563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

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563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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Re: 563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Post by DaMonth »

This was my 2022 GOTYIERHACO (Game of the Year if Elden Ring Hadn't Also Come Out).

It's a bit of a shame all the first impressions of chaos memes and Limp Bizkit had people writing it off, me included. Wouldn't have tried it if my friend didn't sit me down to. Once I did, there was a bug in my brain that didn't go away until I finished it. I love the soul block and how visceral the combat is. The job system is incredibly rewarding and I'm glad I just happened to stumble into the best one in the game, Tyrant. Even if I had to fall back on Breaker for harder encounters.

Complains-wise, the menu could stand to be 30% less scary and god does this game need a map. Lots of same-looking things to get lost in.

Been informed FF16 is maybe looking to play like this and if so, hopefully it doesn't say chaos too many times so people aren't ashamed to call it an all-time great.

P.S: It's not Limp Bizkit. People just made that up.
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Re: 563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Post by Tolkientaters »

This game is extremely confident in how stupid it is and I love it for that. It's certainly not perfect, often the character models and environments can look like they came from a 360 game, but honestly that almost works for the dumb goofy vibe this game is going for.

Jack saying "I don't give a f*** who you are" and "bullshit" before playing Limp Bizkit is going to stay with me for a while. It's an out there confidence that you don't see too often and it's refreshing for that. What other final fantasy game could end with My Way by Frank Sinatra?

The combat is also really fun, an easier take on Nioh's combat with a cool iteration of a jobs system with absurb finishers. I think the level design is a little bland, but that fun combat and stupid story with a hell of a payoff drives you through it.

It's a weird game, but if what's it's doing works for you, it's a hell of a time.
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Re: 563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Post by Megadirt »

I just finished this last night and its the worst game I've ever enjoyed.

The colours are so over saturated and visually sickening and I feel as if the story is delivered like they had been having all the exposition conversations when I was at work. Any dialogue we were privy to is written right on the line between bad, and "so bad it's good". The effect of this is that if it is supposed to be sincere it's terrible, and if it's supposed to be hyperbolic and silly then it feels smug and stupid. However, I do think the best lens to view Jack through is the lens given to me by the Doom (2016) protagonist. He's not here for your bullshit story exposition he's here to rip and tear Cactuars and take kitchen knives away from bald green lantern children.

This isn't the only comparison to Doom I could make, the game mechanics in the battle system remind me of Doom much more than the FromSoftware-esque aesthetics would imply. In Doom the genius of the mechanics were creating a game loop within a game loop that encouraged full use of your arsenal. Similarly in SOPFFO:
  • You risk your stamina to increase MP with soul shield.
  • This allows you to break the enemy stamina more easily and get more MP.
  • Which allows you to negate your stamina with Lightbringer at the cost of your maxMP.
  • And when that wears off you go back to the beginning.
The huge quantity of jobs and upgrades made this a great motivation to experiment with all the different elements of the game that I may have otherwise overlooked. The weapons upgrades however are next to useless, you essentially have to grind to upgrade them and will immediately walk into a new level and find something twice as tantalising sticking out of a Pirate's booty.

It is very unique in many ways, but in the respect that it feels like it hasn't quite evolved into a finished project. It's not entirely unfair to accuse it of having a Souls Borne Identity, a vibe that I think caused this game some damage having wandered into the fight after Elden Ring, but it reminded me much more of a mobile game than a PS5 title and I wouldn't be surprised if it was later to revealed to have initially been exactly that. Overall I finished it, enjoyed it, and would play a sequel, but I would not recommend it to anyone. Everything good about it is available elsewhere in better games. Not quite Nioh enough, not quite Final Fantasy enough, but not bad.
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Re: 563: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Post by Magical_Isopod »

I picked this game up strictly for the podcast and played for a few hours whilst sick yesterday... And I can describe my feelings as both "bored" and "overwhelmed." For a game that purports to be a loud, dumb prequel to FF1, I found the combat to be incredibly convoluted, with menus buried in menus and way too many mechanics introduced all at once. I found myself wandering through dungeons and actually falling asleep from the monotony.

The story, what little I saw of it, is incredibly threadbare as well. You and your fellow burly men show each other their crystals, and Jack really doesn't like Chaos. I'm sure all this gets explained later, but the way the narrative is presented did absolutely nothing to compel me to keep playing. The edgy overtones of the dialogue and art direction came off as incredibly juvenile as well.

I have heard this game gets really good toward the end, and I look forward to the podcast episode to learn more. But for me, life is too short to meander through a game I don't enjoy to experience a strong finale. I had some degree of hope this game might represent an interesting change of pace for Square-Enix, but it's really more of the same. I describe the last decade or so as the "instant ramen" era of Final Fantasy - cheap, empty calories, lacking flavour, and a poor imitation of the real thing.
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