After years of being isolated in the Japanese market, Final Fantasy Type-0 has finally come over to the west. Though the original was made way back on the PSP, Square decided to give it the HD remaster treatment and release an upscaled version on the PS4 and Xbox One. It’s being sold at full price, despite its age, though Square did throw in an exclusive demo for Final Fantasy XV as well for first-run copies. This is a game fans of the series had been clamouring for, for years. Now, after they have finally gotten their hands on it, I hear nothing but complaints, most of which being unfounded, in my opinion. I understand that the Final Fantasy fanbase is toxic, but this about-face is upsetting, especially in light of the fact that the game is of excellent quality and exactly what many fans have been demanding since Final Fantasy XIII.
One of the biggest problems people seem to have with the game is that it’s ugly. The response from most Type-0 fans has generally been ‘of course it’s ugly – it’s a PSP game”. I don’t think this is the right reaction. Type-0 does not look like a high-end PS4 or Xbox One game. Everyone can agree on that, but the fact it was originally on the PSP is irrelevant. In fact, the poor quality of the graphics themselves are irrelevant. Why does Type-0 have to use cutting edge graphics at all? So many games, even Final Fantasy games, fall to far back on their great graphics. Now, more than ever before, I question the need for all big games to be of the same graphical quality. We’re at the point where games can be everything from awe-inspiring (the Order 1886) to 8-bit nonsense. Some argue that, for the price, graphics should have been a priority. I disagree. I see no reason graphics should be a concern unless the deficiency shows a clear weakness in other aspects.
And the graphical limitations do not impact other aspects of the game. There is still a large variety of enemies. The characters are distinct and well-animated. And the draw distance is fine. In addition, the game runs smoothly without major drops in framerate that could impact the quality of the combat. The only issue people occasionally, but incorrectly, cite as being a problem with the graphics is the wonky camera work. Though this is a direct result of the game being on the PSP, it isn’t a graphical limitation. Rather, it is because the PSP only had a single analog stick, and, thus, was stuck with some pretty terrible camera controls. Type-0 HD does not fully repair this issue, though it is still more workable than the PSP version.
The second core complaint I hear is with the story, particularly in that it throws many proper nouns at the player right from the outset. This complaint is also reflected in many professional reviews. It’s not hard to see why. Terms like L’Cie, Milites, Eidolon, etc. are thrown in the mix almost immediately, rarely with a lot of in-game explanation. This complaint is legitimate, in that some people may not like this kind of storytelling. Personally, I prefer a story larger than what I’m seeing. Type-0 is the first game in a long time that I actually bothered reading the in-game lore for, not because I needed to understand, but because I wanted to. Contrast this with games like Dragon Age Inquisition, where I really couldn’t care less about a single piece of the game world. It won’t suit everyone, which is why it’s a legitimate criticism, but I like the broad world, one that asks for more attention from players.
The single largest problem gamers have with Type-0 seems to be the price point. After all, it’s a PSP game, repackaged with very little new content on the PS4 and Xbox One. Full price seems like a bit of a stretch, right? I disagree. This is a game that needed to be fully localized, and there is a ton of both spoken and written dialogue in this game. It was costly is what I’m getting at, which is probably why Square didn’t bother bringing it over until now, since the PSP was dead in the water in the west and the Vita wasn’t faring much better. To ask Square to discount this game may not be reasonable considering the amount of work that was required. Most HD remasters are sold on the cheap, which is true. What’s also true is that little of substance changed between PSP and PS4 and Xbox One. But the process of bringing such a large game over has a huge initial cost, one most HD remasters have already paid. It’s important to keep that in mind.
Of course, few gamers care about the economics of the situations. The good news is that Square’s pocketbook isn’t the biggest reason that the price tag isn’t an issue. Type-0 is loaded with content. There are plenty of missions, towns, and battles. The gameplay is excellent and there are 14 unique characters to fool around with. Not only that, but there is more to unlock on subsequent playthroughs. Games like the Order 1886 get attacked on length. This is simply not an issue with Type-0. The game is worth the price alone, but Square also threw in a massive demo for Final Fantasy XV. Some people joke about paying $60 for a demo, which is unfair to the game. The demo itself is rather large with hours of content. In total, you get more content for your $60 than the vast majority of games. This is why the price criticism is totally unfair.
Final Fantasy fans are a scourge. I say this as a Final Fantasy fan. Nothing is all right; everything points to the end of the series. If a game isn’t a carbon copy of Final Fantasy VI, it’s the end times. If it is a carbon copy of Final Fantasy VI, then Square is out of ideas. Square cannot appease them, and all they do is complain. I’ve never encountered a worse fanbase than the Final Fantasy fanbase. In many ways, Type-0 was doomed before released. Under a different name, it could have been heralded as something special, but the Final Fantasy name comes with baggage – the fans. It isn’t about criticism; it’s about the fact that every game is prejudged and dead on arrival. Worse still, this has been going on since Final Fantasy VII at the earliest (I can’t verify before then because I wasn’t as active on the internet). Who cares is Type-0 isn’t a good game – it doesn’t have turn based battles. Or it doesn’t ‘feel like Final Fantasy’ or some other gibberish.
Type-0 is a good game, great even. It’s also a game people have been asking for, for years. It bothers me to see the same old anti-Final Fantasy sentiment, slightly tailored, thrown at this game. At this point, I think a Final Fantasy game could walk on water and its ‘fans’ would still consider it garbage. As a major Final Fantasy fan, I think it’s a phenomenal game and worthy of picking up, and it sickens me that so many people would attack this game on such petty issues.
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer