Review by RoxasANobody

"Stylish Dante Returns With a New Protagonist"

Devil May Cry is the fourth installment in the series. Chronologically it is the third out of the four made. Capcom has decided to give this Devil May Cry game a twist: a whole new protagonist. This new protagonist has brought about a lot of mystery, but the usual action and puzzles are still here. New powers, new enemies, a new storyline, new game-play, new weapons, new guns, and even more awesome cool things are in this installment. Devil May Cry 4 brings a smile to both new players and veterans.

The most important thing Capcom did not even involve the disc, it involved the systems. As a selling point, Capcom decided to make Devil May Cry 4 for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. There are no differences between the two except for the loading time; which is not too noticeable in the first place. Making this move allowed Capcom to net a lot of fans. Some fans of this series could not afford the Playstation 3, so Capcom would lose those fans. If those fans that could not buy the Playstation 3 had an Xbox 360, they could buy the game due to this marketing strategy. As previously stated, there is no major difference about the Xbox 360 version and the Playstation 3 version.

Storyline 7/10

The story was exceptional, as are the rest of the Devil May Cry games. This one, on the other hand, was lacking and pretty boring. In the first Devil May Cry, we were immediately brought to a confusing result when we see Trish, Dante's look-alike mom, attack his shop. Prequel-wise, we are brought straight into an action scene and afterwards we are introduced to Dante's twin brother, Vergil. Devil May Cry 4 brought a “new” formula to the table. Our new protagonist, Nero, is running to a chapel of some sort with vocals in the background. In Devil May Cry 3 there was the “screamo” genre playing in the background. Nero's entrance was graceful rather than explosive like most characters that enter this series seem to make. Maybe it was due to the fact that Kyrie, Nero's supposed lover, was singing during this period of time and her voice just so happened to overlay the great music that Capcom had composed! It all just might be a conspiracy by Devil May Cry fans, but Capcom seems to have thought that the majority of fans would have liked this. Quietly making his way to his seat, he plants his rear-end on the cushion and proceeds to watch the end of his “lover's” song. Applause roars as it nears the end and some old geezer, “Sanctus”, takes the stand and babbles on and on about something that you probably will not care about.

Crashing from above our hero, who is oddly not known by the supporters of Sparda, Dante, shoots the old guy. Nero proceeds to show Dante what he is made off by attempting to take him on. A fight proceeds and in the end, Nero wins. However, our protagonist (for all of you wondering, Dante), let him. During the fight, Nero was not to be underestimated because he has a special arm. This is where I docked some points off of the storyline. Fans are supposed to know most of the story behind their characters, but there was so much mystery surrounding Nero from beginning to end, that I thought of him as a shell. This shell was just made for me to experiment with. A story that was in the manual is not supposed to feed my hunger for Nero-knowledge! Capcom insulted us by putting something so meager in there. Nero pummeled Dante and punished him. In the end, Dante thought of his “lose” as a total win.

Nero runs to Fortuna Castle, where Dante supposedly studied on the group “The Order of the Sword”. Along the way he fights some baddies, he learns some new things that he can do with his devil arm, and he fights an over-sized dog which seems impossible to beat if you are on the default difficulty. While running around this castle, with about four missions of absolutely nothing but running around that castle, he eventually finds the Yamato. Hopefully this will lead to the return of Vergil or it will lead to some mysterious new power. In the mean time, as Nero holds this sword, he is able to trigger the devil inside of him. This is where I docked yet another point off of the good ole' storyline. Apparently this sword was found by some insane guy who does not know how to talk correctly, Agnus to be correct, and he was trying to construct it using really terrible reasoning. Agnus' ways were so terrible, that even using simple glue gun would have made his ideas put to shame. Once Nero breaks the force field protecting dear Agnus, the sword seems to react to him.

You just wait right there Capcom! Do not try to sneak away from your fans when we are trying to get an explanation from you! They got away, again. So, they left us without any information twice! Capcom, you have to do a better job of explaining who this guy is or he'll just be a shell in the fifth game. With this new found power, he yet again battles his way through the castle and into a forest clearing. He finds Dante, but Dante has no information for him thus far. Nero runs through this forest of doom to the headquarters of The Order of the Sword. While there, he fights his commander-boss, and he wears him down to the convenient point where Kyrie gets to see Nero's devil arm. Trying to hide the fact that he has a powerful demon arm (behind his back), Agnus captures the girl and hides her. Nero travels through and finds Dante once again! This fight allows Dante to find out that Nero has the Yamato. Dante had to actually breathe during this fight, so we know that Nero can put up one. During this cutscene, Dante fills you all in on who's sword this is and why he needs it back. Nero states that he needs it and Dante surprisingly lets him have it.

