Final Fantasy Type-0 first released in Japan in 2011 for the PlayStation Portable. When the game released, oversea fans of the series hoped that the title would be released worldwide, even prompting fan translations to arise. The game has finally been released worldwide in the form of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and while many expectations have been met, with those expectations come a few disappointments.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is an offshoot of the main series, and is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries along with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV (formerly Versus XIII). The game takes place in the land of Orience, which is currently locked in a state of war. The story follows Class Zero, a group of fourteen students who are sent to participate in the war. These students are sent to defend their country of Rubrum, and to push back the invading Militesi Empire. These students stand out, as there are a number of different personalities, from the class clown to the more serious “leader” of the group. The story shows the ugliness of war and is darker than other titles in the Final Fantasy series. This story, however, is one of the weakest components of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. At first, the plot moves nicely and is quite enjoyable, but becomes convoluted at the end and brings about some confusion. A second playthrough does clear up some questions, but still leaves some confusion. While helping clear up the story somewhat, extra playthroughs also unlock more content. After the game is completed, extra dialogue choices, side-missions, and mission choices appear, warranting a second playthrough. The game also has multiple difficulties, allowing players to kick up the challenge when going through Type-0 multiple times.
Despite the somewhat confusing plot, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD excels when it comes to gameplay. Combat in Type-0 feels great and really shines through. Combat is fast-paced, and feels complex yet satisfying. Type-0’s battle system is a far cry from most other Final Fantasy titles, yet still requires the same amount of strategy. The controls have been adapted well form the PlayStation Portable controls, and feel great on a controller. The camera works for the most part, though there were times when it would get stuck when it would auto-adjust while locked on. All fourteen members of Class Zero are playable, and there is great variety amongst all of them. There are multiple play styles between all of the characters, each requiring different strategies. Characters are customizable as far as spells and abilities go, allowing you to adjust your team as needed. Leveling up can be a time consumer, but it is great having all of the options.
As this edition of Final Fantasy Type-0 is an HD update, the graphics have been updated form the PSP version. The backgrounds look beautiful, and there is a noticeable difference from the original version of the game. The game does, however, still suffer some graphical issues. There are constant muddy textures, and character animations seem off. I had to switch the localized voice acting over to the original Japanese voices, as the English dialogue was horrible. The rest of the soundtrack, however, shines through. The soundtrack was redone for Type-0 HD, and and it shows. I was disappointed over the decision to remove multiplayer, as I felt it was a great addition to the original version of Type-0. I was also not very fond of the real-time strategy missions. They were a welcome change of pace at first, but became more of a nuisance after the first mission.
Overall, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a solid title. The story can be confusing, and the visuals have their highs and lows, but the actual gameplay and combat really shine through. It is a welcome change from the rest of the Final Fantasy series, and while it is not perfect, it is still entertaining in its 0wn right.