a bit cumbersome when fighting enemies.
The game does offer a variety of weapons you can choose for your character, which can be bought or earned through missions. Using Ability Points, you will able to improve many of your characters attacks.
Before each mission, players are given a certain amount of time before the next mission where they can freely roam the school, the world map and other areas.
Requests can also be completed during this free time; these serve as the title’s side missions and range from beating a certain amount of enemies to capturing foes encountered in the battlefield.
The fact that only one request could be taken and completed at a time was a poor mechanic, though, especially with the time limit that is given to you before each mission.
In addition, while in school you’ll be able to talk to other cadets from Class Zero as well from other classes. Depending if they have a green exclamation mark, you will get a special dialogue with the character.
I really enjoyed the character interaction among the cadets of Class Zero; there’s a wide variety of interaction events players can trigger, from a little of their back story to something serious to even a bit of comedy.
Personally I enjoyed the dialogues between Rem and Machina the most. The interaction with the cadets outside of Class Zero can be dull, however, as their personalities aren’t very well developed and there’s little to say or do with them.
You can also learn new abilities by talking to the Moogle in Class Zero. It isn’t anything special since after selecting what ability you want to learn, you just get a scene of the characters interacting in the classroom, which sometimes can get repetitive. However, the end result is what matters since your characters do acquire better abilities.
An issue relating to these quests and the time limit is that although the game offers an option to travel immediately to the Academia, using said option wastes in-game somehow (even though this is a fast travel feature), which you could have used to fulfill more requests.
In the event you want to jump in straight to the main mission, that option is always available by simply going to the command office and speaking to the commander to start the mission right away, but I personally do enjoy using that time to do the extra features the game offers.
Along with side quests, players can also capture and ride both male and female chocobos in the World Map, as well as ride an airship and use its weapons in aerial battles. Occasionally while traveling through the World Map, different enemy encounters will make an appearance.
Considering that Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP wasn’t amazingly pretty to begin with, the game’s graphics are a huge improvement in this remaster, not to mention cleaned up texture-wise as well.
While it doesn’t look as good as Square Enix’s previous PSP remaster Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, you can really tell they did a good job on making this look pretty on current-gen consoles.
As expected from a Final Fantasy title the soundtrack is amazing, especially the opening theme song “Zero” by Bump of Chicken. In certain parts of the game, such as menus and the hub area, you’ll also hear classic Final Fantasy tracks which is an excellent addition.
I definitely would recommend picking up Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, as it features a decent story, a solid cast of characters, fun gameplay and tons of replayablity value mainly due to the New Game+ content that adds even more story.
Furthermore, if you still have the chance to pick up a Day One edition of the title, you’ll have access to the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo, which adds even more to the package.
Conversely, if you picked up Type-0 just for that demo, you have a great game sitting there to play.