Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin review

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What’s it? A Soulslike Closing Fantasy from the developer of Useless or Alive Xtreme Seashore Volleyball
Count on to pay $60/£50
Launch date March 17, 2022
Developer Group Ninja
Writer Sq. Enix
Reviewed on Intel Core i7-11700K, GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB RAM
Multiplayer? Sure
Hyperlink Official site

The mere existence of Stranger of Paradise: Closing Fantasy Origin is, effectively, unusual. When Sq. Enix introduced it was remaking the beloved Closing Fantasy 7, it made sense. It was, in spite of everything, the sport that put the world’s most sarcastically named collection on the map—one which many JRPG followers nonetheless maintain pricey. And with so many different adored video games within the collection to attract from, making a spin-off impressed by the now 35-year-old and largely forgotten unique is an odd alternative. The sport itself is stranger nonetheless.

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Stranger of Paradise provides a brand new tackle the bare-bones narrative of its pixelated predecessor, with developer Group Ninja injecting the collection with a extra edgy tone. At the very least that is what it was going for, however cringe-worthy dialogue from over-the-top characters sees the sport sail proper by the realm of cool and land squarely in a discipline of cheese. The largely nonsensical plot sees our band of heroes, led by Jack Garland, getting down to restore crystals and kill the evil overlord referred to as Chaos, who could or could not even exist. Every of the sport’s characters could be summed up with one adjective. There’s the spritely Jed, the strict Ash, the wistful Neon and Jack, who can solely be described as pushed, and pushed by just one want. To kill Chaos. For all its absurdity, the story is nonetheless entertaining, with every stage bookended by brief snappy cutscenes that by no means really feel like they intrude upon the motion.

(Picture credit score: Sq. Enix)

Whereas it is extra forgiving than Nioh, Stranger of Paradise does have extra in frequent with the samurai-inspired Soulslike than the Closing Fantasy collection. The various elements of fight really feel overwhelming at first, however the mechanics click on surprisingly rapidly. The Job system provides a wealth of various preventing choices, catering for quite a lot of playstyles. Foes are thrown at you thick and quick, and having the ability to swap between courses and swap out and in skills makes for encounters which might be each strong and gratifying. In a pleasant nod to the collection’ roots, you even go head-to-head with Closing Fantasy favourites like Cactuars, Marlboros, and Tonberries.

Turning a Cactuar’s lethal 1,000 Needles assault in opposition to the bouncy menace elicits a sense of sheer delight.

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