The trailer for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin revealed by Square Enix at E3 on Sunday is spectacular. Unfortunately, it is not spectacular for the reasons that the developers probably intended. It, by the name and appearance of the game, appears to be a modern retelling of the original Final Fantasy story. Right now we don’t know for certain, but there’s definitely some elements to it based on how developers describe the game.
With the memory of their struggle buried deep in their hearts… Jack and his allies, Ash and Jed, burn with resolve to defeat Chaos as they throw open the gates to the Chaos Shrine. Yet doubts remain — are they truly the Warriors of Light the prophecy foretold? Step into a world of dark fantasy and revel in the exhilarating, action-packed battles.
It all sounds a lot like the original Final Fantasy, but the way the game looks is definitely not that beloved title. For starters, the game itself is an action-oriented hack and slasher with a very Dark Souls feel to it. That in itself isn’t the problem. Making an action spin-off of Final Fantasy is fine, especially with how much more action-focused the gameplay was in Final Fantasy XV. But the issue in the trailer is some wonky dialogue dialogue, with a one-note main character and heavy usage of the word “chaos.”
None of this is to say that Final Fantasy Origin will be bad. The plot can be ridiculous and the writing can be poor, but as long as the game is fun to play then that is enough. But it looks especially jarring when the trailer is revealed on the same day that Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster was announced.
Coming to mobile and steam, players will be able to go through remasters of all their favorite Final Fantasy titles from the NES and SNES. Unlike previous remakes, however, this is just going to be a remaster of those original pixels. Players that never got to experience the original sprites of games like Final Fantasy 3, which never got a Western release in pixel format, will finally be able to experience these games as they were originally designed. That is an experience that many video game fans have been begging to have for years. The only downside is all these games will likely be sold separately instead of in a package deal. Not a dealbreaker by any means, but a little unfortunate.
These two announcements is really Final Fantasy at its best and worst. The original Final Fantasy games are classics, and while some haven’t aged as well as others, they’re still worth experiencing. Stranger of Paradise, on the other hand, is a new take on the franchise that seems more focused on flash and less on the story. This is unfortunate because so many gamers got into this franchise for the story in the first place. Hopefully, the original trailer was just a misrepresentation of what it’s going to actually be. If not, well at least we have Pixel Remaster to enjoy instead.