BEFORE I GET TO THE REVIEW!!!!!! This review isn't serious. I was asked to take a game and rip it apart. DoC was that game. The game does suck though.
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Game title: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Platform: Playstation 2
ESRB Rating: Teen
Developer: Square Enix
Release date: August 15, 2006
Overall rating: 3/10
Before I start the review, let me say a few words. This is not going to be anything like my usual reviews. Recently, I was asked to absolutely tear into a game, and I chose Dirge of Cerberus to be that game. Usually,. I would talk about the good and the bad in my reviews, but that is not the point of this review. Here is what is good about it. The story is decent. The CG cut scenes are at the same rediculously beautiful level of FFXII, though the lack the brilliant directing of that game. The gameplay is....functional. That's it. That is the complete list of things that don't suck about this game. Oh. One more thing. This review is going to be at least somewhat crude and will be full of smart ass remarks. If you are offended by that stuff, do not continue reading. You have been warned. Without further adieu, lets get to the review.
Dirge of Cerberus, believe it or not, is an absolutely amazing game, atleast when viewed from the right perspective. It accomplishes what no scientest in the entire history of the world has ever managed to accomplish. What is that, you may be asking yourself. Well, this game breaks the laws of physics. that's right. Dirge of Cerberus breaks the laws of physics. For those that are not yet following me, allow me to explain. Dirge of Cerberus manages to create a massive inward force while simotaniously creating a massive outward force. In lamens terms, it sucks and blows at the same time. Should Square Enix be proud of the fact that the created a game that breaks the laws of physics? No, and let me tell you why.
Gameplay - 2
This games awful gameplay is where it runs into the majority of it's problems. Dirge of Cerberus stands as an example to the rest of the shooting genre. "Don't be like this, and you probably wont suck that bad." That is Square Enix's statement to the entire shooting genre. It is a prime example of everything you should not do when you are making a shooter. It has been a long, long time since I have played a shooter that feels as dated as this game does. Honestly, it feels like playing a bad knock off of the original Doom (Which is not an insult do Doom. That game was classic).
The worst thing about the gameplay is probably the enemy AI. True story. During the level of the game where you have to protect the WRO command center, I walked right up behind a couple of Deep Ground soldiers who wer facing the other way and shot both of them in the back of the head. When I shot and killed one, the other one didn't bother to turn around to investigate. For a group of soldiers that are supposed to be vastly superior to the rest of the world, they sure are a bunch of retards. These guys are so dumb that iut shocks me that they remember to breathe. Seriously, how do they llive their day to day lives? Half of Deep Ground probably died by looking down the barrel of their when they thought it was jammed. It's a wonder that someone actually taught them how to use a gun without shooting themselves. It probably took them the first 6 months of their so called elite training to learn how to pull the frickin trigger! It's ludacris. Thank God Vincent put an end to them. The world is dumb enough without people like that cross breeding and spreading their extreme level of stupidity throughout the planet. This is also true: The most advanced tactic that these supposed elite class soldiers have is to duck. They duck down and stand back up, but they almost never move side to side, even when you shoot them. "Hey. I am in his line of sight. I might want to move, lest I die." THIS THOUGHT NEVER FREAKING OCCURS TO THEM! That is how embarrassingly bad the enemy AI is in this game .
Typically, a good first person shooter will give you a nice variety of weapons to choose from. Dirge of Cerberus, on the other hand, gives you a whopping three weapons. Yes. You did not misread that. Throughout the vast majority of the game, you have a whole three *** weapons. The guy that directed this game is supposed to be a fan of Half Life. Half Life has a nice selection of weapons. WHY DOES DIRGE OF CERBERUS HAVE A MACHINE GUN, A RIFLE AND A HANDGUN?! I suppose you can mix and match. You can attach a long barrel to a machine gun, but doing this defeats the purpose of it being a frickin machine gun. It makes it fire slow. There is only one decent setting for the machine gun, and that is the short barrel with something to make it lighter weight and things to up the power on it. You can attach a scope if you want, but that is much better reserved for your rifle, so you can use it to snipe dumbasses that are far away from you. Again. you can customize your weapon, but a short barrel on a sniper rifle is freaking dumb. It severely limits your distance. The end result? You can pointlessly customize your weapons, but, at hte end of the day, you only have 3 freaking weapons. This, alone, should disappoint any fan of any decent shooter.
