Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
This game is fucking weird and stupid in the best way. I'm so on board.


My rough plot predictions (spoilers for a 35-year-old game):

Original (?) Timeline
  • 2,000 years in the future, Chaos is on the verge of destroying the world.
  • Jack, Jed, Ash, Neon, and Sophia use five crystals to travel back in time to the Kingdom of Cornelia.
  • Together they stop the birth of Chaos and become heroes.
  • Jack falls in love with Sarah, but something tragic happened that results in her death.
  • Grief-stricken, Jack uses the crystals to travel 2,000 years further into the past to change history.
Stranger of Paradise
  • The five Warriors of Light fight to save the world.
  • In the end, Sarah still dies. They travel back in time to defeat Chaos.
  • Jack regains his memories and realizes he can't save Sarah and himself. He becomes Chaos and kills his companions.
Eternal Cycle
  • Jack becomes the villain "Garland" and kidnaps Sarah, with his four companions rescuing her.
  • Garland returns to the past, becomes Chaos, and kills his companions when they arrive to face him, creating a loop where Sara never dies.
  • Many time loops ensue with only minor variations occurring.
Final Fantasy
  • The four Warriors of Light travel back 2,000 years in the past and actually overcome fate to defeat Chaos.
  • They return to a present day Cornelia where nobody remembers them. Sarah is safe.
True Ending / DLC / Sequel (?)
  • They reunite with Jack who is now his true heroic self, the true Warrior of Light. Crystal of Darkness purified?
  • They return to their original time to defeat Chaos?
  • The cycle is bigger than they realized. Who was the original Chaos?

Something like that, anyway.
 
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Sprites

Waiting for something
AKA
Gems
I have got to get myself a PS5 I really do just to play this, Honestly pretty invested at this point in it and at the same time it feels like a FF fever dream and I can't quite believe what I'm watching, not in bad way or anything just in a wait, what? Kind of way.

Was also trying to figure out why Sarah's voice was so familiar then checked and saw shes voiced by Cherami Leigh, pretty good choice there.
 

ph14basicbitch

shinra merch buyer
AKA
koda
'not an isekai' crying tears of joy rn

the square enix e-store won't let me buy the collector's edition with the script book and i don't know where else is selling it so i guess i will have to find an auction of that book (which is the only thing i really wanted out of the set)
Not sure where you live, but I was able to "order" it by having someone who lives in Japan order it for me from the jp store. It doesn't seem to be offered in English, only jp.

I have got to get myself a PS5 I really do just to play this, Honestly pretty invested at this point in it and at the same time it feels like a FF fever dream and I can't quite believe what I'm watching, not in bad way or anything just in a wait, what? Kind of way.
The game is available on PS4/PC/etc too.
 
That scene was better before, IMO. Jack consciously looking at his phone to put the music on was funnier. Reviews should dock points accordingly. :monster:

Didn’t play the other demos cause I only have a PS4, still kind of curious about the gameplay (and …whatever this game is trying to do tonally/plot-wise), but I can’t tear myself away from Elden Ring to try this atm.
 
AKA
Rishi
The RE8 times demos were kind of cool for me because I was already super hyped and knew I was going to buy it anyway... but yeah. Having a time window for a demo is really weird overall. There are plenty of people who don't know if they want something on launch.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
this one is at least available for over a month (until 16 or 18th of april i think?), by which time the game will have been out for most of that time. i can understand for the first time in a sense because there was a focus on soliciting feedback even within the demo, but i don't get it for this one when the game should (hopefully) be completed. plus it's not like it's only available for download for a limited time. i played the judgement disc and platinum demos for ffxv in preparation for the playing the full game, both of which are delisted now but still playable. you can't even play the demos for this game once the demo period is over.

on the subject of feedback, i played a bit and they listened to my feedback. mine specifically, i'm just that special. they added the ability to switch between magic on that wheel using buttons, you can dismantle items you don't need so you're not just throwing them away, the character menus use 'Ja' and 'Je' for jack and jed instead of both being 'j' but with a different shape. i'm sure i had more but i forgot what i wrote, although i'm sure they absolutely listened (except i don't see a bestiary but you can't win them all).

i am still hazy on the story, i'm hoping they've skipped some cutscenes for the demo and there's more in the full game because it still feels very disjointed and jarringly abrupt in places so far. like, there feels like there should be a whole opening section with these notorious monsters but they just have short cutscenes and some text on a black screen, is that it? and i still don't get the premise like why are they dressed like that at first and why does jack have what i assume is a smartphone.

some of the cutscenes that weren't in the previous demo look a bit rough, the way the lip sync looks seems a bit choppy (i'm playing on graphics mode so far so maybe that's different with fps mode)

story mode feels easier than the previous demo or i am just playing better than before. still couldn't do the first boss on normal and had to lower the difficulty again lol

i probably won't be getting it on release because i've already spent enough, but i am lowkey interested to play it at some point
 

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
Started the demo last night. I'm sure it's no Elden Ring (which I'm holding off on for now), but it's definitely really fun.

