Christmas came early for Square Enix fans this month. The Japanese video game publisher just dropped info on a bunch of upcoming titles like Valkyrie Elysium. Not only that, but Square Enix just confirmed that Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, an alternative and darker take based on the original Final Fantasy game from 1987, is getting a third demo ahead of its release on March 18.
Square Enix confirmed the Stranger of Paradise demo at Sony's State of Play broadcast on March 9, following an earlier leak.
As mentioned, Square Enix has released two other demos for Stranger of Paradise, and both times, the studio used them as an opportunity to gather feedback from the community and improve the game. Judging by how close the demo drops to the game's actual release date, it appears that Square Enix is itching to do some final tweaking to make sure that the Final Fantasy spin-off is running like a well-oiled machine at launch.
Unlike your typical Final Fantasy game, Stranger of Paradise is a radically different approach that Square Enix describes as a "bold new vision for Final Fantasy." The gameplay is still reminiscent of the standard Final Fantasy formula but with a stylish twist, owing to Koei Tecmo Games' Team Ninja, who is in charge of the game's development.
After releasing three demos, fans have had a lot of opportunities to check out Stranger of Paradise. So far, the reception to the changes has been mostly positive. Players appear to find the story intriguing and the gameplay to be quite interesting albeit too derivative from Team Ninja's Nioh games as well as other similar titles from other studios. The main criticism is mostly pointed towards the game's "gritty" if lackluster aesthetics as well as performance issues.
With a little over a week to go before Stranger of Paradise hits store shelves, we're hoping that Square Enix can find a way to fix these problems.
In other news, Sony's most recent State of Play was a huge surprise. Most would not have predicted what the participating companies announced at the event, including Capcom's upcoming co-op shooter, Exoprimal.