All in all, this is the most crucial part that you have read. The rest does not really matter since the switch from Nero to Dante was pretty far-fetched and when they switch back, the heroes win. So, that is roughly three times that Capcom has left us hanging! That is three too many! In the first and third game, the gaps were filled easily. It seems Capcom has a need to hate on even numbered games. The consumer may find this rather confusing and they may be lead to ask whether or not to buy the previous games. Major fans of this game are as confused as newcomers. New players can be welcomed to the acclaimed “DMConfused Club” (which is fake by the way)!

Overall: Capcom dropped the ball on this one. It is quiet simple to see and there is no explanation needed for this summary.

Difficulty 8/10

This is a game for all action lovers. Not only do you get to create your own combo's, but the number of times you get to pull it off on harder difficulties is amazing. Games that make the player play through a level five times due to terrible checkpoints aren't that amazing. In Devil May Cry 4, Capcom has given you the ability to be revived where you stand with a golden orb or if you do not like dieing then you can simply use a healing item on the fly. Unlike the previous installment, Devil May Cry 3, the difficulty levels were crafted perfectly! Devil May Cry 3 was a real pain to a lot of people, even Veterans. When Capcom decided to release the special edition, it brought a lot of hype because the difficulty levels were toned down (to what Devil May Cry 4's standards have met).

There is a really easy mode, for casual gamers. There is an easy mode for previous players. Son of Sparda mode is a mode where players who have played through the game once or twice can play yet again with improved enemies. Dante Must Die, the three most dreaded words by Devil May Cry fans, is the hardest difficulty. This challenge offers harder enemies. There are two other difficulties that are not as important as the previous four stated.

Overall: Difficulties are glorious in this game. Not only can a casual player breeze through Son of Sparda mode, but they will not have to worry about being challenged to their limits. However, for players who have already seen the image of Dante on their screens for three games know for a fact that Dante Must Die was toned down insanely. With this, the challenge was terrible from there. Dante Must Die is supposed to be an extremely challenging mode, but they made it so no one could complain that it was too hard. For this simple reason, the score had to be decreased.

Graphics 10/10

Usually a Devil May Cry game may lack the necessary scenery. In this game, many have found that the jump from the Playstation 2 console to the new generation consoles have both drastically improved game-play and graphics. Most importantly are the graphics, since this is what the new engine was supposed to support. The Playstation 3 graphics look a bit better than the Xbox 360 graphics. With the Xbox 360 the graphics like grainy, meanwhile the Playstation 3 colors are “more realistic” to be fair. Really what drastically improved was the look of the characters. In Devil May Cry's previous installment, whenever you looked at Dante there were edges that were rough and his sword was not as stellar. The jump to the new generation systems gave Dante a three-dimensional look. Not only does it look like he jumped through a painting, but all his weapons look twice as good as they used to.

The Rebellion, for example, looks magnificent. Devil May Cry 3 was probably the highest point ever since the first installment and this is where they started to effectively bring in the Rebellion. We have seen him use it before in the second game, but it looked shady. With the third game it still looked a bit like cardboard. When the fourth one graced the shelves, it was simply amazing how they made this weapon look bigger, stronger, and weightless. There is not too much to judge about Nero's weapons, since this is the first time we have seen him. His weapons look just as spectacular, but the on-the-go switching that was left out in exchange for Nero's arm is terrible.

Bosses in this game look as realistic as they previously did. Near the ending, Dante acquires the Yamato from Agnus and he uses it to slash a slab about a few miles away from him. Not only does the town look great, but the collapse of the slab looked great. Then, afterwards, Dante slid the Yamato back into its case and he proceeds to fight this angelic God. When you fight this “angelic God” you have to jump from one structure to the next to hit specific spots on its body. Whilst you are doing this, the game happens to maintain Dante's looks, the whole entire body of the Savior, and the surroundings below. Capcom did a magnificent job on this.

Dressed in armor and some dressed in a cloak, the enemies in this game are not half as bad either. There was this one specific enemy that seemed to always happen to cross Nero, and that is an armored suit. This suit looks designed specifically and perfectly to fit Vergil's encased form – Nelo Angelo. Some can speculate whether or not these suits operate under him, but the design and the specificity of these suits are great! Capcom did a great job on detailing the enemies, even though they are only meant for us to kick their butts.

When Dante acquires a new weapon from the bosses he defeats, he usually enters a cut-scene that shows the power of the weapon. Not only are the cut-scenes done so perfectly, but they are quiet a show to watch. Capcom allowed Dante to keep his “cool” style by putting him in impossible situations. For example, Dante was about to fight Agnus, but before he fought him they both entered a cut-scene where they reenacted a scene from Shakespeare. Another example is after he obtained the weapon Lucifer, he enters a cut-scene where his voice actor had to speak lines solely on innuendo.

