Square Enix finally brought Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD to the West in 2015. Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD, previously exclusively available in Japan on the Playstation portable, skips a few of Sony’s gaming devices and ultimately ends up on the big screen as a remastered version on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Type-0 is a spin-off from the main Final Fantasy series and belongs to the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. My personal favorite series to date.

Back in the day I purchased Type-0 HD with the sole purpose to be granted access to the Final Fantasy XV demo, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae. I really enjoyed the FFXV demo and played it multiple times leading up to the release of FFXV. I promised myself I would complete Type-0 HD one day soon-ish. That was almost 3 years ago. I was looking forward to playing the game for a while now. I am delighted to have finally found the time to experience the game’s realistically dark and grueling story.

The story focuses on Class Zero, a group of fourteen elite students from the Dominion of Rubrum who must fight the neighboring Militesi Empire led by the dictatorial High Commander Cid Aulstyne. Inevitably, the Militesi Empire launches an assault on the other Crystal States of Orience, a dark world governed by crystals and torn apart by war. In doing so, the group becomes entangled in both the efforts to push back and defeat the forces of Militesi, and the secret behind the war and the existence of the crystals. These crystals fuel the flames of war, shedding light on our young heroes who must cope with decisions that will mean the difference between life and death and the rise and fall of nations.

The Good:

Type-0 is among a select few Final Fantasy games that focusses on a more action-packed, real-time battle system in its encounters. It’s a matter of taste but this approach to the series battle system is very much to my liking as well. Each of Class Zero’s students brings their own unique skills and abilities in the mix and switching between the students different play styles is a must in order to complete the game’s multiple missions. This pushes you to always make sure you have a balanced team out in the field and come up with new strategies to destroy your opponents.

Dual wielding gunslinger King is among my favorites, the ranged characters with zoning abilities are the most useful in the game in general. Slicing and dicing trough a group of enemies with the Katana wielding Jack was my second favorite thing to do. Especially when your strikes are timed correctly, instantly killing your opponents and dealing increased damage when red “Killsights” and yellow “Breaksights” appear on screen.

I couldn’t imagine playing a Final Fantasy game without seeing, riding or admiring my beloved Chocobos in any possible shape or form. In Type-0 you can capture Chocobos in the wild and breed your own Chocobos at the Chocobo Farm, located in Rubrum’s Akademeia. It’s an exciting and enjoyable pastime for Chocobo fans.

The Story is amazingly fascinating and stands apart from previous Final Fantasy titles. Type-0’s overall tone is darker and grittier than what the franchise usually offers. The game puts in a lot of effort to let you feel the brutality and injustice of the raging war between the Dominion of Rubrum and the Militesi Empire. This is a more mature story, where the stakes are high from the get-go. The weight of the world rests on your shoulders. And my beloved Chocobos are bleeding to death in front of my eyes.

The Bad:

Type-0 HD is a remastered version of a 2011 handheld game. Even though Square Enix put in the effort the remaster the game instead of simply upscaling the material, it is noticeable in multiple occasions throughout the game. All fourteen cadets of Class Zero look surprisingly good and have been completely remodeled from the ground up. Unfortunately, for the rest of the characters and environments that is not the case. This is especially noticeable when an NPC is in the same screen as one of the classmates.

The game is struck by an occasional frame-rate drop and often doesn’t run as smooth as it should. This is especially infuriating while fighting a boss or a larger group of enemies. Furthermore, the camera controls and the game’s target lock-on mode does not function perfectly all of the time. Targeting the wrong enemies or not being able to see your enemies. Again, this is mostly maddening when fighting the game’s bosses or groups of enemies. It is in these moments that you will notice that the AI of your companions isn’t working as it should all the time as well. Often these AI controlled companions will either, do nothing and stand by idly while you are getting destroyed, or attack other targets. The kind of targets that do not need to be annihilated, like barrels, staircases and walls..

It’s a shame that the game’s multiplayer mode has been removed. I would have liked to play Type-0 HD via online or local multiplayer with my friends. The choice to exclude the original multiplayer from the remastered version is understandable – at least from Square Enix’s point of view. Not having a multiplayer is not a deal breaker, seeing as traditionally Final Fantasy games haven’t offered a multiplayer option in most of their games.

Should you play Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD?

Type-0 HD has found a way to be among my favorites in the series. I honestly believe that the experience would have been even more enjoyable back in 2011 when the game was originally released on the Playstation Portable. The main story is rather short and can be completed in 30-ish hours. However, if you have a bit of time left to spend on the game you will see that there is still more than enough to do in Orience. Type-0 HD is definitely a must have for Final Fantasy fans and can be recommended to (J)RPG fans with a bit of spare time in between new releases, their old favorites and their backlog.

About author

Kevin "Method" van Dongen

Ain't no thing like me, except me. I am the biggest half behind this website and love to write about my deep love for fighting games, (J)RPG's and Destiny. Really do not like Call of Duty and absolutely love pizza.