With plenty of recent news about Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, it was only a matter of time until more information was revealed about the next Final Fantasy game on the PSP, subtitled Type-0. Originally dubbed Final Fantasy Agito XIII, game director Hajime Tabata revealed more details about the game to Japanese magazine Famitsu (translated via Andriasang).
According to the Famitsu article, the game was built with multiplayer in mind. Single-player mode pits players with 12 characters heading out into the battlefield, with only four of them able to participate in battle. When a team member is down, another team member on the bench will take over; the game is over when all 12 members are defeated. The other three party members will be controlled by the AI. Multiplayer in the game is handled in three-minute bursts: Up to four players participate in a traditional instance that lasts for a short time. This mode will retain the team-member-switching mechanic of single-player mode, only with actual players instead of the AI. Players will connect to a multiplayer session via ad hoc.
When it comes to narrative, director Tabata said that since it differs from past Final Fantasy games, the Type-0 subtitle is meant to classify the game as a separate family member. The game is set in a world of four countries, each of them with their own crystal to protect that’s housed in their respective magic academies. Type-0's story begins with the Milites Empire invading Rubrum to render its crystal powerless with its new invention so that Rubrum is ripe for conquest. Players will assume the role of a group of Rubrum academy students dedicated to protecting their country from the warship-equipped invaders. While the Milites empire has steampunk weapons like mecha and guns, Rubrum has magic and magical beasts called Summons. Two characters from Rubrum, Rem, and Machina will be considered as the story’s main characters, though at this point in time, little is divulged.
While it’s clear from the recent trailer that the game is an action role-playing game, the battle system still remains a mystery. Tabata did say that characters in Type-0 will level up as per the standard Japanese RPG rules and can be buffed with abilities and accessories. Magic is handled differently; gamers can cast a powerful version of a spell simply by holding down the button assigned to a spell. For instance, a blizzard spell can become a blizzaga when the spell is charged. Players can customize each assortment of spell so that they have additional properties, like reduced charge time or increased strength and trajectory speed.
In the gameworld, players can conjure up a summon to tag along with them. The catch is that they can only bring in one summon for each battle. When calling out a summon, gamers will take full control of it at the cost of appearing for a limited amount of time. Think of this like an extension of Final Fantasy XII’s espers.
Because of the game’s focus on quality HD output in terms of graphics and cutscenes, Tabata said that the game will come in two UMDs. This will be the very first game in the PSP library to be shipped with two UMDs.
Final Fantasy Type-0 will be out in the second quarter of 2011.