GameStart 2014 – Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Hands-On Preview – Just the Right Type

Let me precede this preview by saying that while I’ve always been intrigued by Final Fantasy Type-0 (especially during the PlayStation Portable years when it was still entitled Final Fantasy Agito XIII) and I’ve seen older screenshots and trailers, I’ve never played the game prior to playing Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on the PS4.

Lightning-Fast Action

With that said, I’ll proceed by saying that the most memorable thing about the Type-0 HD demo that I played during GameStart 2014 was how fast the combat was. The action was really fast-paced, with battles taking place in real time with a smooth frame-rate (I’m not sure if the demo was hitting 60 frames-per-second but it was pretty fluid).

The last Final Fantasy game I played was Final Fantasy XIII on the PS3, and Type-0 HD is easily more action-oriented than FF XIII was, doing the action-RPG label justice. Combat skills are mapped to two face buttons (holding a skill button charges the skill for greater damage), there’s a standard melee attack button, the X button is used to dash, and you can instantly switch between characters using a single button press (there were two playable characters in the demo I tried out). The lock-on button comes in handy, as the camera can get pretty frantic during battles. Immediate familiarity with the controls will make battles easier, as again, combat moves really fast.

Making the Jump to HD

The graphics looked quite good, with sharp character models and environments with enough recognizable detail. Effects for the characters’ spells provide enough visual flair. However, it’s easy to see that the game was originally developed for the PSP and is not a native PlayStation 4 title. There was also one speaking animation for an enemy character that was laughably mechanical.

As for the thematic content, I was a little surprised that all of the enemies I encountered were either humans or machines. Being more of a sci-fi fan however, this only made me more interested in playing the game once it’s released. Speaking of appeal, the action-oriented gameplay (which looks like the direction future FF games will be taking) will likely earn the series new fans.

It must be said that Type-0 HD’s mission-based nature (due to it originally being a portable game) is perfect for the PlayStation Vita. It’s a safe assumption that the Vita is powerful enough to run Type-0 HD so I personally hope that a Vita port follows the game’s PS4 and Xbox One release.

If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, I’m sure you’re already looking forward to getting your hands on Type-0 HD. Even If you’re just an action-RPG fan however, Type-0 HD will likely keep you entertained for short bursts or long playthroughs, and you should have it on your radar as well.