The beginning of 2022 is full of exceptional hits, and what is even more fun, soul-like games have dominated since the appearance of Elden Ring. Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is Square Enix's piece of cake in soul-like games created in collaboration with Team Ninja, which fans know from the exceptional Nioh series.
The beginning of the game is typical for JRPG - a total overlord - a godlike miracle in armor with an anime evil aura that kidnaps a princess while smearing opponents on the walls and making them new wallpapers. Ah yes, next to the princess, there is also a six-headed dragon on a spaceship. If this didn't buy you (and most did), you can enjoy this very interesting collaboration. After a somewhat specific and not very accepted collaboration between Square Enix and Platinum Games with Babylon’s Fall which is something like Godfall, Square Enix tried to get the most out of its business partners, which was done in this game, only without microtransactions and problems.
You are in the beautiful JRPG Final Fantasy-styled world at all times, but with Nioh mechanics punishing every careless move. The protagonist, Jack is there for your entertainment, with which you practice the available mechanics, on a spacious field with Frank Sinatra's "My Way" in the background. Only when you see what is at your disposal, those who thought they would play some kind of Final Fantasy VII Remake were mistaken because a different kind of fun and action awaits them.
The story is so simple that it is great, Jack wants to destroy CHAOS and
everything else is a bonus. In front of the random city, he came across two
more comrades who have the same idea and start chasing that evil entity that
no one knows what is.
The camels realized that there was no need for a mega-dramatic story, but they dedicated themselves to the sacred mission of our Jack, who will carry out a diet and instantly reduce the bodyweight of enemies in the Nioh style, with all available weapons, by removing them from the material world.
The aesthetics of Nioh mechanics, which has a special flair for the souls of the game, is there to contribute to the atmosphere and to keep you on the edge of a chair, bed, or floor, ie wherever you sit. An army of Final Fantasy monsters is waiting for you with Team Ninja smack that makes everything evil and dangerous (something like ex-girlfriends). The very energy of soul-like games is where by entering a certain level you know that you have entered a dark room full of rakes that will hit you in the face.
The game introduced "Soul Shield" which is a technical block mechanic that allows you to counter all attacks with the right timing without the perfect block which for many was a serious pain in the lower body and ended with a juicy hug of a flaming sword made of Armageddon lost souls the body of your protagonist in ragdoll physics prints YOU ARE DEAD or similar.
One very important change in mechanics is that dash and punches are not limited to stamina so you can fly around the screen and hit everything alive as long as your hp is above zero. Jack always moves in a group of three, led by an AI who is smart enough not to attack his opponent, but you can also invite your friends and embark on an adventure with Jack and the team.
Opponents are a story unto themselves. From classic Final Fantasy goblins to
elemental gods, through zombie dragons and similar godlike entities, the game
will draw a lot of focus from you to progress and hear from Jack once again
how he wants to destroy CHAOS! Stranger of Paradise is a bit focused on new
players of this genre, so in case the boss persistently makes Jack hug the
floor without HP, you will also get some tips from the game itself on how to
overcome the obstacle.
The typical Final Fantasy world is there with the famous balance of existence of the forces of light and darkness. Forests, caves, castles, dungeons, and everything that veterans of the FF series have seen so far are here to put your patience and skill to the test with extremely diverse opponents.
Compared to previous Final Fantasy protagonists, Jack is not a character who catches the eye when friendship is mentioned, that cringes laugh with Yuna or something. A face with a couple of scars speaks of a character without emotion, who is unrealistically strong to the point that he can reach some creature the size of a small car for the head, and slams it against the floor like glass at a wedding. Even when he is completely bathed in the blood of his opponent, Jack never complains about how difficult or similar it is, but only when he runs out of HP does he falls with the "This sucks" comment.
The fights in Stranger of Paradise also have very flashy finishing moves, with which Jack establishes brutal domination over opponents. Every opponent will break into tiny crystals after Jack's move, and our cold Jack will just walk away and say what or who is next. Jack is also capable of changing his “professions” of destroying opponents so you have Warrior, Lancer, Swordfighter, Ronin, Pugilist, Mage, and some others who are a lot of fun. Each "job" has separate statistics and unlocks special moves for Jack.
The only drawback is the huge menus that are overwhelming in some situations.
Many will get lost in the sheer information and options they offer so you will
need a little getting used to it. You are going to stumble over the equipment
that falls out of the opponent so you will be in sweet torment as to what your
Jack and team wear from the equipment every 15 minutes or so.
Jack is so anti-charismatic that it’s his charm. At the beginning of the game, the queen tells him to at least smile next to her children so as not to scare them. Jack didn't do that, of course. For a character who is on the side of "Light and Good", he destroys opponents in such violent ways that he almost turns out to be a bad guy. For fans of the Final Fantasy series, Jack is Jack Garland, the antagonist of the first Final Fantasy game, so that's part of the story I don't want to spoil because you have a really fun adventure and a lot of action and tears as you fight the opponent's tone.
Square Enix and Team Ninja have made an amazing move with this game, which we warmly recommend to all fans of action games, especially if you are also a fan of the Final Fantasy and Nioh series.
- Nioha's action in the FF world
- Spectacular fights
- Too many menus
- VFine-tuning can confuse beginners
- Tons of items on all sides