Final Fantasy Type-0: Tokyo Game Show Hands-On

While FINAL FANTASY Type-0 has not been officially announced for an overseas release as of this writing, it didn’t stop Square-Enix from demoing it specifically to the western press at Tokyo Game Show. Takahashi-san, who’s already brought you the latest on FFXIII-2 and Kingdom Hearts 3D, shares her thoughts on the new build.

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The demo opens with a cinematic.

Floating within the darkness, two goddesses hold their hands out in front of themselves. From their hands, they start emitting a strong light. They look worried, as if they’re anxious about something. The scene is very pretty; I believe it’s been done by Visual Works, Square’s CG studio.

The legend of Oriens is described by a female narrator.

In order for Cid Aulstyne’s dream to become a reality, he invades the nation of Suzaku. Unfortunately for him, the protection of the Suzaku Crystal has granted Suzaku overwhelming magical power, and thus, they were able to easily fend off Cid’s attack. To solve this situation, Byakko used their own Crystal’s power to develop Crystal Jammer technology, and thus the tables were turned.

Byakko has since invaded the Suzaku territory, stationing soldiers in it. Suddenly, a huge sword falls from the sky, which is then picked up by Odin who proceeds to use Zantetsuken to take down masses of Byakko soldiers to provide relief for the Suzaku side. Odin is able to be summoned thanks to the efforts of Class Zero, who stand together in a pile of rubble.

The FINAL FANTASY Type-0 logo flashes on-screen.

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In the game, the students of Class Zero try to regain Suzaku. Their current mission is to destroy the Crystal Jammer while infiltrating Byakko’s main settlement.

Beginning the demo, right away I noticed an improvement in the Phantoma system. In the previous Natsubi demo, after defeating an enemy, R1 had to be held while you waited for a “click” in order to absorb Phantoma. Now instead, by lightly pressing R1 and then circle, Phantoma is absorbed almost instantly from all nearby enemies.

The camera has also been improved, which previously had a tendency to get stuck, or obstruct the player’s view in the Natsubi demo. In the new build, the camera will now try to keep the playable character in view.

Regarding combat gameplay, it’s very important to survey your surroundings because enemies can hide in unexpected places. They can deal a lot of damage to you, much like in Call of Duty or other FPS games.

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While infiltrating the Byakko settlement, enemies were both surprised and scared that the students of Class Zero could still use magic, despite the effects of the Crystal Jammer. After you destroy the Crystal Jammer, a cutscene back at Byakko headquarters begins.

In the event, Qator learns of the current state of Byakko’s war situation—several locations have been destroyed under orders of a soldier who managed to escape. He explains that he escaped due to fear of magic, to which Qator replies, “This is no place for cowards,” and then mercilessly shoots him down.

The scene switches to the fountain in front of Suzaku’s Peristylium. Byakko’s l’Cie Qun’mi appears, observing Byakko’s destroyed magitek armor.

“The worst… you filthy rats,” she murmurs, and then releases some kind of power. Suddenly, the fallen magitek armor are restored into a functional state. “You really are the worst,” she repeats before vanishing.

The scene changes once again to the area of the Crystal Jammer. Machina and the others are there. Qun’Mi appears before their eyes, and one by one, she defeats them. The winner has already been decided—Machina and the others cannot get up.

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“I’m tired of you boring, filthy rats!” Qun’Mi says to Machina in a taunting tone. Suddenly, Ace and the others appear, launching a surprise attack and the soldiers. Together they summon Odin! Quin’Mi, surprised, says, “You can’t use magic under the effects of the Crystal Jammer!”

It was here that the time for the demo ran out.

All in all, the game’s systems, world view, are generally impressive and beautiful. It’s almost a shame that FINAL FANTASY Type-0 is a PSP title—it could be done much better on a higher spec machine. As far as PSP games go, however, this one is definitely high class.

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