Thirty five years ago a game released for the NES (1987) that was to set a benchmark and spawn a franchise to last decades. That game was Final Fantasy.
From the very start Square Enix has been at the helm of the RPG fantasy game and now for this gen of consoles Final Fantasy Origin – Stranger of Paradise takes us back to the roots. Sort of.
You are Jack Garland flanked by two other NPCs, Ash and Jed in the Kingdom of Cornelia.
Tasked with entering the Shrine of Chaos to destroy Chaos, a dark entity that threatens the realm.
After an epic playable battle it appears that Chaos is destroyed, however the trio become a foursome as from the ashes of Chaos comes a young girl called Neon. Like Jack, Jed and Ash she also possesses a black crystal, determining that she is a Warrior of Light, as they are.
But does Chaos really exist and who is the true enemy…?
With Jack being a man of few words the games narrative relies on other NPCs and some really, really cringe-worthy cheesy humor.
Final Fantasy Origin – Stranger of Paradise is played out in third person sees with combat in real time. Ash and Jed will join in to the battle assisting you, but it is also your objective to make sure they are as well prtotected and equipped as possible.
Being an RPG you’ll find loot, loads of loot infact. Most of which being better outfits and weapons, not just for you but also your allies.
There is of course a skill tree too. Ash, Jed and Jack can all upgrade their skills and abilities accordingly.
Enemies are a mixed bag when it comes down to difficulty level and even well in to play, some are easier than others.
Each foe has a break gauge once this is depleted you can perform a finishing move. The more of these that you do the sooner you’ll earn Skill Points and likely get better gear.
I liken the combat to a certain degree play to that of Capcom’s latter Devil May Cry – which for me is a good thing.
Reminiscent of the very first Final Fantasy (hence the ‘Origin’ in the games title) Square Enix has gone back to the very first game and added a very modern, present day feel.
An excellent Final Fantasy game for new comers, but equally a worthy edition for the fans.
Final Fantasy Origin – Stranger of Paradise has enough turns and twists within its story, endless melee combat and revisits the story that started its lore.
Released: March 2022
Platforms reviewed: PlayStation 5
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Square Enix