Final Fantasy Type-0 HD just released today, and boy does it try to throw a whole lot at you from the very beginning. Not only will you have to start memorizing various proper nouns that are introduced the minute you boot the game up, but you'll also be faced with difficult challenges that might kick your ass if you're not ready for them.
Since I've already poured nearly 50 hours into the game, I'm here to make your life a tad easier. While I already outlined some helpful things in my review, here is a helpful list that will hopefully make it easier to survive the harsh war in Orience.
Don't focus on the entire class, pick your favorite three
This was one of my main gripes with the game when I first started out. I was constantly hammered about switching out my classmates constantly and making sure I repeat missions with different characters in order to keep them leveled and ready for missions ahead. Unless you like that sort of thing, just pick your favorite three characters.
In Akademeia, you can head West of the fountain to the Training Grounds. Here you can freely take on an onslaught of neverending soldiers, which not only helps you grind EXP, but it's also the perfect place to try out every Class Zero student to see which fighting style you prefer the most. Once you like your team, stick to that specific set. The Moogle in your class will always offer new classes before each new mission, which usually involves gaining tons of EXP, which will make sure your other classmates won't ever fall that far behind in levels.
I know I said favorite three, but make sure your team is balanced
What I mean is that you essentially want a good melee class, a ranged class, and a healer. Granted, some of those can overlap. For my team, I had Sice, a Scythe weilding powerhouse with the Cure spell, Seven, a whipblade user that was good at close to medium range, and then Deuce, the flute player who deals ranged damage but also has buffing and healing songs. This ensured I could go toe to toe with powerful foes up close, but also able to pick off enemies in range or flying ones.
Always bring Backup characters
In the options menu, you have the ability to turn on Backup characters, as well as disable confirmations to join your team. Do both of those things. That means throughout your missions, you'll be randomly joined by other Class Zero characters with real names. These are supposed to substitute real live players through co-op, and while their AI is questionable, that's not the reason you want them subbed in.
You need them to earn precious SPP. They will gain this currency each time they either do damage to, or kill an enemy, as well as heal you with a spell. As you accrue SPP, you'll be able to spend it in a special shop that will have access to unique and extremely powerful weapons, as well as many useful healing items and gear.
Be patient and wait for the Killsight
During battle, you'll want to make sure you're locked on to your enemies. Not only does it help you track their movement, it also enables you to see the Killsight. This special icon reveals when you can deal massive damage to the enemy. If it's yellow, it's Breaksight, that means you'll do a lot of damage, but won't deal a killing blow. If the Killsight is red, that means you can deal a killing blow and instantly kill an enemy. This is especially important for enemies that might have a resistance to your weapon. Flan for example have a resistance to physical weapons, but waiting for his Killsight to appear will allow you to kill him in a single blow no matter what weapon you're using.
Don't retreat, keep fighting, but know your limits
When you're grinding in the Overworld, you'll have the chance to participate in five subsequent battles at once. After a battle, the game will ask you whether you want to keep fighting or retreat. If you choose to fight, you'll face the same exact enemies again, albeit they'll have a higher level.
The first two times you choose to fight again will only raise the enemies' levels by one or two. Once you get to the fourth fight, the levels can jump by 10, and the fifth time by another 10. If you're comfortable with your characters and your own skills, you can certainly keep on fighting until the fifth battle, but if not, just retreat after the last battle you felt comfortable in. Don't overdo it, because enemies at much higher levels can easily kill you in a single hit.
Don't be ashamed to be a Cadet
Hey, I get it. Sometimes you just want to experience the story without the difficulty getting in the way. Thankfully, you can change up the game's difficulty whenever you want, when not on a mission. You can simply go to the Save Point and change the difficulty there. The game's default difficulty is Officer, which is the same difficulty that was present on the PSP version. If you prefer less of a challenge, switch to Cadet.
Let these bosses kill you
This is slightly spoiler territory so if you want to experience the game all for yourself, skip this last part. However, if you're like me and you hate wasting important items for nothing, just let these bosses kill you:
Shinryu Celestia – You'll first encounter this boss during the mission which takes you through the crystal formations. It's a large three headed dragon. Just let it pound you to eternity and you'll win.
Gilgamesh – You'll meet him on the Big Bridge. He's super hard the first time around, and losing to him won't lose the game. Therefore, just let him pound you.