Hello friends for the last update in Final Fantasy Month, and what a long journey it has been – we’ve seen good, we’ve seen okay, but I’ve saved the worst for last this week as we look upon the horror that is…Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus If this game didn’t have anything to do with Final Fantasy, then it would be ripped a new one, but unfortunately Nostalgia blinds most into trying to see some good in a game their minds are telling them should be burned, but their heart and inner child remind them of what they once enjoyed. However, this game, compared to so many other First and Third person shooters, does things more wrong that a joke in really bad taste.
First off, the control – there is no lock-on system of any kind, and while some may argue that shooters benefit from that, it doesn’t here. When you have fifteen to twenty enemies playing “Shoot Vincent up the arse” and you can’t find him, it makes for a frustrating time. The levels are rather bland, with very little colour beyond grey used, with the occasional glowing blue here and there. Final Fantasy games are usually bright and vibrant, but it’s like someone dumped a bucket of realism on a game where realism is hardly wanted or heard of.
The story continues on three years after the original, where Vincent, our main protagonist is relaxing in Kalm that is celebrating its rebuilding after Meteorfall. Naturally, waste hits the fan as the baddies show up and begin snatching people. Taking offense to this, Vincent takes his gun and begins to…well, shoot things. Vince goes on his shoot-and-explore trip that takes him to Edge, Nibelheim sewers and Shinra Mansion, World Regenesis Organization Headquarters and the ruins of Midgar – to name a few. You take on the group known as Deepground, who are run by the Quintet of people known as the Tsviets. The Tsviets want to unleash a great evil onto the world early by tricking the Lifestream into thinking the world is in trouble. Needless to say, Vince takes offense to this and wins. It’s not up to Square-Enix’s usual standards, but it’s an alright story, if a bit…bleh.
The graphics are rather pretty good for a PS2 game, and they get credit there, however it’s stripped when my good friend “Invisible Barrier” pops up – making it essentially linear, it annoyed me in Final Fantasy X, it annoyed me here. No exploration – it’s more “Go here, not there” – it takes a bit of the fun away. Another thing that frustrates me is the fact that there is no cover system. You just stand and shoot, and while it may look badass , is not kind on your HP at all. You also have the option of going into Melee…but this is a shooter where all the other enemies have guns. Enough said
It’s hard to really describe Dirge of Cerberus, really, as it’s not good or bad…it’s just mediocre…the bare minimum of a game, and for something that carries the Final Fantasy name, and Final Fantasy VII at that, it is one of the biggest disappointments in gaming. It looks nice, but you can take a dump in a box and wrap it up and say it looks nice. You get the standard Pistol, Machine Gun and Rifle, and to their credit, they are customizable, with various stats, but all you really want is power – enough to take things down with one shot.
The characters are deep enough ((They oughta be, they’ve had a game and a movie at this point)), the graphics looked nice, but the enemies were generic, gameplay suffered from a no cover system, and boss battles consisted of shoot and flee. Here’s something else that pissed me off – in the opening title sequence, Vincent takes down a Helicopter with a few shots – when you face one as a boss, it takes a lot more than a few to even damage it. It’s the problem with Dirge of Cerberus. It’s trying to be badass and cool, when it’s a weak coward. It’s a shameless cash-in and could have been a lot, lot better.