final fantasy stranger of paradise steam stranger of paradise takes the usual final fantasy formula of battling monsters gathering gear exploring a vast world and uncovering a lengthy story and strips away almost everything that isn’t related to combat this is final fantasy as a loot game where your strength is dictated by the quality and rarity of your weapons and armor every time you enter a mission you get a rundown of the rewards.
Final Fantasy Stranger of Paradise Steam
you’ll receive by completing it along with their numerical strength levels just about every enemy you face is a pinata filled with new boots and swords and hats this is a game where you grind for gear rather than experience points as in a traditional RPG stranger of paradise mixes a brand of the fast-paced action RPG.
the battle system of the series other recent does not quite remake final fantasy vii remake with hard-hitting enemies and a focus on parrying enemy attacks it’s a cliche to compare everything to dark souls but the inspiration of the souls-like approach is clearly at play in the stranger of paradise and that elevates the combat you have to take every enemy seriously lest a small group of simple bats beats the living hell out of you as happened to me again and again and again.
throughout the game, you need to learn how to read attacks so you can guard parry or dodge them as the situation dictates and everything from a looming behemoth to a lowly goblin is a major threat while it’s worth noting that there’s a more chill story mode that makes combat significantly easier the strength of enemies on the normal and hard difficulties helps make fighting fun.
that’s because you have a lot of tools at your disposal and you’ll have to use all of them and that goes double for its often massive intense boss fights stranger of paradise’s main mechanic is the soul shield an ability that you can use to absorb most incoming attacks.
but with a short-timer attached that leaves you vulnerable if it runs out when an enemy attack activating your soul shield parries them away while giving you magic points you’ll use mp for everything from casting magic spells to executing powerful melee combos means you need to be aggressive getting into the thick of fights baiting out attacks and parrying them to power your own abilities successful.
parries help lower your enemy’s brake meter which runs parallel to the meter dictating their health empty the brake meter on your foes and they’ll be stunned opening them up to a brutal finisher in which jack magically crystallizes the foe from the inside out and then shatters them in big explosion finishers eliminate enemies with flourish damage any other foes close by when you use it and increase your total mp gauge.
during the current mission, soul shield can also sometimes absorb enemy attacks storing them for a bit to use yourself when a wind elemental casts an arrow spell at you your soul shield can catch it protecting you from damage and allowing you to throw it back at your foes that alone would be a really cool incentive to learn attacks and practice.
the timing to parry them but with the brake gauge and the finishers you have an excess of reasons to get good at the game’s parry system and it’s always rewarding to do so the drawback of the soul shield is that if you mistime a parry and an attack hits your jack will be staggered and very vulnerable for a couple of seconds to counter that limitation.
you have a normal guard that cuts down on damage received so fights often start with you guarding to learn an enemy’s capabilities then breaking out the soul shield once you get more comfortable so you can let loose with your best moves there are a whole lot of those moves to keep track of though at times stranger paradise benefits from all that variety.
at others, it can be way too dense the game functions on a variety of final fantasy job systems in which you choose a certain job for the jack that comes with a specific approach to combat allows him to equip specific types of armor and weapons.
and unlocks specific moves the fun part about all this is that there are a bunch of jobs giving you a variety of combat options to explore each with their own central gimmicks and weapons leveling up.
one job almost always lets you unlock a new one including advanced and expert level jobs that are more specialized you can also equip two jobs at a time each with its own set of armor and weapons and quick swap between them so if the situation dictates that you need overwhelming force you can use jack’s swordsman job to slice through the opposition.
if you’re fighting elemental enemies a quick swap to the mage job lets you blast enemies with water or fire spells and take advantage of their weaknesses you can also use some gear’s job affinity stat to gain bonuses from a job even if it’s not currently equipped apart from managing jack’s job and gear you can also select from a few jobs for your party members but the customization is much more limited
you also can’t control any of your allies directly in a fight apart from using a special ability that makes them a little fiercer every so often.
all the customization lets you tune jack to fight in a lot of different ways if it sounds like a deluge of junk to keep track of though it is and that’s where stranger of paradise can falter there are so many combos affinities jobs stances and command abilities that you can easily lose track of them.
and once you find a comfortable job and a few effective combos you probably won’t want to mess with a good thing it can also be punishing to switch jobs as you move through missions because unleveled jobs make you weaker than leveled ones so if you’re facing a tough mission for which you’re under-leveled the game pushes against experimentation there’s also so much gear that you’ll find yourself constantly.