Strangers in heaven teach Final Fantasy fans to enjoy souls

Strangers in Paradise Final Fantasy OriginsThe new action game from the Koei Tecmo Ninjas and Square Enix immediately feels different from its Final Fantasy predecessors. Just one hour after the game started, I found myself walking through a magical forest, because its protagonist Jack killed a beautiful griffin, grabbed its head, and threw it with a timely terminator Falling to the ground. As the giant beast died, the blood-colored crystal burst out from its body, and then the creature evaporated into the air. There has never been such a cruel Final Fantasy game.

According to producer Hitoshi Fujiwara, this highly difficult soul-like derivative work will become the “daring new vision” of the Final Fantasy series and will adopt the tone of the series in a significantly darker direction. The result is a powerful game challenge and the first time in a Final Fantasy series. Polygon played the PlayStation 5 preview, so we can explore Stranger in heavenThe first two maps-one is the dark and twisted castle, the other is the enchanted forest. Then we talked to the developers of the three ninja team to learn more about their method of making Final Fantasy’s hardest game to date.

Stranger in heaven Brings a new challenge for Final Fantasy fans: mastering battles similar to the Dark Souls. This is not the first action game in the main Final Fantasy series or derivative series, but it is the first game that is deliberately so difficult. During the preview, after a short tutorial explaining how to time my block, parry and use the game’s soul shield, I quickly got into action. I quickly discovered that, thanks to my Soul Shield, I don’t need perfect timing at least. The shield provides a tiny buffer to help me easily perform more precise attacks, such as fast block and parry.

Initially, the developers were not sure how this action-driven game would be accepted by long-running Final Fantasy fans and others who might not be good at action games. “We did have a lot of conversations about this,” game director Daisuke Inoue said. “One of the answers we came up with was to set different difficulty levels to suit different players.” There are three difficulty settings, one of which is a very relaxing “story mode.”

Image: Square Enix

From there, developers brainstormed to incorporate more Final Fantasy elements and themes in other ways Stranger in heavenIn the end, the team adopted a working system in which players can play roles such as white mage, monk, or dragoon, just like they do in other franchise games Final Fantasy 14So, although combat is new to them, players are still familiar with the power each character will bring.

Still, the team did not always agree on how to make the new entry feel like a Final Fantasy game. “Although some stages have been created, such as the Chaos Temple, it is clear that there are disputes between developers,” Yasuda said. “Because they grew up playing Final Fantasy, just like the original Final Fantasy, they have their own views on what this temple should look like.”

Yasuda understands that Final Fantasy is special to fans, on a very personal level, for very different reasons.So there are many production methods Stranger in heaven It feels like part of the final fantasy world to them. At a stupid moment in the preview, a vibrating plant hit me in the middle of the forest and ran across the screen.I quickly realized that this is Cactus, The fan’s favorite Final Fantasy enemy. I tried to chase it, but it beat me and left.

“Even in past games, such as the FF games I have participated in, people will tell me,’Oh, you just added some fun things to Cactuar,'” Yasuda said. “So, because the game is a very dark game, our Cactuar is an exception.”

When I preview, if there is a moment Stranger in heaven It really feels like a Final Fantasy game, that’s it. Not a well-made character, and certainly not a difficult battle.fact Stranger in heavenThe producer who is considered to include such a brain teaser makes me feel most regarded as a fan of Final Fantasy.