On a cheerier note, my review of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is up now at thephoenix.com. I can't recommend this one highly enough.
I'm actually still trying to finish it. I put just about 20 hours into the game for the review, but I keep getting sidetracked by the missions. There are a few in-game side-quests to undertake, but the bulk of them are menu-driven: at a save point, you just select the "missions" option. While I'm not sure just how many missions there are, it's got to be in the hundreds. I think I've spent the majority of my playing time on them and I think I've only recently crested 40% completion.
Yesterday I made the mistake of taking on the mission with 1,000 Wutai soldiers, which took over an hour and ten minutes. It wasn't hard, particularly once the DMW gave me no MP cost for the duration, but the lack of difficulty almost made it more boring. And then my reward was "Mug" materia, which I am sure not to use. (Frankly, I've barely deviated from a mix of Fire/Blizzard/Thunder/Cure/MP Up/HP Up since I started, and it's served me well.)
But I'm just bitching because I thought I'd make more progress toward the main storyline. One thing I've always loved about the Final Fantasy series is how they can tell these tales about the end of the world, but the real drama is essentially between the main characters. You don't fight the bad guys just because it's the right thing to do, but because you need to put right some personal conflict. And it usually works. Certainly works here.