Final Fantasy Type-0 Updated Impressions: Enter the Golem

We take a look at action role-playing-game goodness recorded from a recent Square Enix event.

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With the last Final Fantasy game on the PSP being a fighting game with role-playing game elements, gamers have been clamoring for a real RPG from the revered franchise for their portable system. Square Enix recently showed off about 20 minutes of new gameplay footage from the upcoming action RPG Final Fantasy Type-0 during the Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy tournament held over the weekend in Japan. Game director Hajime Tabata was commentating during the showing to give viewers an insight into the recent build.

As we covered before, the Suzaku school of magic will be the main character's base of operations in Final Fantasy Type-0. Your character, called Rem, is able to walk around the school corridors to converse with students or even delve into the history of the game's universe. At the bottom right of the screen is a counter that determines how long until the next mission starts. Players can also kill time by exploring random locations on the world map and travel there via airship for the purpose of grinding and leveling up. Tabata did just that and picked a yet-to-be-named snow field area.

As soon as Rem set foot on the field, she was greeted by random monsters ready to put her six feet under. Luckily, she had two other fighters accompanying her. Much of the combat that was shown here was already described in our previous write-up, though Tabata stressed that combat will be very dependent on magic; so much so that every kill will net Rem and company with phantoma energy that recovers a bit of their mana points. Players can also use this energy to customize and upgrade their character's magic.

Rem getting all emo on players in a pivotal moment of the story.

Tabata then showed off one of the highlights of the game: the battle zones. While controlling Rem on the world map, some areas will be contested in real time by invading troops from different countries. During Tabata's play-through, Rem could either head straight to the mission or help out her fellow Rubrum countrymen and cast a few spells on the opposing army. Once a group of enemies in that area were vanquished, it returned to a normal unconquered state. Tabata then headed off to the mission point northeast that took place in a war-ridden town, selected his party members (Rem, the scythe-bearing Sice and sword-wielding Queen), and headed off to battle.

During the many fights he encountered with enemy soldiers and mechs in the demo, he showed off an instant kill move players could activate whenever a red indicator mark appeared on top of their heads. This usually happens when they leave an opening after an attack. This is useful to kill off weaker enemies, especially when you factor in the enemy commanders that usually accompany mobs during these skirmishes.

It's hard to be humble when your enemies are ant sized.

Midway through the mission, Tabata decided to show off the summoning system. Players can summon a giant creature and control its every move to help even the odds at the cost of sacrificing their current teammate. In this case, Tabata sacrificed the scythe wielder known as Sice to bring out the physically imposing and hard-hitting Golem. The giant summon was more than a match for the onscreen enemies as it just trampled onto enemies with little to no effort. Against the bigger mechs, Tabata launched the Golem's spherical hands to destroy them.

Just like your party members, you can switch the Golem's control to the AI and resume control over your other diminutive party members. Keep in mind, however, that the Golem will disappear after 40 seconds. The decision to trade in short-term hard-hitting power at the cost of a teammate posed an interesting dilemma: Should we sacrifice one of our party members for that sudden burst of power against a difficult group of enemies or tough it out until we reached the last legs of a mission where a giant boss could be waiting?

The "Guard" icon is just a nicer way of saying "denied!"

Tabata also explained that during each mission a player undergoes, anyone with a PSP and a copy of the game can join in a mission online as long as the player has multiplayer support turned on before a mission. Because some of the tougher missions would be easier with teamwork, it's usually up to players if they wish to have some cooperation elements during their sessions. To cap off the presentation, the director showed off a particularly cool segment where players could fly a combat airship and blast enemy ships on the world map. It's was unclear whether or not we would encounter airborne foes bigger than the ships, but this segment is indeed a huge improvement over other side attractions from previous Final Fantasy games (Blitzball and Tetra Master, anyone?)

With summon attacks, multiplayer opportunities, team-based combat, and even a few elements of risk mixed in the game's overworld segments, it's clear that Square Enix is upping the ante in terms of creating an action RPG to go head-to-head with the likes of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. Unlike the previous venture, Lords of Arcana, Final Fantasy Type-0 is anything but a shameless copy of the action RPG trope set by Capcom's current meal ticket. As a result, the game seems to be shaping up to be its own handheld beast. Fans of the series will have to wait until the second quarter of 2011 to get their hands on the Japanese copy of the game.

