Review by megaman2005

"The birth of the franchise. And if you haven't played it yet...why not?!"

Why do I feel the need to review any of the devil may cry games? I mean, if you know games, you probably have an opinion one way or the other on the series. With four entries in the series so far it has quickly become on of the finest action series in video games, and has also formed a sort of rivalry with Tecmos Ninja Gaiden series. Though this rivalry isn't as large as some others throughout gaming history (Mario vs Sonic), it's still there, venomous words filling endless pages of internet message boards. So, where do I stand? Though I like the extreme difficulty of Ninja Gaiden, I like even more the stylish action of the Devil May Cry franchise, not to mention how can you compete with someone like Devil May Cry's protagonist Dante?

The original Devil May Cry used to be something completly different. Originally designed as Resident Evil 4, the production team took a very different approach, and that title ended up being converted to what is now known as Devil May Cry 1. Back when it was first released, the modern day Ninja gaiden hadn't been created yet, and Devil May Cry came and did a big shake up of the action genre. In a way, modern day action games like God of War, Ninja Gaiden, and Heavenly Sword owe a great debt to Devil May Cry.

As you start the game, you take control of Dante, a half human, half demon being, and son of a legendary demon named Sparda who sacrificed his life to save the human world from the demons. Now it's Dantes turn to fill his fathers shoes and save the world from Mundus, the king of demons. With sword and dual pistols in hand, Dante sets off for one of the most action packed adventures ever.

From the explosive first cutscene, to the amazing final battle, the action never stops. As Dante you must hack, shoot, punch, stab, and pretty much any thing you deem necessary to reach your goal. The big draw of the game is the combo system. Dante has a lot of cool moves, which you'll need to clear the game. As you fight, you are graded based on the variety of moves you use, and your ability to evade attacks. The level of grades vary from the lowly D, to the almost unattainable SSS. The first time you do the "knock the enemy in the air, and keep them suspended with bullets to the chest move" all while listening to a rockin sound track, you'll be hooked. The enemies are tough, and if you're not careful you can very easily be dropped by the most basic of enemies. Even normal will be more than too much for some, as you'll see the game over screen constantly. However, this is very much a good thing, since by the time you beat it, you'll actually feel like you've acomplished something.

Boss fights are one of the best parts of the Devil May Cry series. these huge baddies range from a giant spider-scorpion hybrid, a huge crow, a dark knight and more, and they'll do anything they can to drop you to your knees. Luckily for you, early in the game, Dante gains the ability to unlock his demonic powers, giving you the temporary ability to transform and unleash hayhem on all that opposes you. While pros can finish bosses without falling back on this, newbies will probably find themselves falling back on this as soon as they can. It doesn't guarentee victory, far from it, but it gives you an edge when you need it the most.

The visuals in the game are gorgeous, and still hold up against some of the best the PS2 has to offer. Monsters are detailed, the bosses are menacing, and Dante has a great visual flair to him. With all the action going on all at once, it's amazing that there is no slowdown to speak of through the entire game. The cutscenes are also fun to watch, even if you don't follow the story. They only further emphasize Dantes, well, coolness. He doesn't back down from anything, often delivering snappy one liners in the face of impossible odds (something that has become a series stable today). They're hilarious, and they actually make you feel bad when you screw up and let Dante die.

There are a few quirks that may turn some off. The extreme difficulty may just be too much for some. there is an easy mode, but even then some of the boss fights are still a hard. On the flip side, it's also a pro, if you're someone who thinks that the games today are too easy, then this will be your paradise. After beating the game once, you unlock another difficulty, "Hard", and after that one of the greatest challenges in games, "Dante May Cry." Be prepared to work, and also be prepared for some broken controllers.

Red Orbs collected from killing enemies are used to unlock new moves and items like vital stars used to recover health, or blue orbs that increase your max amount of health. However every time you purchase an item, the price for that item increases for that item, so if you rely too heavily on healing items, later in the game you may find yourself way too short on cash to afford them.

The game runs off a Residen Evil style fixed camera. It may sound strange for a game like this, but it does give you some dramatic angles, and gives you the best view of the action no matter where you are. I actually prefer this camera for action games, since this way, you can see what's around you at every angle. The one thing that may irk some is sometimes the camera will flip 180 degrees, causing some uneccesary confusion. Though I've never had this happen during a fight, it's still something that Devil May Cry struggles with today.

Devil May Cry is a game you just need to play if you haven't already. It's explosive, it's violent, it's funny, and it's just plaing awesome. capcom has succeeded in creating one of the best action title ever, and has also given birth to a great action hero in Dante. Capcom clearly stumbled onto something great, so how could they screw it up?...Well, let's talk about Devil May Cry 2.

GRAPHICS: 9/10-One of the best looking games on the PS2, easily standing up to some later games on the platform

SOUND: 9/10-The voice acting is fantastic, and full of life, and the sound effects during th fights keep things intense. The soundtrack can change from a somber gothing mood, to a guitar heavy rock song in an instant.

CONTROL: 9/10-Dante is very easy to control, although it takes some getting used to with the jumping. Combos are super easy to pull of with the tight control scheme, and lack of ultra complex button presses. However those who hate fixed cameras may get frustrated.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10-It's hard, it's fast paced, it's just plain fun. A great combination of sword and unlimited ammo gun play. One of the best titles in the PS2's library.

REPLAY VALUE: Moderate

OVERALL: 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/08

Game Release: Devil May Cry (US, 10/16/01)


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