"Sice: This quiet white-haired girl carries a large scythe as her weapon" Sort of ironic isn't it :)
We evaluate each of Class Zero's elite students in Square Enix's school rumble on the PSP.
To recap from past previews of Final Fantasy Type-0, the PSP action role-playing game lets you control a group of students from a magic school called Suzaku as they fight off the invading Milites Empire. In this case, the students you control are from Class Zero school, and they are indeed a diverse cast in terms of personalities and skill sets. Think the last few Harry Potter books but with summons, airships, and chocobos instead of sorting hats and Quidditch.
The game implements a system called the "kill sight." Whenever you lock onto an enemy using the right trigger for a good amount of time, the reticle will flash either red or yellow. When your attacks connect during the flash, you will either instantly kill or deal a huge amount of damage to the enemy. Given the number of enemies you'll be facing, it's a good idea to thin the herd as quickly as possible before your team of students become overwhelmed.
When in such a situation, you can call forth a giant summon by pressing the circle and X buttons together mid-battle at the expense of one of your students. Whether you control Ifrit, Golem, Shiva, Diabolos, or Bahamut, they'll be around for only 30 seconds, so you better make the most of their hard-hitting attacks and self-buffs.
Furthermore, you can acquire different summons in certain summon classes via free-roaming, completing certain special orders during missions, or doing quests in the second playthrough of the game. For instance, the Ifrit class summon Rubicante (a nod to one of FFIV's boss) has automatic regeneration, while the Golem class summon Gigas can hang around the battlefield for an additional 10 seconds.
Now that the basics are out of the way, we can give you a brief rundown on each of the students. Do note that, by default, students have normal attacks mapped to the triangle button, their magic spells mapped onto the square button, and their special ability mapped onto the circle button. They can dodge or let loose a defensive skill like a wall barrier with the X button. You can upgrade each student's skills and abilities using accumulated action points (AP) from levelling them up. You can also customise their move sets by making them wield two different kinds of magic or just two different skills.
Ace: You start off with this student right after the 10-minute intro scene. He uses magic cards (not the Wizards of the Coast kind) to cut his opponents to death from a good distance. Pressing the circle button allows him to store card charges, in which he can unleash them with the triangle button. Cards stored have colour-coded properties; if the majority of cards stored are red, Ace will do a hi-burst attack that damages any foe within range.
The support deck skill will give Ace a higher chance of storing white cards for his deck open skill, which casts Stop onto enemies, while the Trap Card skill lets Ace lay down the magical equivalent of pipe bombs onto the ground, which can be triggered only by him. While his hit points are average, he's still good for beginners because his standard ranged attack hits pretty well for a midranged weapon.
Deuce: Instead of her other battle-hardy classmates, she uses a flute that summons floating energy balls and all sorts of ranged magic attacks. The downside is that she's not really good in the melee weapons department despite her sole close-combat upgrade. She represents the Bard/Dancer archetype in which she should be kept at the back to support her frontline-tailored companions.
Choice upgrades include Concerto, which casts Protect and Aura, and Crescendo, which buffs up the party's regular attacks. You should also upgrade each of Deuce's flute abilities (Concerto Guard and Serenade Guard) so she doesn't flinch when under fire while using the flute.
Trey: Someone needed to fill up the archer role in a Final Fantasy title, and the quiet and reserved Trey is up to the task. In addition to using his bow and arrows to pick off enemies from afar, he can charge up his shots up to three levels for additional damage. Our personal favourite unlockable skill was Freeze Shot, which makes him shoot out a volley of arrows onto a designated area that stops enemies in their tracks.
Trey can also place traps for opponents on the ground. If they come across it, not only will they have their hit points drained, but they'll be susceptible to kill sight attacks more so than usual. His assortment of skills makes him ideal for advanced users who can misuse his traps, while helping his team from afar.
Cater: This brash young lady wields a gun that shoots out magical bullets. She also moves faster than the rest of the cast. Her upgrades and abilities include charging her magic shots automatically when not firing, using snipe mode to hit her enemies with precise shots, and firing elemental bullets with different properties (that is, fire shots home onto enemies).
