Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Hardware: Playstation 4/XBox One
03/19/2015 (Japan), 03/17/2015 (US), 03/20/2015 (PAL)
ファイナルファンタジー零式 HD

For years after the original release of Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP, Final Fantasy fans outside of Japan held out hope for an official English language release of the game. Various things happened over the years that kept fans holding onto hope, but a release announcement never even came. Many theorized that a full-blown Vita version would be announced, but I don’t know if anyone suspected that an HD version for current generation consoles would be the version that was finally given to the world.

My thoughts and overall description of the game have not changed since my review of the original version of the game, and Type-0 HD is very much an HD port of the original in that no new in-game content was added save for some new optional cut scenes. That being said, there were several tweaks that were made, some out of necessity and some not: A lower difficulty level was added (the original was not the easiest game at times), and the ad-hoc multi-player elements found in the PSP version were removed due to development schedules (the content that could be obtained as a result of playing multi-player was re-integrated into the game in different ways). As an interesting substitute for the multi-player functionality, the development team actually increased the usefulness of the Academy Assistance function (a choice you can make to let nameless members of the Academy jump in and assist you in place of some of your regular characters), which was always the wrong choice to make in the original game due to those characters being consistently under-leveled. Also notable was the need to re-create the camera system, due to having to use the infamous “claw” grip (made popular by the PSP Monster Hunter games) to move the camera in-battle. The camera is mapped to the right analog stick as anyone would expect, however it has a sensitivity level on par with that of a first-person shooter with sensitivity settings turned all the way up. That is to say when you move that camera, it’s going to fly in the direction that you moved it in. I was able to adapt to this well enough, but have heard stories of those who were actually not able to continue playing due to getting motion sickness.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - Cut-scene Rem Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - Robot in Snowy Field
Rem as she now looks in cut-scenes. Mostly just a general HD-ification and change of lighting effects. Type-0 is more self referential to past entries in the series than most give it credit for. A robot going through a snowy field…where have I seen this before…

Obviously the big draw for the HD version of Type-0 is the reworked graphics. This game looked fantastic on the PSP (though it obviously pushed the limits of the hardware), and for being a port of a PSP game it still mostly looks good on the PS4 and XBox One. Obviously the lighting effects were redone and assets were re-rendered for HD consoles, but the improvements go even further than that. The PSP game featured more detailed models in the cut scenes than those that appeared in game play, so for the HD version the cut scene models were used for game play as well. It should be noted though that the graphical re-work is really only apparent in Class Zero and the main cast of characters. Side characters will certainly look like they had a bare minimum of re-work done to them, probably because they did. All said though, the HD version of this game looks very good considering that it came all the way back from the PSP. If you don’t come in expecting a game that was developed for an HD console, you should have nothing but a pleasant surprise waiting for you.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - In-Game Ace 1 Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - In-game Ace 2
An in-game shot of Ace and company, having just taken down a boss And an in-game shot of Ace and company looking much worse for wear (no spoilers)

Hearkening back to the relationship between Zone of the Enders and Metal Gear Solid 2 back in the Playstation 2 days, Type-0 HD also came with a code to download a demo of Final Fantasy XV. I’m sure a lot of copies sold just to get access to said demo, but that’s a shame. Don’t get me wrong, everything I stated aa a problem with Type-0 is still a problem in the HD version. In fact revisiting it on a non-portable format called even further attention to just how bad the story was told overall. The game itself still feels very much like the portable game that it is with its quick but frequent load times when doing things like transitioning areas, and just its overall feel. That still does not change that the game-play systems are some of the best you can find in an action RPG, and the game has a wealth of content to explore should you like it enough to. Is this version superior to the PSP version? Visually it certainly is, but this is most definitely a game designed to be portable. At any rate, anyone who has been waiting years to try out Type-0 should not let this chance pass them by.