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Final Fantasy: Origins Review - When FF Met Nioh

Before the review begins, I want to reassure everyone that the difficulty of “Final Fantasy: Origins” has been lowered this time.

You see, not only can you choose four difficulties at the beginning of the game;

In the game, you can also bring two teammates with unlimited lives. Although they may be a bit lackluster, they can greatly increase their teammates’ desire to attack through “resonance”. “Resonance” is CD-based, and as long as you have patience, bosses can also be worn down with time.

In “Nioh”, the terrain killing that was often mocked by players basically no longer exists, although characters still “dissolve” in various shallow waters and resurrect in place instead of returning to the previous save point thousands of miles away.

After nervously pressing the defense button and entering an open room, I always press lock first. After playing a few levels with this very OLD ASS mindset, I also found that there are few monsters hiding in blind spots and corners in “FF Origin”.

Death no longer has the mocking language of “you die” or any punishment. There are no resources in the game that have functions similar to “soul” or “essence”, so you don’t have to consider how to upgrade. Coupled with the PS5’s super-fast disk reading speed, there is no psychological burden for every death, and you can die immediately (as for how to improve characters, the following text will elaborate in detail).

Not only is there no death penalty, but after being beaten to death by the boss, there will also be a “strategy” outside the boss’s room, which clearly explains the boss’s mechanism and response methods. During the battle, your NPC teammates will also remind you how to deal with moves.

It can be said that after deleting several settings that easily give people a sense of déjà vu, “Final Fantasy: Origins” has completely rid itself of the label of “soul-like” – finally looking like a game that “hopes you will pass it”.

Final Fantasy: Nioh

Because this is indeed a very standard “Final Fantasy”.

Um… the kind made by team ninjas

On the one hand, the ninja team is still doing what they do best – polishing a great action game.

In “FF Origin”, you can use different weapon modules such as one-handed sword, short sword, giant sword, axe, gun, hammer, gloves, and tachi. You can also rest assured about the feel of the weapon. The operation and feel of the weapon are somewhat similar to “Ninja Dragon”. Even long weapons such as giant swords, axes, and guns can be easily wielded by the character, and various card effects can also balance the expression of power.

We can also customize the moves of each weapon and each segment like Nioh, and add different effects of ending attacks in different light and heavy attack segments. We can also combine the front, back, left, and right of the joystick with regular combos to derive different attacks.

In “FF Origins”, a special system called “Mind Shield” has been added. Its basic function is similar to the posture slot in “Sekiro”. It consumes energy when attacked, and consumes more if not blocked. When reset to zero, the character will be in a state of long-term inability to operate and will be killed with one blow. If we use the Mind Shield to block the enemy’s purple attack, we can return the attack intact.

The Mind Shield is not just a defensive shackle imposed on the player character. Enemies also have Mind Shields. We can continuously attack and empty the enemy’s Mind Shield, and then kill small and elite monsters with one blow. Often accompanied by a very violent and bloody performance, even the BOSS only needs to break the Mind Shield twice to be completely killed. Attacking and defending around the Mind Shield has built the core fun of “FF Origin” as an action game of dealing with moves.

On the other hand, “FF Origin” still retains its own “spiritual core” of Final Fantasy.

For example, according to different weapons, attacks can be divided into types such as slashing, hitting, and rushing. Attributes include wind, earth, water, fire, ice, thunder, light, and darkness. Using weapons/attribute attacks to counter enemies can quickly consume their spiritual shields. This means that we cannot use a single move like repeating the Three Thousand Wind/Dragon and Tiger Heaven in “Nioh”, but need to be familiar with the attributes, weaknesses, and mechanisms of monsters.

This game has also removed the most core mechanism of stamina (remnant/circulation) in Nioh. Normal attacks do not require stamina, but each weapon will consume mana when launching special attacks/command skills. Mana can be accumulated through normal attacks, and executing enemies with mind bursts can increase the upper limit of mana at the same level, which is more in line with the playing habits of traditional RPG players.

If we were to say that Final Fantasy is the most distinctive system of an old JRPG, I think it should be the professional system established from the third generation.

