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Review

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Review

  • First Released Mar 17, 2015
    released
  • Reviewed Mar 16, 2015
  • PS4
Jeremy Jayne on Google+

The kids are alright.

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It is fitting that a game about war--its passionate triumphs, its bloody defeats, its tragic consequences--would focus so heavily on combat. In Final Fantasy Type-0, you guide a group of gifted teenagers through numerous campaigns to capture opposing cities and kill the powerful beings aiding enemy nations. This group, Class Zero, is made up of 14 characters enhanced with magical and physical abilities, making them living machines of war. Japanese PSP owners have waged that war since 2011, but this high-definition rendition is the first time the battles have spilled into the West. And what a fortuitous arrival Final Fantasy Type-0 is, expressing the travails of war through breakneck battles and demanding boss encounters that test your will.

All of Class Zero’s members interact in enjoyable ways, but most of their stories are overshadowed by the torrid romance budding between classmates Rem and Machina, and their struggle to fight their own demons as well as the war. Their tale is more heartfelt and more engaging than Class Zero’s squabbling, which often relates to the war raging across the world of Orience. The narrative throws in too many names and locations with little explanation, leaning heavily on terms like "l'Cie" and "Phantoma," which are briefly discussed but never fully fleshed out, although you frequently encounter the entities these terms refer to as the story progresses. You're introduced to a dozen characters, only to see them once or twice before they wind up being killed suddenly or dropped from the plot altogether. Outside of Class Zero, the supporting cast falls short and makes for some confusing moments when the narrative depends on you to remember faces you’ve only briefly glimpsed. However, the love story between Class Zero's two ordinary members, and the strong reactions non-playable characters have towards Class Zero's accomplishments, gives the war narrative palpable weight.

This doesn't look like it will end well.
This doesn't look like it will end well.
Machina and Rem, Class Zero's outliers.
Machina and Rem, Class Zero's outliers.

The military plot gets complicated quickly, but events within Class Zero are fairly easy to follow until the game hits its first dramatic climax halfway through. It's here that too many major story points are introduced quickly, and all at once. The members of Class Zero are the “children” of a mad sorceress-doctor who is, as you can guess, not all that she seems. The kids get along decently with one another, but not at all with outsiders; Class Zero’s members were accepted to the academy without entrance exams at the insistence of their “mother,” so talking with NPCs as any member of Class Zero often yields deriding comments and snark about how the children don’t fit in with the rest of Akademia, a university breeding children for war.

At any time while wandering the world, you control one member of Class Zero as he or she talks to NPCs, either to receive a fetch quest, or simply to chat. Conversations may have different outcomes depending on which character you are currently controlling. For example, if you talk to Dr. Arecia Al-Rashia as Rem or Machina--the two new members of Class Zero who don’t fall under her affection--she greets you with disdain. Approach her as Ace or Cater, however, and she warmly engages with you. Elsewhere, some side quests require that you talk to certain people or complete tasks as Rem, who is a favorite among her peers. These subtle nuances make all 14 characters matter. Each has his or her own distinct personality, and while some Class Zero members are less bearable than others, they have great conversations when interacting as a group. Watching the airheaded Cinque try and reason with the know-it-all Trey, all while snarky Sice tells them both to shut up, is always entertaining, as is seeing opposing personalities like Cater and Queen--one sassy, and one cold and rational--pair up to solve problems.

There's always something horrible to gawk at.
There's always something horrible to gawk at.
Three is company [in battle].
Three is company [in battle].

Type-0’s combat is marvelous. Your 14 playable characters have four moves each available to them: a powerful physical attack, a defensive spell like Cure or Protect, and two abilities that can be customized with magic spells and attacks unique to that character. At any given time, three party members take to the battlefield, but you only directly control one at a time. You can, however, switch between them on the fly. Classmates and their enemies attack rapidly in real time, leaving little room to breathe, and forcing you to constantly swing the camera around to keep your enemies in sight, which can be a bit of a headache, but ensures you don't spend too much time hammering on one individual combatant. Battles are electric, filling the screen with light and color, and keeping you on your toes as you glance around the arena and speed towards the enemies in most need of extermination.

