Quick Note: The fast paced combat satisfies, especially with the numerous options available to you, but the story falls off on the last chapter and the camera can make you nauseous. The combat makes it a great game for newbies and old fans alike, though not for the hardcore JRPG gamers.
Final Fantasy has been on a downhill slope for quite some time. Love them or hate them, the Final Fantasy XIII games have left a bad taste in a majority of fans of mouths (including this fan). Despite Final Fantasy Type-0 having more to like than the previously released games of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, it's still lacking the punch of entries of yesteryear.
Before we go any further, it's important to note the history of this game. When Final Fantasy XIII was announced, Square Enix also announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which has now become Final Fantasy XV, and Final Fantasy Agito, which has become Final Fantasy Type-0. It's also significant to know that Final Fantasy Type-0 was originally a PSP game, and therefore a handheld game, because it's very evident in how the game feels and plays. And now, the history lesson is over, onto the important stuff.
Final Fantasy Type-0 takes place in the world of Orience, where four different nations have a tenuous peace between each other. With the Crystal guiding each nation, the Militesi empire takes action and starts to invade the other empires, aiming to destroy each Crystal through the means of it's Crystal jamming technology. These Crystals are the key to all magic, and leave most of the empires helpless, except for Rubrum, which has a secret weapon: Class Zero.
|Class is now in session.|
But the story is only one part of the game, as the real reason to pick up Type-0 is by far the game play. Players take control of the entirety of Class Zero, giving them 14 different options in battle. Combat takes place on small, enclosed levels, with players taking full control of one of three active characters in an action oriented combat. This means players have full control of the camera and character actions. At any point in time, players can shift between the three in active combat, allowing for a bit of versatility while actively fighting enemies. Most of the time, all 14 students of Class Zero will be available to take into combat, so when one of the classmates fall in battle, another can be swapped in it's place.
|The over world will look awfully familiar to fans of the franchise.|
Each character has a unique weapon to attack with, two custom commands and one defensive magic command, with all four commands mapped to the controller face buttons. Characters have their own abilities, such as the card wielding Ace and his Wild Card ability that let's him teleport behind enemies to deal massive damage, or Nine's Jump ability, that allows him to disappear for a few seconds only to slam his spear down on top of nearby enemies. These abilities can be upgraded and new ones can be learned by promoting characters via a Save Point, but these aren't the only actions available to characters.
|An example of the area effect Blizzard magic.|
|Ah the sweet smell of dead monsters...|
On top of these abilities, players also have access to super attacks and summons. Both require players to fill up an AG gauge, which fills as enemies are attacked by the player. The super attack is a group attack that deals massive damage to enemies using the three active members. The only limit to the amount of times this super move can be used is how often the player can fill up the AG gauge, so attacking quickly and often results in the ability to deal massive damage often.
|Eidolons are powerful, but require a sacrifice to bring to the battlefield.|
Outside of the complex combat system the world is interesting, but bland. In between missions there is a clock that counts down the time left until the next mission and the academy is free to explore. By talking to people with a green exclamation point, players can spend 2 hours of in-game time or leave the academy to explore the outside world, resulting in 6 hours of in-game time being spent. Talking to individuals does reveal interesting tidbits about the world and there are some interesting side quests with unique characters, but only if you are truly enveloped in this world. Ultimately, I found most of this world to be forgettable. Again, this ultimately stems from the origin of the game and what platform it was intended to be played on, but that excuse only goes on for so long.
Fundamentally, Final Fantasy Type-0 is a fun romp for the combat. The story has potential, but falls flat and the world is a little bland, but the fast paced action and few interesting combat situations make it worth playing for any fan of the franchise. For those who are looking for a reason to get back into Final Fantasy, this is a good start. Hopefully this is just the beginning of the upswing.
8.5 out of 10