Discussion

56 comments
t4ls
t4ls

finally a turn based old school style Final Fantasy on PSP, i think this is gonna be addictive...

t4ls
t4ls

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

foxface07
foxface07

I hope this game wouldn't really on multiplayer and release this game very soon.. I been anticipating this game ever since the end of 2008..

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I would love to have this game I hope they release it here in the states in english since I don't know any japanese. But if they don't oh well I guess I'll just import the japanese game instead...

banora_white
banora_white

*If* all goes well, I've got a funny feeling this game could be the kind of FF worth waiting for. Definitely keeping my eyes on this one---I sure hope it sees the light of day outside Japan!

WSGRandomPerson
WSGRandomPerson

I'm hoping this game is released as downloadable too, because I'm going to hate to buy it as a UMD then get the PSPVita. /:

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

Dag, is this game going to be out before the release of the Vita? Especially if its released in a UMD format.

chazzeromus
chazzeromus

Oh man, this is the game to have on a psp right here. Definitely a cornerstone on my portable this game.

deubago15
deubago15

i hope they release the game "IN ENGLISH!" monster hunter portable 3rd did not released the game in english :(

Nunanimal
Nunanimal

I am a huge MH fan, to the point of creating a clan for both adhoc party xLink etc. still, my ff fanboy spirit gets me a little upset when you try to compare FF wt any MH games, yes, the MH had the boom effect wt tri, but for how long have the FF series been know for innovating? They are two completely different games wt different styles, they don't need to clash LOL, in my opinion we should be able to kill a rathalos or two in FF games, but joking aside, kudos for keeping the updates on one of the most "waited for" games for RPG crazys xD

time2kick13
time2kick13

I hope this game realy release..........soon

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

this looks really amazing so far... might have to get this one.

madinime
madinime

good, fan really want this

keydash999
keydash999

I miss the old good games (Final fantasy 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10), But wtf i ll still play this one as a good fano f the series...

QtrArt
QtrArt

i see the gameplay is so amazing,I love it i will buy FF.T-0

-Katsuri-
-Katsuri-

let this be released in Europe. The enemies look impressive.

gkhalifa
gkhalifa

don't tell me that the battling style is like dissidia we want it like crisis core VII

danieliron
danieliron

Name sound like one of Capcom Resident Evil series ...

peanut-butter
peanut-butter

What a stupid title for a game. "Type-0", aw man, it's legit as hell now!

SuperMessy
SuperMessy

Still TBA? I hope it's released this year for North America.

molbio3
molbio3

@shaks101 We are in the 2nd quarter now!

shaks101
shaks101

Second quarter 2011? We are in the third quarter already. Typical unreliable release dates. Hmph!

Naveen196
Naveen196

i hope this gets a us release....*crosses fingers*

trivolution
trivolution

I expect it to be great as always but I think Square Enix needs to join the trend in video games now.... Its raining First Person Shooters so close your umbrella.

warrner11
warrner11

sigh.... leave it to square to put the psp thru its paces and show every1 what time and money can do for a games development. clean frame-rate and sharpest textures and res ive seen in a psp game.

ChaosDynasty
ChaosDynasty

Glad i have a psp. Type-0 is already ten times better than FF13 in gameplay, and exploration.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

There's a twenty minute video of this game on YouTube. I must say, I'm mighty impressed with what I'm seeing of the game :)

l777l
l777l

And it'll be delivered on 2 UMDs.

wilboron
wilboron

I wanna this game right now!!!!!!!!

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

I still wish all the party members were controllable in battle...

fleshandblood10
fleshandblood10

This has to be in my hands and played obsessively right now please, ok thanks bye.

finalserenade75
finalserenade75

Wow, getting close to the release date are we? :P Very nice news, hope I don't spoil it for myself by watching Japanese walkthrough before I actually play the game haha

stick2zero
stick2zero

Ok.. Just dont make the same mistake you did on the lord of arcana game

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

"fans of the series will have to wait until second quarter of 2011 to get their hands on the japanese copy of the game." it IS second quarter.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Hope we get to see more around E3

phazer
phazer

Btw, is it just me or do the screenshots link to another image when you click on them? Happens in the other articles too...

mack10
mack10

@ sonictank the way the preview made it sound is the teammate you sacrifice is gone for the duration of the mission and will most likely be available after that.