The ability to swap between characters on a moment's notice is a powerful one. One moment, you fling around Sice’s scythe, and the next, you instantly swap in Trey to shoot down flying enemies with his bow and arrows. Battles give rise to an elegant and satisfying rhythm as you switch between ranged and melee characters as needed. You may only control one character at a time, but the AI that commands the other two party members is always on point. You never feel like you’re taking down opponents on your own, and if you do a good job of leveling up each Class Zero member, then you take well-trained combatants into the field with you. I got into the habit of taking my two lowest-level characters into new missions, along with one of my higher-level ones, and I was delighted to find my higher-level fighter actively pursuing enemies and dealing the same amount of damage he would if I were controlling him. The AI doesn't slow down or deal lighter hits, so you aren't doing the heavy lifting all on your own.

The result of the cunning AI? Your skirmishers feel like a cohesive team, rather than a single hero accompanied by unnecessary deadweight. That’s even the case when you put the game’s support personnel (SP) system to the test, which sends random NPCs into battle to support you, instead of other Class Zero members. SP characters are smart, and typically come in at a level that matches, or is higher than, the character you are controlling. If support characters die in battle, you can’t revive them, but you can call in reserve members of Class Zero to take their places.

Most bad guys are bigger than you.
Most bad guys are bigger than you.

Typically, you take on dozens of giant mechs and angry soldiers in story missions, but when crossing the overworld--the giant map on which you walk over Orience--random encounters crop up. These usually entail quickly mowing down a group of enemies for experience points. If there are other enemies nearby, they detect your presence, and the game gives you the option to immediately fight them or retreat. If you accept the fight, you could feasibly clash with four or five groups of similar enemy types in a row without having to run around the map. This is an excellent way to amass quick experience points and materials, as Type-0’s main missions become significantly difficult with each passing success, so you need to do some grinding. The repetition is rarely tedious, however: Small but fundamental touches like the combat’s whirlwind speed, and the option to repeatedly fight the same random counter several times without traveling, mean you don't have to run in circles, wasting time hoping for more foes to appear.

Story missions in Type-0 are straightforward, but not without their rewards. You usually run through a maze of connecting rooms, destroying the opposing soldiers as well as the beasts that serve them. Mercifully, Type-0 adds a handful of checkpoints to each level, allowing you to save frequently, and never did the game fail to offer me a checkpoint right before a major battle or complicated mission. Some battles require you to think tactically, throwing in air strike support, and forcing you to carefully find cover while you summon and position bombs from above. Others feature bosses with a half-dozen health bars that only take damage from well-timed critical hits. In these instances, you must act strategically, waiting out enemy attacks while getting as close as you can to strike. Missions constantly change up their layout and goals, giving rise to a vast number of combat situations and strategies.

Harder than it looks.
Harder than it looks.

The mission variety is beautifully complemented by the diversity of combat techniques at your disposal. Right off the bat, Type-0 asks that you level up each class member as evenly as possible, as each uses unique weaponry: swords, guns, a sword-whip, a deck of cards, or even a magic flute. Certain enemies are most susceptible to certain kinds of magic, while others go down only when you unleash brutal melee attacks. Others still fly around and can only be reached by ranged weapons like guns, or Ace's cards. Having so many possibilities lurking underneath your fingertips makes it enjoyable to spend equal amounts of time with each Class Zero member.

An opening for a critical hit.
An opening for a critical hit.

Characters earn ability points as they level up, and you use them to unlock more powerful abilities. Those two ability slots can be any combination of physical and magic attacks, though it’s best to stick at least one magic attack in there if the character doesn’t use ranged weapons. In this same way, you customize the abilities of your summons: powerful beings like Shiva and Ifrit that are called to the battlefield by sacrificing a team member for the remainder of battle. These summons deal significant damage, making them ideal for boss battles, and the more frequently you use them, the more powerful they get.

