Why Fans Should Be Excited about Final Fantasy Type-0

ff type-0Final Fantasy has a huge following, a devoted cult that’s been around for decades. Members of this group were justifiably disappointed when it became apparent PSP title Final Fantasy Type-0 wouldn’t be coming westward. Fear not, fellow fans; even though Sony’s initial portable has gone the way of the dodo, Square Enix is re-releasing the title on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

When I heard word it would be making the HD jump, I decided to spend some time with the PSP version of this game. From the box art to the fact that it’s set in Square Enix’s Fabula Nova Crystalis universe, I was expecting a shallow experience. I was wrong.

Oh my goodness is that Odin? Why haven't you returned my calls?

Oh my goodness is that Odin? Why haven’t you returned my calls?

Some backstory: When I was a wee lad, I begged my parents for a subscription to the then-new Nintendo Power magazine. With issue #1 in hand, I begged them a second time to allow me to get the mail-in offer for a copy of Enix’s Dragon Warrior.

As a bookish little kid, I loved stories of magic, knights and dragons, and Dragon Warrior was right up my alley. After I devoured it, I craved more, but there were few similar offerings for the NES at the time. You can imagine my reaction when gaming magazines started showing pictures of a new game called Final Fantasy. It was a love story right out of the sultry pages of a How To Win At Nintendo Games book.

final fantasy IYears passed like pages of a novel on a breezy windowsill, and with each passing RPG — especially Final Fantasy — I would scarf down adventures as voraciously as one could, my insatiable appetite deeper than the industry could keep up with.

But as time wore on, the series began to change. It did away with many of the tropes I held dear, like riding giant chickens and sailing the skies in a hot air balloon with propellers. I still played them, hoping in vain that each new installment could capture the magic that drew me so fervently towards the series.

After the last five installments, I had all but lost that hope. I assumed I’d outgrown Final Fantasy, and just couldn’t see games the way I did when I was a child and teenager. Then, like a phoenix rising to revive a fallen party member from death, Type-0 found a way to recapture that lost magic.

Those familiar with riding chocobos and traversing a world map should feel right at home in Type-0

Those familiar with riding chocobos and traversing a world map should feel right at home in Type-0

At first I was apprehensive; I’d been somewhat burned by every installment since Final Fantasy IX. But after the surprisingly powerful opening cinematic, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Seven hours later, I was still awake and building up my characters. Were it not for the additional polish, I would have felt like I’d gone through a time machine. I was home again.

Type-0 is everything a Final Fantasy fan could want. The game should be coming to consoles sometime next year, and for me, it can’t arrive soon enough.