It’s safe to say that Final Fantasy has been one of the longest-running game franchises to date. Hence, it’s no surprise that fans were expecting a lot from Team Ninja’s newest action RPG entry to the series. Unfortunately, fans were a little disappointed when the first trailer for Final Fantasy Origin came out in E3 2021. But in spite of the somewhat unfavorable reactions, fans still anticipate the game’s release because of the promising gameplay it offers.
With the initial response being so mixed, it’s hard to say whether the game will be good just yet. Nonetheless, there are some things we can glean from the initial announcement. So, what can we expect from Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin when it releases? Here’s everything we know so far.
An Overview: Stranger Of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin was one of the most talked-about games in E3 2021. Part of the hype comes from it being the latest action RPG from Team Ninja under the Final Fantasy franchise. However, its spectacularly bad trailer was also a talking point. In fact, it was almost comedic how cringe-worthy the trailer was that it became a meme. Everything from the emo characters to the overly serious mood was responsible for this reaction.
However, Final Fantasy Origin still has quite a bit up its sleeve. If the trailer immediately put fans off from the game, the gameplay demo was enough to re-spark that lost interest. The demo showed a lot of promise, especially when it came to some of the more interesting mechanics that will have you licking your chops. Moreover, it looked more entertaining than the trailer made it out to be.
Regardless of what you thought of the trailer or demo, there’s one thing that remains unchanged. Final Fantasy Origin is meant to be a Final Fantasy 1 remake. It’s set in the world of the first game, along with the original premise, Chaos Shrine, and certain plotlines. There are even references and mentions of elements from the first game. For example, one character mentions the Warriors of Light. Even one of the bosses is named Garland.
With that said, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is certainly a game to look out for. If not for the entertaining gameplay, then perhaps just for the nostalgia — maybe even for the memes. To help you decide, here’s what you can expect from the final game based on what we know so far.
Final Fantasy Origin Storyline
If the trailer didn’t already make it clear, Final Fantasy Origin has one goal (so far): to kill Chaos. But aside from killing Chaos, what else is there to Final Fantasy Origins?
Like we previously mentioned, Final Fantasy Origin is meant to be a remake of the first Final Fantasy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely the same story presented in a modern art style. The creative producer, Tetsuya Nomura, stated that Final Fantasy Origins tells a new story inspired by the first game.
This is the reason why the setting and some of the key elements are the same. The producer also mentioned that the Warriors of Light were an important part of the story. Their identity and origins are just some of the things that Final Fantasy Origins will answer as you play.
Jumping into the game, you play as a new character named Jack, the Warriors of Light’s leader. Of course, like any party with a leader, you have underlings to aid you on your journey in Ash and Jed. While not much is known about these two, Jed seems to be the comic relief. Ash’s personality, on the other hand, remains a mystery.
The fact that Final Fantasy Origin is an FF1 remake doesn’t seem to make the storyline any clearer. In fact, the story remains vague and mysterious even after the gameplay demo. The story elements they gave us leave a lot to be desired.
Perhaps the reason for this is because the developer is the team behind the Nioh series. The Nioh games usually contain very little exposition early on and only provide one or two sentences to provide a little bit of context before leaving you to your devices. The game then slowly reveals the story after every milestone you achieve in-game.
For this reason, regular Final Fantasy fans might feel a little shocked or bewildered when playing Final Fantasy Origins. That’s because Final Fantasy games normally focus on the narrative very heavily even at the start. They usually tell the narrative at an even pace depending on the player’s progression.
In contrast, things may be different in Final Fantasy Origin because the developer is using a different formula. Instead of the previous method, this time, players need to best difficult enemies just to uncover the narrative. Based on the gameplay demo’s first boss, that isn’t going to be an easy feat. If the first boss was already that difficult, imagine what the rest of the game will play like.
As a result, Final Fantasy Origin runs the risk of losing players mid-game. Some might drop it for a while if they can’t defeat a certain boss. When they pick it up again, they’ll be forced to face the game mid-narrative, not remembering the story they’ve already passed through. However, this doesn’t mean that Final Fantasy Origin is immediately bad. It’s just different from the previous games and must be approached with a specific mindset.
Stranger Of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin: The Gameplay
One of the main draws of Final Fantasy Origin undoubtedly lies in its gameplay. So far, there’s not much to go off of in terms of the story and premise. Things are still shrouded in mystery and we’re not even sure why we should care about the characters yet.
On the other hand, the gameplay shown off in the demo seems a lot more interesting. In fact, it looks entertaining to dive into. The action sequences combine different elements from both Final Fantasy 7 and the Nioh series. The fusion of the former’s team-based fighting system and the latter’s reaction-based combat is showing to make for an interesting experience.
