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Why Final Fantasy Type-0 is Japan’s Best-selling Game (Plus Screens, Opening Video)

November 3, 2011 Written by Heath Hindman


Final Fantasy Type-0 made its debut in Japan on Thursday, October 27th, and by Sunday, had sold half a million copies. Here are the reasons why.

The Final Fantasy Name
As good as the game looks and plays, the Final Fantasy name alone carries tremendous selling power, especially in its homeland. You could take a lot of other RPGs, go back in time, have Square Enix buy the rights from the dev and do nothing more than slap “Final Fantasy” in front of the title, and its sales would jump. It’s like this abroad as well, which is why the Squaresoft of old added “Final Fantasy” to games that were not called such in Japan, such as Makai Toushi SaGa becoming Final Fantasy Legend for Game Boy. The company still does this, adding “Final Fantasy Fables” to the recent Chocobo games.

It’s On PSP
The 3DS has had a big surge since its price drop, and the PS3 has been doing well since the Tales of Xillia release (and will continue to do so, with Ni no Kuni and Gundam Extreme Vs on deck), but for a good year and a half before those events, the PSP was usually on top of the weekly hardware sales. Sure, there were blips here and there, but the PSP was smothering the competition the majority of the time, with its constant flow of RPGs and visual novels. Even with the releases of big sports games, the PSP versions are often outselling the console versions. If you want to sell a game in Japan, PSP has been a great platform choice these last couple of years.

Quality

You can’t always link sales to quality, because there are plenty of crappy games that sell a million and just as many great games that never get half that much. Final Fantasy Type-0, however, is a case of a game seeming to deserve its sales. Its August demo was good, but drew in a startling number of complaints about the camera and a few particulars of the game system. Showing commitment to making a better product (perhaps learning from the mistakes of the Final Fantasy XIV blunder), Square Enix delayed the game to give it some changes. By TGS, there was a new demo available with the changes in place, and the improvements were noticeable.

More importantly, the game is just fun to play. Its battle system, while a little more action-oriented than most main-series Final Fantasy games, is enjoyable, and there’s a big variety of characters to choose from, allowing for a degree of customization in the player’s party. Chocobo breeding also makes a returning, and will be a welcome bit of nostalgia for FF vets from the PSX days. The best place to catch the big birds is yet another old-time Final Fantasy staple, the explorable overworld. Series faithful have been talking about wanting a world map similar to those found in numbered Final Fantasy games for some time, as the last time the franchise saw something like it was 10 years and two consoles ago, with Final Fantasy IX.

Buying too much into hype can be a dangerous thing, but Final Fantasy Type-0 looks to be a solid RPG, and fans have reason to be optimistic. The demos have been good, and everything else seems to be falling into place. There’s still no North American release date, but tradition has shown that Final Fantasy games always make it across the borders, so I wouldn’t worry about that. For now, enjoy the game’s opening video and a whole mess of screenshots.

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Rumors have abounded about some sort of Vita version, but I doubt such a thing is in the cards. The source of those rumors has so far simply been forum readers stating their hopes; Square Enix hasn’t said anything. I’d also doubt that the slight bump in marketability would pay for the task of moving it to Vita, as it’s already a finished game on PSP. Since the Vita can play downloaded PSP titles anyway, I see little point to Square Enix even trying such a thing. The company would more than likely release it on PSP, despite the West not being as in love with the machine as Japan is, and let Vita owners download it from the PSN Store if they wish. Don’t be surprised if that ends up being the case.

If anything new develops regarding this highly anticipated title, we’ll be sure to inform you quickly.