Overall: Great job. Words can not describe how great they did here.

Game-play 10/10

For both veterans and newcomers, this game really brings in the game-play. Driving your sword through people not good enough for you? Then you should try out Nero's “Streak” maneuver which allows him to dash across the screen, as Dante does, but instead he slashes the air in front of him. Not interested in that? Then try Dante's “Stinger”, this move has been around since the golden days and this is where Dante impales anything in front of him with a sudden dash. The move-sets in this game are amazing! If you get bored with Dante, then you can try out Nero. If you get bored with Nero, then you can give Dante a go. What some newcomers believe, however, is that Nero is better than Dante.

The goal of this game is not only to beat it, but to try out combos. This is what separates this game from the God of War and Ninja Gaiden titles. With Nero, he has the ability to grab enemies from afar and continue your combos. In return, he loses the ability to switch weapons on the go. Dante does not have a special arm to grab enemies from afar, but he has special styles that allow him to dash across the screen, shoot upside-down in mid-air, hit a home-run with his sword, and become invincible! Not only does he get to switch styles on the go with the D-Pad, but he also gets to switch weapons on the go with just a click of the left trigger and right trigger. When Dante defeats a boss in this game, he obtains a weapon from them. Once these weapons are available, you can upgrade them from a menu.

There is a menu where Dante/Nero can upgrade their weapons and buy items. In this game, Capcom brought in a new concept. This new system is formally called “Proud Souls”. Instead of using red orbs to buy new abilities and items, red orbs are to buy items and Proud Souls to buy skills. To obtain red orbs (or formally called “demon blood”) an enemy must be defeated. The enemy that was defeated will spill its blood in an orb-like fashion and Dante/Nero will suck it up like a vacuum. After beating a mission, there will be a rank received; S – E. E being the worst and S being the best. In order to get the “S” rank, there will need to be an extremely quick time, acquired a lot of red orbs, and it would be smart to acquire the “No Item” bonus. After obtaining red orbs and Proud Souls the upgrading menu is accessible by finishing a mission is or via a Goddess holding a sandglass in-game.

From this menu there are moves that are special to both Dante and Nero. Nero can buy moves for the Yamato and Dante can buy moves for his weapons and guns. What is special to Nero is the Yamato weapon and what is special to Dante is the ability to buy skills. After buying these things, not only does your character become more advanced, but the combos will also get more advanced. Experimenting with all the weapons is an advantage to the player. Some of the skills are just as useful for obtaining items as they are to fighting. Air Hike, or normally called the “double jump”, allows Nero or Dante to jump again once they have taken their initial jump. With Dante's Devil Trigger also comes a hidden Air Hike that some have not seen. Dante can jump three times if he has the ability Air Hike, once he uses the Air Hike, he can use a normal jump once more.

Overall: Awesome game-play. This game-play really does separate itself from other action games out there.

Sound 9/10

There is always a difficulty amongst writers to talk about the sound. The creator usually does an outstanding job of mixing the music and sound effects. This game is a prime example of the creator doing an excellent job on his part. Head-banging music was an inspiring way to create new combos. Kyrie, even though it seemed to ruin the beginning, had a beautiful voice and there was no need to listen to iTunes. However, when Dante or Nero was in Fortuna Castle, it always seemed quiet. Any music of any kind would have picked up the mood, but unfortunately, it stayed quiet most of the time. This is where reviewers seem to have had to dock off a point.

Overall: There is not anything big to complain about here. Everything seems to be neat and tidy.

Conclusion

Devil May Cry 4 is a great game. I suggest renting it if there is not a great desire to play action games. If there is a big desire to find a challenge, then this game is definitely a buy. There is no need to go back and play through the series, since this game really just gives it to you in a nutshell. Sparda is a legendary warrior. Dante and Vergil are the sons of Sparda. Dante happens to be the good guy. Vergil is the good guy who supposedly died in the first one. Dante is said to be stronger than his father do to his half-blood power. His goal is to find the Yamato and keep it safe there from further evil harm. In order to will him there, Trish brought the Sparda sword to The Order of the Sword.

This game does have its pros and cons, but even games that are worthy of “The Game of the Year” award have flaws. Some games have their cons outweigh their pros, but in this case, real fans will just pick it up and start slashing away and having fun. This game does deserve the rating that is about to be splashed on it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/14/08

Game Release: Devil May Cry 4 (US, 02/05/08)


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