Given the vast history of successes that the Final Fantasy game franchise has, it comes with no surprise that any new installment to the Final Fantasy series, such as Final Fantasy VII, will come with a lot of excitement and fanfare. Hardcore Final Fantasy fans of Final Fantasy XIV are waiting in anticipation for anything new that comes from the franchise, such as Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Along with it comes high expectations and a whole load of scrutiny. Fortunately, we are here to provide you with a review of the latest installment from the game franchise released just March 15, 2022. So, before you go spend your hard-earned cash on it, sit back and relax as we give you our unbiased review of the game.
“I Want to Kill Chaos… Need To!” – But Why?
Do a quick search of the phrase and you will easily find heaps of “Kill Chaos” memes. Yes, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin quickly became a meme even before its release. Thanks to its announcement teasers and trailers, Jack’s fanatical insistence on killing Chaos was the only one that stuck with us. But not in a good way. Why? Because we simply don’t care. Because we have no context. We have no clue why Chaos must be killed. For all we know, Chaos might be a good guy given a bad name. Having a little clue why we should kill Chaos, added with a little bit of unresolved mystery and intrigue should make gamers more attached to the story. Then we can uncover that mystery by playing the game.
However, playing the game does not quickly resolve this issue. It’s only around your 25th hour in the game that you will know the “Why?” of killing Chaos. The game however gives a few hints here and there that may make no sense in the early stages but should make sense when it’s all pieced together. Furthermore, this may be by design. The game devs might have taken the route of building intrigue around the fact that our heroes simply have a burning desire to defeat Chaos without any reason or memory of why. The gist is to uncover this mystery, but it simply does not ensure that players will buy into the story.
A High-Speed Parry & Attack RPG in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
As you go through the game, you will quickly realize that the monsters you’re up against may be very challenging. As such, lowering your guard even in the most random moments may result in death. Therefore, you should be constantly on your guard as you learn how to defeat the monster that’s right in front of you. In a way, the game should somehow be played with parrying being your top priority. That’s why Soul Shield is one of the main game mechanics that you should focus on. It’s a parrying ability that allows you to block and absorb enemy attacks. Moreover, it’s useful as you can store this energy right before you cast your attack. However, the catch is that you can’t constantly keep your Soul Shield up. It should be timed correctly. Otherwise, you might have your Soul Shield down by the time your enemy attacks.
Another thing you might take note of is that Stranger of Paradise emphasizes equipment strength more than leveling. Although leveling your character does help a lot, it’s often the strength of your equipment that dictates your character’s power. In addition, the good thing is that it’s not that difficult to find good equipment in the game. In fact, each mission gives you a rundown of the loot that you can probably get as soon as you defeat your opponent. You’ll be oddly satisfied as your enemy blows up into a pinata of loot rewards. However, the abundance of loot may also be a drag because the game’s equipment inventory system is very clunky. Hoarders who love picking up every possible piece of equipment available might take too long to play the game. Therefore, you’ll constantly find yourself sifting through your inventory trying to find your weakest equipment so that you can replace it with your newest shiny toy.
Last-Gen or Next-Gen Graphics?
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin’s graphics seem a little bit last-gen. Nowadays, gamers have been spoiled with lavish graphics and special effects. Additionally, the standards have been set so high. Therefore, anything a little bit less on the graphics side will immediately be felt across the whole game experience. Just as some gamers have noted, Stranger of Paradise seems to have not taken advantage of the next-gen’s graphics capabilities. Ray tracing would have added a lot to the game experience. Sadly, we don’t have it here. Another negative thing you might also notice is that some character faces seem copied and pasted. On the bright side, the game does excel quite well whenever it is showing brightly colored frames.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin – The Verdict
Despite all the criticisms we have, this game is not bad. In fact, it’s good to some degree. It took a gamble with its storytelling approach and it might have not paid off. But its story does have some value to it if you understand it. In addition, the gameplay is good, which has a good balance of fast-paced RPG action that can be very challenging at the same time. It also takes a lot of patience to parry your opponent’s attacks before making your move. Moreover, it’s not the typical “add more HP to the monsters” route that other RPGs took.
Overall, It has a good story that is not well-told. It has a missed opportunity on the graphics side. But it also has good gameplay. We will give it an 8 out of 10. So that’s our final verdict for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. For more guides and reviews, stay tuned only here at Play PC!