Final Fantasy of War. I mean, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Final trailer but it looks like a bunch of unnecessary boss and character reveals.

I can’t help but think of the last time an action game developer took a beloved franchise and added dialogue that was so earnest it became a meme…

Metroid Sexist Edition was too ahead of its time.

The thing that this immediately brought to mind was filling dark souls with liiiiiight, but of course that hadn’t yet become a beloved action franchise. What are you referring to?

Well now we have to guess!

MGR:R?

I’m feeling the same vibes. Maybe I’m wrong.

As long as it doesn’t turn out like The Bouncer I think we’ll be ok.

Wait, I meant The Quiet Man.

The new demo is available on PS4 this time. I think I’ll check it out tonight before I get invested in yet another new zone in Elden Ring.

[EDIT] Not live yet.

The Bouncer was very good, if very demanding for a brawler!

I PLAYED A LITTLE OF THE DEMO. WOW, THERE’S A LOT TO–

Oh, I’m sorry for yelling. I turned my PS4 off and now we can hear each other.

It’s both more of a Final Fantasy game than I expected (the battle mode, UI, levels, etc.) and more of an action game than I expected (the animations seem even quicker than Nioh). Very strange. The demo throws you into the middle of things with a bunch of stuff going on, so it’s a little overwhelming.

PS4 performance mode turns it into probably the worst looking game I’ve seen in a decade. I think it’s time to put that generation out of its misery.

I’m still interested but I’ll wait till release to make sure it’s not a total disaster.

Bullshit.

I haven’t played the new demo yet, but the old one on PS5 wasn’t exactly a looker either. It’s a weirdly ugly game, it feels like the Nioh engine but Nioh2 I thought looked better.

They also did some strange thing where it seems like they grafted photorealistic faces onto video game characters. At least some of them. The king and a couple of others are in the uncanny valley. I’m not sure why, everyone in Nioh 2 looked good even though they weren’t “next gen.”

I’m downloading the demo remotely onto my Series X, but I feel no compulsion to leave Elden Ring yet to check out other demos. 43GB! It’s a huge demo apparently!

Dear lord. Potato Flowers demo on my Switch weights a hundred MB.

(Spoiler: the demo is actually the same as the full game)

Took a quick look at the demo on PS5.

  • I had hoped for some serious optimization on a technical level since the previous trial versions, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Resolution mode has a jerky and distracting framerate, and performance mode is smooth but remarkably smeary and full of crawling aliasing. I’m normally not that sensitive to resolution and just fine with an honest 1080p/60, but whatever upscaling algorithm they’re using seems to be doing a lousy job. This looks noticeably worse than the PS4 Horizon, God of War, and Ratchet & Clank games, all of which I’ve played recently on the same hardware and TV, let alone actual new-gen-native stuff.
  • The demo has a bit more story before throwing you into the Chaos Shrine than the old ones did, but it’s still pretty minimal, which is fine with me.
  • I’m actually on board with the goofy vibe and curious to see where they go with the whole time-loop story concept.
  • So far, things feel a whole lot easier than I remember from last time around. Some of it might be that I remember how to play, but I think they’ve also tuned it to be more forgiving. Playing on hard, I didn’t come close to dying until close to the end of the first mission, which definitely wasn’t the case in the past.
  • They definitely do a better job explaining the systems this time around.
  • Combat feels great. Stringing together different attack types, defensive options, job switches, and enemy abilities in freeform combinations is super fun and feels like a very promising continuation of the Nioh legacy.
  • I’m used to seeing a few days head start as a bonus for a game’s deluxe edition or something, but here any purchase of the console version gets 72-hour “early access”. I think at that point it’s just an earlier release date.
  • I stopped playing after the first mission, and will wait for the full version.
  • Somewhat concerned about the performance issues, but going to remain optimistic about the PC version, since that’s where I played the Nioh games and they ran great. Also, this is fast-paced enough that a controller with paddles seems like it will be very helpful.
  • Mildly annoying that the PC version doesn’t get a demo, and only gets 24-hour “early access” compared to the consoles. And I don’t have any ideological issue with Epic, but it’s a bit annoying that this is coming out a couple days before my birthday, but is on a platform with no gifting so I’ll have to buy it myself.

The demo is really meaty. Took me almost 5 hours to get through it, and I’d unlocked like 9 different classes by the end there.

They always seemed to dial stuff back after the Nioh demos in response to feedback.

On the other hand, I was playing on Action or whatever it’s called and died a bunch of times. It was so hard to see what was happening on PS4 that I didn’t realize I was taking damage.

No surprises here. Good combat, terrible writing, characters, and level design. Everything we knew from the demo.

I’m still going to play it but I’m not in any rush.