Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a different type of action RPG game. It combines the concept of an action game with intense combat in hopes of providing a new kind of experience. There are lots of loot and big weapons. The story is an afterthought that does not offer much. It is a new type of game in the series despite sharing lore with Final Fantasy. There are some mediocre cut scenes and bad dialogues. It looks classic with bad motions having, all the flaws of Nioh, and not too much of its strength. Stranger of Paradise is a souls-like Final Fantasy game. The characters are simple and there are only a few moments of a good narrative.
It is a linear journey with a straightforward level design. Levels are divided into different parts but their core design is similar. Routes can be confusing due to the level design of the game. It can get in the way of combat since the level design is an important part of a souls-like game. There is environmental destruction in side missions and defense can be impossible in certain combat scenarios. Final Fantasy Origin relies heavily on gear which makes it an important part of gameplay. At its core, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an action RPG first and a souls-like game second. It fails to mix these two concepts properly and provides a unique experience.
The story of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin game is not that good. It is just there to support the existence of the game. It follows Jack, a shallow character who just wants to kill chaos. The story is B Tier at best as it is all about destroying chaos. Jack along with the other four warriors from the city of Cornelia goes on the mission to destroy chaos.
Jack literally does not care about anything other than destroying chaos. He says the word chaos more than any other word. He is cursing everything along the way. Dialogues are bad, lack emotions, and characters lack decent facial expressions. Even minor characters in some RPG games have better characterization than the main characters of Stranger of Paradise. The concept of chaos is vague with not much clarity.
At times the story seems downright stupid. Most of it is about getting from one dungeon to another and then restoring four crystals. There is a twist at end of the game. That twist is not good and it does not justify earlier things from the story. It is just boring and does not make sense. The story is vague that just wants to justify the existence of the game. The story of the game is an afterthought.
Characters are not good and you will not feel any attachment to any of them. You do not feel like rooting for them. Jack along with other characters just wants to destroy chaos even without knowing what it is. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin was an opportunity to show something new with a different narrative. Jack is a confident one, he grunts a lot but becomes digestible as you spend more time in the game. Characters and the provide satisfaction later on but it can have a negative impact.
The level design of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is not that good. It is mostly linear with copy-paste asset that has a similar structure. However, level design to mix up with some rope climbing and a small amount of exploration. Most of the time, the levels are straight environments for kills and loot.
There is a lot of darkness in the game even in the outdoor locations. Locations don’t look bad as they are different from each other. Even though, their level design is pretty much the same. You will see most that a level has to offer halfway through it.
The level design is decent enough that you will not need to keep circling the same area. However, you can get stuck in the loop since destroyable items and enemies will regenerate again. Such respawns, makes the levels confusing. You might perceive these areas as new ones because there is no objective marker. It is good for XP grind but nothing else.
Combat is the central focus of the game. It has basic attacks, heavy attacks, and a list of commands that can be accessed. You can finish off enemies with one button after doing enough damage in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin game. This is a modern part of combat unlike the rest of the game but it still works well with everything else that Stranger of Paradise has to offer.
Doing attacks and execution will make MP that helps you do powerful attacks. The Sword shield is an original idea that can block attacks. It can be used offensively if used at the right moment. Using it right will give you an opening for a powerful melee attack. It will leave you defenseless but the reward for it is good. You can take a wide chunk of the enemy’s health due to this opening. Since your MP will be filled more often, you can use abilities more often.
You start with a couple of new classes but can unlock other jobs as you progress. Start as a duelist but unlock other jobs and become a thief. You can branch off from thief or ninja into becoming an assassin. There is even the job of Ronin so, you have a lot of options when it comes to combat. There are main jobs and side branches. Jobs is a combination of different classes so you will be swapping between them while playing Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. The functionality is good and the constant shaping of characters makes it fun.
Unlocking new jobs will grant new combat abilities. Combos are like spells but are attacks that cost MP. Finishing off enemies with combos can restore your MP. You can get different combo abilities by unlocking jobs in the skill tree. Some abilities let you use less MP while using combos. Sword abilities do more damage and lowering an enemy’s gage can let you execute it. Executing the enemy will restore your MP as explained earlier.
Enemies, Combat Mechanics, and Equipment
Different enemies are weaker to different elements. Water enemies are weak to lighting, fire to water, and things like that. It starts easy but becomes hard later on as you progress in the game. Enemies will be hitting you, throwing you around even with maxed-out jobs and higher-level gear.
If you die you will lose all the stuff on you like any souls-like game. You have to farm wait to reach the checkpoint and hope that you don’t die. Sometimes it is better at solo if you are running and other times it is better at the co-op during combat because allies can revive you. The way to approach combat is a bit messy. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin game has the same system as Nioh when it comes to loot and item management. Items you get as loot are random.
Having five characters instead of one makes it more complicated. You have to equip all your party members with good gear. It can get tedious as characters are dependent on gear. Equipping new gear is the only way to increase health and damage. Jobs will only add new moves and improve class skills they will not improve health or damage.
Blocking can be fun and its combat has potential but it has issues with balancing. The dungeon design is not good and you should expect such problems when going in. You have to know when to use the sword as a shield, when to dodge, and when to rely on your teammates.
