With the upcoming launch of Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin (though it is now available to play for digital purchasers of the PlayStation and Xbox versions), the consensus is that its gameplay is the real meat and potatoes of the experience. And, I have to agree. For as much as I found myself compelled and engaged by the gripping narrative and cast, the combat is truly where the heart of this game lies. Thankfully, for those who find themselves addicted to the continually gratifying gameplay loop, the sheer degree of content present here will keep you occupied for a good, long while.
After beating the main story, players will unlock the Chaos difficulty, a fair amount of notches above Hard mode. Chaos essentially reconfigures the game’s challenge, dramatically enhancing the necessary equipment level for each story and side mission. Moreover, new items called Job Crests become available, which essentially serve to improve the Job affinity percentages of gear. As a result, customization becomes a far more prominent factor in the post-game segments. Throughout the duration of the main story, one can progress without much thought into equipment optimization or setup. Simply choosing the most numerically high values is enough to get by, even on Hard mode. Chaos isn’t quite the same, though.
The first few missions on Chaos may seem relatively similar in approach to how the rest of the game was handled prior. However, it gradually grows evident that strategies you used to rely on will need updated inputs or replacements to account for greater enemy quantity and stat increases. In truth, the most heavily affected facet of the experience on Chaos difficulty is the normal mobs throughout the missions.
The bosses are also amped up, though the general philosophy for dispatching them isn’t inherently altered. If you’re a player who tended to rely on a few specific Jobs beforehand, this is the point where Job experimentation is heartily recommended. Aside from the sheer fun granted by the impressive Job and playstyle variety, their varying toolkits are worth checking out. Fortunately, the transparent weapon tutorials on the World Map and the handy dandy Job tips in the main menu provide more than enough for players to grasp the fundamentals for potential gameplay style shifts.
I was initially hooked on utilizing Ronin and Black Mage, and for as deadly as that combination is, it is also somewhat akin to being a glass-cannon, requiring more significant degrees of timed perfection than some of the other Jobs. So branching out to other Jobs and seeing what they bring to the table may seem like an obvious, not worth mentioning tip.
Still, the Chaos difficulty is a steep jump compared to the challenge level provided prior, so it’s worth jumping out of your addictive bubble for a time to see what the other bubbles are like. Regardless, for those who find themselves in love with Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin’s combat, the post-game will be more than enough to satisfy any lasting cravings.
If you missed it, check out our review.
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