The gloomy gates of the Epic games store have finally opened, releasing one of last year’s most promising titles into the wild with all the DLC being completed. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a complete experience you’ll probably not want to miss for many reasons I’m going into today.
The game is a giant meme
Chances are, last year, you heard Final Fantasy fans chanting, “We’re here to kill Chaos!” over and over again for a few months. That’s because of this game. Protagonist Jack Garland is without a doubt one of the most iconic Final Fantasy protagonists in recent memory; not caring about anything but his goal, dismissing the plot, like an angry gamer rapidly mashing the “Skip cutscene” button, Garland bulldozes his way through the story, hilariously being the most self-aware Role playing character ever produced by Square Enix.
He’s that one DnD player you cannot control and wants to derail the story at any moment he gets bored or declares it not worth his time. If things are too simple, he’ll start fighting something just to have something to do. Wanting to kill Chaos is simply his favorite method of telling NPC characters to shut up and give him what he wants. A perfect joke for those who just want to play the game.
This game is now the definitive way to experience the story of Final Fantasy 1
Final Fantasy 1 has always been a really barebones tale with a really “out of nowhere” twist. Heroes of light travel the world, beat up 4 fiends, then travel back in time to defeat Garland again, then defeat Chaos. What Stranger of Paradise attempts is to show the Heroes of Light in a far more meaningful and worthwhile light. Jack and his party embrace this, letting you experience the journey of the NES classic through gorgeous radiant graphics and battles with a robust and carefully crafted job system.
No longer are you clicking to use moves in a turn-based style. You are a master of your chosen style, using looted weapons and skills to upgrade and improve your jobs to unlock new and fused classes. Progression and cosmetic benefits galore.
Oh, and somehow the DLC also makes this a prequel to Dissidia: Final Fantasy, which is one of my all-time favorite games, so that made me very happy.
Combat is pretty fun
As an Action RPG, Stranger plays as something akin to Dark Souls but with a bit more of a fantasy edge. Playing as Jack Garland can sometimes make you feel far more brutal than a typical protagonist; regardless of whichever class you use, Jack’s personality meshes well with his application of different skills and magic.
Traditional final fantasy class loadouts are made personal with Jack’s blood crystal techniques, allowing for some quite flashy and over-the-top finishers. Dodge and weave your way into slicing open enemies and finishing them with overpowering might.
Party members can be switched in and out for a more casual experience or a truly difficult experience playing solo. The online co-op features also allow you to play with friends who will take the place of one of your party members.
Amazing costume design
In this game, you improve your characters through loot! Most of which have their own designs and ways to customize how your character looks. You can look like a cunning thief, a metal-clad knight, or a mythical Genji knight? There’s quite a lot of armor to check out.
Nothing is cooler than Garland’s final outfit, which you’ll have to see for yourself in the game. Actual armor levels have a button that you can press to equip immediately; how very convenient.
So, here are my thoughts on the game. I will tell you now that Tetsuya Nomura is writing the game, and anyone who’s ever played Kingdom Hearts knows that means the story can be a little confusing. But it does a good job of creating an amazing origin story for one of Final Fantasy’s most overlooked entries.