Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on PS4 and Xbox One
“This is war, kupo! We can’t afford to show any mercy, kupo.”
It’s a little disconcerting taking military orders from a moogle, a cutesy iconic mascot from theFinal Fantasy series. It’s even more unsettling when aforementioned moogle tells you it’s necessary to absorb the souls of the soldiers you just killed so that you can strengthen your own abilities. Even the opening of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD shows off a young man dying in his own blood, lying against a bleeding chocobo. Type-0 tries so very hard to be morbid by coating its characters and series icons in blood.
The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to the concept of war. The first half of Final Fantasy VI, for instance, has protagonist Terra join up with a group of rebels to overthrow the Gestahlian Empire. We’ve even been introduced to the idea of youngsters being part of an elite fighting force to stave off evil, as seen in Final Fantasy VIII. However, those games always held the more violent, bloody themes at arm’s length, never getting too graphic or too violent to warrant an M rating from the ESRB as Type-0 has done here.
What makes Final Fantasy Type-0 HD so different from its predecessors is its effort to push the series in a more mature direction, or whatever definition of ‘mature’ Square Enix had in mind. On one hand, we’ve got dead chocobos and moogles telling you to suck out dead souls. And on the other, we have a class of, for lack of a better description, anime cutie pies who slaughter their enemies mercilessly while striking trademark poses and keeping their stylish hair intact. It’s very fascinating to watch Type-0 attempt to blend the series’ Japanese anime aesthetic with the more serious and gritty subject of war but its efforts are ultimately undermined by the game’s poor narrative.
As part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis saga (what a mouthful), Type-0 shares some common elements with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, now better known as Final Fantasy XV. This means that you’ll be coming across a lot of odd terminology and hear words like “l’cie” and “fal’cie” being thrown around. While Type-0’s story isn’t quite as messy and convoluted asXIII’s, newcomers may quickly find themselves lost as the plot can get a bit incoherent especially towards the end.