Final Fantasy Type-0 was originally released as a Japan-only PSP game four years ago – one that had very little to do with the rest of the franchise.
Whereas Final Fantasy games usually feature turn-based combat and a hero who slowly grows from callow child to super-soldier, Type-0 substitutes tedious third-person fighting and an entire class of 14 army cadets, none of whom you would single out as being the star. There is also a tacked-on Dynasty Warriors-style city defence game where you help defeat enemy units while attempting to turn the tide of the wider war, but it involves way too much aimless running around the swaths of boring, texture-free landscape. Type-0 still has eidolons, moogles, a lot of nonsense about magical crystals, as well as other Final Fantasy trappings, but it also has poorly translated dialogue, voice actors who sound as though they understand just about as little of what is going on as you do, and graphics that, despite having been spruced up, still look as exciting as a wet Wednesday in Chipping Norton. Final Fantasy Type-0 is depressingly mediocre, and at this price little short of an attempted mugging.
Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be
Framed as a collaboration between Canadian comics writer Ryan North, Shakespeare and you, To Be Or Not To Be is the interactive version of North’s Hamlet-themed choose-your-own-adventure book. You can play as Hamlet, his dad or Ophelia, who grudgingly fancies Hamlet “although it makes you roll your eyes when you think about it, you’ve fallen in love with a prince”. You can follow the plot of the play – Shakespeare’s choices are marked with Yorick’s skull – but you’re also free to explore other opportunities. You might end up as a pirate captain or – in Ophelia’s case – pursuing her obsession with central heating, marrying Hamlet and living happily ever after on the profits of a jointly owned heating business. The “Haml-o-meter” will tell you how near you were to the original text at the end of each game. It’s funny, silly, endlessly replayable semi-literary entertainment, and even better on the iPad.
Tin Man Games, £4.49
Life Is Strange Episode 2: Out Of Time
Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 & PC
In the first episode of Life Is Strange, student Maxine Caulfield discovered she could rewind time by a few seconds, and that the son of a local kingpin carries a gun to school. In this episode, things get more intense, her powers starting to take a physical toll and occasionally failing her altogether. There are new dramas, including a friend deciding to kill herself, and it’s a change to spend time exploring human relationships and investigating mysteries in a game clearly designed to appeal to both genders. Despite its theatrics, this second episode isn’t quite as gripping as the opener, and even if you retry conversations and encounters to see what would have happened if you’d responded differently, it’s all over in a couple of hours. Yet Life Is Strange is a distinctive and interesting take on adventure gaming that deserves attention for its well-drawn, believable characters and a setting that happily eschews magic goblins and groups of men armed with assault rifles.
Square Enix, £3.99
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