Watching the opening cutscene of Final Fantasy Type-0, we were immediately struck by how brutal it
feels compared to other Final Fantasy games – it definitely doesn't shy away
from the horrors of war. From the start, there's blood everywhere as soldiers
lay dead or dying on the battlefield, and we see a man stab a
wounded enemy through the chest with a sword in graphic detail, making a sickeningly gory noise
and blood spurts out. People die in FF games for sure, but usually not in a way
that feels so real.
In fact, it
wouldn't have felt like a Final Fantasy game at all had it not been for the
Chocobo that featured prominently throughout the first scene. Early on, we see
the Chocobo rush to the side of his wounded human partner, when moments later
an enemy soldier spots them and brutally shoots the Chocobo point-blank. The
Chocobo collapses with his mortal wound, and the soldier, named Izana, lies
with his head on his loyal friend's body as they both slowly bleed out.
reflects on his faithful friend Chichiri for what feels like minutes – slow deaths
are really the worst. At one point, the Chocobo cries out for help for his
companion, and the sound is painful to hear. It's a bit of a spoiler to even
talk about it since knowing about it beforehand might detract from the
emotional impact of the scene, but it was easily one of the most heart-wrenching
opening cinemas to any game we've ever seen (you can see part of it here, if you don't
mind having it spoiled).
emotional ton of bricks, we quickly had to pull ourselves together to switch
gears and jump ahead to a gameplay section. Type-0's action mechanics gave us
no time to rest either – you won't see any battle menus here. All the actions
are mapped to buttons, and the basic flow of combat consists of locking on to
an enemy with the auto-targeting and hitting it with either a physical weapon
attack or a magic attack.
At any time
you can switch which party member you're controlling, so we tried each one out
to get a feel for the different weapons. Of the first two we tried, one was a
ranged attack, good for dodging enemy attacks and getting some quick hits in
from afar, and the other was a powerful spear for closer melee attacks. The
other two party members are AI controlled (there were three party members total),
and during our demo they seemed quite useful, especially when it came time to
brief mission we fought not only other soldiers but a few giant monsters too,
and it reminded us that the gameplay actually feels quite similar to The 3rd Birthday
(review here). So if you think auto-targeting might make an action game too
easy, that's probably not the case – The 3rd Birthday featured a similar auto-lock
combat system and it was quite challenging even on easy mode.
Type-0's name and console change (it was originally announced as Final Fantasy
Agito XIII for mobile phones), it's not clear whether it's still being released
outside of Japan. Despite the PSP's decline in popularity outside of Japan, it
would be shame if this didn't see wider release though – perhaps Square Enix
could offer this as a download for the Vita to drum up more western sales? If
anything develops on this front, we'll let you know.
Sep 21, 2011