Final Fantasy Type 0 – Initial Impressions

Final Fantasy Type 0 is a remake of the highly anticipated japanese-only PSP game released back in 2011 that fans have been clamoring for ever since. While not exactly in the format that most people were expecting, it is here at last in all it’s HD glory. How does it hold up though, and is it worth playing? I’ve put about 10 hours into the game since it came out, so hopefully I can detail some of the more interesting aspects of the game, and pontificate on its strengths and shortcomings. And then maybe my own shortcomings.

Final Fantasy Type 0 places you in the role of class 0 – 12 artificially created students who adhere to the will of the crystal from a city called Rubrum that oppose the empire. Unlike most of the Final Fantasy ilk, combat here is action oriented, a-la kingdom hearts (although not quite as ‘button mashey’). You’ll be handling many of the RPG elements such as leveling up, learning skills, magic, equipment, etc. Each cadet learns their own unique skills, however, it should be noted that you can only have, at max, 2 skills equipped to any one character. This forced restriction guides you into “builds” or focusing certain students on specializing on certain attacks or strategies.

The structure is established quite early in the game – you have “missions” which are essentially the story driven campaign. Between missions, you are given an arbitrary amount of time to use as you please until you become forced to proceed with the next story mission. During this free time, you can talk to your other students, gather items, take on sidequests for extra loot or commands, and what have you. Generally, talking to students will use 2 hours of your time, while leaving Academia will take 6 hours of your time (Many requests will force you to take to the world map). You can also undergo classes, which you should absolutely do at every possible opportunity in the interest of raising your abilities (Each class uses 2 hours like conversations). Oh, about the world map..

You can access the world map at any time by leaving the gates of Academia. You can visit other towns, buy equipment from other towns, take requests from other towns, other activity same prepositional phrase. As mentioned previously, many requests will have you taking to world maps inbetween missions.

The missions themselves are quite tense and insanely fun. Think of them as dungeons – you will often be exploring an area where enemies will seamlessly appear and attack you – yes, that’s right – no “random encounters” or transitions to a new plane of battle, it happens right as you are moving along. The objectives in the missions are often, to my relief, quite simple, but that does not mean the game is without challenge – the Brionac encounter is surely to be the first fight to test you to your limits. Considering I only had 3 cadets left at that point in the mission, I had to develop an absurd strategy involving the student using the bow in order to defeat him. Afterwards you must survive for a minute against a level 140 foe. Not forgiving in the slightest.

The characters themselves are likeable enough and the combat is certainly satisfying and flashy. My only complaint would be the localization, rather, the voice acting – it’s very mediocre, the kind of production you’d expect from an RPG made around 2000, not a AAA square enix game made in 2015. If the Tales series can consistently have stellar voice acting (Xillia’s was fantastic), I don’t see why Final Fantasy should suffer the same fate. Unfortunately Nine’s voice was the final nail in the coffin – Missi and I quickly agreed to switch to subtitles with japanese audio, and haven’t looked back since.

The game is certainly an enjoyable experience – feels like a darker, more “historical drama” styled Final Fantasy. I highly recommend you check it out.

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