Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Review


Developers: Square Enix 1st Production Department, HexaDrive (HD)

Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms : PlayStation 4 (Version Reviewed), Xbox One

Release Date: March 17th

Oh boy, another HD re-release! We don’t have nearly enough of those. But unlike most other HD re-releases, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a unique case, as it isn’t readily available on previous platforms. In fact, this is the first time this 2011 game that was originally only available for the PSP in Japan has been available stateside. It’s also significant to note that the director, Hajime Tabata, is also at the helm of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. On second glance, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD may give some insight as to what that game will be like. It even comes with a demo for Final Fantasy XV, which begs the question; are you basically paying $60 for a FFXV demo?

Let’s start with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD’s weakest point, which, unfortunately, is its story. This can be a very unfortunate thing for an RPG, which can be heavily reliant on story. The basic story is not horribly uncommon; several nations, each in possession of a powerful crystal, lives somewhat peacefully until the Militesi Empire decided to invade the Dominion of Rubrum. The story focuses on “Class 0”, a squad of special cadets in Rubrum. There are themes of the true cost of war, sacrifice, etc. but it’s all extremely heavy-handed to the point of ridiculousness.

A lot of the names of places and people are dumb. And while Final Fantasy Type-0 HD features a large central cast, it divides time pretty poorly between them, so we don’t get invested in anybody. The focus is clearly on two cadets in particular, Rem & Machina, but there are 12 other cadets plus numerous NPCs and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD does a very poor job of juggling any of them. What little sense I did get of the characters was pretty bad dialogue though, so maybe we’re better off.

It’s hard to judge Final Fantasy Type-0 HD graphically. Sure, it’s a PS4 game in HD, but it’s also a remastered PSP game. It moves smoothly in combat and some of the cutscenes are pretty, but it can look kind of rough when you are talking in-game cutscenes. I wouldn’t say it’s ugly, but just due to the fact that it’s a remaster of a game originally on far inferior hardware, it’s not the graphically-impressive experience you generally get when you are talking a Final Fantasy game, especially on the latest consoles.

While Final Fantasy Type-0 HD features a large central cast, it divides time pretty poorly between them, so we don’t get invested in anybody.

I also want to make a brief mention of the music. It’s mostly good, featuring that classic Final Fantasy theme in a well-remixed tune and properly rousing and sorrowful tunes at the right moments. But there is one track in particular that is incredibly annoying. When it comes time for you to go on a mission, there’s a track with an alarm constantly going off. I’m sure it’s supposed to create a sense of urgency, but it just really got on my nerves.

Here’s how a typical “chapter” in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD breaks down. You have a set amount of game time to talk to people, complete side quests and grind your characters’ levels before going on the next story mission. And there are plenty of things to take up your time, such as Chocobo breeding & arena fighting, alongside the usual “kill X amount of monsters” or “find X of this item”. While the time system may sound limiting, it’s pretty lenient, as it only goes down when you do things like coming back to your home base from the world map or talk to a character with an “!” above their head (usually resulting in you getting an item). It’s very easy to make the most of your time before an important mission, and often you’ll have more left than you know what to do with (luckily, you can start the story mission at any time you like).

Unfortunately, this free time exposes the other big problem with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD: a lack of real exploration & discovery. You can go to different towns, but they are all small one-screen places that offer a shop or two, or maybe a task. The world map itself is pretty small, and though the game mentions four kingdoms, I really only got to check out 3 of them. Lots of places are walled off and you never seem to get to explore them. Also, sometimes getting to a proper place to level is a bit of hassle, as your best option is travel by airship to one of a few set locations and then walk (sometimes quite a bit) to where enemies that will give you decent experience are.

But can what can make up for poor story and lack of exploration? Pretty spectacular combat, that’s what. I should mention that Final Fantasy Type-0 is a full-on Action RPG more in the vein of games like Kingdom Hearts, so those looking for a more traditional Final Fantasy won’t find it here. I mentioned that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD features a party of 14 characters, and while their personalities aren’t very fleshed out, their gameplay characteristics certainly are. Each character feels pretty unique, as you have both distance and melee characters. It gets even more subtle with each character having a distinct weapon that works very differently. Odds are you will find someone to suit your style.

Key to this is timing your attack to enemies exposing their weak points. Essentially, if you are pretty good at dodging and timing, you can take on enemies that are a far higher level than you. I only have one complaint about combat itself; you are limited to one item at a time in combat. You can’t use both potions and ethers, for example. You have to equip one type on your main character. You can use them outside of combat, but that still strikes me as ridiculous. Limit the types, sure, but to just one item seems poorly thought out.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD features a party of 14 characters, and while their personalities aren’t very fleshed out, their gameplay characteristics certainly are.

The other problem I have is purely a design decision that only applies to the end of the game. These are not spoilers in terms of story, but I feel that this is a big enough issue that it as to be mentioned.


The final boss is basically a story point. Once you get to him, you’ve basically won the game. There’s a fight sure, and it’s against a typically gigantic JRPG boss, but you get slaughtered, and then come back and you’re invincible. It’s a horribly disappointing finale, in my opinion.



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Despite my complaints, I had fun with my 30+ hours with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD because of the excellently designed battle system. Even though it’s lacking in exploration, there is still dozens of hours of gameplay ahead, including lots of endgame content like high-level quests and massively powerful beasts that roam the landscape. There’s even a new game plus mode, with extra scenes and a different ending. Is Final Fantasy Type-0 HD worth $60 though? For an HD port of a PSP game? I’d say that depends on how hard up you are for a lengthy RPG on your Xbox One or PS4, both of which are fairly void of those right now. If you aren’t expecting a top notch next-gen experience and just want a decent RPG, I’d say it’s worth your time and money.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.

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