Magic spells can also be customized with Phantoma, a mysterious resource you collect from slain enemies. Different colors of Phantoma ascribe different properties to spells, and can be used to lower the spell’s cost or casting time, or to ramp up its power. Exceedingly powerful weapons eventually become available, although they cannot be customized. But between curating each member of Class Zero’s individual attack lineup and the potency of their spells, you take ownership of your characters' progression--and as you internalize how powerful Class Zero is becoming, the story in turn gives context to their growth. Type-0 gives you fine control of every party member’s advancement, and in doing so, encourages you to tackle bigger challenges so that you may continue to guide them upwards and onwards.

Some areas of Orience are too far for walking.
Some areas of Orience are too far for walking.
Oh boy.
Oh boy.

All told, Type-0 does combat and customization better than many of its fellow RPGs. It’s immensely satisfying to land hits in rapid succession, and then to instantly switch to another character, whaling on an enemy to cinch a five-second victory. This one-two punch of role-playing richness gives rise to a “just one more battle” mentality, though you should note that not every encounter is a seconds-long fireworks display. The HD version of Type-0 includes an Easy mode in which battle is more manageable, but Normal mode is wildly difficult and requires a modicum of grinding to bring yourself up to speed. Mercifully, the game lets you change the difficulty at any checkpoint, so if a certain boss is giving you grief, you can adjust the difficulty level to make it through. This is a nice touch if you come to Type-0 for Final Fantasy’s familiar brand of storytelling, and not so much for its nail-biting enemy encounters, though it’s worth mentioning again that combat is the game’s primary draw.

There are a bunch of optional missions in addition to main storyline tasks, but you can safely get through Type-0 without completing any of them, should you wish. These include skirmish missions, in which you run across the map supporting troops as they invade enemy cities, and side quests that require you to fetch specific items for NPCs. The former reward you with experience points and extra checkpoints across the map, while the latter give you much-needed support items like Mega-Ethers and Elixirs. These tasks are simple, so you can accomplish a few of them before heading into storyline missions without breaking into a sweat. My primary gripe with Type-0’s campaign structure lies with its boss battles, which rely all too heavily on the Hopeless Boss Fight cliche, ushering you into scripted encounters you aren’t meant to win. The final boss sequence is the greater disappointment, however. Final Fantasy games are known for the grand battles that cap their stories, but the wan final fight subverts tradition in a particularly unsatisfying manner.

Type-0 looks good, but it's an uneven visual experience due to the inconsistency of its high-definition paint job. Backgrounds are gorgeously detailed, and each area is stuffed with NPCs that invite you into conversation, making Orience come alive with personality. The main characters move beautifully, and their expressive faces convey a wide range of emotions. However, characters who are not part of Class Zero, or are not important to its members, don’t benefit from the same care and attention. Many of them look much as they did on PSP--just a little smoother. It’s awkward to see conversations between Machina and Cadetmaster, as one character looks great and the other hasn’t been touched up to match.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is about the fluid and frantic action, which propels you towards the next battle, and then the next, and then the next. The overarching story is tough to chew on, but the heartfelt personal stories vividly address the ugly side of war--the blood, the gore, and the sadness that lingers even when the memories of why you were fighting fade away. Yet it’s the battles themselves that make the most forcible argument for spending 25-plus hours with Final Fantasy Type-0, for it's in the combat arenas that Orience truly comes to life.

Alexa Ray Corriea on Google+
Back To Top
The Good
Combat is fast and engaging
Mission structure actively encourages use of all 14 characters
Meaningful leveling and and ability customization
Primary characters' personal stories properly reflect the ravages of war
The Bad
Most NPCs were left out of the HD treatment
Clunky narrative fails to explain key concepts
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Alexa Ray Corriea took close to 30 hours to save the world of Orience. This fantasy is definitely not her final one.
509 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Flyin3lvl

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I generally cried at the ending. Played till i got a platnuim trophie.

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Shinjikami

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I can't deal with the long cutscenes anymore. Gameplay should narrate the story, not long ass cutscenes.

