Square Enix may have sadly followed through on their prior claim that their highly anticipated RPG sequels, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III would be absent from E3 2014, but fortunately, they still had some exciting news about their marquee RPG series! In a shocking surprise announcement, Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy Type-0, currently only available in Japan as a handheld game on PlayStation Portable, will be receiving an HD remake on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and said HD remake will be releasing in Western territories!
A misprint in the PlayStation Blog, one of the original sources of the news, originally claimed that the HD re-release would also be coming to PlayStation Vita as well as the PlayStation 4, but Square Enix has since stated that this is incorrect, and the post has since been amended. The release is only set for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and no other platforms. Sorry, Vita gamers.
Nonetheless, this re-release will mark the first time that Final Fantasy Type-0 is being released outside of Japan. Fans have been incessantly requesting a localization of the RPG spin-off since its original Japanese release, with several fan translation patches being created so that English-speaking gamers can play in their native language after importing the Japanese game.
Final Fantasy Type-0 is a game with a long, strange release history in general, even in its native Japan. Originally announced as Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and originally planned for release on Japanese mobile phones, the game was meant to serve as a mythological companion to Final Fantasy XIII (which did successfully release worldwide in 2010, with two direct sequels, Final Fantasy XIII-2 in 2012, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII this year), and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which stalled in its planned development for the PlayStation 3, and was eventually revived and re-branded as the next-gen Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Following the development troubles of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the idea for the ‘Fabula Nova Crysallis’ triad of Final Fantasy XIII games was dropped in favour of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy idea. This led to Final Fantasy Agito XIII being re-branded as Final Fantasy Type-0, an entirely independent spin-off, with leftover prequel assets becoming a prologue story and companion app on Japanese mobile phones called Final Fantasy Agito. In this process, Final Fantasy Type-0 was moved to PlayStation Portable so that it could be localized outside of Japan, and allowed to properly realize its development vision (which wasn’t possible on Japanese cellphones).
Ironically however, while this PlayStation Portable build of the game eventually released in Japan in 2011, localization plans stalled, and were no doubt exacerbated by internal management issues at Square Enix, namely in regards to the high-profile launch failure of Final Fantasy XIV Online’s original PC build. These problems, along with the imminent release of the PlayStation Vita in early 2012, combined with the lacklustre reception and sales of the PlayStation Portable in North America and Europe, ultimately led to Square Enix throwing up their hands and abandoning efforts to release Final Fantasy Type-0 outside of Japan.
Fortunately, all of that is finally behind us. While it’s currently without a release window and much in the way of solid details, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will allow Square Enix to bring the lost game to the West for the first time!
Final Fantasy Type-0 uses a real-time, action-based battle system, similar to Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and combines precise timed attacks with special character techniques to produce combat completely unlike other Final Fantasy games. It also uses a similar mission-based progression system as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII to progress its story. Unlike Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII however, Final Fantasy Type-0 contains a world presented and rendered to scale, much like Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII, which players readily move around by airship from early in the game. There’s even a multiplayer component, which will no doubt be easier to utilize than ever in the console releases.
Eggplante will continue to summon your updates on Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and the Final Fantasy series at large.