[ First Impressions Review ] Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

This review was written using the Day One copy of the game for the PlayStation 4 that was unpatched.

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The First Three Hours

Where this game seems to be concerned, there are three types of fans coming into this: those, like myself, who are excited to play the game based on watching the Japanese version of the game for years, those are cautiously optimistic based on the fact that it doesn’t play like many previous games in the franchise, and those who don’t really know much about the game at all and simply want a look at the newest Final Fantasy title. Being one of those that knew a bit about the Japanese version of the game beforehand, I wasted no time before plopping down on my couch, opening an energy drink, and getting right into the game. Little did I know that it was going to waste just as little time getting right into me.

Type-0 is not one of those role-playing games that takes its time introducing its characters and setting but rather slips you right into the middle of things: there are four nations, each centered around a crystal that’s responsible for each nation’s military power, mentality, and belief structure; one of them, for whatever reasoning decides to begin a major invasion of one of the others. The attack is well-coordinated and sudden, leaving the defending nation without much chance to retort and is quickly routed. Things seem really desperate until Class Zero arrives, a group of children who are able, with your help, to repel the invasion and start fighting back against the invaders. As war, beliefs, and intrigue seem to be large motifs – at least, in the beginning – you’re looking at a game that borrows more than a few story elements from games like Tactics in how it’s emotionally harrowing and really jarring right from the get-go, setting a dark tone for the rest of my time playing the game, so far.

The same thing goes for the gameplay mechanics, too – it holds your hand for only long enough to throw you into the middle of the action. It wasn’t too difficult for me to grasp the basic concept of combat, in its different types, and it wasn’t too difficult to grasp the development concepts, either. It really kind of felt like some really well-fleshed-out cell phone games did: it provides a simple but deep experience that’s easy to grasp but hard to master. After the initial mess is over, you get set into your routine: you have a set amount of time between your main story-driven missions and each action you take, be it a side mission, dialogue with an NPC, or undertaking school lessons to increase stats or gain EXP, drains two hours from that time. When the time is up or you skip the time altogether – yeah, you have the option to do that, though I don’t know why you would – you get to participate in the next story-based mission.

The voice acting is fairly par for the course though some roles are based on really terrible archetypes and are overacted based on said archetypes. There’s one guy that won’t stop saying “yo” all the time and the first l’Cie you face will repeat the same phrase about ten times in about five minutes. It’s really irritating but it’s easy to get over. The music is about par for the course as far as a Final Fantasy game is concerned, too, as it’s well done, not too overbearing, and feels proper to the scene, most times. The graphics are where I’m most divided – the textures, spell effects, and particle effects all look really nice and you can tell where they did the most work in bringing this to the PlayStation 4 but you can still see a lot of the old system – the PlayStation Portable – in this game. I would have liked them to spend a little more time on the game and upgraded the models and, perhaps, fixed the camera focus so that way things that are out of focus don’t look like complete shit.

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What’s to Come

Honestly, I think I’ve dug my feet into this game enough to say that I’ve settled into its routine: day to day missions, evolving the story as I go. I like where it’s taken me so far and I don’t see things getting much different, really. I suppose only time will tell but my hopes are still very high for this one and I can’t wait to see what it brings! I’m hoping there’s plenty of surprises.

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