We don't always like being nonplussed

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Demo Review: Final Fantasy Type-0

Well here I am again, though I'm sure you'll be pleased to note that I'm not doing a full review, but rather a demo review. What does that mean? That means I'm playing a demo in Japanese because I hate myself, and I'm a whore. Why do I say I'm a whore?

Please ignore that NES emulator lower on the screen. *AHEM*
Yup, it's Final Fantasy Type-0, or as you might have known it, Agito. It takes place in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy mythos, or series, or whatever you want to call it, along with FFXIII, FFXIII-2 and FFXIII Versus, because Squenix HATES throwing shit away, as evidenced by the bad ass male, and hamster-cheeked vulnerable girl there. In him, I see a cross between Sephiroth and Vincent from FFVII, and in her I see Yuna from FFX and FFX-2. Already I'm filled with amused dread.

Autosave warning!
It warms my heart that they bothered to put the 'ok' in English, it really does. I then get a warning in Japanese for... something. I dunno, pudding rats. I'm treated to a surprisingly blurry/grainy intro, that I have to admit I'm somewhat disappointed with the quality. The intro did however tell me there's really only one annoying high-pitched bitch voice to deal with, so that's a plus. I picked out a number of Squenix standby VA's, but I don't really have any problem with any of them. In fact, there was a fangirl squee when I heard Demyx's VA. Beyond that, what I glean from the intro is that M. Bison has taken over a country (shock and gasp) and it's up to a group of school kids to save teh dayz!!1! Also there are crystals, summons, a moogle, a chick with GIANT KNOCKERS, more copypasta faces than you can shake a stick at, and, from my limited repitoire of Japanese, Vinceroth's brother did something bad. And the troupes go marching two by two, hoorah. The second intro I sit through is better, which is likely because it's the trailer, and in it is revealed Cloudroth, male!Tifa, Quistis, and pretty much every other face in Squenix's limited repitoire, except Fang/Terra (from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, not FFVI), but I expect to see that as an NPC.

After the first intro I'm treated to a screen with a bunch of symbols, and then in large English text the phrase "Bump of Chicken." I... what? Is... is that a suggestion? A descriptor? Of what? What... what exactly IS a 'bump of chicken'? Exactly how much chicken comprises a bump? Shit, I dunno.

Down to business, I start a new game.

I challenge the airships' ability to fly, since they're giant boxes with tower shields in the sides. That's all I'm sayin'. Eee! Rampaging chocobo! Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY KILLED THE CHOCOBO!!!! THEY KILLED THE FUCKING CHOCOBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate this game. Review done.

WORST OPENING CUT SCENE EVER! Apparently I have to keep playing. Kadaj-face tried to heal the dying messenger guy, but I guess it didn't work, and Quistis-face told him to leave it alone... he didn't even TRY to heal the CHOCOBO! So then we're treated to our 'heroes' nonchalantly walking away, which while the dying guy probably gives some kind of speech about how everything's gonna be ok because douche-hair and bitch tits showed up and DID NOTHING!!!! Then he pats the dying chocobo, which warks pathetically and almost too quietly to hear. Fuck. This. Game. I'm seriously trying not to cry. Character death, I'm fine with, but don't hurt the fucking chocobos and moogles, yo.

Sometimes I'm Reno, don't question it.

Anyway, after that travesty, we switch to Vinceroth and Hamster-cheeks, there's talking, and then I take over as Hamster-cheeks. Apparently because GIRLS don't play video games, we can't control the hot guy on the map screen. Also? Hamster-cheeks runs like an epileptic t-rex... not quite as bad as Vanille, but I'm talking doubled in half, with her arms bent in half and flinging from side to side for no reason. I'd bitch about these people never seeing girls run, but in Japan, apparently, they do that. Because it's cute? That's right folks, nothing says sexy to the Japanese quite as much as a seizure helmet.

Oh shit... the camera controls. I hope they fix it for the actual release, because right now the camera controls are... well let's just say they make the camera from KH1 look GOOD. You have to come to a COMPLETE stop, wait a second, and then hold the left bumper to move the camera behind you. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

I believe the behavior chips are technically called 'Being Japanese.'
At least the energy effects are pretty? Also it seems that doors are made unpassable by the cunning use of velvet ropes... that hang so close to the ground, there is no point in their length where you could not step over them. Interesting. Clearly these characters have had chips implanted in their brain that send electric shocks directly into their motor strips that makes them incapable of picking up their feet when they see a velvet rope. Everything is explained! The next area gets me this:

Kanji 1 has something to do with characters, shops and maps. Kanji 2 has something to do with characters and WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.
which would be REALLY helpful if, you know, I didn't lack certain basic skills required to comprehend this crap. I love how school life in the quad is going on as if NOTHING is happening, while right outside, the city is being destroyed and invaded. Good times? Apparently classes or grades, or whatever, are color-coded by the shawl/scarf/ascots people wear. Also, I'm pretty sure I saw Vexen at least three times in my trip around the quad. This school is starting to scare me.

