Review by The Unheard Z

Reviewed: 02/08/03 | Updated: 02/08/03

Shoot First. Don't Even Bother With the Questions

When there‘s something strange in the neighborhood...
Devil May Cry (DMC) is all about stylish action, unlimited ammo, and enemies that could take out a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a couple seconds flat. The key to the formula resides in the force of nature known as Dante, the son of the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda that saved humanity years ago. Sparda wasn’t normal, however. He was a demon that wed a human woman after he saved the human race and saw the light in the human heart. Luckily, Dante inherited his father’s powers and was born a half-demon, growing up to become extremely skilled with swords, getting Sparda’s sword in the process to continue on the family legacy. You’ll learn about Dante and his past throughout the course of the shooting and slashing your way through countless enemies that don’t mind sending you to an early grave.

I ain’t 'fraid of no ghost...
In order to unlock anything, you have to play through the Normal Mode of Devil May Cry. Normal Mode has no qualms with tossing you around every which way. Whether it’s an upright lizard clad in armor of a shadow in the shape of a lion, enemies in the game are just as varied as they are deadly. Even the simplest ones are able to cause some damage to our Devil Hunting hero. Don’t pay attention for a moment and you’ll be given some wake up in the form of having a good 25% of the life gauge taken off. Aggressive? Yes. Unfair? Not in the least bit.

Who you gonna call?
Dante has no problem smiting the countless hordes of evil present throughout. And boy does he do it with style. Slash a dangerous marionette into the air and unload so many bullets into the airborne baddie that it crumbles. As if it couldn’t get any sweeter, there’s unlimited ammo with the added comfort that Dante never has to reload. Go ahead and shoot as much as your heart desires. Or maybe you want to slash enemies to oblivion? Go for it. An even better idea is to switch between guns and swords on the fly to create satisfying combos. Of course all this talk about the smooth combat leads right into the (arguably) coolest part about DMC - Dante’s Devil Trigger.

When powered up, Dante is able to transform into his devil-looking self and reign destruction upon every enemy around. Despite looking cool, Devil Trigger (DT) allows you to turn the tides in battle since it’s so strong. While in DT, Dante becomes even more powerful and can perform new moves depending on which Devil Arm is equipped (each one gives Dante different forms of DT and different moves unique to the equipped weapon). Although you can bring out the arms and wreck some serious (and strong) damage fast, using Dante’s handmade guns, Ebony and Ivory, has it’s perks as well when you transform. Instead of shooting out regular ’ole bullets, Dante shoots out energized Devil mojo, knocking enemies back and allowing you to rack up some fast damage on the aggressive bosses that litter the game. Simple, fast, and more importantly, effective.

Bustin' makes me feel good
Intimidating bosses, a cool main character, good graphics, and excellent gameplay make Devil May Cry an impressive game. Whether you’re shooting a giant spider, bouncing off walls, or just causing some general havoc, DMC has a certain feel to it that can’t be accurately described unless you experience the game for yourself. Besides, what other game can you find that let’s you play as a character that talks trash to an enemy about 10 times bigger than them? The devil may cry, the gamer may applaud.

Graphics: 9/10
With a distinct look to it and no hint of slowdown, Devil May Cry is a pretty game to look at even if you’re struggling to get the last few hits in on a boss before it kills you. Areas never look very plain and are all unique. Even better is how smooth Dante’s animations are from his strafe to his jumps. Each Devil Trigger form looks impressive and the transition to each form flows perfectly. Gameplay may be the best thing about DMC, but it’s graphics aren’t too far behind. Pretty to say the least.

Gameplay: 10/10
Controls are spot on and a cinch to learn in mere minutes. Transition from Dante’s Devil Arms to his guns is amazingly smooth and make cool combos a cinch to pull off. Even going into Devil Trigger feels natural. Specific moves are never very complex or hard to bring out like they are in some action titles out there. As for the way the entire gameplay section of DMC is executed, things really couldn’t be better. The pacing of the action is perfect. Not too much so it gets repetitive, but frequent enough that you never get bored. Boss fights require some skill and speed to survive against the formidable foes. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Story: 7/10
Despite some plot holes, the story stands up and gives a good incentive to find out how it all ends. If you want a game with a storyline that packs a punch, play Xenogears or a Final Fantasy. The main draw of DMC is pure action and seeing Dante pull off slick moves while dishing out the action, not to engage yourself in a storyline that makes you think on multiple levels.

Fun Factor: 9/10
It’s all about Dante, his devil mojo, and all the different ways you can demolish every enemy in the game while looking like it’s as normal as reading the daily news. This game is made to be fun, not serious. It’s as simple as that. Sit back, enjoy, and dish out some carnage.

Replay Value: 8/10
Multiple characters, an art gallery, different levels of difficulties, and trying to complete all the secret missions give good reasons to continue DMC after it’s all said and done. One secret character in particular is worth unlocking because he has his own theme music, appearance, and main sword. Good luck trying to unlock him, though...

Final Score: 9/10
Devil May Cry is an innovative, action packed, stylish ride that action fans and casual gamers alike can enjoy for the hours that it takes to complete it. A great control scheme, preset camera angles that don’t give headaches, massive bosses, Devil Trigger, and various other factors all come together to create a truly unique experience as you control the demon hunter. In the words of Dante: “Let’s rock”.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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