"Jesus. Jesus! Oh god no not the chocobo!" These were some of my first thoughts about Final Fantasy Type-0. Whereas most of the time, the opening cutscene in a Final Fantasy establishes, well, a fantastic tone. They sweep you in and blanket you with wonder and amazement. Yeah no that's not the case with this game. It starts with one of the darkest cutscenes I've seen in a FF game.
Soldiers are just gunning through the city of Oriance, mowing down soldiers and cilivian's alike, making use of their bayonettes. Blood splatter is shown and death cries are heard. A soldier and his battle scared chocobo are shot down. Both slowly die, the solder begins to cry, struggling with his fate and his mortality.
This is some heavy shit for a game under the Final Fantasy banner. I recently read an interview where Hajime Tabata, the director of the game, said that he viewed the Type series as a place for ideas and stories too different or experimental for the mainline entries. Having played through the first couple hours of the game I can certainly see what he's saying. The game has 14 playable characters, with you controlling a party of 3. The battle system is all real time action with four abilities mapped to the face buttons. You can run around your enemies, dodge or warp around their attacks and constantly switch between which of your party you can control. It's fast, it's fierce and most of all it's fun. I've had a blast playing the game and experimenting with all of the characters abilities.
As cool as the game plays and as intense as it's narrative is, we need to talk about that "HD upgrade." It's a weird looking game to say the least. Some of the character models do look guzzied up and HD but some arent' so lucky. The textures can go from either end of the spectrum, good or bad. Same can be said of the enviroments on the whole. I'm never not aware that I'm playing a game originally made for the PSP, which can be a downer for some, especially given it's $60 price point, but the game is so enjoyable that I'm able to look past it.
I'm not gonna lie and say that Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae wasn't one of the primary reasons I picked up the game. It was. But I'm happy that the game is worth more than just access to the demo, it's a solid game that I look forward to diving more into.