Review by Tenshi No Shi
The Devil may cry but gamers sure won't.
I don't know which gaming god I was put into such good favor with, but last year proved to be an orgy of gaming goodness from my favorite company Capcom. Amongst a sea of releases (both good and bad) from nearly every software company on the planet, Devil May Cry still stood out amidst the crowd as a genre-defining title. I'm a practical man and even I admit when Capcom sells what is essentially crap pressed into a disc format (X2 springs to mind). But Devil May Cry
there's something about it that defies description. You should probably just go out and buy the game, it's that damn good. However, if you need more convincing, please feel free to read on (and then go out and buy the damn game).
In Devil May Cry, you assume the role of Dante- a half-man, half-demon who specializes in slaying the supernatural under the guise of a private investigator. One day, a mysterious blonde woman enters your office and tries to kill you. Naturally, you decide to help her destroy an ancient evil that may be linked to your past by visiting a dark castle situated atop a mysterious island in the middle of nowhere. As luck would have it, the castle is actually a gateway to hell and you must battle the hordes of evil which inhabit the gothic structure to uncover the secrets of your lineage. An intriguing plot to say the least; one without the trappings of your typical occult horror story save a few minor unexplained loose ends and the occasion lame dialog. Definitely some of Capcom's finest story-telling to date.
Words cannot even begin to describe the beauty that is Devil May Cry. The graphics are nearly flawless, easily representing the best that the Playstation 2 has to offer and standing proud amongst titles like Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X. With high polygon counts on both Dante and his enemies, the characters look fleshed out and almost life-like. Wrap them in ultra-detailed textures and put them against almost photo-realistic backgrounds and you've got yourself a game that you can really immerse yourself in. I realize there are other games coming out that will raise the bar, but I feel that Devil May Cry set the bar in the first place.
If you've played a Capcom adventure game before (Resident Evil, Onimusha) then you know what to expect sound-wise in Devil May Cry- Above average audio effects with really intense music. And I use the word 'music' very loosely here since it is generally more of an environment- enhancing device rather than a string of random tunes that perpetuate most of today's games. As for the audio effects, well, they do the job, and you'll appreciate them even more on a good digital sound system, but they are by no means up to the same quality as the rest of the game. Capcom's getting better though.
The one thing that would have ruined an otherwise excellent game would have been to implement the Resident Evil control scheme in a game with about ten times the amount of action. Thank god someone at Capcom thought this one through and decided to give the player fully-directional 3D movement. Aside from that, some other noteworthy features include a combo system that allows you to juggle your enemy in the air whilst filling him with hot lead and special moves that you can buy giving Dante a set of almost Street Fighter-worthy attacks. Does this mean Dante might make an appearance in a future Vs. game? We can only hope
The effort that went into the game's design really shows in the way the whole package comes together. From the beautifully rendered levels to the insane enemy ideas, this game has the markings of another long-life series from the creators of Street Fighter and Mega Man. Devil May Cry is the sort of game you'll want to invest a lot of time in, playing it over and over again, not easily tiring of it. At least I didn't the first five or six times I played through it, which, for me, is a rare thing considering the stack of games sitting off to the side, begging for my attention.
As is the case with most Capcom games, there are a few bonuses to be found through persistent play- chief among them are a couple of hidden characters (different versions of Dante), secret missions (challenges of sort which will help increase your power much quicker) and an extra difficulty level that will test your gaming skills like none before. Needless to say, you'll be playing this one for quite a while if you plan to unlock every little secret Capcom stashed away in this game.
Should you buy this game? Without hesitation I say 'Yes!'- it is a wonderful adventure with an incredible plot and system-showcase graphics. Not to mention that you can now buy Devil May Cry brand new for a mere twenty bones. How can you pass up a deal like that?
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Devil May Cry (US, 10/16/01)
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