Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
Words By:

Everyone who loved Final Fantasy VII on the PSone has been longing for a remake or a FFVII-2 like square did with FFX. Instead we've been given a spin off from the series featuring one of your FFVII party members Vincent Valentine. This is no RPG though; this is a third person action game!

The story is set 3 years after Final Fantasy VII and involves a secret organization appearing from nowhere to start a search for a hidden weapon. Strangely Vincent is somehow connected to this group known as the Deepground which was a shadow group of the infamous Shin-ra organization. The game is presented nicely with snazzy and stylish menus and good cut scenes. Once you actually get into the game you'll find itís much like controlling a first person shooter with the left analog stick for movement and the right analog stick for aiming. When you pull the R1 button to fire a large aiming reticle will appear, when an enemy is in the reticle a crosshair will appear over it telling you that youíre locked on and ready to fire. I found it worked quite well. Movement on the other hand feels strange and rather stilted.

Vincent is armed with his trusty three-barreled pistol name 'Cerberus' and as you progress though the game you'll also find the machine gun and rifle. Which brings me nicely onto the weapon customization. You can upgrade our weapons with various barrels, materia (magic) and other goodies. You could have a pistol with a long barrel and sniper scope for example. Vincent can carry 3 weapons at once, which may be a pistol, machine gun and rifle, or letís say you donít find the machine gun useful, you could have another pistol set up with different parts and therefore different advantages. I think this is a pretty cool part of the game. During the cut scenes Vincent has a lot of smooth moves and looks cool doing them (Dante from DMC anyone?) but during gameplay his moves list is rather dull. Youíre restricted to a double jump and a dash move, you canít fire during either which is pretty lame. Speaking of cut scenes, at certain stages they appear every 3-4 minutes which is really annoying, and they can be quite dull also. The Hit Points from FF games come into play here with enemies having certain amounts of hit points and you can see the damage your shots are doing as it pops up like it would in a FF RPG battle. Items also appear like the standard Potion, Hi-Potion and pheonix downs.

The missions are very linear and feel like running down corridors and the environments are pretty drab with virtually no interaction. At the end of every mission you get graded and you can trade experience for Gil (money to you and me). You also have the change to buy upgrades for your weapons. The game looks decent enough with some good character models. The enemy design like with all FF games is spot on. Some of the environments can look pretty dull though. The sound is good with good voice acting and typically cool FF music.

Overall Dirge of Cerberus could have been an alternative to Devil May Cry but is let down by poor level design, a lack of moves and just an overall dull feeling. The weapon and aiming systems are really good though, and it doesnít look half bad either. Only for the hardcore Final Fantasy fans I would say, as it fills in the FF7 saga.

Best Bits

- Weapon customization
- Aiming
- Graphics
Worst Bits

- Quite linear and rather bland

by: SteMacD

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