Points: 5
Rank:
Nooblet
Cover Story: It Came From Outer Space!

PREVIEW

TGS: Final Fantasy Type-0 is Dark, Ambitious, Promising

(PSP)

The game formerly known as Agito demos well on the show floor.

Final Fantasy Type-0 has lived a troubled life. Originally announced as Final Fantasy Agito XIII more than five years ago, the title has experienced a change of both platforms (from mobile phones to PSP) and game style (from card-based RPG to Monster Hunter-alike). Normally, that sort of history spells trouble. But Type-0 -- still a distant cousin of FFXIII as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub-series -- hardly looks like a development hell trainwreck. On the contrary, Type-0 has the potential to be Square Enix's finest work on PSP... and possibly one of the best PSP titles to date, period.

The Type-0 TGS demo features different content than the one released on Japan's PSN a few months back. It offers a few different scenarios; I picked the one that simulates a multiplayer session with AI-controlled companions. The game feels a lot like recent Parasite Eve sequel The 3rd Birthday (hardly surprising, given its common creative heritage); but where The 3rd Birthday felt like a limited shooter, Type-0 feels more like a proper action RPG. Players can swap between any of three characters with the press of a button, and each fighter has a very different feel. The demo mixes up gender stereotypes by including a heavy-mace-user (a scrawny girl in a skirted school uniform) and a bow-wielder (a more solidly built male).

Each weapon requires a decidedly different style of play than the others; arrows are great for taking out distant targets, but terrible against enemies in melee range. The Triangle button is each character's basic attack button, while the Square button serves as their magic attack. Pressing Circle activates a weapon-specific ability: the mace girl spins around and smashes anything within range, while the bow-user enters a first-person aiming mode. Attacks are generally auto-targeted, and swapping targets is as simple as tapping the R trigger.

Special mission objectives add a touch of extra interest and risk to combat. At various times, players will be given optional orders that may be accepted or rejected; completing an objective you've committed to yields extra rewards, but on the other hand failing to fulfill one results in a mission failure. The game appears to be divided up in a mission-based structure in general, presumably as part of a deliberate design by Square Enix to tap into the portable appeal of Monster Hunter. This isn't their first effort on that front, but Type-0 feels far more polished and substantial than Lord of Arcana.

The demo ended with a battle against a massive boss, a spider-like mech whose attacks consisted of missile barrages that required nimble dodging as well as more direct physical assaults. The spider would occasionally climb the wall to rest on energy conduits that would heal its damage, undermining the player's efforts to chip away at its hit points. Granted, this sort of boss design and battle is nothing that hasn't been seen in a dozen or more games before, but the hot-swappable character system combined with the excellent graphics and music make for an intense, appealing game experience.

Type-0 arrives in Japan soon, but no U.S. release has been announced for it. The PSP market is moribund in the U.S., but the fact that Square Enix isolated the game specifically to demo for members of the American gaming press means there's definitely hope we'll be seeing it in some form next year. It seems like the sort of game that would make for an excellent swan song for any system, so we'll keep our hopes up for good news.

See all Final Fantasy Type-0 Previews >

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Comments (11)


  • LovesJapanManga
  • This Game On Vita...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  LovesJapanManga

    Wished that Square-Enix would release this game on Playstation Vita, rather than on Playstation Portable. Seriously, think about how they would have the opportunity to enchanced the graphics and to expand more gameplay mechanics/elements. Also, to add more story what was already exixted before. That would be a fantastic opportunity. 

    By the way, speaking of "Final Fantasy" - I sincerely hope that Square-Enix would use this opportunity to add Final Fantasy XII HD For Playstation 3 and Vita. I know in many gamers' views, Final Fantasy XII is not the highly favorite game all of the time, but at least for some of us, we really enjoyed this game. 

  • kingofdragons
  • PSV

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  kingofdragons

    It makes sense that they wouldn't have a US release date until the PSV ships.  FFT0 would be one helluva juicy carrot to dangle in front of gamers to get them to purchase a PSV. 

  • BrokenH
  • Egads why don't we get this sort of FF for the BIG consoles?

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  BrokenH

    Another good reason I should get a psp. (sighs) Maybe I need to mine for gold. lol.

  • catgirl147
  • Mmmm.... good...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  catgirl147

    BTW, its getting a Jap PSN network for anyone with a Jap PSN acct and a Jap network card; um, its kind of expensive and stuff, but just in case you aren't into importing and just want the downloadable version; which will work on Vita too, I guess? Asuming its not region locked, and I didn't think so. Um, and you can read Japanese, or whatev.

  • AkaiNeko4
  • Sounds Awesome.

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  AkaiNeko4

    I'll keep my fingers crossed on this one.

  • frootlooped22
  • Looks solid

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  frootlooped22

    Looks better than 13,132 and VS from a gameplay standpoint. Maybe SE should stick to portable stuff.

  • frootlooped22
  • Looks solid

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  frootlooped22

    Looks better than 13,132 and VS from a gameplay standpoint. Maybe SE should stick to portable stuff.

  • Wanzer
  • PSV Launch Title?

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Wanzer

    Seems like the art style is strong enough that with a few higher-resolution UI elements and cinemas thrown in it would make a great "Special Edition" for the US Vita launch. 

  • Ceva13
  • I'll keep my fingers crossed

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Ceva13

    Over the last couple of years my PSP has become my main handheld gaming console.  I hope this game makes it over.


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Vitals

Game:
Final Fantasy Type-0
Platforms:
PSP, MOB
Genre:
RPG
Publisher:
Square
Developer:
Square
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending
Release Date:
N/A
Also Known As:
Final Fantasy Agito XIII

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