Sunday, September 13, 2015

Final Fantasy Type-0 (Playstation 4, 2015)

This should be pretty interesting. I have no idea what to expect. Final Fantasy Type-0 (zero) is an action-RPG that started on the PSP and later got a PS4 port. It's a spinoff to the main series that was originally slated to take place in the world of FFXIII (and was called Final Fantasy XIII Agito).

That plan got scrapped by the time it was released. Now I think it might take place in the world of FFXV (which was also originally in the FFXIII world and called FF Versus XIII, whatever that means). I'm looking forward to Final Fantasy 16 just so I'll know it's an entirely new concept.

Surprised they kept this logo in. Fabula Nova Crystallis is the painfully pretentious name given to the FFXIII series. I think this series was originally intended to go on for like ten years. Like they were replacing the Final Fantasy series entirely with Fabula Nova Crystallis and shit.

No relation to Arkham City. I believe the word originated as a plane of Hell, or something along those lines. Similar to Tartarus in Persona 3, or Gehenna, the flaming sword in Fallout 3.

The game begins with the longest intro cutscene that I think I've ever seen. If you combined all of the intro cutscenes of Final Fantasy Tactics it might be as long as this.

That's okay though, because these cutscenes are really good. We see the marching armies of The Empire as they prepare for war.

It's all very Nazi-esque with grainy footage. So the empire is marching on Poland, and putting up a feeble resistance are...

...these mages who try to put up energy shields, to no avail. The imperials march in and steal the crystal that they're guarding.

::record scratching sound::

Wait, what? This is just like Final Fantasy IV!

The mages summon Bahamut, but even he gets taken down by the superior Wehrmacht technology.

The imperials prowl through corpse-filled streets. Holy shit. Where has THIS FF game been all this time? There isn't a spiky-headed douchebag in sight, just an interesting setting with realistic character designs and a pretty intense story in progress. I want to defeat this empire and restore peace.

As the empire rampages, there is one force that can stand against them. One force that dares to storm the wires of the camps and torch these imperial m*****fuckers into dust.

That force... is a group of highschoolers at an elite military academy. The group known as Class Zero, seen here... doing Assassin's Creed cosplay?

They throw off their robes and pose dramatically for the title screen money shot. Gotta say, I like the weapon variety. Scythes are really underused in RPGs. Just ask Magus.

Elsewhere in the city, a large imperial carrier hovers overhead. It sorta resembles the flying personnel carriers in FFXV. On the ground, a lone soldier stumbles along with his chocobo keeled over at his feet.

The soldier tries to revive his chocobo, but to no avail. this really Final Fantasy? It's already evoking real emotions with a story that actually means something, without pulling any punches. We haven't gotten that since, what, FFVII?

The soldier gets shot, and ends up laying on his chocobo as they bleed out.

The scene slowly pans away. I thought this guy was going to survive and be the main character of the story, but nope... he's dead. Too bad, we'd have been immediately connected to him.

Instead, we get...

...oh fuck no.
Well, at least this Yukiko-looking woman is cute. But yeah, the Nomura Douchebag Characters have arrived. I was so excited for something different and mature for a minute there.

Ugh, look at these fucks. Yukiko is alright because she doesn't say anything (silence is better than incriminating oneself). Dante-looking The middle dude is Ace, the default main character, and he's a blonde wimp as is tradition.

Here's the full group. With this many characters, some of them should be okay.

The menu screen. There's quite a bit to note here. All three characters have Auto-Reraise on for the first chapter, which makes it impossible to die...and also really highlights just how often you're dying. This game is HARD right from the get go. We also have your standard equip menu, but there isn't too much editing you can do in that department. Few equipment upgrades and whatnot.

The save points are red crystals, and usually have restoration points next to them. That's cool, I'm a big fan of save stations also being restore points. Wait a minute, what's that dragon over there? Is that... is. Crashed Bahamut, laying in a huge pool of his own blood. What...the...hell. Even the strongest of all eidolons is no match for these imperial bastards.

Our heroes lock horns with the enemy troops at this point. It seems that my default guy fights by throwing playing cards at enemies. It...isn't particularly interesting. The good news is that apparently I can switch between characters on the fly.

After defeating enemies, you can stand over them and take their life energy. It's sorta like a combination of Draw from FFVIII and a traditional loot system. Taking their energy (called "phantoma") allows you to upgrade your spells. Regular physical attacks seem to be the order of the day here though, getting the job done in 99% of battles.

At this juncture I get ambushed by a bunch of fireballs from OUTTA NOWHERE. I can't find the source of them and sprint on through.

This thing right here seems to be an anti-magic field generator. The bad guys used it during the intro cutscene.

Speaking of the bad guys, they've got all kinds of heavily-armored magitek tanks. This one is particularly menacing because it has pincers on the front.

The battle system is generally a lot of button-mashing and wailing on enemies to try and finish them off before they hit you. It's a bit disappointing so far.

Late in the chapter, our re-raise amulets just sorta shatter for no reason and the game goes from zero challenge to super-hard in the span of half a second. I don't even know why they give you re-raise amulets for the first 15 minutes. Might as well ease you into the high difficulty without them.

You can see in this shot that the resolution is somewhat blurry on close-ups. This does not in any way shape or form look like a PS4 game, which is understandable since it's an upconverted portable. Not sure why this wasn't on PS3 though. It barely looks PS3-level a lot of the time. With all the current-gen games that get dumbed-down to also fit on last-gen, this is one game that would have done fine on both by default, yet it only got a current-gen release. It's a little odd, but whatever works.