I know what you are thinking. If those two aspects of the gameplay are bad, it has to atleast have variety, right? You would be wrong in that assumption. This game suffers something I like to call Halo Syndrome. In it, you will be traveling down one corridor after another that looks more almost identical (not to mention freaking BORING) shooting the same two to tree enemy types until the point that pulling out a real gun and intentionally shooting yourself in the foot actually begins to sound like more fun than continuing to play this God forsaken embarrassment to mankind. If lack of variety in enemies and environments weren't bad enough, the environments are bland. They are the same futuristic cityscapes you have seen in a million better games before this, only now they are ugly. Dirge of Cerberus goes the extra mile to make the gameplay suck. From a gameplay perspective, this is the worst shooter I have played. I had to force myself to actually finish this piece of trash so that I could review it. I promptly traded it in after finishing it. I traded it for a reserve on a shooter for the DS, which, even if the controls manage to blow ass, it has to be better than this game.
Graphics - 3/10
I know what you are thinking. It is a Square Enix game, so they atleast got the graphics right. Your first impression from the first time you turn the game on will be that they did, indeed, get the graphics right. You are treated to a very nice opening cut scenes that rivals FFXII with how good it looks. Then the gameplay starts, and everything goes tl hell in a handbasket. Square Enix should be ashamed. The graphics crew definitely phoned this one in. It is embarrassing just to look at this game.
The biggest problem with the graphics is that they overuse copy and paste. They copy and paste EVERYTHING. Every enemy looks exactly alike. You will thank God when you reach a boss so that you can shoot something else in the face for a change. Unfortunately, you soon find out that shooting the bosses in the face is no more satisfying than shooting anything else in this game. That is beside the point though. The enemies are not the only copied and pasted things in this game. The environments suffer from this as well. About five minutes into the game, you will stop for a second and go "Haven't I already seen this corridor before?" You will then backtrack to be sure and, you will find out that you are traveling through the same *** corridor, almost down to the last little detail. IT wouldn't be too horrible if the corridors didn't look bland. Alot of the things in the environment are 2D, which is just disappointing. I mean, when you are running around in Edge, you will see police tape all over the walls. It doesn't look like it is draped across the wall. No. We are too lazy to do something like like that. We must make it PART of the wall. Come on SE. You can do better than this. I know because I have seen it.
When did the world of Gaia become overrun with crates that are indestructible? It's ludicrous just how many crates there are in this game. Travel through the forest? There are crates. Walk through the streets? There are crates. Wander through the destroyed Shinra building? There are crates. There are more crates in this game than there are enemies to shoot at. That is just SAD. The vast majority of them are not destructible either. The U.S. army needs to travel to Midgar, pick up a bunch of crates and start making body armor out of the stuff. Never again will a U.S. soldier perish. They are harder than diamonds. I swear to God.
Do you want to know just how ugly this game is? I own a PS3, which I have hooked up through an HDMI cable. You won't find a be3tter transfer on the planet. The Playstation 3 has an outstanding upscaling ability. All of your old PSone and two games will look alot better upscaled to 1080p than you remember. IT really is a site to behold. It does alot more than just sharpen the image. IT brings out a lot of the details that previously could not be seen and makes all the colors look better too. Nor even the amazing power of the Playstation 3 can make this game pretty. I have seen drawings by five year old that are more convincing than this game.
Sound - 4/10
In a game this bad, the voice acting not being complete crap throughout is actually a high point. I am not joking. The high point of this game is that the voice acting doesn't always blow too hard. That being said, the voice work, at times, is laughably bad. Wait until you hear the entire group of FFVII characters, except for Red XIII because SE decided they hate him for some reason so they left him out of this game and AC, yell 'go Vincent Yeah" at the end of this game. It is hysterical. I haven't laughed that hard at voice acting in a game since the original Resident Evil, and, if you know that game, then....the master of unlocking. That is all I will say.
