The Unappealing Face of SOPFFO

How does this crazy game even exist?

Alex Rowe
7 min readMar 31, 2022
Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin should be exactly my sort of thing. It’s a Koei Tecmo-produced action game that’s also a remake of/prequel to the very first 8-bit Final Fantasy game. Developed by iconic action game studio Team Ninja with help from other internal Koei teams, SOPFFO blends Souls-like action RPG combat and level design with a huge pile of loot and a melodramatic story told via lavish cutscenes. It picks up the action game torch first lit by main franchise entries Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and runs with it in all manner of directions.

I love Koei’s other action games. Their Dynasty Warriors franchise is one of my all-time favorites, and if you haven’t enjoyed a Team Ninja game in your life, you’re missing out. I love Final Fantasy, having played every mainline entry all the way back to the first. And I love loot games. I’ve played over a thousand hours of Diablo III, and I once wrote an entire article just to complain about the underwhelming loot system in Dynasty Warriors 9.

I should be the target audience for SOPFFO. And yet, in the course of a few days, I went from eager anticipation to extreme hesitation. I waited over two weeks to buy the game and even now making my way through it I’m not one hundred percent sure I made…

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Alex Rowe

I write about gaming, tech, music, and their industries. I have a background in video production, and I used to review games for a computer magazine.