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing can stop Holo-Kanji Pom-Pom Man! Er, Moogle. Kupo.

What? I'm a girl, shut up.

It asks me a question, and I just say yes... which then takes me to a nice cushy room with another moogle:

Okay, if all Moogle pom-poms project holograms then I have NO IDEA what his superpower is.

I'm still mad about the chocobo, you asshole, stop playing to my estrogen!

He asks me a question, and the first option seems to get me teleported into the woods... where I STILL can't control the camera, and I have to fight things. I think it was a centipede. I dunno... but apparently O is magic and Triangle is physical attack. Then there's a tutorial screen that says... stuff. You know what would be nice? Being able to TURN THE CAMERA SO I CAN SEE WHAT'S ATTACKING ME.

Also X appears to be dodge roll, and Square seems to also be magic... also... I have to draw magic... from the corpses? I guess? I don't know, but holding the right bumper makes the corpse float under your hand and glow red... I don't know what this did, exactly, but hitting O while that was happening, got me 1 MP? Fuck, I dunno.

I seem to have leveled up, and apparently find out that the camera is controled by the d-pad... which is REALLY hard to use while using the thumbstick to move. Nice to know. I get teleported back to the moogle room, and get the saddest, most distressed "Kuuuupoooo" I've ever heard... I bet someone told him about the chocobo. Through my stupid, I get zapped back to the training area again for... no real good, other than drawing some more magic, which I then wasted by hitting the wrong button. Back in the moogle room, some loli seems to have opened a shop. There seems to be more people and... OH MY GOD!!!!!

Well, I'm digging the Moogles so far... -Ed.
It's a moogle in a helmet!!!!!!!!! And his little pom is a morning star!!!!! SO CUTE!!!!

Shut up, I'm wierd.

Talking to him sends me back out to the quad, and screw that. Alright this spinny thing?

Yay for Save Points!
Seems to not only be a save point, but also a place where you can trade out characters... so I CAN play as Vinceroth. Guess what I'm gonna do?

Or, you know, I might level everyone up to seven, since for SOME reason, some of the people are randomly level six. So far my choices are Hamster-cheeks, Vinceroth, Cloudroth, Quistis, Kadaj, Lightning 1, and Srs Cat (who is serious... I can't get a good enough look at his face to tell you which one they used). I think I'll take Cloudroth and then Kadaj out to the training ground and get them up to level 7. So... Cloudroth is a dragoon (specifically Cid from FFVII), and Kadaj is Luxord... and he's a fragile, fragile little cupcake. I didn't mention Hamster-cheeks fighting style, but it's Zidane. Quistis is Raphael (from Soul Calibur)... she also runs like a moron, but she doesn't bend over QUITE as far, and she doesn't hit herself in the chest. Holy SHIT! Lightning 1 runs like a NORMAL PERSON! IT'S THE APOCALYPSE!!! It looks like they got her hairstyle STRAIGHT from Gaia though, so she loses some points there... this may or may not be offset by the case of Vincent-cape she has going on. As for the fighting style... she's Marluxia. I do like the wide, 'Come at me bro' stance... it's there so you know she's a badass... if you couldn't tell by the big-girl voice, the Vincent-cape, and huge scythe. Of course, to remind you that she IS a girl, she has a stripper pose for her magic drawing. Why? I dunno, because aparently BREASTS doesn't count towards femininity... even though that's the ONLY way to tell a character's sex in JRPGs. Srs Cat is... I dunno, he dual wields guns, but he doesn't get any of Sazh's cool moves, and he has to reload like Xigbar, but with none of the awesome. You bore me Srs Cat. That brings me to Vinceroth and his Dracula cape... I don't know what or who he fights like, but apparently he uses drills...

So... he's the love child of Vincent and Sephiroth (I've read that fic) and he wields drills... WE'RE FUCKED!!!

