Review by buddhageoff
"A Gem I Missed"
When this game was released I was busy doing other things and never picked it up despite the rave reviews. However a couple weeks ago I saw it at the local blockbuster to rent and figured id give it a whirl. Lets just say I now own the game and haven't played anything else for 3 weeks.
Enough to keep the action going but it never really gets involved. You play as Dante a half human, half devil who hunts demons for a living. Then one night he gets a job from a mysterious woman named Trish. She invites him to go to a castle on an island in the middle of nowhere. When you get there all hell breaks loose. Some minor twists and turns but the story never really gets going until the second half of the game which definitely hurts it. All in all it's a simple plot with a minor twist, but that's okay because id rather spend my time kicking-ass than watching cutscenes.
Everything button has a quick response there is never any lag. This allows for some very sick combos as you never have to worry about the time it takes for you to press the button and the time it takes for the animation to start. My friends who have played this game say they aren't a fan of the control setup but I loved it. The setup honestly felt like second nature to me. The camera angles get a little awkward at times, which is why there is a point off, but they never effected the game play in a major way so it's not a huge problem. The only place the angles appear bad are around sharp corners and tight corridors. Also when you are underwater it switches too a first-person view, but since underwater sequences are short and few in number I didn't mind.
It's no Final Fantasy 10 but it gets the job done. All the enemies look menacing, gruesome and in most cases maliciously demented. The cutscenes are top notch and most are very gruesome to say the least, id tell you about them but it would ruin the surprise. The animations and combos all look fluid and stylish as every move blends together so there is no awkward pause from one move to the next. Also the gun designs and animations all look great from the handguns to the Nightmare-Beta everything looks awesome.
I think this category really helped the game. The voice acting sounds great, Dante always sounds like a bad-ass and it adds to the overall feel to the game. The weapons also have appropriate sounds like the shotgun blast and the whirring of your sword as you slice and dice enemies. The enemy noises are also done well ranging from the eerie laughter of the Sin Scythes to the clanking of the Marionettes you will know whats coming at you just by their sound alone. The music always feels right as well for instance when you are just exploring the background music is very mellow and calm but when your fighting the music picks up and goes into tense rock music. This switching of background music helps add to the feel and pace of the game.
Obviously the greatest part about any game is the gameplay. This is where Devil May Cry truly shines. The battle system allows you to use guns and Devil Arms (Swords/Gauntlets) simultaneously. This means you can flip and enemy into the air with your sword and juggle them with your guns before they can hit the ground. There are also many different swords attacks ranging from a basic three hit combo to devastating 8+ combos. The best part of the combo system is that you can cancel moves at anytime and change your combos on the fly. This means no "dial-a-combos" everything is free form. Believe me you will need the freedom to perform many moves at once since the enemies you will be facing have a multitude of attacks that can do a large amount of damage. Fortunately the dodges in this game are executed perfectly you can roll to either side and jump about 6 feet into the air (guess half-devils have got some ups). Will jumping you can also jump off a wall or enemy and since dodging is incredibly quick you can go from a dodge to an attack in a second. There is no block function but I never liked blocks anyway its more fun to go all out and kick-ass. Blocks also tend to slow down the pace of a game and since this game is full of fast paced action everything revolves around attacking and as an offence orientated gamer this suits my style well.
This is a game that screams Style. So they decided to add a style system based on your combos. If you only do a basic move you are going to get a Dull but if you keep your combos going and keep adding to them you get a Stylish. But wait what's the point of this style system? Well you see when an enemy dies it drops red orbs which are used to buy more moves for your weapons and items to help you on your quest. The better rankings you get for your combos the more orbs they will drop thus allowing you to gain more abilities to do even sicker combos.
The enemies and bosses are all challenging and well thought out. Your normal enemies don't feel like generic ones you see in other games. The bosses in this game also differ from those you see in others. The main difference is that instead of seeing a boss once they often come back for more before they are finally killed (in gory cutscenes I might add). You fight all sorts of bosses from a giant spider/lava monster, Phantom, to another sword wielding warrior, not unlike Dante, named Nelo Anglo. Your normal enemies also come in various forms from the blade wielding Marionettes to the plasmas which are made completely out of energy. You will never get bored fighting because of this variety.
The last aspect is the level design. There are tight corridors to open spaces all with different tactics to defeat your enemies. A nice part about the lay out is that you get to revisit parts of the castle as you go about completing objectives and puzzles (which are quite easy). There are also about 15 secret missions you can do which when completed grant you more health. The secret missions range from easy to insanely hard but all end up being worth it. The castle is large and expansive and fighting in its dark corridors is more fun than you can imagine.
The only bad part about this game is that its is short, 7-10 hours at most. This wasn't that big a deal too me because the of it's replay value.
Replay Factor (10/10)
There are a few unlockables in this game. For instance beating the game on normal will let you play on hard. Hard mode is like a completely different game as you see many more advanced enemies then on normal and all of the enemies are in new places. Once you beat hard mode you unlock a playable character and Dante Must Die mode which is an insanely challenging mode. The best part about replays are that you keep your abilities, items and health from your first go around so you don't have to gain them all over. However don't expect this to make the harder modes that much easier.
Buy Or Rent
Buy you can get this game cheap nowadays. I found my copy for 9 dollars on the web. The gameplay will keep you going for more than just a rental. However if you must rent you could beat the game without too much trouble as it is very quick 7-10 hours tops. Id buy it though because you are going to want to go through it more than once.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/03/04
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