Review by InvaderKimimaro
"WARNING: the following review contains an opinion."
Okay. Before I get started, I must address something. The main reason I see people complaining about this game is that it is not a classic RPG. Wow. Must've taken hours of pondering to come to that conclusion. Of course it's not an RPG. It's a shooter. Why can't people just realize this? Anyway, here I go.
Ah. One of the (many) reasons people hate this game. Well, as it says in the intro, yes. It IS a shooter. One that is of the third person in fact.
First off in this category, the controls. I liked them. They seemed pretty much like the controls that every third-person shooter has, other than magic and things that make this game different from other third-person shooters. I don't really see any reason for people to complain about this. The controls were very easy to get used to and seemed perfectly fine to me. If you didn't want third person shooter controls then don't play third person shooters. It's really as simple as that.
Second is the actual gameplay, like when you are fighting and shooting and other things similar. I thought it to be very fun. The mechanics of it were very good. Shoot people from close range with a close range gun and it will do more damage than at long range. A long range gun wont do as much damage as at close range. And if you hit the enemy in their "critical zone" then you will do extra damage. I liked this system and gave me a good reason for using different weapons. And when using those weapons, you have the option of using three different aiming options. Manual, Semi-Automatic and Automatic. Manual lets you fully aim yourself, allowing full choice of where you shoot. The other two are other reasons I see people complaining about. Semi-Automatic draws your crosshair to enemies so that you only have to fine tune it instead of fully aim at the enemy yourself, but after you kill an enemy it will take a second to target another enemy for you. Automatic aims at the enemy and makes it so the only way you can miss is if the enemy is moving really quickly, but has the same problem as the Semi-Automatic, and you can't score critical hit's. I used Manual because I found it the easiest. You can jump (and again in the air if you feel like it) to dodge. This is the best way to dodge normal attacks that I have seen. The more official method of dodging (rush, with the square button) is a short, quick burst of speed, that sadly leaves you unmoving for a split second. That one is more usefull when dodging homing attacks, as they will go up if you jump and come back if you missed it, and that will normally result in being hurt. Another method of dodging is to duck (square button while standing still). Doing this will let you move slower but still move so you can dodge certain attacks and still be attacking the enemy. Another thing you can do with ducking is to duck right before an enemy (usually snipers) shoots at you (you will be able to figure out the timing for this after a little while of playing), and there is a chance that it will go soaring over your head and do no damage. Now, this isn't actually a method of dodging attacks, but not being hit by them.You can also stand behind boxes and pillars and everything - or anything - that can protect you. However, you can dodge/stop anything you want with anything really, depending on how good you are at it.
Actual Gameplay: 9/10
Last is another important aspect of gameplay. Customizing weapons. You have three gun choices: handgun, machine gun and sniper rifle (Cerberus, Griffon and Hydra, respectively). There are three barrel types as well. Short, medium, and long. They help your power and accuracy in the short, medium , and long ranges. There are also lots of different scopes and accessories and materia to further customize your weapon. You can make three different weapons any way you feel like, and all of them being good at certain things. One big downfall of this is that my favourite weapon, and in my opinion the best, the Cerberus (handgun) uses three shots every time you fire, but can only hit enemies one time.
AVERAGE FOR GAMEPLAY: 9
Ah yes. Graphics. The graphics were very pleasing to the eye, with lots of CG cutscenes. however,some things were a slight bit lacking. You could stick your guns through walls, walk through a few enemies, only go up certain stairs from the exact middle, and you couldn't grab on to ledges or ladders (for ladders in the air). Lots of cutscenes, not all of them needed. Some were just to show you the area and where some enemies were hiding, only for them all to come out shooting at you when you enter the area.
The story was great. I loved it. I probably could've loved it a bit more if I had played Final Fantasy VII, but I didn't, so this part may differ a bit more from other reviews. I don't want to spoil anything, but to say the least it kept me wanting to find out what happened next, what the characters were going to do, that sort of thing.
The characters (again without spoilers) were great. I could tell a lot about who they were just from this game, and not from FFVII which, again, I didn't play, and I liked them all, believe it or not. Although I probably would've understood the characters a bit more in the beginning if I had played FFVII, so this could've been better.
AVERAGE FOR CHARACTERS/STORY: 8/10
The music in this game was great, though slightly drowned out by the noise of guns firing. Not really much to say about it except that.
The voices were good, and they all fit the characters. One, to avoid any chance of spoilers, I hear adapted a new accent just for this game. I liked it, and thought it fit the character, but a random changing of accent isn't always great.
Guns Firing. Enemies talking. Explosions. Dying enemy noises. They were all excellent. They sounded very realistic (not that I have had any experience in the area of explosions and guns in real life).
Sound Effects: 10/10
AVERAGE FOR SOUND: 9/10
So, in the end, I believe this is a great game. But it is NOT an RPG. Don't expect a second FFVII. You will not get it.
Rent or buy: I found a copy at my local video gaming sotre for 19.99 and I believe it was worth it. I have around 30 hours into it on normal difficulty, but I replayed it after chapter 8 to recieve an item that would later turn into the best weapon for normal gameplay.
Replay value: You can play Ex hard mode after you beat it on a normal difficulty, and I will be doing that as soon as I finish this review. Ex hard mode is a mode where things are... Extra hard... yeah. So anyways, you also keep whatever items, gil and weapons you had so you don't just lose everything and you get to keep your beloved guns. You might not want to play it however, so there are also 40 extra missions, which I haven't done yet either, but they are missions that you do for... playing the game some more.
OVERALL RATING: 8
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/28/08
Game Release: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (US, 08/15/06)
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