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Godlikan

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After FFX2 all goes downhill...

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deactivated-5b69bebd1b0b6

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@Godlikan:


FFX-2 is actually a good game compared to this hot garbage.

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deactivated-5b69bebd1b0b6

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The storyline is atrocious to a point where I'm just skipping all the cutscenes now. I just can't bear this nonsensical garbage this game keeps spewing at me, Like what the hell does "Nine and Nine meet Nine" even mean? This game's story is like FFXIII on steroids. What the hell are the writers even smoking? Final Fantasy used to have these somewhat simple, charming and well thought out storylines that kept you gripped with interesting characters but now it's a complete abomination. Square-Enix for the life of them have no idea how to capture that FF charm we all know and love. It's completely lost to them. FFXV will no doubt follow this same path of horrendous story telling. I already know this by watching the end of the FFXV demo cutscene which didn't make a lick of sense.

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deactivated-58bd60b980002

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@Crossel777: they aren't dead yet ... play Bravely Default to feel that Final Fantasy

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Sound_Demon

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Edited By Sound_Demon

@Coco_pierrot: It's a shame when games that aren't Final Fantasy feel closer to FF than itself. Like wtf is SE doing? This game was complete and utter shit. How did it get an 8? Story sucked, combat was shallow, even the hard mode just puts all enemies 30 levels above you thereby 1 hitting you, it doesn't make it harder, everything just 1 hits you. What do you say to this reviewer? Graphics were Ps1. Don't insult ps2 by saying it was ps2 gfx.

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deactivated-58bd60b980002

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@Sound_Demon: I get that you don't like he game but it isn't bad. And yes it is PS2 graphics, it was a game that came out on the PSP first.

As for Bravely Default yeah ... and it is a game published by Nintendo

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Sound_Demon

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@Coco_pierrot: I've played and finished BD and it was great. It's because Nintendo still know how to make old school RPGs that don't suck. Nintendo is a great company, I don't see why you would say it like it was anything negative.

This game though, IS bad by every definition of the word bad. I was forced to watch a 15 minute cutscene of a completely random NPC dying for 4 minutes, then dying again for 5 minutes, then dying (this time actually dead) for 3 minutes only to see the main character walk over and do some shit (don't even remember because I didn't care). I've already read that playing this game on the second play through /sort of/ clarifies on what that shit was about but really? Is this their idea of "interesting story"? Just putting events out of their context?

The interfaces were TERRIBLE. I was trying to do the optional or side quests, whatever they are called. I opted to do it and I killed all the enemies in the zone. I then notice a timer (while all enemies in the area are dead) only to have the timer run out and kill one of my random party members. There was no prior instruction to how any of this worked. At this point I realized that the disc was not worth any more than a frisbee.

Sorry man but I hated everything about the game. Everything.

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Cory_vet_gamer

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@Crossel777: It's sad to see that Amano and Umetasu were the only pillars of strenght inside SE..., i don't understand why the feeble minded remnants of the original teams are unable to bring back the JRPG gameplay, is that really so hard to do? they stray more and more with each game it's hard for a veteran gamer to witness all this mediocrity looks like this dark age of the gaming world will never end for us.

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stingerray6969

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The only way I am willing to give any higher rating for this game is if it will come to PC PERIOD END OF SENTENCE. With the type of graphics cards the the PC are now running…..the will probably out do anything that the “toys” that are now currently available or should I call them XTs (hint hint) I am sorry but I had never liked the console and never will….All you are doing is wasting your time pumping money into a toy that will need to be thrown out then you buy a new model just to upgrade it…..long live the PC….Hope this will come to PC….

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hystavito

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I got this for the XV demo, but I did give the game a chance. I didn't like it much but played it for an hour or so until I accidentally hit my PS4's eject button. Loaded up again, no save data at all, game was back to it's initial unplayed state, what the heck?!?! :) I would expect to lose progress since the last save/level change, but everything?


Angrily traded it today for not much money towards a Majora 3DS.

