Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin review: When Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins was first announced, the game world found itself in the middle of chaos. The rumors about the souls-like game developed by Team Ninja, which took place in the Final Fantasy universe and had successful works such as Ninja Gaiden and Nioh, finally came true, and even a trailer of the game was released. But the fact that it brought a new “meme” to the internet world, both visually and with the intense “chaos” content it contains, caused questions about how good the game would be.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin review: Destroy Chaos!
Stranger of Paradise made various improvements from its first demo to the release date and finally appeared before us. Let’s examine together the final version of the game, which left a negative impact on most gamers with the videos published on the internet, aside from the fact that it was released at the same time as a strong competitor like Elden Ring.
Story: Chaos Must Die!
The story of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins seems to take place before Final Fantasy 1. Our main character named Jack embarks on adventures with Ash, Jed, Neon and Sophia who join him along the way. Our goal is to destroy Chaos and beat anything in our way. We have a group that met in very random ways and continued on their way as “You have a stone too, let’s beat Chaos together”. They all consist of characters who have nothing in common except for the desire to destroy the Chaos that they cannot make sense of, elemental crystals in their hands and an amnesia that continues to erase their memories. Worse, it is not even clear whether Chaos really exists or is just a cover for evil.
As you can guess from the trailers and cutscenes circulating on the internet, we are not the usual Final Fantasy teams. Our main character, Jack, has a separate issue in itself. When people talk about their problems, they cut out “I’m not interested”, when the bad guy tries to give a standard bad guy speech saying “The whole world is in front of me…”, he punches him in the mouth, and starts listening to music by saying “bullshit” while people are talking. Even team members make fun of him from time to time, Jack is like an actor who skips cutscenes while playing a game and just rushes into the action. I loved it.
The narration of the story is carried out with cutscenes, various notes and messages that we find on the right and left. It is not told in a tone that takes itself too seriously, but I liked the way the story went and the part where it concluded. The presentation could have been better, but overall it turned out better than I expected.
About the Game: Let’s Not Fill All Headlines With Chaos
Developed by Team Ninja, Stranger of Paradise proceeds in the form of missions that we choose on the map, just like the Nioh series. There are parts taken from other Final Fantasy games among the places we visited. By following the main story, we open new chapters, we have various equipment and new professions for our teammates with the side missions we navigate in different parts of the same chapters. A system taken exactly from the Nioh series. It may be bad for those who want to travel in the open world, but it makes sense considering that the places where the story takes place are very different from each other.
We have good news for gamers who are curious about Stranger of Paradise but are afraid because it is difficult. The game has different difficulty levels and you have the opportunity to change it whenever you want. As the difficulty level increases, the rewards you earn increase, but there is no change in the progress of the game. In addition to the Story, Action and Hard levels, there are a total of 4 different difficulties, if we count the “Casual” option that you can access under the story mode. A nice option for gamers who love the action of the game but can’t keep up with the difficulty.
Speaking of action, let’s take a look at the gameplay. I did not think that Stranger of Paradise, which comes from the producers of the Nioh series (especially in the second game), which I think has one of the best fighting systems among action games, would have a bad fighting system, and when I played it, I realized that I was not wrong. Jack attacks and defends with his weapons, and with a special technique (Soul Shield) he can block attacks and send enemy abilities back to them. In order to finish off the enemy, it is necessary to reset the health bar or the “break” bar below it. If the “break” bar is reset first, it is also possible to go with Jack and perform the finishing “Soul Burst” attacks.
The weapons and abilities we can use depend on what profession Jack is in at the time. There are 27 different professions in the game where we can use many different weapons and abilities. The main professions, each tied to a different weapon, are unlocked at the outset. As you fight and gain experience with these professions, new abilities and sub-professions are opened. On the way you started as a Mage, you can become a White Mage and cast support spells, and by improving the Knight class, you can turn Jack into a Paladin. Fights are very fluid and fun with Jack, who can use two different professions at the same time and switch between them quickly.
Let’s talk about the game’s loot system. We can improve the profession level of our character, but our item level is taken into account in the difficulty level of the quests. Just like in Nioh, the number of items dropped in this game is very high and this may disturb some gamers. There are very nice equipment in the game, we can put it in various disguises, from an armored character to a sorcerer wearing a fedora. Moreover, thanks to the “affinity” features of falling equipment, we also receive bonuses specific to our profession. But so many items are falling that we change ninety percent of the equipment we take on the task on the way. Just like Nioh, the real importance of equipment is revealed at the end of the game, on higher difficulty levels. Until then, you can quickly set the whole team by pressing the “Dress up the best equipment” button (touchpad on PS5).