As for the music, while not bad, it isn't exactly memorable either. There isn't a single track in this game that will get stuck in your mind, which is just sad for a FF game. The entire soundtrack is more forgettable than Gex the Gecko. Remember him? Yeah. I didn't think so. I guess I should just be glad that the music isn't thirty second clips that repeat over and over for the hour that it takes you to get through each level until you want to hunt down the man that wrote them and bash his face in with your bare fists *cough*kingdomhearts*cough*
The sound is even more pathetic than the voice acting. All three of the guns in the game make the exact same frickin sound. Last time I checked, a machine gun and a sniper rifle DON'T SOUND ALIKE! How Square Enix could have overlooked obvious fact is far beyond me, but they made all three of their guns sound exactly alike. It makes the entire game sound freaking monotone as hell. It's like listening to Ben Stein say the same word for twelve hours straight. IT is that bad, though not as maddening. It didn't actually make me want to kill small furry creatures.
Story - 5/10
As previously stated, the story to this game does not suck. Why, then, do I give this part of the review such a low score? There are multiple reasons. The translation is the biggest one, but there are other problems as well. The story isn't exactly a great continuity of the Final Fantasy VII story. There are some pieces of the puzzle that just do not fit together. There are also problems with the story that, while they may not be plot holes, they are annoying to say the least. There is one thing in particular that gets mentioned once and is forgotten after that. It's enough to make you sit there and go "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THAT?! assuming, of course, that you can actually finish this game, which is doubtful with how bad the gameplay is.
The translation for Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus is bad, to say the least. Shortly after this game came out, SE embarrassed themselves even worse by showing us just how bad this games translation was because the FFXII translation was terrific. It is like saying "Yeah. We know we could have done better, but the rest of the game gargled animal jizz for quarters behind Walmart on the weekend, so we decided to make everything else up to those standards." When you hear Tifa and Barret pointlessly shout "Yeah" when they lead the charge into battle against the Deepground, you cannot help but shake your head in shame.
What would bad translation be without bad scripting? The two practically go hand in hand. Let me give you a prime example. During the level the Shera, you can walk around Cid's ship and talk to various members of the WRO. There is one female on board that basically says that she didn't want to see anyone die SO SHE JOINED A WAR! I guess that explains that aweful AI thing, doesn't it? The WRO will recruit anyone, no matter how stupid, won't they? Maybe the WRO wouldn't constantly get their asses kicked if they made an attempt at recruiting members that could actually win a battle of wits with a stuffed bear. I sat in stunned silence when I heard her say that. Then I laughed my ass off.
Replay value - 0/10
There is alot to do in Dirge of Cerberus. There are alot of extra missions and a bunch of things to collect to get a stupid secret ending that shows Genesis, that thing that I mentioned earlier that the game mentions one time and and forget about for the rest of the game. There are alot of unlockables. This would be great, if the game was actually fun. I suppose that there is alot of replay value for the masochists out there. If you enjoy inflicting pain on yourself, you might actually find replay value in this game. For the rest of the world, you will be luckly if you actually finish it That being said, what the hell was Square thinking in taking the multiplayer out of this game? Who do they think they are? Bioshock? Unless the shooter is absolutely amazing the first time through, it needs multiplayer. Granted that the multiplayer probably sucked even harder than the single player, but not including it at all is just a poor design choice. It was in the Japanese version. They should have dropped the requirement for the harddrive and left it in the American version, but nooooooooo. We get the ability to double jump instead, EVEN THOUGH WE CAN'T USE IT TO JUMP OVER EVEN THE TINIEST LITTLE FENCE IN THE GAME!!!
Final Thoughts -
Dirge of Cerberus is more than just a bad game. Playing it makes me wonder if the creators of the game hate the Final Fantasy VII fanbase and want them to suffer because they know that these people will buy anything that has Final Fantasy VII written on it. This game's very existance offends me. That's right. I am not a big fan of FFVII, and this game actually offends me just by existing. Why? Because Square Enix tried to ruin an entire genre of video games by releasing a single game. That is why. The only way that SE could have made this game worse is if a hand holding a baseball bat had actually come out of the television and hit you while you were playing it. I feel sorry for anyone else who suffered through this aweful game, and to anyone thinking about playing this game: DON'T!
Gameplay - 2
The stuff nightmares are made of. This game is stuck in the dark ages.
Graphics - 3
I would rather watch a donkey lay on the ground and pleasure himself than stare at this games hideous enviroments for one more second
Sound - 4
Laughably bad voice acting and three guns that all make the same sound. Par for the chorus
Story - 5
Bad translation and terrible scripting make for a delivery that scares little children
Replay value - 0
If you enjoy doing things like smacking yourself in the face with a hammer repeatedly, then this game will keep you busy for quite some time