Square Enix marked the 35th anniversary of its Final Fantasy franchise with the release of its new action RPG, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. It is an alternative version to the original game with a very different origin to the franchise. There was a lot of worry around the game’s development. Demo versions of Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin did not get much positive feedback from players that doubted if the game would live up to expectations. Reviews of the game also weren’t glowing, so there was evidence to back up this uncertainty. However, the game’s sales in Japan tell an entirely different story.
Today, Famitsu released its weekly hardware and software sales for the Japanese market and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin topped the sales within its first week of release. It made a hefty amount with 46,849 retail sales in the country. More than half of these sales were on the PS4, whose player-base brought almost 29,000 copies. PS5 racked up the rest with almost 17,095 retail sales for the game on consoles.
A first-week outing like this is expected for something as big as a Final Fantasy installment. But, with the recent average reviews that the game got, this traditional performance was in some doubt. Metacritic only gave the game a “mixed or average” Metascore of 72 on the PS5 version. Other publications also had some criticism for the game.
Some say it did not feel like a Final Fantasy game and more like a different action RPG. A lot of criticism was focused on the game’s narrative, too. Critics deemed it too complex or one-dimensional and something that didn’t live up to the Final Fantasy ethos. But, the Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin sales in Japan don’t seem to be affected by these reviews.
For this top spot, the game even beat some fan-favourites like Elden Ring and Pokémon Legend: Arceus. Something like this is especially amazing considering the really bad User Score of only 2.7 on Metacritic that the game has. You might think that the players would avoid buying Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin with such reviews, but the game doesn’t show fatigue.
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