In any case, I talk to the only other person in the moogle room, and answer yes to her question... and nothing happens? I head back out to the quad to find:

Having played X-2?
beauty queen moogle? And:

Better the Moogles do all the dress-up than the players.
a mad scientist moogle. Whut? Also, sorry about the blurry pictures, the moogles are in a pretty much constant state of movement, and any time I get a CLEAR picture of them is, in fact, a freaking miracle. After finding nothing new, I head back into the moogle room and talk to the Hat moogle... he has a mission for me, but... it's in Japanese so... yeah. Come to think of it, I think that other chick gave me a mission too, but I don't know what it was. Well either way I accept the moogle's mission and get treated to scene of an airship flying off. Then I have a thirty minute battle with some menu screens. I don't know what the hell ANY of that was about, but there was Shiva and Golem, and picking party members, or something. Then I'm treated to a scene where Quistis talks to some loli with the world's most annoying baby voice, and then Cloudroth talking to a guy in kitty armor, which is then interupted by Srs Cat, who is NOT in kitty armor. Cloudroth's mouth moved for like thirty seconds where he didn't actually SAY anything, which was kinda great. After that, I FINALLY get to play, apparently.

Well you get to form parties of three, and you can change the leader by holding the left bumper and hitting left or right on the d-pad. It seems that once your lead character dies, they're just kinda dead, and you switch to another party member to the leader, and just pull up a reserve member.

You know what would be nice? A fucking target lock feature. You know what's really annoying? The fact that you have to go through a freaking menu to actually PAUSE the game, rather than just being able to hit Start. The moogle of helpful tips isn't very helpful when his text is in a language I don't speak.

So... there's a machine that shoots horrible missiles at me, and I can't actually hit it, because it's too far away, even when I use the RANGED PEOPLE. I basically have to sit there and dodge fucking missiles with a camera that is ACTIVELY trying to get you killed. I'm not even fucking kidding. It DOESN'T move... unless it can do so at the exact moment that will result in a MISSILE IN YOUR FACE. Other than that, you have to move it yourself with the d-pad... while also using the thumb stick. This is some BULL SHIT.

If you're wondering why I haven't put up any pictures, it's because this is all real time, so I don't get a second to sit and line up the camera and get a picture. Sorry. So in case you were wondering, we're down to Srs Cat, Kadaj, Quistiss and Cloudroth.

So while trying to figure out if I can raise my dead companions, I find the Altocrystarium.

I wonder if it's better than the BaritoneCrystarium from FFXIII?
This seems to be different from the Basscrystarium, in that the magic you draw from corpses turns into what I've been informed is called 'phantoma', and you use that to... buy new spells from the Altocrystarium? At least I THINK that's how it works... I mean, there are five headers in the menu, and by the fire, ice, lightning, green sparklies and bizarre ass music thingies around the kanji, I'm going to assume those are the types of magic that can be purchsed/upgraded with the phantoma. Now here's an interesting thing... I've got enough phantoma to upgrade a couple things... but it won't let me? Right, well then, moving on.

Also there's a menu that allows me to assign moves to people, so I can choose what the buttons do... I think... or something... or it might let me buy leveled up moves? That one, actually, not the first one. Apparently you also get AP for your fights, or something? I dunno, but I just leveled a move a piece up for Quistiss, Vinceroth, Kadaj, and Hamster-cheeks. So... hooray? Apparently under this screen you can also level up the moves of your summons, which is all very nice... But apparently I have no Phoenix Downs, and no revive spell. Shit.

Well I continue on and have to fight some kind of freaky snow monkey with like five health bars. The camera is a HUGE detriment in every conceivable way here, you have to take your thumb off the thumb stick so you STOP EVADING and STAND STILL, in order to move the camera around so you can see where the boss is... and then you get knocked around, or go back to trying to evade, and you're once more in the same boat with not knowing where the hell the creature is. There also seems to be some kind of instant message system that sends me... missions? I dunno but I run into a behemoth next, I'm gonna die... yep, I'm REALLY gonna die since Quistis is out of MP, and she's the only one that had a Cure spell.

Well I'm down to Cloudroth... I gotta say, I love you guys and all, but once everyone kicks it, I'm calling this review. Well... apparently... mission accomplished? I dunno, but I got a cut scene and a grading screen... I did bad. The demo continues though, so... Hooray? Back in the moogle room, we get two new moogles!
Kung-fu Moogle, and...
...Stereotypical Bank Robber Moogle!

I bet they both have missions for me. Blarg. Well let's see what leopard print moogle has for us. Well it's definitely a mission... and it looks like there are towns on fire. Well that's always a good sign... however that's not where I go, instead I'm sent off to the frozen freaking tundra. Woo hoo.

I gotta say, this is a pretty meaty demo. On that note, I think I'm going to call it here, because I don't know how much longer this will take, and it's already pretty long. So join me again tomorrow for the next two missions! And maybe I'll spontaneously develop the ability to make the camera do what I want... but I'm not holding my breath.

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