Square Enix celebrated the 35th anniversary of its Final Fantasy franchise with the release of its new action RPG, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. This is an alternate version to the original game with a very different franchise origin. There was a lot of concern surrounding the development of the game. The demo versions of Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin did not receive much positive feedback from gamers who doubted the game would live up to expectations. The game’s reviews weren’t stellar either, so there was some evidence to back up that uncertainty. However, the game’s sales in Japan tell a whole different story.
Today, Famitsu released its weekly hardware and software sales for the Japanese market, and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin topped sales in its first week of release. It achieved a considerable amount with 46,849 retail sales in the country. More than half of those sales were for the PS4, whose playerbase brought in nearly 29,000 copies. The PS5 racked up the rest with nearly 17,095 retail sales for the game on consoles.
A first week release like this is expected for something as big as an episode of Final Fantasy. But, with the recent average reviews the game has received, that traditional performance was in doubt. Metacritic only gave the game a “mixed or average” Metascore of 72 on the PS5 version. Other publications have also criticized the game.
Some say it didn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game and more like a different action RPG. Many reviews also focused on the game’s narrative. Critics deemed it too complex or one-dimensional and something that didn’t live up to the ethos of Final Fantasy. But the sales of Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin in Japan do not seem to be affected by these criticisms.
For that top spot, the game even beat out some fan favorites like Elden Ring and Pokémon Legend: Arceus. Something like this is especially amazing considering the very poor user score of only 2.7 on Metacritic that the game has. You would think that gamers would avoid buying Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin with such reviews, but the game shows no fatigue.