Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review – One of the best 3/5 games I’ve played in years

I am absolutely a fan of the Nicholas Cage and John Travolta movie, Face/Off. Something about the unbelievable dance between the lawyer and the outlaw Friday Freaky as they infiltrate each other’s lives is something that can be watched continuously, despite the shaky premise and the display. its dubious performance. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin then maybe also the Side/Off of the game. It’s stupid, the performances are ridiculously bad, the levels are annoying, the equipment system is complicated, and the bosses manage to get mad at them. So why can’t I put it down?

I guess that helps Team Ninja know how to make a good action game. When it comes to how the Stranger of Paradise feels in the hand, you can’t complain. It’s like scoffing at a high-calorie, low-nutrient snack – feeling good but you know it’s bad for your health. You handle Jack – an angry, idealistic strong man who straight-handedly eliminates the list of 00’s astute video game men – as he searches for Chaos. Because he wanted to kill it. Naturally.

So you take your testosterone-filled avatar out into the world (or world, plural – more on that later) and start smashing things with swords, axes, maches, fists and anything else in the moment. If you’ve played Nioh, the weapon grip will be familiar, but now you can modify each with a Dynasty Warriors-like special move at the end of each combo sequence if your timing is right.

This is not Dark Souls, Elden Ring, or Bloodborne. It’s more awkward, a bit faster, and definitely faster. But it’s very interesting! Smash the flan with a mace and laugh as you send it to the top in a whirlwind of fun! For example, plunging into a series of enemies primarily like an Iron Giant, before swinging his sword and slicing it in half was hilarious. And you need moments of relief and humor like that when you’re burying your head in the same level for an hour, trying to find leverage and dealing with cheap mobs ambushing you with magic and throws. Break your guard when you’re just trying to find the exit.


During the boss battles, you can forget about all the gaffer tapes and spit the rest of Stranger of Paradise together. Confront Tiamat, or a tank that looks like it’s from the beginning of Final Fantasy 7, or some other mythical Chaos servant… that’s when the game comes into its own. If FromSoft games make you feel like you’re dancing with your enemies, Team Ninja makes you feel like you’re in a wormhole. It was a melee of tentacles, limbs, weapons, magic. Duration of impact to nullify damage and increase MP, then loosen up with powerful attacks when your quarry is in danger from a particularly large move where it is sent flying – it’s a imagine power.

Jack likes to finish off his opponents with wrestling moves for a reason, so catching a boss eight times your size gets low health and then messing it up when it Turning to crystal and breaking is a sight you’ll see often. And, lo and behold, it’s the catalyst! It’s a bonus that hits your cortex in a way that’s more surprising than anything from Nioh or Souls. Better yet, have all the devices spill out of it when it breaks. Adrenaline and higher level loot? You spoil me, Chaos.

It’s a pity that the valleys between these peaks are so low and so murky. Each level in Stranger of Paradise is based on a previous Final Fantasy game – whether it’s Mount Gagazet and its trials from Final Fantasy 10, Raithwall’s Tomb and its sentient walls from 12, Fire Cavern from 8 or Mako Reactor from 7, each with their own gimmicks (and iconic musical renditions of the series). To a Final Fantasy fanatic, it’s like catnip. It’s a pity that levels like corridors, knockbacks, enemy placements are infuriating, and the fact that there are only about seven types of enemies with different skins undermines sightings of the tower of love. your favorite from FF4 in the appropriate 3D mode. Oh good.


Then there’s the story. Christ. Nioh fans know that Team Ninja is the polar opposite of From; this is not subtle, not verbal or player-oriented. Is not. It’s public and stupid. With all the depth you’d think a Final Fantasy spinoff would have. It draws from a deep well of lore (mainly rooted in the first game in the series) but doesn’t do anything meaningful with it. The plot is a rocking structure holding a totem column of bosses fighting each other, and that’s it. Don’t expect good voice acting, cutscenes or even stunning graphics from this installment – sometimes it looks like a PS5 game, sometimes it looks like a PS3 game. It is very special.

So why can’t I put it down? Why do I regularly stay up for several hours gobbling up all the side quests, smashing little Tonberry, trying to make Jack the best goddamn Dragoon he can be? Maybe it’s the job system – basically a Soul-like class system with a stolen Final Fantasy warrior glued on it. Upgrading your sword skills to unlock the berserker, then leveling up the Berserker to unlock (part of) the Dark Knight class tree is fascinating. It makes walking through poisoned lagoons and ripping through countless distinct Marlboros worth it when you’re tinkering with a construct that can block immediate enemy attacks on them tenfold.

Or perhaps it’s the satisfaction of having your allies – among which you can have two allies on the field at once – to help you bully your enemies. Unlocking their classes and making them rip through enemies side-by-side with you, is something that’s been lacking for Stranger of Paradise’s stable friends (except perhaps in co-op). Play on Hard mode, use all your potions, then receive a last-minute heal from your friend before your other ally teamed up with you to stagger the final boss before it unleashes the most devastating attack… those are the moments you’d expect in these games, and makes the 35-hour death march to the finish well worth it. Most of.


Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a B-movie game. It’s loud, silent, and full of fun. You have to sidestep a lot – a lot – of problems if you want to harness the fun from its chaotic heart, but once you’ve committed, fiddle with weapons, infiltrate the poor explanation mechanics of it and forgiving Jack for his one-sided personality, you’re left with a game that’s part Devil May Cry, part Nioh, and part Face/Off. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to play that game?

This review is based on the version of the game offered by Square Enix on PS5, played exclusively in Quality Mode. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review – One of the best 3/5 games I’ve played in years

Fry Electronics Team

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