Review by HJerng

Reviewed: 10/09/01 | Updated: 10/09/01

A Mixed Bag of Good and Bad

Although some people may look back through their PS2 glasses and say now that Resident Evil (RE) was campy and over-rated, it's easy to see how the success of the original and its successors has developed and transformed the survival-horror genre. Now, with Devil May Cry, the creators of RE at Capcom are attempting to follow up the two Dino Crisis games and branch off with another more action-based 3rd-person action thriller. Personally, as I have stated in my introductory remarks, the results are a mixed bag of substantial graphical and control improvements as a result of the powers of PS2 (as already demonstrated in Onimusha) and deteriorating level of storytelling and haphazard camera work. Let's go through your typical review analyses, in the order of relative importance.

1. Gameplay: Devil May Cry has a very simple gameplay mechanism. See monster. Kill monster. See another monster. Kill another monster. Pick up object. Find a place to place the object. Repeat.
Okay, for all you lovers of Castlevania games, this may just be your cup of tea. There's tons of jumping, slashing, killing, and picking up objects. Come to think of it, what Capcom has created is a Castlevania with a Dino Crisis engine. And I will continue to draw upon this parallel as I continue.

2. Control: Like Onimusha, as long as you're not leaping around trying to avoid getting killed by bosses, the controls are smooth and adequate. The analog controls respond nice to the touch, and Dante can be moved around effortlessly, that is, until the camera angle changes. Then, if you just happen to let go of the stick, you will have to re-orient yourself and direct him in the direction as seen on the new screen. Annoying at least; deadly in intense battles.
One excellent feature from Onimusha is back: the aim button. It allows you to lock on to monsters and ameliorates the frustrations associated with losing track of enemies.

3. Story: Now, this is where Devil May Cry leaves a gaping hole when compared to its cousins. The cut scenes are usually relatively short, and there isn't much explained anyway. In other words, without giving away what little plot there is, you play the son of a demon who had successfully prevented the destruction of the human world. And you're asked to save the human world, once again. Honestly, though, you will be asked to move from area to area without knowing exactly why. So, hack and slash away.
Personally, this seems oddly similar to my experience with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

4. Music and Sound Effects: As some have commented before, you will likely not remember any of the background music or sound effects even after hours of playing. Most of it seems disjointed and partly mixed from Capcom's previous RE efforts. Some gothic chants are notable, but still barely memorable.

5. Replayability: Personally, the answer will likely depend on who you ask. If you like the plot-less repetitive hack-and-shoot style of gaming, then this game has great replayability. The game is preset on the normal level and gives you the later options of easy and hard. In addition, there are secret rooms to tackle, the reasons of which I am unclear. If you're the type that love to play a game over and over to get the best grade (and you will be give grades on each level) or collect all the items, this game has just what you need.
On the other hand, if you're looking for something creative and novel around the imaginary world you hope to explore (and don't want to do the same thing over and over again), nothing in the world will keep you from moving on to the next game coming down the pipe.

So, here's my summary. If you like Castlevania: Symphony of Night with improved PS2 graphics and don't mind the occasional tongue-biting (to keep you from swearing) camera angles during boss fights, Devil May Cry may just be the best PS2 game around. However, if you are looking for innovative gameplay, need a reasonable plot to keep you going, or have better things to do than repeatedly hack and slash your way through a nonsensical game, I highly recommend renting this game just to know what you are missing out when you return it in a day or two (The game is apparently not very long).

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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