Enemy Design and Boss Battles
The flashy feedback and animations are decent but they are not the best. Its flashy animation can create more confusion which can get in the way of combat. There are some interesting enemy designs in Stranger of Paradise. Enemies are not all wolves or goblins as you will face all kinds of enemies. The game mixes up different enemies to present verity.
Bosses have many area-of-effect attacks which will not leave much breathing room. They are designed to fight multiplayer characters so their attacks are wide. Such combat mechanics are frustrating because your skills stop mattering. Your combos will use one or two gauges depending on their type so you might run out of MP during boss fights.
The combat is chaotic and there is not much clarity. You can take damage when attacking and will die without realizing it. Clarity is important in a souls-like game as it can help you avoid attacks which is not the case with Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Bosses can offer more challenges than anything before which results in a sudden spike in difficulty.
Fight and Progress
Blocking can be fun since it allows you to strike back. There are three difficulty mods so you can select any of them. Bosses can be a problem due to their area of effect damage even on the lower difficulty. Most levels are long stretch corridors where you have to go from one place to another. It’s mostly about killing smaller enemies. In large open areas, you will be fighting a large group of enemies or more challenging enemies.
Side Missions and Equipment
While playing, keep an eye on the new gear as it simplifies the flow of the game. It will make you powerful, allowing you to button-mash your way through some content. Just switch classes when you want. There is not too much complexity in the combat so the use of the class is up to you.
The armor score will increase by a lot the further you progress in the main missions of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin game. It will force you to play side missions just so that you can get high-level armor from it to complete further main missions. The main mission will not give much buff to item levels which forces you to complete side missions.
The level design of side missions is the same and it could be a backward level of the main mission. It can get boring and repeatable as you constantly see the same levels. You run the entire level and avoid all enemies to complete the level. However, you will still need to fight the boss to complete a mission.
The game does not look good and it is one of the bad-looking games but still has a high file size. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has a classic feel to it and it has bad movements. It feels clucky and out of place in the era of 9th gen consoles.
The voice acting of the characters is not good. They do not show any emotion while delivering dialogues. Their voices will not change even if they are in pain or suffering. It makes them hollow and players don’t feel any attachment to them. Even their facial expression leaves much to be desired as they do not show any emotion.
The soundtracks are amazing with good gameplay sounds. However, music verity is not that much and it is usually not that impressive during combat. You have to stop to listen to its good music. Adding better music during combat could have made it a lot better experience.
Inventory Is Mess
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has a lot of equipment. New high equipment can make lower-level equipment obsolete. You can get the buff just by equipping higher-level items as there is no build-making system. Inventory management is a mess as there are a lot of things to go through. You can spend a lot of time disassembling things.
The inventory management system of the game is not good. Level 70 weapons could be on top and 80 in the middle or bottom. The easiest way to sort inventory is through rarity. You have to be careful disassembling items which can be a time-consuming process. You can also make presets that will help you select items quickly.
The option of upgrading equipment is there but there is no reason to do so. Just equip high items like nothing else matter when it comes to increasing your combat effectiveness. There is no concept of build-making due to the constant change in equipment. There is no sense of attachment to equipment because the game will constantly bombard you with better items.
A Souls-like Action RPG
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a souls-like game but it is an action RPG first and foremost. It leans more towards an action RPG and its souls-like nature is an afterthought. Get loot, equip it to buff yourself, and progress normal job to unlock advanced abilities. It has all the flaws of Nioh but not its strengths. You can select from the world map similar to Nioh. Corridors are linear so you just fight enemies, collect loot, and fight a boss at the end.
There is the choice of weapon upgrades but they are not useful as explained earlier. You can change the look of weapons as well. Using different gear can change the team-based combat. There is no jump button and, you will not feel overwhelmed, unlike other souls-like games. It encourages you for reward, so there is versatility to it.
There is a full co-op mode on the game. All the party members will progress together. All of the players in a group will get trophies. Playing in co-op also gives you the advantage of being revived which is not the case while playing solo. You can join a group in the middle if you get disconnected. While playing solo customize party members to make them more proficient. There is a difficulty in balancing co-op and solo which makes the co-op a preferable choice. You can get anima shards by joining a co-op. Anima shards can be used to farm for XP from the skill tree. The inclusion of co-op is a good addition as it makes the game more interesting.
Final Fantasy Origin has the potential to be a good game but it lacks the proper implementation. Most of it takes place in similar-looking corridors. It has a good combat system despite having a lot of repetition. The lack of an objective marker makes its level design more confusing. Its bad-level design gets in the way of its soul-like nature. Level design can make combat interesting which it lacks. The dependence of its loot on levels makes does not sit well. Since it relies heavily on loot for character progression.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a good RPG but it offers nothing new. It puts modern RPG ideas to good use and mixes them up with souls-like aspects. The game has identity crises. It fails to make the two concepts work together. Final Fantasy Origin becomes easier as you get more loot. You can face tough enemies occasionally but not all the time. It feels like Stranger of Paradise cannot decide whether to be a souls-like or an action RPG.