So. The Final Fantasy Type-0 demo-thing came out on Thursday. Been playing it a bit. You can get it off the JP PSN for free if you're interested.
It's...hard. A lot harder than I would have expected. This was also the case with Duodecim's demo (or more particularly, the part about it where you tried to finish everything) so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. And that at least lets me hope the actual game is manageable...well, the demo is too. It's just that it requires several hours of killing stuff to get used to it - and to get some levels so you're not quite so frail.
When I first clicked on that New Game and watched the opening videos, I was all o____o about them. Certainly more violent than would be expected of your standard FF title.
The basic controls are manageable, although I've never been too fond of camera on arrow keys on the PSP. In Dissidia it's manageable since the camera's pretty good about following and turning, but in Type-0 it's not quite so convenient...it's definitely required to use them every now and then. Something that requires getting used to is all the L+ and R+ controls, especially the functions under L weren't exactly intuitive to find. It's gotten manageable after first finding them though.
The special order-missions are a real pain to complete. So far I've only tried them on the first mission (heck, I've only tried the first mission and the battle practice) and there isn't a single try yet when I'd have gotten them all done. Firstly, they're highly context-sensitive. If you're intending on killing the enemies on screen before signing up for one, think again. The order is likely about those enemies, and you can no longer complete it after killing them. What makes it worse is that if you don't realize that fact and run around stupidly and run out of time for the SO, you'll die when the timer reaches zero. I don't know what the logic behind it is (to die because you can't find one hidden item?), but there it is. Be careful about signing up for those SOs, folks.
So, what you have to do is get away from the fray of battle a bit, quickly tap L+down, read the Japanese text detailing what you must do, and then just as quickly change gears and return to battle with these new instructions in mind. And hope that while you were reading, the 'helper' characters didn't kill your targets. If you're strong enough, I'd recommend going solo. All the time. Just so you have a bit of a chance at completing the SOs.
What makes them doubly annoying is that failing the first mission in a zone will likely lead to next mission in the zone being incompletable... although for sure, if you sign up to a SO and realize after that you can't complete it anymore, just zone. The SO will disappear, but at least you won't die.
With all this, the game somehow manages to be insanely fun. Maybe it's all the head-work you gotta do to figure out how to do the SOs. Explore every nook and cranny, take note of out-of-ordinary features, memorize the objectives, plan ahead, practice your battle skills, and hopefully your next time through the mission you'll be able to complete a couple more SOs, and finally all of them...although that remains a distant dream so far for me right now. For the life of me I can't complete the snow giant SO, so I'm likely missing some reaction from that to be able to complete the second SO in that zone...at least I think. Possibly.
Likewise, I'm wondering if it's possible to kill the mech outside the building, and if you get anything from that. And also wondering how to open the backs of the two trucks on the first combat zone, since the way back closes before you get the key...is it even possible, I wonder.