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Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- should be released as a PS2 Classic for PlayStation 4

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- should be released as a PS2 Classic for PlayStation 4

Written by Brayden — 04 Feb 2018

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, the currently only playable sequel to Final Fantasy VII just turned 12 years old in Japan and it made me think about how it's not currently playable on anything modern...

It was of course released worldwide on PlayStation 2 in 2006. Like Square Enix usually did, they added new content and made changes to the game for the North American and European versions and these would be released for Japan in 2008 as Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- International. With that, it is nearly 10 years since the last release of any kind for this game.

The PlayStation 2 was of course discontinued years ago, and only early PlayStation 3 models are backwards compatible with PS2 games. This was even the main reason Square Enix decided to release HD remasters of Final Fantasy X and X-2. While I do not think Dirge of Cerberus needs a HD remaster like Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster or the more recently released Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, I do believe it needs to be re-released in some way.

Upon its release it was largely poorly received by critics, and to be fair there are some valid reasons why. The game is not on the same level as the mainline entries in the series, but there's a lot of unique and good in this game.

The biggest thing about this game is that it's a action role-playing third-person-shooter. To date it's still the only shooter in the entire Final Fantasy series not counting stuff like Final Fantasy XV's Episode Prompto. The decision to make it a shooter came from producer Yoshinori Kitase and his love for shooters. He also felt like it would be a good challenge for the development team which consisted of staff that were coming off the Final Fantasy X series and working on the then upcoming Final Fantasy XIII. But it also saw them team up with co-developer Monolith Soft, made up of former Square staff and are now known for their own games such as Xenoblade Chronicles.

Among the notable staff were director Takayoshi Nakazato (a planner on Final Fantasy VII and field planning director for the Final Fantasy X series), main programmer Yoshiki Kashitani (who would go on to be the main programmer for Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2), art director Yukio Nakatani (a background artist on Final Fantasy VII), art supervisor Yusuke Naora (art director for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X and later Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy XV), vfx director Shintaro Takai (special magic effect director for Final Fantasy VII, art director for the Final Fantasy X series, later graphics & vfx director for the Final Fantasy XIII series and Mobius Final Fantasy), event director & scenario writer Hiroki Chiba (an event planner on Final Fantasy VII, and most recently director & scenario writer for World of Final Fantasy) and finally composer Masashi Hamauzu (a composer on Final Fantasy X and later the composer for Final Fantasy XIII).

The game also featured many firsts for a Final Fantasy game. These included an auto-save feature, 3 difficulty modes, the game running at 60fps, the ability to select a chapter to play, a theater to re-watch all of the cutscenes upon unlock, a multiplayer mode (Japan only, North America and Europe got a mission mode instead) and more.

It also expands on the story of many side characters from Final Fantasy VII including the playable character Vincent Valentine, Yuffie Kisaragi, Reeve Tuesti, Cait Sith (who is even playable for a single level), Professor Hojo and Lucrecia Crescent. Kitase said for the game's 10th anniversary he was happy the game could explain why Vincent and Yuffie were not seen in Final Fantasy VII's ending.

New characters were of course also featured including Shelke who has since appeared in World of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

I personally quite enjoyed Dirge of Cerberus when I played it a couple of years ago and would like to replay it on PlayStation 4 one day. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura (and now director of Final Fantasy VII Remake) said a year ago it didn't make sense to release a HD collection of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII since they weren't going to be canon to the Final Fantasy VII Remake but that doesn't mean they can't still re-release it.

Sony Interactive Entertainment's PS2 emulator for PlayStation 4 is very good, it uprenders the game to Full HD 1080p and includes support for standard PS4 game features like Remote Play (so you can play it on PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android devices), Share Play (so you can share screenshots and videos online) and PlayStation Network trophies. I've played a few PS2 Classics on PlayStation 4 and was quite impressed how good they looked and played.

So I would love to see Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- released as a PS2 Classic for PlayStation 4. As it stands it's the only Final Fantasy game released on a PlayStation home console that's yet to be released on anything other than its original platform, that should change. If there's a reason it can't be released as a PS2 Classic for PS4 such as technical or licensing issues I would understand but currently there's nothing to suggest either.

So with Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, the only playable sequel to Final Fantasy VII, now 12 years old and 10 years since it's last release of any kind, I ask Square Enix and Sony Interactive Entertainment to release it as a PS2 Classic for PlayStation 4.