Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for PS4 and Xbox One Review

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I know I am super late with this review, but I honestly don’t care. I wanted to take my time with this game, and granted, I wish I could have gotten this one out sooner, but I wanted to review this game along with a list of what I would like to see in a sequel. Plus, this game is kind of a big deal. This was one of those games we weren’t ever going to get, but then got it for home consoles. At release, this game was either loved or just “meh” to critics, and well, despite its problems, I personally loved it. Let’s get started.

The universe and lore is confusing, but let me put it into easier-to-understand terms. There are multiple kingdoms that use magic. One of the kingdoms gets attacked by another kingdom, with technology that negates the use of magic. You play as a special group of 14 students that are tasked with saving your kingdom and taking down the evil forces. Yeah, this story has the problem of having too many terms and names, because Square Enix thought this needed to be overly complicated. Some of the lore and story is interesting, but you have to dig through it to find it. I have my problems with the overall story, but I will get to that later in the review.

Final Fantasy Type-0HD is an action RPG. You control a group of 14 students, with battles using three students at a time. You have characters who are melee fighters, range fighters, and special fighters who are more about status ailments than attacks, but can still throw a punch. The combat is much faster-paced than a lot of the action-oriented RPGs out there. You can customize your individual class members with new weapons and gear, but also give them their own abilities and spells. On top of the more action-oriented combat, you also have a great dodging system, and a fun little system where if you strike the opponent at a specific moment, you can cause massive damage. You can also perform group attacks, and if you don’t mind sacrificing three of your many party members, you can pull off summons. Now, while you are out on the overworld, you will run into random battles. You can avoid them if you ride one of your many chocobos, but be careful of the large creatures running around. You could grind, but if you have a PlayStation 4 version of the game, you can manipulate your in-console calendar to make sure your characters that are in the training arena can level up faster. Another element that you will experience from time to time are the RTS battles, where you send soldiers from areas that you own, to areas in which the enemies still hold power. Overall, the main game will take about 20 hours or more, depending on how much you grind. You can probably get twice as many hours out of the game, if you plan on playing through the overall game again, and try out all the other unlocked content that is available after you beat the main game.

The graphics are the toughest part to critique. For a PlayStation Portable game, it looks really good. However, for this HD version, the “HD” is hit-and-miss. Some areas look great, but those PlayStation Portable technical limitations make edges look pointy, and textures flat. The music is pretty rad, with some sweeping scores, intense fight music, and somber tones for depressing scenes. The music was composed by Takeharu Tshimoto, who is known for games like Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, The World Ends with You, and Dissidia: Final Fantasy. The voice work is inconsistent with some great performances, but then some that are…not so great. Maybe they had a bad voice director or something, since some of the line reads are flat. I think I would have rather seen this game get another month of tweaking, so that the overall presentation was perfect.

Now then, let’s talk about the problems with Final Fantasy Type-0HD, and the overall HD facelift. First off, Class Zero characters are not very interesting. The actual universe and how things work is much more interesting and sad, but there is no time or not a lot of time given to each of the multiple main characters to be interesting. They just seem more like walking tropes than actual characters. I also have to call out Square Enix for a really shoddy HD facelift for the game. Now, some parts look great, but most of the time, it still looks like its original PlayStation Portable counterpart. Another problem is that you have to essentially play the same game twice to unlock another part of the game. You have to play through the 20 or so hours of the game to then unlock additional cutscenes and objectives for your second time around. I also have some minor non-deductible nitpicks, like how I wish I could upgrade everyone at once, how there is a fight that forces you to lose, and that’s really it.

So, what side to I land on for Final Fantasy Type-0HD? Well, I like the game. Is it my favorite RPG of this year? I think The Witcher III does a better overall job, but I still enjoy Type-0HD. I’m glad we got this game, since I do think there can be a sub-series of the main franchise based on this universe. If they made the characters more interesting, not lock a chunk of content behind a second play-through, make combat more fluid (get Platinum Games to do it), and not lean so much on anime-style tropes, this could lead to a pretty awesome sequel. However, time will tell, and I have a lot of Square Enix RPG-style games to ready myself for in the future.

This game gets an 8 out of 10