Preview: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD


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North America will finally see a long-awaited Japanese title.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox 1 over spring break. The 2011 PlayStation Portable title has remained exclusive to Japan until this month; fans can now rejoice.

It was roughly 10 years ago when a compilation of Final Fantasy games were teased to the public under the butchered-Latin banner of “Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy.” After the massive success of Final Fantasy VII and related follow-ups in other media, game developer Square Enix decided to put the cart before the horse for Final Fantasy XIII. 

One of the working titles for this compilation was a mobile-phone game under the mysterious title of Final Fantasy Agito XIII. The title was later stripped from this game and branded on a different Final Fantasy game altogether. This was likely not meant to confuse anyone.

Little was known about Agito XIII before it became Type-0, at least compared to its companion games. What was known is that it was intentionally made to capitalize on mobile-phone technology available at the time.

The game was modeled on the spinoff prequels to Final Fantasy VII, initially, the mobile-phone game Before Crisis and in its final stages, Crisis Core. From the latter game, it retained a faster, more action-oriented style of play that defies the normal turn-based battles typical to the Final Fantasy series.

The biggest draw of the game is a demo of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, a game that has also been in the works since around 2006. Similar to Type-0, it had a different working title when it was first revealed, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. This demo will be available exclusively to people who pick up copies on the first day it comes out. However, availability may be further limited by any orders made between the time of this writing and release.

The potential downside to packaging a demo of a highly anticipated game with a modest cousin of sorts is what I call the Zone of the Enders effect. A similar package was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001. Konami packaged a demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (the sequel to the critically acclaimed stealth game for the original PlayStation) with its new game Zone of the Enders. While the latter turned out to be an excellent game in its own right, the demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 drove sales of the game and thus overshadowed it.

Any fears and doubts about history repeating itself may be the rambling of a pessimistic game critic but could be unfounded. 

Look forward to The Daily Iowan’s full review of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD following spring break.

Final Fantasy Type-0
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release: March 17
Price: $59.99

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