Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review 2022
12-Apr-2022 by Sparky
Stranger of Paradise's aggressiveness is the first thing you'll notice. You take on the role of Jack, an amnesiac would-be Warrior of Light whose sole goal in life is to destroy Chaos. Following the hum of a black crystal he mysteriously keeps on his person, Jack is immediately joined by two other party members who also have identical crystals and memory loss. The trio finds itself in the realm of Cornelia, serving Princess Sarah in her pursuit of Chaos—and answers.
Stranger of Paradise delivers a fresh twist on its pixelated predecessor's bare-bones narrative, with developer Team Ninja injecting the franchise with a more edgy tone. At least, that was the intention, but cringe-worthy speech from over-the-top characters causes the game to sail right by the domain of fantastic and land firmly in a field of cheese.
According to the highly incomprehensible plot, our band of heroes, commanded by Jack Garland, set out to restore crystals and slay the evil tyrant known as Chaos, who may or may not even exist.
At first glance, the game appears to be anti-story, with no exposition from the characters. Jack is a living cut scene skip, literally stopping feelings from explaining their actions or introducing themselves.
This leads to some of the game's funniest moments, where Jack reacts to information daringly and ridiculously. Unfortunately, no party member is safe from Jack's brevity and lack of prudence. However, they're all on board for it. Thankfully, the cut scenes are brief, as most are just a series of grunts, fist bumps, and short exclamations about memories, crystals, or Chaos.
Stranger of Paradise outperforms its other aspects in terms of gameplay. Based on Nioh and other Souls-like action RPGs, Stranger of Paradise follows a simple gameplay loop of traveling from point A to point B and slaying everything that gets in your way. Jack has a few amusing tools at his disposal, including the Soul Burst, a finishing move that refills and extends MP, and the ability to steal particular attacks from your adversaries to use against them.
Most intriguingly, you can customize Jack and his crew with several Job classes from the Final Fantasy series. The spellcasting Black Mage, pole-wielding Dragoon, and fisticuffing Monk are among them. Jobs are classified into three types: basic, advanced, and expert.