PAX East 2015: IMPRESSIONS: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD | oprainfall

I’ve been waiting for the day I could play Final Fantasy Type-0 since its PSP days, and since the HD remake was announced for the West, that day was quickly approaching. Fortune was apparently smiling at me, as it was playable at PAX East 2015, almost two weeks before its release date. Needless to say, the Square Enix booth was one of my first stops at the convention.

While the demo of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD gave little backstory to what was going on, from the previously released trailers, we know the cast is a team of top-tier military academy students known as Class Zero, called upon to fight in a bitter war, presumably not unlike the SeeDs from Final Fantasy VIII.

I played with Ace as the party leader. That means I controlled him, while the other two party members were on their own. Being an action-RPG, there are no menus, per se. Each of the four main buttons on the DualShock 4 controller have a specific function, and they were listed on screen. One uses an attack with Ace’s weapon of choice: a deck of cards, which can be used to attack at range. Another uses an ice ability that freezes nearby enemies. The third casts a Cure spell, and the fourth option is to cut the cards, which to be honest, I never figured out exactly what that did. Also, I never checked to see if you could change the abilities the buttons are mapped to. I would assume you could as you had access to the menu to change your party, but I didn’t try it.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

The members of Class Zero.

The demo starts out with the team in an ice-covered cavern. You’re told the enemies you’re fighting have taken control of monsters. So, as you progress through the caves on your mission, you have to defeat them. The monsters range from simple enemies like Bombs to more difficult flying creatures, and there were even some boss fights against particularly tough foes.

At one point, you reach a camp where some of your fellow cadets are located. Many of them were wounded, if not unconscious or dead, serving as a reminder that this game is reportedly pretty dark. You are ordered to go on ahead to rescue another team that’s in trouble. This is a timed mission, which I failed spectacularly at. When the timer ran out, the orders came to return to the base.

As someone who still regularly plays 8-bit games on a 15 year old TV, I’m probably not the most qualified to judge the quality of the graphics. Honestly, I really had no issue with them, though I’m sure some perfectionists will be able to find something to pick apart. The visual presentation of the demo though, is another story. Since the entire scenario takes place in ice caves, there isn’t much color going on. Even the monsters were a combination of gray, white and black, save for the bombs which had a bit of fire-red. However, it’s a failed opportunity to showcase the game’s scenery.

Overall, the game reminded me of Final Fantasy XII, which was one of my favorites in the series. I was already excited for the game, but having a chance to try it out brings that to a whole other level. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will be released soon–on March 17–so the wait won’t be long.

About Eric Chetkauskas

Eric has been playing video games for longer than he can remember. His interests skew toward retro games with an emphasis on Japanese RPGs like Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series.