Final Fantasy Type-0 is an action role-playing game, where you take command of a soldier squad called Class Zero. It is an HD remaster of the original Japanese-only release for the PlayStation Portable.
Pro The story shows a dark and gritty depiction of war
Final Fantasy Type-0 isn't afraid to show what war is really about and how it affects the world without glorifying anything. You play as a gifted group of military academy students called "Class Zero", and despite their youth, they manage to see through some pretty horrific things, like the true evil and sadism of the evil empire taking over the world one country at a time. The very beginning of the game shows the more violent and depressing aspects of war, hooking you in on an emotional level. It's a surprisingly mature story, especially if you're a fan of Final Fantasy, since the series typically doesn't go this far into gritty realism.
Pro Varied cast of playable characters
There are over a dozen playable characters that you can choose from to fight on your squad. They all have a range of different personality types, fighting styles, and specialized weapons to choose from. You can pretty much bring along anyone you want for most missions; if your preferred characters are all spellcasters or sword-users, you can take them with you just because you like them as characters and not miss out on anything. Even though some characters devolve into tropes, for the most part, they're all quite likable and well-rounded.
Pro Fast-paced action combat
The real-time fights in Final Fantasy Type-0 are fun because of how quick and chaotic they are. You bring along a small squad with you for missions with everyone's different fighting styles at your disposal, though even the characters with heavy-hitting weapons are still agile enough. Targeting enemies and firing off lightning-fast combos of magic spells or physical hits feels satisfying. It gets even more intense once you're on some of the game's important, story-heavy missions with critical objectives and high-stakes. The combat is overall incredibly engaging and doesn't get old.
Pro Huge world to explore with tons of content
There's tons to do in between main story missions. The world is sizable enough with plenty to do during your free time. You can take on side quests to help liberate other towns and cities, go dungeon crawling and take down powerful monsters, or just hang around the military academy and talk to your classmates to get to know them better. More activities also open up as you progress through the story as a way to change things up from the usual combat.
Con Inconvenient time management mechanics
There are some time management details that you have to deal with. While at the academy, you can choose what you'd like to do in between major missions, but these activities all take up a certain amount of time. Heading out to the world map to explore takes up a handful of hours, regardless of how long you actually spend out in the open, while spending time with your teammates and getting to know them better only takes a couple of hours. This mechanic essentially makes it impossible to see everything in a single playthrough, since you have to sort your priorities and go with whatever's most efficient.
Con Some of the characters are bogged down by tropes and stereotypes
Sometimes, the large cast of characters ends up working against the story. A good number of them are fleshed out well, but others are just there for the sake of being there, or they're so poorly-written that you may forget that they exist. The worst ones have awful cliches as their central personality traits, like the dumb brute or borderline damsel in distress. It's irritating and cheapens the story as a whole.
Con Graphics are dated and inconsistent
It's hard to get away from how bad the graphics look. Since this is a remaster of a handheld game from 2011, there was only so much the devs could do to improve things without fully remaking Type-0 from scratch. The main characters look okay, but environments and non-important characters have sloppy textures that make it obvious they didn't get the same special treatment. It's jarring when one of your main party members is in a cutscene with a less important character, and your party member has better graphics and detail than the other person. This unfortunately happens a lot throughout the game.
Con Convoluted story that requires multiple playthroughs to fully understand
The story hardly makes any sense on its own, and on top of that, the game expects you to play through multiple times to figure things out. With all the terminology and mythos that's so poorly explained, you might find yourself getting lost right from the beginning, struggling just to keep up as the story goes on.
There's a bunch of lore that you can find outside the game through other media, but if you don't go looking for it, you won't be able to fully get what's going on. But the worst part is that the endings you can get on your first playthrough don't really explain much of anything, so you have to play through again if you want to have any basic comprehension of how the plot wraps itself up.