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Cory_vet_gamer

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@hystavito: Why you gave this game a chance? this game is too abysmal even for a spin off it doesn't resemble a FF game in any way, it's incredible that SE dared to implement blatant hack and slash elements in a JRPG like this and even added a demo of FFXV to boost the sales of this crap, SE still continues with their insanity and they anger us veterans even more.

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MrVince329

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@hystavito: the problem is that the game uses a segmented save/save point system. There are save points/intervals in the game where you save your game. There's no autosave

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hystavito

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@mrvince329@hystavito: Not sure I understand, do you mean that the save "file" is cumulative and so a screwup at any point can break the entire file? Or maybe you mean I had to go to a certain point and initiate a save?

I just looked at a walkthrough to refresh my memory, I completed the first chapter.


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MichaelDBZ

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@hystavito@mrvince329: Yeah it's like most JRPGs you have to go to a "save point" to save your game. It's in every main FF that I know of and is in a majority of spin offs including Crisis Core. KH did the same thing. WRPGs usually let you save anywhere, but that's not the case with JRPGs.

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hystavito

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@MichaelDBZ@hystavito@mrvince329: I know most of those games don't allow saving anywhere, but I figured since this game is linear with chapters, it would at least save my chapter progress automatically.


Anyway, thanks.

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DB2538

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That ugly HUD though. Developers don't care how embarrassing that is apparently! They never even try to tidy things up a little bit!

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shaun_wilkinson

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Got this Friday, returning it today. I thought it was terrible sadly, I was really looking forward to it. The FFXV demo on the other hand was amazing.

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finalkain

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The combat is addictive as hell, but the story is a hot mess. Im not understanding SEs' reasoning on pushing the envelope with combat and forgetting to tell a real story. Is the game worth 60$? at 40hrs in so far Id say yes just for it being fresh and exciting.

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Cory_vet_gamer

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SE should have some dignity and let this game RIP for PSP, this game with it's repetitive gameplay and nonsensical plot is a offense for the franchise, when those lunatics will finally wake up and bring back the famed JRPG gameplay?

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greenpolyp

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Final Fantasy went downhill at 11. X-2 was a different concept but it was fun. I didn't really like 12 cause the story sucked but at least there was a lot to do there. I don't know what 13, 13-2, or lightning returns was supposed to be but it was an embarrassment. A black dude with a Chocobo chick in his afro? Hopefully 15 will actually be good so PS4 can actually start it's rise to the top of this generation.

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deactivated-5ce97e3367e28

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PS4 is already at the top of the generation. Outselling XBONE 2:1.

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RamlethalV

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@greenpolyp:

Why exactly FF went downhill on 11? FFXI has a huge fanbase, specially on their sides, and basecrafted the sucess that FFXIV is nowadays. That mmo made 14 years online already, getting another 1 for the support they got.


While i agree on some of those points, being that FF12 is a hit and miss (some people like it, some other hate it), i`ll have to disagree on others. From a selling point, FFXIII was a huge sucess. Boosted ps3 sales, made Lightning an iconic figure, impressives graphics that dictated the boosts for FFXV. What happened afterwards was "milking" the succes they had, much like FF7 did, but in my personal opinion, they failed.


Now, the black dude.. Sazh. That is completely opinion based, so if you don't like it, that's not the point for it being "embarrassment" in Final Fantasy overall. Some people loved it, others don't. Using that line of though, i could call Kefka embarassing because he is basically a Jester and says silly stuff. But, in my own opinion, he's a memorable character with so much deep development involved.


For once, i can`t say anything about FF type-0 hd aside that maybe the "portable to console" transfer shows its roots, be it in HUD, quests, repetiveness or graphics.

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greenpolyp

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@ramlethalv@greenpolyp: Lightning? Iconic? Lightning is so drab it isn't funny. They tried to make her into an edgy female version of cloud but it fell flat. Payne from X-2 has more personality than Lightning and Payne barely talked. I know the series needs to evolve, but they are not adding things that would actually enhance it. Hopefully 15 story is good, has a battle system that doesn't get repetitive, and have different outfits and weapon appearances. Linear progression will be okay until about halfway through the game then it needs to go open world. The game should be at least 50 hours main story and another 50 of side quests that has mini stories that are so good that you want to complete all of them. Then it would be a real Final Fantasy game.