We felt that she was a good beginner character since her magic bullets have a lot of options in terms of hindering the majority of foes. Do treat her like you would a typical ranged character: good from afar and midrange, but terrible up-close.
Cinque: The wild card of Class Zero carries a big stick alongside her unpredictable personality. By "stick" we mean "giant hammer mace thing." Her slow attack speed takes some time to get used to in a pool filled with fast hitters, but her upgrades are worth it if you're patient enough. Her Earthquake not only dishes out the pain onto surrounding enemies, but also inflicts Stun, which makes them vulnerable for a few seconds. Her Mace Hurricane attack lets her do a full sweep attack that knocks back the enemy while she's moving.
Her normal attacks can be buffed up using the Full Swing enhancement, provided you hold down the attack button when striking. She can activate Revenge Blast, which makes her deal more damage with critical properties if her hit points are low. As it stands, though, we do not recommend using her at the early stages of the game unless you're willing to spend time learning her attack animation patterns.
Sice: This quiet white-haired girl carries a large scythe as her weapon of choice. Her strikes allow her to move across parts of the battlefield pretty quickly, making her a good hit-and-run character with a decent attack rating. By killing enemies, she can absorb hatred that powers up the scythe's damage and also strengthens her Dark Nebula projectile attack.
Her upgrades include adding a stop effect to her Dark Nebula spell, casting an area-of-effect Dark Zone spell that expends her accumulated hatred, and summoning a Black Hole, which brings nearby enemies to a spot that can help set up future scythe and Dark Nebula attacks. She can also cancel from casting spells with a melee attack in case she sees an enemy in hot pursuit. If you need a character with a good balance of attack and magic spells, Sice is your girl.
Sigh... Cut the middle system and let's get this baby souped up for a release on the Vita. I mean, seriously, PSP is on its last legs right now, and I carried the torch for as long as I could. As for Final Fantasy becoming stale, I totally like the settings of the newer installments, I really do, but either they get the combat system to be fun with no story (FFXII), or they get the story to make as little sense as possible (FFXIII), or they get it to all be way too complicated (FFXI). Give me a reason to actually play these games again, Square, and not just buy em to look intriguing on my shelf, I'd be happy.
I'm sorry, but yuck! There is no franchise in modern gaming that needs to return to its roots worse than my beloved Final Fantasy. With every bastardized entry Squeenix lazily parades forward I get less of the feeling that I'm stepping into a world of wonder and intrigue and more of the feeling one gets when they see an old friend from high school who's wrecked themselves on drugs. What I wouldn't give for a narrative with the depth and drama of FF6, or a combat system with the polish of 5 and world with the scope and secrets of 9. I want my favorite RPG back :*(
I hope they bring this over to the vita so you can just use the right thumbstick to rotate the view instead of the dumb digital buttons. Looks like a pretty interesting game I would love to try it out!
when will this be released? this games takes too long to develop that the psp is almost at the end of its lifespan waiting for it.
Need to rummage around and dust off my PSP. This game is one of the reasons I bought the PSP for all those years ago. Don't let me down, Square-Enix, bring this game to Europe!
I love the Final Fantasy series. I have played and beaten every single one except 13 and 14 and I can't wait for this to come to U.S. The only problem i think square should stop making final fantasy. They need a new IP. I didn't get 13 or 14 because i heard the story was alright but the games sucked because there was no exploring and you always had to go the right way.
Looking forward to it! I just don't get how the title of game makes any sense. Type-0? What's with up with that title, Square? Ooooo, so edgy and cool, right... That aside, I hope this makes to U.S. shores.
I think it's adorable that their names are related to cards. With that being said, I hope there's a north american release. This looks unique to the FF series. Just because the Vita is getting all the attention doesn't mean there isn't going to be a market for psp games.
i swear that if this doesn't get a english version i'll get a japanese dictionary and i'll import it (learning another lenguish is never a bad thing)
I have JPN version of the game I understand a few because my Japanesse its no my best but this game its great, I wait an US or an EUR release for better undestading Bendiciones a Todos
yay, another great one from square enix for the psp!!!! thanks!! i just love lying in the bed or sofa and playing games like this several hours...
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