Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins Review


It’s been around 35 years since the original Final Fantasy was released and fans of the RPG franchise can once again return to Cornelia thanks to Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. The spin-off from the mainline Final Fantasy franchise breaks away from the usual RPG format and offers players a challenging action gameplay experience paired with a new look at one of the most iconic locations and villains of series. SOPFFO puts players in control of Jack, the leader of a band of heroes all linked by their obsession with hunting and killing Chaos (a goal that spawned many Chaos memes when the first announcement trailer dropped) . The story is filled with characters and locations that die-hard fans of the original Final Fantasy are sure to recognize. Many friendly and not-so-friendly NPCs feature characters from the original release. That said, the game’s story is completely self-contained and should still make sense (synonymous with a Final Fantasy game) to new audiences, as well. In terms of gameplay, the combination of RPG elements like upgrading loot and working through a series of talent trees (one for each Job) with Soul-like challenging combat and mapless exploration makes for a pretty interesting and exciting gameplay loop. Players do not have to commit to a Job (the Final Fantasy version of classes) and can freely switch between each of the Jobs at any point during a dungeon. During active combat, players have two Jobs equipped and can switch between them with a click. The dual Job pairing makes for some interesting strategy choices (especially on the harder difficulty levels) as players try to optimize their party for each boss. For those who fear the idea of ​​challenging combat action, it should be noted that the game includes three difficulty levels for the first playthrough, including Story Mode which basically turns strategic combat into a fairly straightforward hack and slash. Story Mode players still need to watch their health and use potions wisely, but mastering parrying and countering enemies with perfect weaknesses and combat strategy is no less important. Action mode and Hard mode, on the other hand, really bring the heat and deliver a seriously challenging lineup of battles. There are deadly monsters around every corner and the multiphase boss fight at the end of each level requires careful training, timing, and strategy to succeed. The game also includes three player co-op to allow players to team up and work on the game’s main and side missions together. At launch, crossplay was limited to console families. Exploration and world building in Final Fantasy Origin is a bit of a mixed bag. Players are moved between key mission locations via a world map overview. There’s a completely optional opportunity to interact with NPCs in each location via the “Talk” option on the world map, but other than that, there’s really no way to explore the lore or flavor of each location other than playing only. the mission. It should also be noted that each mission can be replayed (on any difficulty) to grind for experience or items. Within each mission there are no maps and players must work their way through a labyrinth of dungeons filled with hidden doors, traps, monsters, and treasure. We found ourselves taking a few unnecessary turns and getting stuck trying to find the right door or stairs, especially in the last few levels, but overall, the level design is tasteful and engaging despite a few frustrating moments. Using any of the game’s save spots – cubes that are the equivalent of Dark Souls’ flames – all of the level’s enemies respawn and can make exploration even more tedious. stranger-of-paradise-final-fantasy-origin-jobs-red-mage Jack, his friends, and the royal family of Cornelia are the heart of the game and there is a rather difficult task at hand to create player investment in this large cast of characters without the usual RPG experience. There are cutscenes that start and wrap around each level and jokes while dungeon crawling, but overall, it would have been nice to see a little more character development and relationship building between Jack and the others. The final act of the game really relies on the player having an emotional investment in Jack and his connections to the world and some of those punches don’t hit as hard if more time is spent watching Jack explore the world with his friends. out of the danger of the game’s dungeons. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin seems to prove that the Final Fantasy franchise can thrive in the action game scene with this first franchise venture from Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo. The title isn’t a real home run, but it’s an exciting adventure that expands the franchise lore in a unique direction. The Final Fantasy Job system is as interesting and exciting as ever and adds a unique twist to the action game format as players grind through each challenging dungeon and complete all Job talent trees individually- one. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin was released on March 18 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Today Technology was provided a PS5 copy for this review. MORE: 10 Times Final Fantasy Went Into Sci-Fi

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