Review by lihimsidhe

"Dante's Surviving Grace"

My first review and what a game to do it for; I feel honored. Being my first review, I have to say to all the reader's that I am a hard to please bastard with a critical eye. I actively look for flaws for a myriad of reasons. I have also read a lot of the pre existing reviews for this game and felt compelled to write my own. So here it is... the FIRST review by yours truly... enjoy!

Devil May Cry. An interesting name for an innovative game. Counting the latest outing, the franchise comes in three installments each offering its own unique merits and flaws. Devil May Cry one is an outstanding and groundbreaking game. Devil May Cry 2 has very few merits (such as the dodge function) but ultimately is a horrid game. Devil May Cry 3 takes the best of both games and melds them into a rich experience that is only tarnished by some surprisingly easy to mend flaws.

Gameplay

This is the most important factor of the franchise. It can look great, sound great, and just have an overall pleasing aesthetic but if it doesn't play great, then it is a failure. The gameplay itself is nothing short of awesome. The controls to execute the said gameplay is entirely responsive. In fact the only reason that a player dies in this game is not due to sluggish and inept controls, it is because that player just sucks. The action itself picks up where Devil May Cry 1 left off and part two tried to do and races ahead of expectations. To go through the game button mashing is an option. To go through the game doing the same thing over and over is an option as well. However, the real essence of this game shines through when trying to emulate the demon hunter Dante and attempting to defeat one's foes with STYLE. What seperates this game from the uninspired rest is that basically all video games today are about killing things. DMC is no different in that respect but where it does differ is how one goes about fufilling that perpetual mantra of killing. Personalization in this game is encouraged from the weapons used, actual styles of combat, to how one actually goes about doing the deed. Playing the game is addictive to a fault... my dismal grades this semester are evidence to that.

Sound

The sound effects are very accurate and realistic. There's not too much more I can add to that fact. What is worth more explanation is the soundtrack. While the music itself does not break any limits in the music industry, it does a world of good when applied to a video game. It is heavy metal music filtered through distoreted guitars, prevalent synths, and for a first I've ever seen in a game... gnarled vocals. The music in the game is nothing to be ashamed of but seeing as how there is only one or two actual 'battle songs' the hard work of the musicians becomes repetitive. The good thing is, the gameplay is so demanding, exciting, and intense that if one has time to criticize the soundtrack, that same person will probably be dead by then.

Visuals

Can we say PS 2 pushed to the max? Each environment is given a distinct feel and atmosphere. The levels and characters are all adorned with adequate detail and there are even times in the game where the visuals inspire a slight awe. As visuals go, Devil May Cry 3 is no slouch and stands among the best in the video game industry.

Story

Holy crap... there's a story! Imagine the story of Devil May Cry 2 but the complete opposite. DMC 2 had NO story. DMC 3 has a complete, compelling, and interesting story. The voice acting is top notch in the context of the game. This is really surprising because voice acting in video games is generally just AWFUL. It's a real treat to hear voice actors that actually give a damn about their careers. While the premise is nothing new and innovative, how Capcom executes the same ol' same ol' is... with style.

While it is an addictive game, it does have its flaws. One that does stand out is the character design. Mainly, the enemies... they all have the same basic template! The said template is a demon with a scythe. Admittedly, all of us who are fans of DMC 1 are spoiled. Not only did we have ridiculously, never before seen gameplay... we had a plethora of enemies to practice on. There was the meager Marionette, Lizardmen, the infamous Shadow, Death Scissors, etc. DMC 3 is a bunch of demons with scythes, the Death Scythe from part one, and flying demons made out of blood. The rest of the enemies (save for bosses) are very tedious and boring. The human forms of Dante and Vergil are quite spectacular but their Devil Trigger form is pretty lame. I don't know how red and black striped devil pants is supposed to deliver the 'cool'. All it makes me think is the character/enemy designers for this game have grown overconfident in their trade. The character design is just foreplay leading up to the games biggest flaw... the camera. The camera is so bad at times that it really makes me wonder if Capcom playtested this game before it was released. It's just plain BAD. It's not bad all of the time but it's bad enough to mention. The most difficult advesary are not the enemies coming straight for you on Dante Must Die mode in their Devil Triggered form. The most difficult advesary in this game is the camera programmer who apparently had his/her thumb up their bum while everyone worked like crazy to erase the memory of DMC 2 from our minds with a killer part three. Seriosly, what was the camera programmer doing for the whole development of the game? Seriously, what were they doing????

So all in all, Devil May Cry 3 is an excellent game with minor character design and camera flaws. It is the game that is DMC's surviving grace that will enable it to be churned into many sequels that is Capcom's specialty. There really is no reason to play any other game that focuses on action/adventure on the PS 2. Not God of War. Not Prince of Persia. Not Nanobreaker. Not anything. Below I'm going to list my favorite combo in DMC 3 and you tell me if the entirety of the other games come close:

So I'm staring down a demon that went to hell for the sin of lust. He broke me out of my stylish rating combo so he's going to get it especially. I begin with Beowolf and jumping into the air to execute a kick that sends me soaring in a forty five degree arc right into that damn demon. The demon is only stunned for a second so I use that time to switch to my sword, Rebellion. I land two hits with Rebellion and then I fling the same sword into this sorry advesary. With the sword firmly impaled in the foe, I then switch back to Beowolf, charge my normal rising uppercut, let it loose while pressing the attack button rapidly for more hits. What's this? The force of my uppercut sends my foe flying higher than the apex of the uppercut. No problem. After the uppercut is finsished, I initiate a second jump (the rising uppercut counts as the first one), switch back to Rebellion, call the sword back to Dante (which also counts as a hit when leaving an enemy's body) then I use the Swordmaster Style button to rapidly attack this happless enemy still in the air from my powerful uppercut. I slash the enemy three times with Aerial Rave and instead of landing the fourth blow that send the foe flying away with force, I switch back to Beowolf and follow the enemy's falling body to the ground because in fact, my character is already doing a move where he plummets into the ground with his fist and causes a geyser of light to erupt. That is also the final resting place of my beaten enemy... in that geyser of light.

That combo is just one tiny little aspect of this game that was created by this reviewer. There is just so much more to this game; it's replay value is tremendous. For those of you who want a true and innovative challenge where you will beat down opponents like you never have before... this game is for you. If your the type of player that throws the controller and says the computer is cheating... I suggest you go play something that isn't as demanding on your reflexes and creativity... this game will kick your butt. For the rest of us, Capcom has listened to us and have delivered to us a fantastic game. Enjoy.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/05


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