Closeups aside, the outdoor visuals tend to be very crisp, and the framerate is good.

Reach the boss, and you get to play as Odin temporarily. I think he's a summon. The controls are different here, with the fight turning into even more of an action game as you charge and dish out fighting-game attacks.

Once the Odin part of the fight ends, you have to finish the boss off on foot. At this point I actually got killed very quickly because green lasers kept raining down faster than I could get out of the way. This is the FIRST BOSS?

Once I knew to anticipate those lasers, I was able to easily take down the L'Cie by staying a distance away and pummeling it with cards, dodge-rolling when the lasers started up.

Wait, did I say L'Cie? That's right, this game uses Final Fantasy XIII vernacular. It's almost definitely part of the same universe even if it no longer has the name.

This cool guy is Machina, one of the few characters who seems interesting and intelligent so far. And with him is... some girl who acts sickly and weak and walks around holding her hands together close to her chest. Righto. Japan hasn't gotten the memo about games having strong female characters yet.

While I'm generally avoiding conversations since no one has anything intelligent to say, I take a moment to talk to the one black guy I've seen anywhere in the game. He quickly reminds me of why I'm generally avoiding conversations, as he proceeds to spout complete gibberish.

I have no idea what this means, but I'll remember it next time I run into a burning building to get someone to safety. I HOPE I'M NOT COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN.

Next up, we have...bazoongas! Moving on.

We see the two cat-beasts from Ghostbusters as General Qator Bashtar (great Middle-Eastern name) talks about the imperial attack. Tempus Finis means "final time" or "end time" if I'm not mistaken.

Here's Cid, an imperial general. He's bad, much like the vicious Cid Raines in FFXII. This guy is the first Cid to achieve main antagonist status in this series though.

The empire unleashes an "Ultima Bomb" on a country that is resisting their occupation heavily. The Ultima Bomb is essentially a nuke in everything except name.

So far, this is a very interesting game. Not sure if I like it or not, but I'm going to go ahead and keep playing. Stay tuned.


  1. I see what you mean about the intro cutscene being great. But these students..yeah, they killed it for me too, and I wish the soldier with the chocobo had been the hero. When they showed up on the knoll there they 1000% remined me of Les Mis. What's with the expression on Ace's face like he wasn't here for what just happened?

    So all the characters are named after playing cards and that tells you right away how important they are? Well that's easy to keep track of. What suit are they, by the way, Spades?

    It's pretty clear that junior high and high school students are the audience for this game. Wonder if they'll do merchandising where they sell these school uniforms. I can understand the students being the last fighters to survive, though, since they are learning to fight but wouldn't be put in the military unless things got that drastic.

    So your main character is Gambit. Well, hopefully you can do more reps as Odin too.

    Nukes...terrifying. They're using those in FF15 too, right?

    1. -The guy with the stupid expression wasn't Ace, he was the taller guy with Ace. But I can understand not being able to tell these people apart. Ace has like no expressions and is the default main. He's a blonde weakling with no personality.

      -I swear, the main character throwing cards as a weapon HAS to be them appealing to Persona fans (Persona games have lots of card-involvement, but not as weapons). A lot of this game feels like that, like they're trying to suck up to an existing audience for something else.

      -I believe they're spades, yes.

      -The students aren't the last ones to survive, or forced into service by desperate times. Those are better ideas than what the game has. In-game there are LOTS of troops remaining in the Dominion (the alliance of small kingdoms) that are fighting the Empire. We're to believe that Class Zero are simply the best of the best, the Seal Team Six of the world, deployed to wreck the Empire.

      -I think FF15 has nukes. It seems to be the same world. Pretty sure said world was originally supposed to be a near-future version of FF13's world but now they're leaving that part out.

      -The audience for these games is indeed teenagers. I watched an "Everything Wrong With" video for FF13 recently and now realize how bad FF13 actually is, and it's mainly due to stuff like this. "Why is this child fighting on the front lines? Why are they so happy even though their parents just died?" Thing is, most of my time playing FF13 was in the postgame, and the postgame is great. The general gameplay system is good too. The main story, which probably made up the first 25% of my time playing, is atrocious. Same goes for FF13-2, which I've been postgaming for a while now and enjoying. None of that is thanks to the regular main game, which is written for 12 year olds.

  2. Painfully pretentious is right, sums up pretty much everything in the thirteen era. This game's original title Agito was like that, and while Versus is a perfectly normal word, Final Fantasy "Versus" XIII doesn't make any sense as it was intended. I like your idea of FNC trying to usurp the Final Fantasy brand entirely though, in which case Final Fantasy v. XIII suddenly makes a whole lot of sense.

    I suppose FNC really did go on for about ten years though. Beginning with 13 and ending with 15. Depends on when 15 comes out and when you consider 13 to start considering how long it was in development. Possibly the one good thing about all of this being under one tent is that we might get a fresh start with 16.

    While it seems like FF has done magic versus technology a lot, it's a theme I'd like to see further explored if done really well. There's a lot of creative scenarios possibly that I haven't seen yet.

    "We haven't gotten that since, what, FFVII?" Well, since Tactics, but as in all things it's always either Tactics or "not counting Tactics", heh.

    "Here comes the douche!" alternate title for Fabula Nova Crystallis.

    Man, someone should have put those auto-reraise accessories on all of those soldiers that were gonna die.

    A sub-PS2 game isn't gonna come close to looking like a PS4 game. It could easily be on PS3, but I assume it wasn't to push the new console.

    Better not let this guy near Wakka, he hates machina.

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