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Know your weapon, use Ifrit and Alastor as the enemies require them. Be patient, dodge often and use taunts to boost DT. And remember practice makes perfect, so the moment you feel like you are getting frustrated, just relax and try again. Good luck.
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It has probably the most sensible Devil Trigger mechanics in the series. There's usually a visible Do-Or-Die timer that upon expiration will signal when all of the enemies will enter Devil Trigger, becoming more resilient, more damaging, and less susceptible to hitstun. The cool thing about DMC1 is that, when you activate trigger, it actually "cancels out" the enemy trigger buffs, which is great design because of how intuitive it is.
It also actually plays really well if you do a fresh-run on DMD, something that certainly can't be said for DMC3 and I'd have reservations about saying the same for DMC4. Sure, the first mission is a ballbuster in the basement, but once you pick up Alastor and the Shotty it becomes a lot more manageable.