Winner: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix | PlayStation 2
Let's get this straight. Ignoring the fact that Japanese developers aren't well-known for their high quality shooters and that Square Enix isn't exactly the company you'd expect to tackle a high-profile action game... what the hell were they thinking? Final Fantasy VII has millions of fans. We don't doubt that some of them are really into digital firearms, either. But taking a turn-based RPG series known for its complexity and cutscenes and building a shooter out of it? Does that make sense to anyone?
Of course, we gave the game the benefit of the doubt, as best we could, leading up to its release. The company even promised improvements over the lackluster Japanese version, and we waited patiently for them. Our hopes were in vain. Dirge of Cerberus is a simplistic, repetitive shooter with a stupid story that doesn't do anything to add to the mystique of the original game, doesn't provide gameplay that fans can enjoy and isn't good enough to convert shooter fans to FF faithful. Who did they make this game for?
Collateral Damage: Viva Pinata
Microsoft | Xbox 360
Little Jimmy sees the (terrible) Viva Pinata cartoon on TV. Little Jimmy asks for an Xbox 360. Mommy and Daddy see that the 360 is $300 and the game is $60. Little Jimmy gets a much cheaper DS and Pokemon Rangerinstead because he's too young to tell the difference. Life goes on. And somewhere, a Microsoft exec realizes it's suicidal to make gazillion-dollar games that grade schoolers will love when you're trying to sell your console to 25 year-olds.