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RamlethalV

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@greenpolyp:

Don't get me wrong, i really enjoyed Paine, but before i previously jumped in the ffxiii comments, i've said "from a selling point" and for that, Square accomplished it really well, be it in games (duodecim and two "sequels", and many spinoffs) or overall new figure, while FFX-2 was not all that much when it was released(more like a niche), whatever the reason may be. Now now, saying X character is better than Y in terms on character is still opinion based, though and kinda pointless discussion.

Yes, the hype is real and let us wait and see FFXV, so far the demo is looking good.

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surfwalrus

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Im waiting for the inevitable Vita version considering it was a vita/psp game to begin with. Look at those dated graphics lol my bud has it and loves the game but admits it looks like crap for something they threw on ps4

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heartindarkness

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this game is sooo addictive i cant stop playing didnt even download the demo of FFVX srsly this game is awesome !!!

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soulsolus

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@heartindarkness: i just got it for $24 and it was sooo worth every penny

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mulder_000

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@soulsolus: I'm thinking of getting it but man all these negative people in the comments section.

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soulsolus

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Edited By soulsolus

@mulder_000: Well I'll admit the graphics are wayyyyyy dated, so if that matters to you, don't get it. However, I haven't played final fantasy in a long time. So for me the new gameplay is so relaxing and really breathes new life into the series, it's probably also good practice for ff15 coming and you get the demo (this has helped me decide that I will be getting back into the series for sure!). The gameplay is kind of easy I'd say and some could find it repetitive but I mean, final fantasy kind of is always (When I used to play ff7 I practically selected my skills like muscle memory lol)... The dialogue is corny but the game is just so much fun I find that I can overlook it. If you can find it for a nice low price, I'd say go for it. Hope that helps.

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yumex85

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@heartindarkness: same here!

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Starsailor_IT

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when are we getting some actually original material on PS4? I am frankly tired of this remasters and in this case it doesnt even look like they made a superb job. Plus pricing this game at €60 is a theft.

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Jay108

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@Starsailor_IT: What the hell you talking about ??? final fantasy type-0 was never on any console it was made for PSP and you could only get the game in japan - I have this game and its awesome as final fantasy games go ! ,it has an old skool vanilla feel to it which only order fans of Final fantasy games can appreciate - and YES !! the world map is back !! and the combat is real time fast paced and fun ! the combat is original in this game to how it used to be in FF (turn based) but it still feels and plays like a final fantasy game ! and the free damo of Final Fantasy XV you get with it is amazing and I cant wait for that game !! its stunning to play :)

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bigrod69

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Why was the video review so rushed?

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Evil_Saluki

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@bigrod69: I felt under pressure just listening to it. It's like someone explaining their case to a barrister who charges £50 per minute.

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Expane

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Call me when it's $19.99. I don't spend $60 on PSP games.

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DB2538

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@Expane: I'll call him. That price seems a bit greedy.

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hoyholyhoy

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@Expane: Nobody wants to call you regardless

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Jay108

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@hoyholyhoy@Expane: lol


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hixermixer

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"One of the best Final Fantasy games to come out in recent years."

It makes me sad to think how little that means, when you consider the quality of those recent games.

In other words "Type Zero is like getting punched in the face, rather than the testicles"

Final Fantasy Type-0 More Info

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  • First Released Mar 17, 2015
    released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • + 2 more
    • PSP
    • Xbox One
    Final Fantasy Type-0 lets players switch at will between fourteen characters with unique weapons and abilities.
    7
    Average Rating100 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Final Fantasy Type-0
    Developed by:
    Square Enix, HexaDrive
    Published by:
    Square Enix
    Genre(s):
    Role-Playing, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood, Drug Reference, Suggestive Themes, Violence