Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin and Final Fantasy 16 are the next big games for the franchise, and they have some similarities.
By Zackery Carnley
Published Jun 24, 2021
Fans have quite a few new?Final Fantasy?titles arriving in the coming years.?Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin and?Final Fantasy 16 are likely to be the next two major releases for the franchise ahead of the sequel to?Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Both titles are moving?Final Fantasy?into a grittier and more somber atmosphere than entries past, but each seems to be doing so with a different approach. Each game has a lot of important similarities and big differences to explore.
Final Fantasy?has a lengthy and storied history for many fans, so it’s natural they would be excited about new entries in the series. Each game usually comes with a new world tied together by common themes across the series, but the next entries seem to be making some major changes to that formula.?Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is taking its unique connection to the first game?into a new subgenre, and?Final Fantasy 16?is bringing the mainline series into what seems like much darker territory.
Continue scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
RELATED: How Old is Yuffie in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade
In examining the two titles, it’s worth mentioning fans have received more info about?Stranger of Paradise than?Final Fantasy 16. This has come in the form of a full demo for?Final Fantasy Origin being released on PS5.?FF16,?on the other hand, hasn’t received any substantial updates since its initial reveal trailer last year, though?an updated official website sheds some light on the game’s new world. At first glance, the glaring similarity between the two games is their more mature tones and atmospheres.
Final Fantasy 16’s first trailer showed off the dark direction that Square Enix seems to bringing to its iconic property. This trend has been growing over time, but it’s a pretty large shift for?FF16. The?Final Fantasy?series is no stranger to heavy storylines involving themes of death, loss, and suffering, but the games overall are presented in a fairly bright way for the most part. Colorful characters and vibrant palettes are present throughout the series’ history.?FF16’s?brooding, violent, and dark reveal trailer showed a new approach.
Stranger of Paradise is doing much the same, but is less impactful of a change?by virtue of it being a spin-off game. While?the new game is set to feature?Final Fantasy?classic villain Garland, it?features a protagonist that has been transported into the world of?Final Fantasy and now sets out on a quest to destroy “Chaos.”?Stranger of Paradise has already established a grimdark tone, but it is presented in a way that seems a little cheesy. The single-minded anger of the protagonist is center stage and propels the demo into?Devil May Cry territory in terms of seriousness. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, though.
FF16’s atmosphere seems to strike a more serious tone, but both games are bringing an adult-oriented experience compared to some previous?Final Fantasy?games. This could be a deliberate attempt to cater to the series’ aging veteran fanbase, and to try and target some Western audiences that may have avoided JRPGs in the past. Now that Square Enix seems focused on bringing games to the PS5, this may be an attempt to “soft reboot” the franchise for the new console generation. Since?FF16?missed E3 2021, more details are known about?Stranger of Paradise in terms of what will likely be its biggest difference: gameplay.
RELATED: Final Fantasy 14’s Male Viera and Female Hrothgar Explained
What will likely emerge as the primary contrast between?FF16?and?Stranger of Paradise is their respective gameplay styles. Fans haven’t received much information about how?FF16’s?gameplay will work.?Stranger of Paradise, on the other hand, has a full demo to explore its characters, gameplay, and story. The game is being developed by Team Ninja and includes members of the teams from?Nioh?and the?Dissidia games. Its emphasis on action and Souls-like formula makes it very distinct from previous?Final Fantasy?games.
Stranger of Paradise mixes up the magic, skills, and combat mechanics present in both classic and modern?Final Fantasy?games in a way that feels fresh and unique to both?Final Fantasy?and other Soulsborne games. Players are introduced to a new system for both offense and defense that prioritizes speed and quickly shifting styles. This is further facilitated by a hotswap mechanic that allows players to switch between the three different Jobs (classes) along with full sets of gear on the fly. This means players can quickly change between attack patterns, as well as physical and magical abilities.
The new approach to gameplay for?Stranger of Paradise will likely bare some resemblance to what’s coming for?Final Fantasy 16. That being said, it’s likely going to be very different “under the hood.”?FF16?is likely to include elements from the series history?in a more prominent way. The reveal trailer showed off gameplay that is as fast-paced as?Stranger of Paradise, albeit with more aerial elements. New protagonist Clive is seen teleporting around the battlefield much like Noctis from?FF15. His quick movements are interspersed with magically-infused attacks and some spellcasting that again looks similar to?FF15.
It’s natural that?FF16 will play more like recent mainline entries. Bringing in the teleportation mechanic from?FF15?will help keep the action swift, and the interesting prospect will be if the game takes any queues from the?FF7 Remake. Bringing in a way to pause the action for more tactical decisions and the like could help ground?FF16?with veteran fans that enjoy the more strategical side of?Final Fantasy. Also notable is FF16?will likely feature summons in a big way,?while it’s unknown about their presence in?Stranger of Paradise.
Both games are bringing a darker edge to the?Final Fantasy?franchise.?Stranger of Paradise and?FF16 seem to be catering toward a more adult audience, and will likely have a lot in common. Each game also seems very distinct, so it should be interesting to see just how different the two titles are when they release.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is set for release in 2022 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox One Series X/S.
MORE: Horizon Forbidden West and Final Fantasy 16 Have Unique Similarity
How Non-Binary Pokemon Could Change the Series Forever
Xbox Series X
Final Fantasy 16
Final Fantasy Origin