“FF Origin” can see the familiar warriors, samurai, ninjas, black/white/red magicians, dragon knights and other professions, improve professional proficiency, and carry out arbitrary job transfers between basic, superior, and most superior professions. The system has also been inherited, and two professions can be equipped to switch at any time in battle.

If you haven’t played Final Fantasy, I can give you a few examples.

With the continuous accumulation of combat proficiency, the initial magician can advance to become a superior profession such as Black Demon, Red Demon, and White Demon, corresponding to the damage specialization hand, the mean can add some BUFF and pure auxiliary hand mage positioning, and the superior profession Monk and Red Demon proficiency are full. After the proficiency is full, you can unlock the most superior profession Tyrant , and after the proficiency of Red Mage and Knight is full, you can unlock the most superior Void Knight.

The professional proficiency level in “FF Origin” has to some extent replaced the character level in “Nioh”. The proficiency level of different professions will affect the character’s attributes, and proficiency level can also unlock various stages of weapons. However, this does not mean that “FF Origin” will be a game that requires continuous leveling, and the top-level profession completely crushes the lower-level profession in terms of strength.

Each profession has its own special ability (R2 key activation), such as the most advanced Void Knight, its special ability is to set up a magic shield, which can block the majority of enemy attacks. Press R1 during the shield duration and you can also carry out long-range sword qi counterattacks according to the amount of damage you bear. The special ability of the basic profession’s swordsman is to set up a shield that can defend against counterattacks, and automatically launch a counterattack when attacked.

At first glance, the special abilities of the two seem very similar, but in actual experience, they are very different. The defense and counterattack of the swordsman are similar to a special BUFF. After adding it, it is very worry-free. During the duration, it can attack and move back at will. When attacked, it will automatically counterattack, but the cost is that it consumes a complete mana every time it is used. It is often too late to buff bosses facing multiple attacks.

The Void Knight couldn’t move during the duration of the magic shield, which was closer to the intuitive understanding of “blocking attacks first and then counterattacking”. However, the magic shield could continuously block the enemy’s multiple attacks, and it would slowly consume magic power during the duration, making it more flexible in magic power management.

In different situations, it is necessary to use the special abilities of different professions to respond to enemy attacks reasonably. This balances the playability of each profession and the freshness of unlocking new professions to some extent. In addition, there are a total of 27 professions in this game, and it is obviously difficult to experience them all with just one playthrough.

Each profession is paired with many types of weapons to develop different gameplay. There are also very complex cancellation routes between normal attacks, special abilities, command attacks, and combos. “FF Origin” has a combat system that balances breadth and depth, ensuring the playability of the game.

Or it can be said that even if you don’t focus on the complex relationships between the characters, even if you skip all the plot by pressing spaces, you can still be like the male protagonist Jack in this work.

Of course, my suggestion is that the plot of “FF Origins” is also quite good, it’s best not to skip it in a hurry.

The Origin of Final Fantasy (slight spoiler warning)

In addition to the ninja group’s milk powder work after Nioh 2 , FF Origin is also one of the works planned for the 5th anniversary of Final Fantasy 3 , and if FF16 cannot be released within the year, it should also be The most prestigious one this year.

So just like the “origin” in the title, the story of “FF Origin” tells the starting point of the entire series.

Of course, I’m not referring to the producer Hironobu Sakaguchi who wanted to make music, the music director Nobuo Uematsu who dreamed of becoming a wrestler, and Shi Jinghaoyi and Tian Zhonghongdao who were forcibly arranged by the boss Gong Benyashi to be in charge of the world view and script. How did these people create a “realistic starting point” of a forced twist miracle?

But it’s the story of the first generation of Final Fantasy.

Due to the limited capacity of FC cartridges, the first generation of “Final Fantasy” cannot be considered a good game from today’s perspective. The real plot is very short. The world we live in can be briefly mentioned with the phrase “unknown continent of fantasy”. The light warriors we play are always sent to various mazes by NPCs with just one sentence. The plot does not explain where the light warriors come from at the end. What occupies most of the player’s time is the boring process of leveling up and killing monsters, because only in this way can we defeat the maze with unreasonable difficulty design.

