An English release of Final Fantasy Type-0 is already available, and it runs perfectly on the PS Vita. No thanks to Sony.
Update: I am being told left and right that Square Enix, not Sony, should be to blame for the lack of ports/translations. Pointing fingers was not the goal of this article but I didn’t do my homework by mentioning Sony as the culprit here. Bottom line is, the article is about the cool fan translation and how hackers help making consoles better, not really about Square Enix or Sony sc*** their fans. Nevertheless, apologies for the mixup.
Sony announced recently that Final Fantasy Type-0 would make it to the Western markets, with a remake coming soon for the PS4 and the Xbox One. This announce was coupled with a massive mistake from Sony, who initially announced they would also release the remake for the PS Vita. This would make sense: the initial game, which was a Japan-only release, was made for the PSP, and could easily be ported to the PS Vita.
Sony then corrected that statement: the game will not make it to the PS Vita. This instantly *** a lot of fans who had been expecting an English version of the game on the PSP, then later on the Vita, for a very long time; a crushing confirmation that they would not see the game anytime soon.
But fear not. The scene is here for us.
If you’re a FF fan and a PSP owner, you’ve probably known for long about “Operation Doomtrain”, a fan project aiming at bringing an English translation to Final Fantasy Type-0. This project, started by developer SkyBladeCloud early 2013 finally got a release last week, and it’s pretty amazing. Honestly, I wanted to talk about this much earlier, but a week is the time it took me to get a copy of the game and find the proper time to test this.
Let’s get the cat out of the box: This English patch for Final Fantasy Type-0 is a very professional-looking translation of the game, and justifies on its own having a hacked PSP or PS Vita, in particular if you are one of the thousands of people who signed the “no vita no buy” petition for the upcoming official release.
Preparing your game to run it in English requires you to first dump your UMD to an iso, that you will then patch with the package from SkyBladeCloud and the translation team. I won’t go into details here, just make sure that you have a legit UMD of the game before doing so: show your financial support to the devs, imports of the Japanese UMD can easily be found. The whole process for creating and patching your iso is explained on the project’s page, which also has all the download links you need. Beware, it’s a big 1.8GB file!
Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PS Vita (Vita TV)
I ran my tests on the Vita TV, but the same should be true for a PS Vita. The PS Vita has some additional anti-aliasing that the VitaTV does not, so in theory the game should look better on a PS Vita.
I’d say, why wait for a Western release of Final Fantasy Type 0 when you have this version available already? It looks pretty good for the PSP standards, and yes, it’s not as beautiful as a HD remaster could be, but it’s still pretty damn awesome to be able to play this on a Vita. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the irony of me playing a fan-made English translation of a Japan-only game, on a Japan-only console.
The game, once patched, is about 2.7GB, so make sure you have the necessary space on your Vita’s memory stick. Thank God (or Coldbird) for VitaFTP.
Several people have mentioned it, the game will run properly (in particular cutscenes) only if you activate the Inferno UMD Driver. Support for this driver (originally created by VirtuousFlame, of ARK and OpenCMA fame) was added to TN-V, the most popular eCFW on the Vita, in the most recent revision, TN-V8.
Even on a big screen connected to the Vita TV, the game graphics look acceptable, the videos in particular look very good. Apologies for the “screenshots” here taken with my crappy camera. The goal is to show you how it really looks on an actual screen, and a screenshot plugin wouldn’t really do good for that.
Gameplay recommendation: Square Enix stupidly assigned the D-pad to the camera, making it dramatically unusable. You can fix this on the Vita: press the touch screen long enough to see the menu, and assign the right analog control to the D-pad. This will let you control the camera with the right analog, like in most games today. Makes the camera much, much more usable (on the VitaTV, you access that menu by holding the “Home” button on the Dualshock 3.
Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP (PSP Go)
On the PSP, just like on the Vita, you’ll want to make sure you have the inferno driver set as your default in your custom firmware’s settings. People recommend to get the latest version of Pro CFW for better results. The game looks great and it is no surprise. Enjoy a few screenshots below
Final Fantasy Type-0 running on PPSSPP (PSP emulator)
Final Fantasy Type-0 just looks impressive with the default settings of popular psp emulator PPSSPP, and unless you’re used to what modern emulators can do, you’ll have a hard time believing this is a PSP game. I’ll just leave you with a few screenshots, just know that with a bit of tweaking it can look even better (in particular there are options to dramatically improve the rendering of text textures, but I deactivated those in my tests. They actually help you understand how pixelated the game could look if it wasn’t for PPSSPP’s 3D improvements). click on the images below for bigger pictures, and be impressed!
This fan translation of Final Fantasy Type-0 took a year and a half to complete, and it shows: the result is impressive, very worth the time you’ll take preparing your patched iso. Give it a try!
On a final note: there’s often some bad blood between the hacking and the gaming community, but this type of thing wouldn’t be possible today without the work of dozens of individuals who decided one day to look deep into the internals of the PSP, its security, and its games’ encryption. Next time you’re in a heated discussion with a gamer telling you hackers killed this or that console, point them to projects such as this one.
Downloads and More details: Project official page