Graphics: On My Way With Jack
It would be impossible not to describe the graphics in the Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin review. It’s time to talk about the part that has been most criticized since the game first came out. Visuality! When the in-game images were first released, the graphics created a question mark in our minds, when we played the demo for the first time, we said “maybe it will improve”, but it was not as big a development as we expected. Some episodes and cutscenes look great, but the game in general is not at the level we can call “awesome”. Sometimes it is too bright, in some scenes there is a blur effect that I can’t understand why, and sometimes there were places where I said “this looks really bad”. There are also comments that compare the graphics of the game with the graphics of Playstation 3, of course, I recommend them to play a Playstation 3 game now. It doesn’t look spectacular, but it has above-average quality graphics.
We said that the visuality of the game was strange, especially in some scenes, but a successful job was done in terms of animations. Every move we have, every magical attack, and the “Soul Burst” attacks we use to finish off the opponent look beautiful. Not only us, but also the animations of every character fighting with us or against us during the fight are beautiful. You really get that feeling when beating an opponent. Moreover, you can activate the adaptive trigger technology of Dualsense. It does not offer a very good experience, but it is added for those who want a different taste in fights.
I will say both good and bad about the voiceover of the game. The worse the English voice-over is, the better the Japanese voice-over is. Admittedly, I’m someone who prefers to play games in Japanese if possible, but I’m trying to experience both voiceovers for review, both in-game and cutscenes. The English voice over here is really bad and mostly soulless. If I only go through the main character Jack, Kenjiro Tsuda, who has done the voice acting in many games (Death Stranding, Sekiro) and anime (FMA, Jujutsu Kaisen) before, is the Japanese voice actor, while a much more inexperienced artist was preferred for the English voiceover. The story presentation is not very good anyway, I would say don’t waste the speeches with English voice over.
I loved the game’s music. I said earlier that the episodes were taken from different Final Fantasy games. Similarly, the soundtrack consists of original songs and remixed tracks from other games in the series. In some parts, you experience enlightenment such as “Oh, isn’t this an FF X song”. There are also beautifully chosen songs suitable for the story, such as Limp Bizkit, which Jack listens to on the phone, or Frank Sinatra – My Way, the main song of the game.
Final Fantasy Origin review: Conclusion
There’s a lot more I could write about in our Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin review, but I don’t want to go too far. The game is definitely not the classic I want it to be. With slightly more advanced graphics, a game with more attention to story presentation could have received much better reviews. It’s great that they made the side characters more useful after the first demo, but every time we die, someone shouts “JACKK!!” his shouting began to annoy me, especially in difficult battles. I’m back in the Metal Gear Solid days. They also added conversations with the side characters on the map, but it is so unnecessary, so unnecessary and a system from the Playstation 1-2 era that you don’t even look at it. Why should I enter that part to hear the words “Go safely” from three different people?
It draws attention with its cons such as low number of enemies, lagging behind Nioh 2 in terms of character development tree despite so many professions and bad English voice-over. The first two seem to be developed with DLC packs, but I don’t know what they do to the voiceovers. If you don’t want to be alienated from the characters, play Japanese.
I wish I had a better experience of Jack Garland’s campaign against Chaos that came out of the hands of Tetsuya Nomura. It is another problem that they came out with a very short break in the same period as Elden Ring, a game that will be talked about for many years. I can easily recommend Stranger of Paradise, which is thought to be souls-like but has nothing to do with it, offering pure action with its advanced combat system to action gamers. Fans of the Final Fantasy series, especially those who played the first game, have already got this game. I can easily recommend it to those who love the Nioh series. Better than the first game, but not too close to the second.
It is a game that looks like a JRPG game at first glance, but in Tetsuya Nomura’s words, “Unlike the beautiful and fantastic FF series, it stands out with the smell of blood, and you will constantly fall down and get up again”. Gamers who want to play Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins on the Playstation console can purchase the game on PSN and have both PS4 and PS5 versions. The game is also available on Xbox consoles and PC.
Ok, this is end of Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin review. You can share your thoughs with us, on the comments section. If you like this game, you can check Team Ninja’s other game, Nioh 2 review.