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REVIEW: Final Fantasy Type-0 Kills It With a Serious Tone

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I remember being pretty butt hurt when I found out that the states would not be receiving Final Fantasy Type-0 for the PSP five years ago, especially since the lore was closely related to the Final Fantasy XIII chronicles. After all, the four games, along with Final Fantasy XV are all part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries, so I felt as if we were getting snubbed out of game. So you can bet I was anxious to get my hands on an HD copy for my PS4, and oh what a thrilling ride it was.

Final Fantasy Type-0 certainly stands out from its predecessor’s in more ways than one. In one simple glance at its cover you’ll notice the game itself has  an M-rating, which is new for a series that usually sticks to a T rating. But in truth, the game’s M-rating, while warranted for blood and violence, is still a mild M compared to the many games out there. However, the opening scene says it all. Blood, war, violence, and death: Final Fantasy Type-0 certainly takes on a much more darker and serious tone than I had expected, and I loved every minute of it.

If you’re expecting a game like Final Fantasy X, full of beautiful landscapes and cutscenes, this game is not for you. I’m not saying that the cutscenes aren’t breathtaking in their own right, but this game is meant to appear dingy, grimy, and dirty. Even the towns are pretty much brown and nothing else. Bright colors are not in the forecast for Final Fantasy Type-0, unless it’s bright red blood splatters, and even those are few and far between.

Final Fantasy Type-0 takes place in the world of Orience, a world split into four nations aka Crystal States. A Crystal resides in each state and can actually turn people into super-beings called L’cie, who must complete a “Focus” so they can become crystallized and live eternal. (This should sound familiar to anyone who has played Final Fantasy XIII.) As the game opens up, Orience is at war thanks to Milites’s Marshal Cid Aulstyne, and Rubrum’s Class Zero, a total of fourteen usable characters, are fighting back.

Because the game is heavily based around warfare, Final Fantasy Type-o speaks very openly about death. Interestingly enough, when a person dies it’s almost as if they never existed in the first place. Any time a person dies, the livings’ memories are completely wiped, which if you think about it is actually quite sad. It gets even more heavy later on when people close to the main characters start to perish. The consequences of mortality start to weigh deeply on them, and might even have you asking yourself about what you’d leave behind at your death. I told you things get heavy.

But back to the war. The entire game revolves around Class Zero liberating and uniting Orience, meaning it’s a very long uphill war, not just a battle. The nice thing is you have a slew of different cadets to mess around with. As I said, you have fourteen playable characters, and they all use different weaponry, etc. I personally preferred the four who could fight from a distance, me choosing Cater more often than not. I didn’t really like the melee characters because I felt as if they missed a lot, even when I was locked onto a target and within hacking distance. So I simply stuck with using Cater, Ace, King and Seven as my go to characters.  You’ll also ultimately end up picking your least favorite character and probably harbor them until you need to sacrifice them in order to summon an Eidolen such as Ifrit or Shiva. That was Jack for me, because he was completely slow and useless with his Katana.

Which gets me to battle gameplay. While you may hear Final Fantasy and think “turn based” this game plays closer to Crisis Core. Final Fantasy Type-0 is an action RPG, therefore you will be running around a battle area and physically attacking, casting spells, blocking, or whatever else you have equipped to your four slots on your character. I tended to stick to a normal attack, special attack, elemental spell, and cure for my main character, but I varied it up with other characters.

You only control one character at a time and you can bring two others into battle with you. The rest are reserves, so if anyone falls, they can be called in to take over. One item can be equipped for quick use aka that’ll be your potions. Battles don’t stop if you need to pull up your menu and use a different item. That was something I had to get used to and confused me the first few battles. But simply keeping your stock of potions up should keep you from needing to pull up the menu, unless you need a Phoenix Down.

While I adored the battling because it was much more fast paced, the downside is that the camera in the battle area can be the absolute worst. Not only does it like to spin around and move absurdly at times, I can’t count how many times I’d end up targeting an already dead monster while trying to target a monster wrecking havoc on my other party members. Granted it’s because the game would want me to harvest Phantasma, an item you use to upgrade your spells, it could get highly annoying when all I wanted to do was defeat everything first before harvesting. It could get especially annoying during missions, especially when you’re being timed, etc.

Speaking of missions, when you are not doing the main missions, you are given a set amount of time to lurk around your school and waste away the time. When the game begins, it’s a meager few hours but as the last few storyline missions dwindle down, you get up to five days to talk to students (2 hours), take classes with Mog (2 hours), spend time on the world map (6 hours), or even do an expert task (12 hours). Around the school will be other tasks that can be undergone one at a time and the time will vary depending on whether or  not you have to leave the school. Once the time is up, however, it’s back to the main story. Some tasks cannot be completed your first playthrough, which sucks a bit since I’m a completionist, but the game is meant to be played through a second time.

When all is said and done, Final Fantasy Type-0 leaves you on a such a serious note, I don’t even know how I even feel about how the game actually ended. If you’d like major spoilers, you can read about them here at my own blog, but I refuse to give anything away to those who are planning to play the game or are in the middle of the game. The game leaves you asking plenty of questions, and with a bittersweet taste in your mouth for sure. The game is meant to be played a second time on a New Game+ mode in order to get extra scenes, character side quests and even alternate endings.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a Final Fantasy fan, I would recommend this game to any RPG fan. It’s fast paced and gritty, with just the perfect amount of violence without going overboard. I will be replaying this game again without a doubt. It was well worth the money, and I’m proud to add it to my Final Fantasy collection.

 

About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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