The strangest Final Fantasy game in recent years was undoubtedly the first FF story adaptation, Stranger of Paradise, which not only caused havoc in memes, but also in terms of its PC port. Let’s see what this lovable beast can do!
Colleague Vega has described Stranger before. The game is an offshoot of Final Fantasy which wants to be a kind of RPG, Soulslike and classic FF game at the same time. According to the reputation of the developers, the combat is not bad, but it does not save the world. The story and map design is poor, and the program can’t grow to the level you can see from the concept anyway. But if we had to mark something as a real great innovation, then, like many others, I’d highlight the action system, which promotes replayability and the superior quality of Team Ninja’s system-wide thinking.
Let’s see what the developers have prepared for the PC version. The game has a surprisingly detailed menu system, where the depth of settings assumes a serious port. On the other hand, the program’s graphics are completely flat even at the highest level (aside from the better character models) and perfectly bring the zinc we’ve said about quality PS2 games in the PS3 era. In view of this, the slowdown is strange and the end result, which produces various errors and bugs as a user, which in any case (based on assumptions) is brought to our table by the further development of the Nioh engine. Unfortunately, the UX for me also followed the Xbox button mapping when I switched from the Deck and continued the game at the table with a mouse and keyboard combo – but at least the port was able to seamlessly handle such modern things as Steam cloud management, which is counterintuitive this the days. Or there’s DLSS, which helped nail 1080p/60FPS on desktop, and FSR managed thumbnail processing for the mobile version. Not much really.
Stranger doesn’t support Steam Deck anyway, and unfortunately it shows – it’s very difficult to get a stable 30fps out of the game, and around the time of its release, the game suffered from shader issues. If you go with such a 480p/FSR combo, you can probably make the game portable, but the experience won’t be without compromises either. The program requires a lot of VRAM, and the GPU is a bottleneck for Deck as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help the situation that Lowrez’s approach does a particular disservice to the old presentation. When the game was released, I saw binoculars-like interfaces with some videos, though a search in the folders reveals that the program stores the videos in WMV format. (Maybe a collision with those is specific to the Proton system…)
What’s interesting is that the Steam feedback is totally positive, so the game easily found its appreciative audience on PC, and we guess so even if the anarchy memes helped it on its way. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a very strange monster balancing through generations trying to set new directions for the Final Fantasy series. But is it okay or not, and will we be satisfied with the quality of the PC port in the end or not? Knowing the enthusiasm of the PC camp, I don’t dare to formulate a score anymore, I’d rather keep looking for another game myself.
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