Despite being a huge fan of the series, wasn’t especially looking forward this Final Fantasy. That was… until I experienced this brilliant demo.
The most striking thing about this demo is its HUGE content : 7 characters, 4 missions + training mode, 2 summons, numerous objects and abilities, many NPCs, sidequests and an impressive progression margin ! The training mode is OK if you read Japanese but could be clearer in its explanations. It’s nevertheless a good ways to try out the various characters. Here are my three favorites (only girls yes I know but believe me the male characters are useless).
She’s my favorite character in this game so far. I like the way she fights with her enormous scythe and I admire her guts and general appearance. She’s also very well-balanced between magic, mid-range attacks and physical close-combat. Her weapon is unfortunately also her weakest point : its weight often leaves her full of openings.
The quickest character out there. Not only can she perform and insane amount of hits when physically attacking with her daggers, but her casting time is the shortest which makes her the best black/white mage of the cast.
The strongest character by far! Queen can freeze her enemies, causing immediate death. She wields a long sword with ease, fighting with quick cuts and thrusts, not to mention her Holy Cross ability that hits all nearby enemies.
I am not that familiar with the story background even tough I understand what is said. What is clear is that you’re fighting under the flag of a small State specialized in magic and centralized in a big university. Your characters are members of Class 0, which is the elite and they’re often sent in difficult missions as a trump card. In the demo you essentially have to stop the advance of the Milites empire, which implies helping allies countries resist from the aggressors as well.
The missions are breathtaking and the action benefits from an excellent gameplay, despite camera issues that are sometimes a real pain. Each one throws you in hot battles, and top art direction, immersive music and the general the environment of the game only make them more unforgettable. The most impressive part is the beginning of mission 3 : after walking 100 meters, an ally Bahamut suddenly comes from nowhere and begins launching beams in direction of the frontline. As you walk down th cliff and see Mega Flares cleaning the battlefield, your army, desperate for your support, keep shouting confuse orders and giving catastrophic reports by radio. But that’s something you really want to see for yourself, some good guy made a great presentation of this on Youtube :
Graphics are top-class for the PSP, SquareEnix obviously knows how to use the PSP at its maximum. In particular, the animation of the different characters have been designed with great care so that each one has a style of his own.
Aside of the camera issues, the summon beasts are really overpowered (especially Shiva who can clear even the « impossible » mission on its own) and it destroys the balance you should have between basic character gameplay and summoning ability. Apart from that and from the fact that SquareEnix is not considering a western release at this point, Final Fantasy Type-0 is on track to be one the greatest handheld RPG, no less.