More specifically, the main hook is that Jack can swap between various weapon “jobs.” He can use the Lancer, the Black Mage, or the Swordsman depending on the situation. Like in other action RPGs, each weapon has a different range and has different unlockable combos. In addition, the player can switch between them on the go, opening the way for more creative attack sequences.
At first glance, Final Fantasy Origin may seem like a hack-n-slash game like Hyrule Warriors. However, the game does change and becomes more difficult past a certain point. The enemies become harder to deal with and require greater strength to take down.
On a different note, some areas also present enemies that emerge from environmental spaces. These are called “Dark Vents” that the player needs to destroy to prevent the enemies from spawning. Moreover, they act as obstacles in the environment to open the way to different areas or paths.
Garland: The First Boss
As the gameplay demo goes, the player eventually faces the first boss, Garland. This combat feels completely different from the previous hack-n-slash playstyle and follows a more Nioh-esque combat sequence. By that point, the player has to keep an eye on Jack’s health while facing Garland’s quick and deadly attacks.
Of course, many other elements play into this action sequence. For example, the player can block attacks using the “Soul Shield” ability. However, this block doesn’t seem to block the player from taking damage completely. Fortunately, the player can regenerate their health over time, at least. This makes timing critical during these battles. Finding moments of rest and managing special abilities to regain health are essential skills in Final Fantasy Origin.
When you finally do get to dwindle the enemy’s health bar enough, Jack can perform a critical hit maneuver. This will then vanquish the enemy and make them explode into red crystals.
One of the major gameplay mechanics in Final Fantasy Origin is the Soul Shield, the game’s parry system. Interestingly, parrying doesn’t completely block an enemy’s damage, but it does shield you from a part of it. However, the Soul Shield isn’t a simple parry mechanic like you’d find on other action RPGs. It’s not as simple as holding up a shield to block melee attacks.
That’s because the Soul Shield is special and drains Jack’s stagger bar as long as it’s active. However, what’s great about it is that it can take nearly any enemy attack. Hence, the Soul Shield is a clever mechanic that forces you to weigh the pros and cons. You might be left vulnerable if you use it too much. However, it’s worth risking if you want to take less damage.
In addition, the Soul Shield can interact with enemy attacks — another reason why you should consider using it. Certain enemy attacks will allow you to steal their attacks if you use the Soul Shield. As a result, you can turn your defense into offense in the right circumstances.
For instance, you might be fighting a few bomb enemies that explode when you’re in close range. However, absorbing the enemy’s fire using the Soul Shield throws it back at them. Hence, you can make them explode even from a distance by using the Soul Shield correctly.
You can see why the Soul Shield is a powerful tool if you use it wisely during combat. Moreover, you can even use it during boss battles, like the one with the demo’s boss, Garland. You can use the Soul Shield to block sword attacks while generating your mana and spew fireballs right back.
While much of the attention given to the game is because of the combat, that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to offer. Final Fantasy Origin seems to also incorporate a bit of light puzzle-solving. More specifically, the game presents environmental puzzles the player has to solve to advance. For example, some hallways might be blocked by infernos that Jack needs to put out to pass through.
Of course, we don’t expect these puzzles to be grand like what you’d find in the Legend of Zelda’s dungeons. However, they’re a good way to pace the game and give players a break from all the action.
Team Ninja might have given us a sneak peek of Final Fantasy Origin. However, there is no definite release date for the game just yet. The only estimate we have is based on Team Ninja’s word that it will be released in 2022. Whether that’s early, mid, or late 2022 is still unknown.
Nonetheless, there are at least 6 months left at the time of writing before the game’s release. That should be more than enough time for Team Ninja to address some of the concerns that sprouted during E3. On the other hand, they could also use that to their advantage. Either way, fans will have to wait quite a bit longer until Final Fantasy Origins officially launches.
Not every game releases across multiple platforms on different consoles. However, Final Fantasy Origin will be available on most major platforms, so you don’t have to worry too much. It will be available on PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series X/Series S.
The Final Word
Final Fantasy Origin certainly left an impression on the minds of those that watched its E3 reveal. However, it wasn’t exactly a wonderful introduction, considering how poorly the audience received the trailer. The cringe-worthy, overly dark theme and mood certainly played a large role in that.
However, despite the awkward introduction, Final Fantasy Origin still showed some promise after the gameplay demo was released. That’s because the game, unlike its trailer, seemed like a fun romp. Its fast-paced action sequences, interesting gameplay mechanics such as the Soul Shield, and the difficult boss captured many people’s attention.
It’s safe to say that we do have something to look forward to when Final Fantasy Origin launches. Moreover, there’s plenty of time for improvement since the game is still in the works.