Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode: It's better than Bejeweled...
The game opens up with a synopsis of the events surrounding the original PS2 game, while the visuals trace the ground to reveal a city in the sunset resembling Junon. A helicopter flies by and you finally see what the game is capable of graphically. The best way for me to describe the graphics to you would be to say it seemed as if they crammed a PSX-and-a-half into my phone. It looks great. Models for characters and environments are in full 3-D and the textures are colorful and vibrant with many reds, blues and greens to compliment each other.
The sound for the game isn't bad either, as the game uses several songs from the game's orchestrated soundtrack in various cutscenes. While there isn't any music during gameplay, it's obvious that it would significantly lag the game given the platform that it's being played on, so that much is forgivable. Sound effects aren't too bad, the enemies growl, guns pop, glass breaks etc...it's amazing that they fit all this into my phone.
Gameplay is sorted by downloadable episodes. I chose to buy the game for unlimited game time so I don't pay to download the extra sections, which is worth the twelve dollars I paid for it because their are around eight or nine episodes and they aren't as short as one would expect. Moving Vincent is easy, as the arrow keys are used to move, and pressing OK on the D-Pad (or the number 5) will let you go into first person view to view enemies that are on higher or lower ground. You Fire by pressing OK once in first person. Double tapping left or right will let you do a dodge roll to evade enemy attacks. You use Keycards obtained from enemies or suitcases to open pathways, blow up barrels near distant enemies for additional damage and you can obtain mako for materia use.
For magic, the game works similar to the PS2 version. Pick up accessories with materia attached to do Fire/Ice damage. Magic itself is never actually cast, just attached to the gun vincent wields (of which there are 3) for additional damage. Gain enough mako and you can use Vincent's galian beast limit break to throw fireballs or just maul the hell out of your enemies up close and personal.
While all of this is good and well, the game has a cryptic plot that will leave players who haven't played Dirge of Cerberus on the PS2 confused (Obviously), but having played it on the mobile phone I'm still trying to figure out why they made this game at all. It's a decent game, but its purpose is hard to grasp. The plot doesn't exactly enhance or even compliment the story of it's PS2 Brother. And while it certainly tries to fill the player in of goings on behind the scenes during the original game, no plot holes are filled or explained.
While I'm disappointed in the lack of clarification on the story front, this game runs beautifully on my phone and is worth whipping out on a bus or on a short break at work for some fun...not to mention I can put the game on and flash it to people in that "I'm playing this awesome looking game while you're playing bejeweled" fashion. At least I can thank Square-Enix for that.
After being somewhat disappointed with last years PS2 game Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, I found myself wondering why the hell they would bother with a mobile version of a game that wasn't that great to begin with? The mobile version would be even more limited than the original. As time would have it, I ended up buying a new phone for which the game was available, so I bought the game and was pleasantly surprised.