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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Hands-On – Worth the Three Year Wait?

by Ron Duwell | September 18, 2014September 18, 2014 2:30 pm PDT

I’ll start my TGS 2014 experience with a game I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD made its gameplay debut at the Makuhari Convention Center in Chiba, Japan. Fans have been clamoring for Square Enix to localize this PSP game for nearly three years, and their diligence has paid off with an HD port on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One due next March 17th.

Those expecting a traditional game from the long running series won’t find it here. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a much more action oriented affair than anything else. No line fighting, no menus… just a simple targeting system and a series of attacks to nail enemies with. It feels more like Dark Souls or E.X. Troopers than anything else.

My time was the game was a little short, so I couldn’t wrestle with the Japanese and mechanics long enough to make total sense out of it. Final Fantasy Type-o‘s plot follows in the line of Final Fantasy VIII in that teenagers are hired out as mercenaries or PMCs to aid in the war between major powers. You take control of three kids, decked out in traditional Japanese school outfits, sailor skirts and all, and each has a function in battle. One is a close range sword swinger, one is a long range whip wielder, and the last is a cure and defense magic user.

Switching between your three high school soldiers is thankfully a breeze, because you’ll need all three to complete the demo. Square Enix has the game set at “convention” level difficulty, but I got my butt handed to me quite a few times.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD also looks as good as you can hope for a handheld game given the full HD treatment. Characters are crisp and well animated, and the landscapes are gorgeous. Yet, there is also a nice simplicity to it all, not getting bogged down in details or overly complex level designs that wouldn’t fit this game’s intent. The levels show some obvious mobile roots, but don’t take that as a negative. This is a game which perfectly makes the jump to the home consoles.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD seems like a lot of fun so far, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Most might buy it for the included Final Fantasy XV demo voucher, but it deserves a view on its own. Square Enix finally delivering the goods is a win for fans of wayward Japanese titles gone unlocalized.

Will its success inspire Square Enix to get around to Dragon Quest VII nextFinal Fantasy Type-0 HD will be released on March 17th for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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