It could be argued that the gameplay is incidental to the characters and setting. Final Fantasy VII is big business; in Japan, at least, the title quite literally managed to sell on name recognition alone. Unfortunately, serious gameplay issues make it obvious this is the team's first attempt at the genre. Level layouts are incredibly boxy and linear, yet it's still hard to figure out where to go. It's hard to hit the enemies, especially when firing near ledges and walls. Some enemies and bosses seem designed for an alternate version of the game with normal third-person controls, and engaging them from the "behind-the-shoulder" viewpoint can be impossibly frustrating. Of course, FPS-loving U.S. fans are unlikely to be as forgiving as their Japanese compatriots. We can only hope Square Enix gives this game a serious once-over before shoving it out the door here.