Whoa! Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is pretty fun

Hands-on at Paris Games Week and also a new trailer

Look, you can’t blame me for turning a blind eye to Final Fantasy Type-0. Why hurt and labor and want over something you can’t have? At least not a videogame, of which there are alternates and substitutes plenty.

Elliot Gay knew what was up. He played it on PSP. He sought out the unlikely HD remake, which we are somehow getting in the United States of America next spring, and played it at TGS.

What Square brought to Paris Games Week was a similar demo. Three playable characters partied up, a large area to run through. I’m just here to tell you what Elliot already knew. This game is pretty cool. Maybe Final Fantasy XV could be good.

I had Ace as the default party leader, as in the TGS demo, but now the scythe-wielding Sice and dual-cartoon-Luger-wielding King were up to test out.

Okay, but maybe some of you are as out of the loop as I was. You have a party of three characters and can switch between any of them at any time. This will probably be necessary given their variance (if these three were any indication) and lax-seeming AI that makes them less effective than when you’re using them.

And this is an action game, blurring the “ATB” line more than Crisis Core. Each face button is an action, Ace is basically gambit. His default attack to spam throws cards at enemies to damage them. He also has a Nightcrawler-ish disappear move where many others have a straight dodge or roll, a powerful, in-his-vicinity ice blast, and he can load up cards so his card attacks do things like explode. You can change abilities, of course. There’s customization and development to go along with party plays, choosing choosing leaders.

King with the pistols proved a power house and his range is useful. First, because the levels, clunky in design as they are, try not to be too open arenas. The mech and soldier filled area I played through, anyway, This probably stems from it being a PSP game. The stretched, blade textures and geometry, too. (And the load times between areas)  Still, it’s not bad, save for when you exploit the enemy AI and stick yourself behind somewhere you can’t be touched and take pot shots.

But really, there’s just a fun energy around Type-0, whether or not that “mature” plot of teens fighting war comes to anything (I couldn’t understand it, what with the French). The camera is hyper sensitive, sometimes confoundedly so. This can probably be adjusted, but I found it endearing. Movement and attacks are firm, grounded, like in lead boots. And if the action doesn’t do it for you, what other contemporary Final Fantasy is going to let you walk around the world map on a chocobo or cruise in an airship?

Steven Hansen