It’s been a while since Final Fantasy has been in the news successfully. Some might argue for the success of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which in my opinion is one of the better MMOs currently running, but really I can’t give that the credit it deserves, because it is a successful product meant to replace a failure. There is also Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, which also has been very successful, although it still doesn’t stand as tall for me simply because it has steered away completely from what Final Fantasy is as a Japanese RPG.

So what do we have to redeem Final Fantasy? Why, nothing less than an HD remake, Final Fantasy Type 0 HD. But it’s not just any HD remake. In an era where dozens of games are being made all over again for the sake of the next gen consoles, Final Fantasy Type 0 has the very unique position of its original, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, having never made its way to North America.

Final Fantasy Type 0 HD takes places in the world of Orience, where the land is divided into four great nations, each guarded over by a crystal of holy power. The Militesi Empire has made a bold move to try and conquer the remaining three nations under the pretenses of uniting the four nations and the four crystals to achieve an utopian peace. Enter in Class Zero, 14 warriors of elite caliber who have been thrown into the fire to defend their country.

There are three specific areas of gameplay you will run through: action oriented gameplay, real time strategy, and running around in a hub world.

The real-time action gameplay is what you will find yourself doing through the majority of the game. This is the traditional Final Fantasy we know and love. You have your physical actions, dodging, magical spells with the names we have seen for years, and utilizing each team members strengths to your advantage. You’ll technically start out with three playable characters, but you always have access to all 14. Pick the three that will back each other up effectively. You don’t want to go straight down the line with physical attackers, because you’re going to need some defensive spells or buffing and debuffing capabilities. Use the early levels as a trial and error zone. Figure out who you play well with and what they lack. Then you can build a party to cover nearly every angle and weakness you might come across. And as typical with Final Fantasy games, anything you might not feel very strongly about can be slightly covered with items, and as you have 14 fighters to play around with, if one does die, it is’t the end of the world. I have gone into areas 10 levels ahead of my own, and was able to turn it out simply because I had 14 people to rely on to keep me going forward, even if it meant there was only one barely left alive.

Lots of different weapon options keep things interesting.

Lots of different weapon options keep things interesting.

The real time strategy segments are slightly nontraditional. You’ll pick only one of the 14 characters to play as, and move around on a battlefield assisting the computer controlled army. It’s very rudimentary and simple, probably my least favorite segments of the game because of how simple it is. When I first heard that such a strategic element would be used I was very excited, but what we were given left me with the impression it should have been left out all together.

The final segment, which some might consider to be the most monotonous portion, is running around in the hub area of the game, which is a large academy brilliantly name Akademeia, where Class Zero along with several other cadet squads are being taught the ways of war. Here, side quests are undertaken, players can purchase new items and weapons, upgrade spells, and tiny interactive story segments are waiting around the area for participation. As a person who enjoys micromanagement as a way to cut the action, this is one of the more enjoyable segments to me. I love running around for the extra experience and learning more about the world and the lore, which is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis group of Final Fantasy games. Of course, besides the necessities of purchasing better items and making spells stronger, most people will probably not be too interested in the hub segment. In fact, most will probably hate it. Never fear though, players have the option, very kindly, to skip all the fluff and go straight to the next story missions of the game if they so choose.

    School life is hard!

School life is hard!

Visually speaking, the game has both ups and downs. Remember to keep in mind that the original we in North America never got to see, Final Fantasy Agito XIII was destined for Sony’s handheld of that time, the PSP. There are times where I am impressed with what was brought over from a portable console to a home one and other times not so much. Textures are a little sloppy now and again, clearly getting dusted over rather than polished, and in-game cutscenes remind me more of the last years of the PlayStation 2, rather than the HD only PlayStation 4. The world outside was also a little bland, without too many distinctive features. You had your flat land texture, then to your left was a mountain texture, with a forest texture on your right. Not very high quality compared to its competition.

Sound, as you have come to expect from the Final Fantasy series, is top notch, both in terms of music and voice work. The soundtrack is very Final Fantasy, the epic drawn out pieces that tug at your heart, and in my opinion, the soundtrack is the highest quality part of this game. Some may have an issue with a couple reused tracks and sounds, but to me it just pulls me back and reminds me that despite the changes made over the generations, I’m still playing Final Fantasy.