However, it still relied on a fantasy story that was quite fresh at the time, with the theme of time travel and reincarnation, and successfully conquered many players with an adventure that traveled through 2000 years. The part left blank due to insufficient capacity at that time also became the creative source of “FF Origin”.

The adventures we experienced in the game were similar to those of the first generation of light warriors. We met our companions in Cornelia City, saved the princess from the hands of Chaos Temple Garland, embarked on a journey to save the world together, fought pirates in the port, searched for the footprints of the elves in the forest , found the prosperous civilization of the Rufein people in the underwater temple, and liberated the four major crystals of feng shui, fire and earth from the hands of the four major chaos, facing the real enemy.

During the plot development of “FF Origins”, many mysteries were left behind. For example, the first generation of Light Warriors had four people and the crystal was angular, while in “FF Origins”, there were five Light Warriors holding black crystals. The male protagonist Jack’s “fierce” personality was out of place in a royal adventure story. When these puzzles were solved one by one at the end of the plot, and “FF Origins” was embedded as the last puzzle piece in the plot of the first generation of “Final Fantasy”, the imagination was so great that people couldn’t help but exclaim that it was worthy of being called “Final Fantasy”.

In addition to revealing the origin of the first generation of Light Warriors in the plot, “FF Origins” also incorporates various memes from the Final Fantasy series, which can make fans of the series smile knowingly.

It’s like Jack and others defeating “Garland” and rescuing the princess from the Temple of Chaos, accompanied by the classic OP’s silhouette of stepping into the vast world after repairing the Northern Bridge. It’s also a classic scene in the first few remakes of Final Fantasy that hasn’t been deleted.

Most of the enemies we encounter in the game also come from Final Fantasy, such as the Lantern Monster, the Cactus, Bessemos, and Tiamat of the Wind…

However, the story of “FF Origin” is a derivative of the first generation, and most of the levels (mazes) are not high definition versions of the original work, but are copied from previous works.

Snow Mountain is the Kimali Holy Mountain in FF10, the underground cave is the Shasta Xia Cave in FF14, and the Underwater Temple is the Magic Light Furnace in FF7… The BGM of each maze/scene is also a rearranged version of the original work. After completing the game, you will find that the main storyline level of this game has a total of 16 levels, which means that each generation of Final Fantasy actually appears in “FF Origins”.

The sincerity of “FF Origin” is reflected in these moments when emotions are full

Let’s talk about the shortcomings of “FF Origins”

Finally, let’s talk about the parts of this game that are easy to make people unable to continue playing.

For example, at the beginning of the review, it was mentioned that there were no monsters with corner encounters and quick kills, which actually concealed another information: the map design of this generation has almost no design sense except for art, and even simpler than the mode of turning back and forth just to open a shortcut in Nioh 2.

Most of the maps in “FF Origin” only have two paths, one with some irrelevant items/equipment, and the other is the main path. So after completing 16 Main Tasks in a superficial way, I can’t remember how to run most of the maps.

In addition, the graphics of this game are slightly inferior to those of “Nioh 2”, and the perspective of some ghostly rotation when encountering corners, coupled with obvious frame drops even in the PS5 version, there are several closed maps that make me not want to experience it again in a short period of time. This is also the most deducted point of “FF Origin” in this review.

If you can accept the above points, then “FF Origins” should be a qualified Final Fantasy 35th anniversary commemorative work for you.

Just a reminder.

Because I didn’t get the game in advance, I wrote this review after quickly completing the first playthrough and didn’t continue to experience the crucial “brush brush” gameplay in the later playthrough.

After completing the first playthrough, you can already unlock the new Chaos difficulty (second playthrough). It can be foreseen that the experience of “FF Origins” in multiple playthrough will still be infinitely close to “Nioh” – just like eating strange-flavored beans, after licking open the slightly painful outer layer, as the playthrough progresses, you will feel its high difficulty, main action experience, and FF-flavored compound taste. In the end, you will find that the core of the strange-flavored “bean” is actually a fried peanut that can perfectly blend into most dishes (using equipment to make up a set).

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