Gaming website IGN.com recently received a domesticated preview copy of Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and found that Square Enix has decided to make improvements to the title for its August U.S. launch. Will these be enough to drag the game out of its insessant poor reviews? Are we all out another coaster? The results may (slightly) shock you! Dirge of Cerberus has had some very poor luck. Though it has sold considerably well in Japan since its January 24 release, the game received poor critical reviews and was plagued by myriad camera, control, and pacing issues. It seems that the mere mention of Final Fantasy VII is enough to garner sales, as a very frustrated Duckroll can attest to. And yet, in some twisted ploy to strive for genuine quality, Square Enix has taken these criticisms to heart and set forth attempting to fix some of the problems apparent in the Japanese version of Dirge of Cerberus.
To prevent action from proceeding sluggishly, walking, running, and firing speeds have been increased in combination with lower weapon weights. Vincent has also acquired extended melee attack range, a double-jump move to avoid heavy fire, and a quick dash to replace his roll.
Among resolutions to balance problems, the Limit Breaker has decreased in selling price (from 3000 to 850 Gil) and Vincent's Limit Stock has been lowered from 5 to 3, making it more practical to make use of Vincent's transformations, which have been powered up for the occasion. The Galian Beast, for instance, has received an extended transformation time, a greater attack range, and shield-piercing fireballs.
Difficulty has also been adjusted, omitting the easiest difficulty in favor of a new "extra hard" mode unlockable by finishing the game, where players can shoot through 40 new sub-missions home to new items and weapons.
Finally, the U.S. version will include bonus artwork, character model galleries, and a jukebox to placate a violent U.S. audience. Even so, this is hardly a replacement for the multiplayer mode available in the Japanese version of Dirge of Cerberus, but considering how quickly those Japanese multiplayer servers have been terminated, perhaps the extra DVD space may be the greater luxury.
Dirge of Cerberus releases in the U.S. on August 15, for better or for worse.1