No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike or admire Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Class-based gameplay, plenty of fantastic treasures, and hilarious cinematic speech are just a few of the many things that make this game so pleasant to play with a friend.
However, notwithstanding these contrasts, SOP misses the mark in many aspects, including its stage creation, loot handling, and overall balance. While it lacks a few of the polish that rendered Nioh 2 so special, players could still appreciate most of what it has to offer, rendering it a fine (but not fantastic) title with a significant case of existential crisis on its hands.
The Chaos Is At The Core
SOP’s titular character Jack, a member of the Soldiers of Light and SOP’s hero, is at the heart of this strong direction: his sentences are concise, to the purpose, and all revolve around one subject: Chaos. It’s evident that Jack doesn’t mind whether his buddies would like to form a bond or connection, the quest-giver is laboring to explain the following assignment, or the enemy wants to pat its own self-esteem. That’s all he cares about, and that’s a good thing.
There are a few changes to the plot from Final Fantasy I, but the overall plot is the same. SOP’s interactions all function in-game for the individuals, but from the exterior, they seem to have been mistranslated. For all its simplicity, the number of “to-the-point, no Bullshit” statements made by Jack strike off as deliberate.
In light of its severe narrative, SOP does not really carry itself too gravely, rendering it a pleasant tale that doesn’t pretend to be the deepest in the world. If you’re searching for a compelling tale, I suggest you go knock on some other door. If, on the other hand, you’re searching for a good time, look no further. The visuals of the title aren’t the best I’ve ever seen on my PlayStation 5.
There are some strange illumination effects, however, they didn’t completely disconnect me from the game. Aside from a few rehashed fight songs, the soundtrack is beautiful, and I really loved the reworked tunes from previous Final Fantasy adventures. The performance of the game was excellent in the performance setting, however, the odd frame-dip occurred at high-intensity times.
“Ummm” Roleplaying Elements
Similar to Nioh, SOP is an action role-playing game with a focus on the treasure. With a degree of subtlety seen in a few other RPGs, this game’s action shines. Weapons, roles, and talents are artfully intertwined to create a very flexible structure. There are a variety of weaponry options for each class, thus most skills may be used both inside and beyond the class. The Swordsman talent tree allowed me to get access to the Onslaught talent, allowing it to be used by any class that wields a greatsword.
Diverging career pathways lead to a high degree of expertise, which isn’t hesitant to cross over with one another. Advanced occupations descend from Basic jobs, and those, in turn, descend from Expert jobs, etc. However, you’ll appreciate the process of discovering what feels right for your build, even if you’re overwhelmed by the options offered in the SOP.
The intricacy doesn’t stop there, since SOP considers plunder. As opposed to a game like Dark Souls, where you can customize your subject’s statistics by leveling them up, in this one you can only customize them by equipping certain items. Each item of gear has a different level of Job Affinity, although they may all be upgraded. To put it another way, Job Affinity is a proportion that characters have for a certain job title.
Armour and armaments that have a particular job attached to them may help you achieve more experiences in that career and obtain special abilities that are only available to those who specialize in that profession. You should check your gear quality and weapon powers once players have developed around their Job Affinity since many exotic weapons have special characteristics that are distinct to that weapon.
Enjoy yourself by attempting to conquer the game’s later levels if you’re not gaming with pals since the game’s technical flaws are clearly visible. You may replenish your MP in combat in a variety of methods, however, the two most common are by using your Soul Shield to deflect opponent hits and by Soul Exploding opponents. In essence, a Soul Blast is an attack that refills your meter with additional MP, letting you trigger extra skills as virtually all of them demand a certain level of MP.
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Deploying your Soul Shield costs a portion of your Break Meter, which is a major weakness in this design. When you’re forced to parry blows from all sides, your meter becomes depleted, which reduces your total magic power. If you botch a strike or two, your Break Meter will deplete, and you’ll forfeit MP as a result. As a result, retaining the vital MP levels becomes harder as the game progresses. Additionally, when you perish in the final boss encounter, all of your gained MP gauges are lost, therefore you’ll need to scrape up these MP gauges once more in order to take on the ultimate monster once again.
Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy has a lot of positive things going for it, but there are too many issues with the title for me to recommend it. I like how the game’s Roleplaying mechanics have been given more subtlety via the use of the game’s job concept. Funny banter made this narrative more enjoyable than it needed to be. Nevertheless, the inherent problems with balance combine for a disappointing trip.
When it comes to demanding, and sweat-breaking video games, I’ve played enough and recently reviewed one of the hardest games ever, Elden Ring. Not to mention, I’ve completed both Sekiro and Demon’s Souls, as well as other challenging titles, such as Nioh 2. Because it may be as simple or as challenging as you choose, Strangers of Paradise has never been one of my favorites.
Instead, I’m frustrated by the game’s unbalanced design. In comparison to gaming with a friend in a group, the single-player gameplay falls short in every manner. You have to start again every time you mess up due to the shoddy MP economy that penalizes gamers mercilessly.
Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Gets a Score of
After a lot of thinking, we’ve come up with a revised ranking scheme for the titles we revisit: Do we keep awake till
11 PM or 1 AM during a workweek to invest two hours with it, realizing well that we have to get up at 8 AM the following day to get back into the rat race? So on that measure, Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin gets a score of 6.
Dam!! It's Too complex to have any fun with it.