Review by KasketDarkfyre
"A pair of pistols and a Devil that just won't quit...."
Capcom has always been the type of company that has brought out some killer games. While revolving around the more fighter based circuit, they do come out with a different type of game from time to time that makes a gamer remember that Capcom doesn't just focus on the fighting game circuit. Devil May Cry is the work of a nearly ingenious team of programmers, story writers and plenty of animation that comes together in a hell of a game that will keep most action gamers riveted to their televisions until the release of Metal Gear Solid 2! The game truly brings to life a ton of exploration, action and just good old fashioned ass kicking with a sword and a pair of guns. The story is based on a half human, half demon bounty hunter named Dante, who is hired by a mysterious woman to battle the forces of evil on a secluded island which are controlled by the King of Demons. At the risk of giving away the entire story, I'll just leave it at that and continue on!
The game play alone is enough to get most action gamers into the mix with several points of exploration and action rolled into one. You'll find that several points in the game revolve around puzzles that you have to figure out in order to continue, and following on that, the hardest part of the puzzles is to look at the obvious and realize that it really is simple, but you've racked your brain for twenty minutes thinking that it's exceptionally hard! Through this, you'll also find that much of the game is simply pounding the hell out of a room full of enemies, collection techniques for your different weapons and then continue on to one of the massive boss fights. Something of a bonus here is that you aren't penalized for running into your enemies, but more or less rewarded for running headlong into your foe and going ballistic!
Aside from the missions that can last between five and ten minutes depending on your ability to either rush through or take your time, you'll find that if you re-enter different parts of the Castle that you're exploring, you will run into several different secret missions that range from being very easy to exceptionally hard. There is an amount of strategy that is involved with taking on these special missions and it could take hours just to get them all right! The different weapons you find also allow you to have something of a different way of battling the mass of creature that you encounter. For different button presses during battle, you can perform several different attacks that range from the ultra easy, to the insanely difficult yet cool looking attacks such as the uppercut-gun combination! If you add into the mix the ability to change into a different demon depending on your weapon that you have equipped, you'll find that Devil May Cry has several different game play options that you'll need to learn and play with just find the right style.
Through the combinations, you're given a rating scale that will determine your true ability as a hunter, and will effect your mission ending rank. I really couldn't tell you what gets you the S ranking, but if you travel fast through the missions, attempt not to get hit and in some cases pull off nothing but Stylish Combinations, you'll end up with a top rank for the most part! This only adds to the replay value, which not only increases the difficulty of the game, but also opens up a pair of secret characters that you can use in later games if you choose to do so. Although is plays much like Resident Evil does, you're no longer running away from the horror...you're running headlong into with both guns blazing!
The control is pretty technical when it comes to actually pulling off different combinations and move sets, such as using your sword and then firing off your guns while you're at it. Because of the constantly shifting camera angles, you'll find that it takes some precise timing and several attempts at the platform jumping in order to get it right! Something that is a plus however, is the fact that you can auto lock onto the closest enemy and go to town without actually directing Dante across the screen. Several different combination attacks makes the game technical, with different weapons having different button presses and analog stick movements, so be prepared to give up some time learning how to control Dante effectively!
Moving into the visuals of the game, I have to say that they are relatively amazing. With very detailed environments and several different lighting effects as well as the different weapon effects, you'll find that Dante flows across the screen gracefully and fires off those guns with life like detail! Some of the better scenes in the game come with blasting your way out of a mob of Marionettes, leaping to one side, up off the wall and then into a combination while your shadow follows damn near perfectly. Several instances of the Castle and its run down state makes itself apparent, with shattered walls, crumbling ramparts and sweet looking lighting effects that keep the mood of the game dark and deary.
The audio aspect of the game is something that just cannot be denied. The music of the game is gothic, dark and haunting, with enough pace to it during the various battles to keep your ears riveted to the game as well the action on screen! However, something that you may find is that the voice acting, as with most Capcom action games, needs plenty of work. Probably the best thing Dante could have done through-out the entire game was keep his trap shut, as it really dispells the illusion of him being the ultimate bad ass! Aside from that, some of the more intricate pieces of music come with the beginning of the game while wandering the main hall of the Castle and the sheer depth of what you hear will prepare you for the amount of action you'll find in just the first few minutes of play!
Overall, Capcom did a marvelous job with this title, and with the different levels of difficulty that can be found in the game, gamers will be glued until the release of the hyped up Metal Gear Solid 2. I can give a good recommendation to most action platform gamers out there with this title, but those who are looking for a game with several hours of game play might want to revert back to the Play Station Tomb Raider series or maybe the different Resident Evil games. Combining several different elements of action, story and killer game play as well as the ability to whip out a pair of guns and just start unloading, Devil May Cry might just be the best action game Capcom ever released!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/01, Updated 10/21/01
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