Character development is also a small weakness to the game. With 14 main characters, let alone four large scale countries and armies worth of individual people, it is easy to see how these people fell a little short on real depth as human beings. But I will judge this portion solely on the main 14. I can see the attempt was there, something they try to address very early on with an emotional death of a character’s friend and his trusty Chocobo steed. But honestly, I felt more emotion from the Chocobo and the youth who died in the first 10 minutes than from the people I took along for 40 hours of gameplay. The structure as I said is there, but it feels more like bullet points rather than fully fleshed out personalities and individuals. More akin to characters pulled from a fifteen year old’s Naruto fanfiction that a AAA studio’s million dollar designs. Creating individuals that players care about has always been a huge staple of the Final Fantasy series, so it is hard for me to forgive them this great offense, despite the number of characters they undertook to design.

We have an evil Cid this time around.

We have an evil Cid this time around.

One small issue I have isn’t really with the game itself, but rather with a small spoiler addressed in the art book.

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am not going to address specifics or names here, so as not to totally ruin everything. But if people still don’t want to know, then please jump down to the bottom past this segment.

In the art book, which I received with my collectors edition of the game, which you can see the unboxing of here, there are pages of art which depict a character’s death. I wasn’t 100% certain that indeed it was going to be an actual scene, perhaps it was something eventually omitted but was originally planned, but now I was waiting for this to happen. Expecting it even.

And when indeed it did happen I was quite disappointed. Here was a way not only for the game to provide a twist, but also to generate great character development and growth. And now, thanks to that spoiler and the aforementioned lack of detail to the individual personalities, the developers failed at both ends of the spectrum. Yes it’s an art book I didn’t have to look at and yes it is an art book most people will never see, but it is still a major oversight that should not have been allowed to pass go or collect $200. Yes it was a beautiful piece of art and it invoked way more feeling than the actual game’s scene, I can tell you right now it was no Sephiroth cutting down Aerith, but if the developers wanted it to be shown, then put it in some kind of in game catalog of art. Final Fantasy has done it before. Just make the picture show up after the player has passed the scene and there you go. Everyone gets to see such a lovely drawing, and no one had the game spoiled for them. Yes its a small thing, and maybe it’s not fair of me to nag them on this, but Square Enix has been in this business too long to be making such silly mistakes.

!!!SPOILER ALERT OVER!!!

But it is a meaty JRPG none the less. As I already said, the basic campaign takes around 40 hours to finish, and since I’m a completionist and wanted to do every single side mission I could, I found myself playing double that time. No matter how big or how trivial it may seem, the game never runs out of something to give the player to be apart of. Never once was I bored, or asking the all too unfortunate question many RPG’s tend to lead their players to say, “Now what do I do?” Quite the contrary. There was always something to do, and all of it together was always rewarding and fun.

All in all, I am happy with finally being able to play something I personally begged Square Enix to release. While it isn’t a perfect product, and I have a hard time forgiving its mistakes, I don’t have a hard time looking past them to enjoy what I have spinning in my PlayStation 4’s tray. Everything together created what I had been waiting so long to have, and more. It’s a great game, both for fans of the series or those who want a great tactical RPG to test their strategic finesse. Square Enix released a statement last year, saying that they finally realized that players actually like RPG’s. I hope they take that to heart and continue to bring high quality products to the table, so they can elevate themselves to the standing they once had, and create games that are both masterful as well and beautiful, both inside and out.

Final Fantasy Type 0 HD Review
Final Fantasy Type 0 HD rekindles what made the original series great after so many wrong directions and disappointing safe decisions. With a strategic aspect as well as the fast passed combat we know and love, Final Fantasy Type 0 HD will satisfy all walks of RPG fans.
The Good
  • Multiple types of gameplay
  • Fun and engaging combat
  • Plethora of things to do
The Bad
  • Out of date graphics
  • Unpolished textures
  • Slightly undeveloped characters
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Caitlin F
Staff Writer

Caitlin has two passions in life, writing and video games. Only seemed wise to combine the two. When she isn’t playing the latest title, she is partaking in other nerd endeavors online or at local comic shops.