The story is super disjointed, you can tell the cutscenes and NPC dialogue were created in a vacuum and just kind of tacked on. If not for the fact that the full game launches in a few days and you can transfer your demo save, I'd think there might still be some unfinished scenes that were left out and replaced with text placeholders. That said, given that it's a retelling of a pretty threadbare NES game, it's not like it needs a ton of exposition.

So far, there's an obvious timeloop at play and everyone seems to have casual amnesia, as if it's just normal in this world for everyone to forget important things. There's no explanation yet for why the Warriors of Light have out-of-time clothes and tech, but the main key art shows them standing against a modern city skyline, so I still assume it's time travel. There are also reports you find that give you extra lore, one written by a "fool" and one written by a Lufenian. One report overtly describes the Pravoka Seagrot being created by some mysterious architects based on a location in "dimension 14," so the references to other FF games are baked into the narrative.

The opening cinematic of Garland kidnapping Princess Sara and fighting Cornelia soldiers is very cool, and the only CGI I've seen so far. Likely inspired by Rogue One's Vader corridor scene. The game's visuals on PS4 are definitely handicapped. FPS mode seems to hold a consistent 60 and actually looks mostly okay during regular gameplay, but cutscenes look like they drop down to about 60% render resolution and generally look like a PC graphics mod for potato rigs. Resolution mode looks much better and seems to maintain what I assume is a very solid 30 FPS during gameplay, but cutscenes have some noticeable hitching. I assume PS5 runs like butter, because this game isn't exactly pushing the visual envelope.

As for the part that matters most: it's a damned fun game. Took me a while to get the hang of the controls since I haven't played a Soulslike since Sekiro. I started on Action (aka Normal) difficulty, then upgraded to Hard after clearing Chaos Shrine. It also has Story (aka Easy) and Casual (aka Very Easy) modes.

All the main jobs feel sufficiently unique; I haven't tried the Advanced ones yet. Every job has its own playstyle, combos, and abilities. Each has a skill tree, and similar to job unlocks in FFT, filling out skill trees for different combinations of jobs unlocks new, more powerful ones. The core loop of using combos and abilities to stagger enemies, then Soul Breaking them to restore MP, is extremely satisfying, similar to executions in Doom or zandatsu in Metal Gear Rising.

You've also got lots of defensive options, and your party members are very useful -- maybe even too useful, as you can periodically instruct them to go all out, and they'll pretty well thrash whatever you're fighting. Difficulty isn't too bad, though I play lots of character action games so I'm used to dodges and parries. The penalty for dying seems to be pretty mild, compared to Souls games; rather than losing important currency, it decreases your max MP, which is increased by doing Soul Breaks. Recovering your soul restores it, but you can also get back some bars by just fighting more monsters.

The demo itself seems to be pretty robust: I'm not sure where it cuts off, but it at least has the first three dungeons and associated side missions, and otherwise seems to be the full game. After clearing the first two dungeons you unlock all the base jobs, and it looks like you have free rein to grind all the jobs to level 30, which seems to be enough to unlock all the various advanced jobs.

Gear drops are plentiful and Diabloesque, but a bit bland; randomized effects and rarities, often with barely perceptible increases to minor stats. Hopefully it becomes more interesting as you progress deeper into the game, with perhaps unique drops to find or craft. Dismantling all the junk you pick up is also kind of annoying, even with the quick multi-select option.

Probably not grabbing this at launch since I've got other unfinished games on my plate, but definitely having enough fun to want to finish it up at some point. Part of me feels like they should have delayed this just so Elden Ring doesn't overshadow it. Maybe take six months to clean up the story sections and add in more connective tissue.
 
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Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
This demo got me to pre-order the digital version.

Wasn't gonna do it. Was gonna wait for the physical release, was sorta near the middle bottom of my queue of games to play but the demo sold me.

The story was intriguing and it's narm-charm amused me. But the gameplay and challenge won me over. This is good. S-E delivered something real and wild that is a welcome toy to pass the time until FFVII-R Part 2 and FFXVI. Like, there's a really good fucking game here. The controls are solid, the battles are intense, and there's a really good action system here that really captures and engages you.

And the setting.

Like, I've said before, I sorta/kinda feel burned out by the traditional 'high-fantasy' setting most RPGs have been doing for awhile now. This though? This... weird eclectic mix of traditional fantasy with random-as-fuck modern isekai tropes juxtaposed with surreal futuristic tech just jumbled into the mix is just... My jam. I love it. I have no idea what's going on or what to expect, and I love it. It's so weird and while I know the jist of what to expect, it's the journey that intrigues me.

This is a fun game. And after the huge disappointment Chocobo Racing turned out to be, this is a great substitute.

And oh dear, this is really gonna put me behind on FFVII TFS, but oh well. I'll play catch up later. :monster:
 
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