Review by Amakusa42
"Without a doubt, one of the best games on the PS2..."
Working at Blockbuster Video has it advantages, one of which is that you get first pick of any new video game or movie that comes thru the door. Of course, you still have to pay for them, but being able to grab a copy of Devil May Cry before it disappears is good enough for me.
Notice how bad guys always seem to pick secluded castles or ancient dungeons to come back to earth in? Why? If those damn demons they surround themselves with can only be killed by special weapons or chosen people, whats the problem? If I was a demon entering the world, I'd show up in New York, announce my presence to the world, then hand out numbers for the good guys to come and get their asses kicked. And not just one or two of my minions will attack each at once, I am talking about small armies with huge ass back up for each individual hero.
Devil May Cry is the newest effort from the creators of Resident Evil. Don't expect it to be anything like that though, Devil May Cry is pure sword-slicing, gun-shooting, enemies-falling-before-you-like-threshed-wheat masterpiece. I think this is the first game for the PS2 where its easy to look cool and kick ass at the same time.
Funny... I couldn't do this against Nemesis.
Dante, remember that name because I am sure you will see it again. He dresses all in red, swings a huge-ass sword, and wields a matched pair of handguns called Ebony&Ivory. A private Eye with an eye on demon hunting. He doesn't think he can kick Demon Ass, he knows it. I haven't heard trash talking this bad since I saw the last WWF Pay-Per-View... And Dante never fails to back it up. He is a true silver-haired devil. In this game, Dante is the son of the Dark Knight Sparta, a demon warrior who turned to the side of justice and kicked major demon ass 1000 years ago. He had a human wife and together they bore a son which he named Dante. Half-Human, Half-Demon... And all attitude. He last gift to his son was his sword, Force Edge. Not a bad weapon, but its quickly replaced. This is my one sticking point in the game. If the sword was used by a demon, shouldn't it be a BIT more powerful and not just an easy to replace model? Chalk that one up to some bad writing.
Thankfully, they have gone away from the character-relative control scheme found in every Resident Evil. No longer does right turn you right, but now it walks right. Much more useful in an action game like this. Since the actions are all camera relative, and the backgrounds are pre-generated, does that mean it will be impossible to control? Not at all. In a nice usage of controls, as long as you hold the direction down, Dante will walk the way you indicated, even if the camera switches. So if he is walking away from the camera in one screen, then walking towards it in the next, all you have to do to keep him walking in the same direction is keep holing the joypad. This can be a little odd at times, but it fits perfectly with the game.
Weapons are a real treat here. In keeping with the game's action style, no reloading is required. So when you push Square to fire Dante's weapon, you can keep holding it down indefinitely. With pistols equiped, the faster you hit square, the more bullets he will fire. While the guns you start with are the weakest in the game, with a fast finger you can chew up bosses with them. Swords have no ammo, so you can swing to your hearts content with the Circle button.
Triangle acts as a jump function. When Dante jumps into a wall, you can hit Triangle again to bounce off. Later on, you can aquire the ability to Double Jump in mid-air. You cannot combine double-jump and wall bounce, which would have been nice... But there is very little in the game Dante cannot reach with one or the other jump. Also while jumping with the Pistols Equiped, Dante can kind of hover, provided you hit the square button fast enough.
X is your Interact/Examine button, allowing you to search items and examine statues. Start serves as your inventory button, R1 is your aim mode, and R2 taunts your enemy. Combining R1 with Triangle allows Dante to roll or Dodge out of the way. This is EXTREMELY useful in boss fights, as they have attacks with can track if you are not careful, and this ability is your only way to avoid it.
And then there is Devil Trigger State. By pressing L1, Dante taps into his Demon side and becomes a lean, mean, Demon-Grinding machine. In this mode, Dante heals a little, starts moving a LOT faster, swings his sword better, and can unleash several demon powers. These powers vary from weapon to weapon, but I found it a major annoyance that the best weapon in the game doesn't allow you to use Devil Trigger State. I am not going to spoil it by telling you what exactly he can do in this state, you'll just have to find out yourself.
The best part is the ability to link sword and shooting attacks. My favorite is to juggle the enemy helpless into the air, then play elevator with a bunch of shotgun rounds.
And on our left we have the standard Haunted Castle complete with Unnecessarily Powerful Demons and Cliche Traps...
Okay, so the setting isn't orginal. Dante is hired to stop the enemy his father sealed into the underworld from breaking into our world. Hired by some woman who is demon herself. Oh well, money is money, right? The setting uses pre-generated backgrounds to get the job done. They look REALLY nice and are brimming with detail. Even the enemies are well detailed. Shoot or cut them and they bleed, Slice into them and they scream, and when they die, they explode into a nice mass of goo and unidentified parts.
When they die, they drop a bunch of red orbs that you can collect. These orbs are used to buy power-ups for Dante's weapons. This makes the senseless mowing down of enemies purposeful. There are other orbs in the game. Blue add more life to your life bar, green heals, purple restores Devil Trigger, and yellow adds an extra life. Collect all the orbs you can... They can save your life.
Wait a minute... What am I shooting at?
As is depressingly normal with all games like this, the camera can be an enemy. Sure Dante can and does Auto-Aim very well, but even he can't keep track of all enemies on screen. So, you are poked at from long distances. Were it not for this gripe, this game would have gotten a 10.
Also, on a personal note: Things in this game cost too much. Double jump costs 4000 orbs? Thats just wrong.
The game is also a bit short, about 15hrs on first play-thru. Not good.
All in all, one of the best games for the PS2.
+ Beautiful, Stylish, pre-rendered backgrounds.
+ Boom. Swish! Growl! Howl of Pain!
+ Spot on.
+ Nice. Gives a cool, cinematic feel.
- And is usless a lot.
- Just gets harder. Not easier, Harder. Dante Must Die mode is for people who have infitne time, patience, and who have taken a vow of temperence.
Should I buy this game?
-Depends. Since its first run thru is only about 15 hours, and subsequent replays will be around only to drive you insane, its up to you.
Should I rent this game?
-Haven't you done so already? No? Then do it!
Amakusa thinks only another hour of hunting in the sewers and he will be able to buy his boomerang sword. Then he and that giant spider will be having some words.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/01, Updated 10/21/01
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