Monday, May 27, 2013
Is Final Fantasy Type-0 Still a Possibility?
Probably not. Still, hope springs eternal and all that.
If' you're unaware of what Final Fantasy Type-0 is, then you're likely part of the overwhelming majority which likely includes at least half of Squeenix itself. So, for the uninitiated, Final Fantasy Type-0 is the renamed Final Fantasy Agito XIII, which was one of the three games announced back when Final Fantasy XIII proper and Versus were also announced, all as arms of the Fabula Nova Crystallis branding. In 2006. And, as we all, know, that has gone so swimmingly with one and a half of those three titles having actually seen release. I say half, of course, because one of Final Fantasy Type-0's many changes, aside from the transition from a Cell Phone game to a full-fledged PSP title, was its name to Type-0 for its Japanese-only release. In 2011.
Being that it's been so long since its Japanese release on a platform that didn't particularly do well in the West, most everyone has just assumed it will never see a Stateside release. Or rather, if you still believe that it will see a release in the West, you're one of the outliers, since there's almost no reason, no incentive to do it. Except making fans happy and selling a product, but who the fuck cares about that. Certainly not Squeenix unless it's Eidos-developed, sells more than any iteration in the entire franchise it's a part of, yet is still 'underwhelming' which I am not bitter about at all, no sir. None of this is helping, however, and is only tangentially related to the game, so let's shift gears.
As stated, Agito XIII began its life as a Card-based game for Cell Phones and eventually transformed into a sort of real-time action RPG with online and social elements that eventually was known as Type-0 on the PSP. A game so large that it required two UMDs, and remains one of the few titles that have ever needed this functionality. To say that it grew and evolved into something quite different than it started is an understatement, and that's not only for the game itself. In its humble origins as a Cell Phone game, nobody seemed to really care for it, as it would just be another After Crisis or similar - a game that wasn't very good and we didn't get it anyway - and it was only after it started evolving, became a PSP game and went unreleased long after XIII came out to its polarizing opinions and Versus became considered vaporware that it was turned to, latched onto, even. There had to be one project from this Fabula Nova abomination that wasn't going to cause some sort of rift, the same opinions as XIII or the same nebulous assurance of quality unseen with Versus. Type-0 was all at once something more tangible and more tantalizing than either of the other projects.
With that set of circumstances, it's not hard to see why the game has a sort of cult undercurrent of support and hope behind it. From its pre-release information, the videos that showed it off, it seemed to have the things that are missed from older games, that it had some itch of the Final Fantasy Formula in it. A story that seemed genuinely heartfelt, or at least keyed to play on your emotions. An overworld that you eventually gain an airship to traverse, as well as Chocobos to do the same in a much more limited fashion. It felt like taking those classic games and actually 'evolving' them with the multi-player aspect to it, rather than taking a game and tacking on something to it. Or attempting to attach it to every single mechanic the game offers. Or at least, this is all the impressions I've gathered since I've barely heard a peep about it since it was actually released in Japan.
It's not impossible to consider that Type-0 has become much more than it actually is because of all of this, and that, should it ever actually see a release, it might be taken as "underwhelming". In fact, I would almost bet on it, since we are a fickle bunch like that. Still, we can all be proven wrong on things. If this trademark registration of "Final Fantasy Agito" (dropping the XIII entirely) is, in fact, indicative of a re-release of Type-0, a Western release at that (or even an international release that is actually international), then it will prove enough people wrong there to believe anything. But I personally don't buy it. Perhaps I'm overly negative of Squeenix these days, but this seems to easy. It would be a soft-ball pitch to just do this and have it mean an actual localization of the game. Or even an enhanced Vita version of it that would actually be released to the west. I'm betting on them taking this opportunity and striking out, and in a spectacular fashion.
So really, I'm either betting on a PS3 HD Remaster that will stay Japan-Exclusive, or that this is just for a Cell Phone/Tablet game and will actually be the card game promised all those years ago. Prove me wrong, Squeenix.
no, seriously, prove me wrong and while you're at it, announce a Drakengard 3 localization so that I can love you forever