Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origins Demo Thoughts
E3 2021 is now over and now is the time to look over what we saw. Luckily enough Square Enix and Team Ninja decided to grace us with a demo. Strange of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins exclusive demo releases on PS5 for a short time. After the short hiccup, the game was playable. Keep in mind that this game is made by the same folks that did Nioh and Nioh 2. So yes, prepare yourself for some stress because it’s a rouge-like dungeon crawler.
Stranger of Paradise is no walk in the park:
You play as Jack, a warrior consumed with the need to destroy chaos teamed up with his two companions. Ash and Jed join Jack as they were taken from another realm to this one to confront the evil. All this to take on the knight Garland who is the Chaos you must takedown. Their heart seems to waver as they are known to be warriors of light. However, they have doubts about that title.
Honestly, that whole storyline is definitely true to Final Fantasy standards for me at least. It is a simple storyline but still makes me think.
The Gameplay as a whole:
After you get through the tutorial which is in a grassy field that teaches you the mechanics. You will have two ways of blocking with your regular block and an advanced shield. Use that to chain attacks into combos. R1 is your base attack while R2 deals with your special and magic wheel depend on the weapon you use.
Also, weapon classes are called jobs, and the best part about that is your gear will be locked to that job. If you switch between a job using the triangle button, the clothes you put on while having that job on will be for that job. This saves time on worrying about changing your gear to match your magic weapon or ranged weapon. I do wish a lot of games did that.
So far I unlocked the broadsword which is a standard weapon, mallet with shield and a lance. The mallet with shield has the magical elements and the spear/land gives you the range when you hit R2 to launch your spear at targets.
At some points, you will need to progress by attacking wall entities that spit out enemies until you take them out. Hitting the R3 button to target your enemies and swap between them is simple mechanics. The enemies themselves will need certain tactics or elemental attacks to take them out faster. Thankfully with the mallet, you have an element wheel to choose between magical attacks.
You have your standard HP and MP meters. Now the kicker is to make it a challenge, if you die you will respawn but lose bars to your MP gauge. You can gain them back once you find a safe spot. This will also replenish your potions which you use by hitting the down button.
The combat is quite simple to get a foothold on especially since you can study the patterns of the characters. Farming is a key thing to do to level up all of your equipment and gain better drops. Each enemy can be handled differently and the risk is not that bad, so far you just suffer losing a few bars to your magic gauge.
The environments and exploration is fun to get around. As any genre with hack/slash dungeon crawler elements. You will have to tread softly and look for shortcuts to get to certain areas faster.
The biggest con that a few of my friends and I agreed on is not being able to use Ash or Jed. They seem like interesting fighters. Jack is cool and all but since we really can’t control the other two characters that kill the mood. The A.I. needs more saving than helping which makes it feel like an annoying escort quest. I would have preferred going in alone if that was the case.
Stranger of Paradise combat is a big clunky giving you two options to block doesn’t really help much. I made it to the final boss, but either I should just go farm some more, or blocking really doesn’t help at all. On top of that, you have a stagger gauge in yellow that leaves you way too vulnerable. Skeleton Warriors get an unblockable attack so the best you can do is dodge.
However, you know how unforgiving these games are. So best you can do is figure out the pattern and use your skills properly.
As stated in my video, not really feeling it. I had fun with Nioh, especially with the co-op option. But Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins is not hitting the same feeling. It is still too early to tell with this trial version and I have hope the devs listen to the surveys players took.
There is a need to improve, but this early in the game all I am feeling is whelmed. Not overwhelmed nor underwhelmed. I am just whelmed and in that, I hope you get to try it out as it will be leaving the PlayStation store in July. Expect a release for all consoles in 2022, but stay tuned for further details as it develops. – Beast Out –