"Even the devil may cry after playing this deliciously satisfying game!"

The ones at Capcom are responsible for this superb 3D action game. They are the same ones who made the Resident Evil series, the Street Fighters and Onimusha. This title, Devil May Cry, was at first intended to be another addition to the Resident Evil Series. But then they introduced the battle system into this game and thus 'Devil May Cry' came into being in the form of this glorious game. In this game, you play as Dante, the son of Sparda, who was a legendary demon swordsman. One day, he awoke to justice and alone, he defeated the demon army and imprisoned their emperor, Mundus and so saving the human world from instant annihilation. Now, 2000 years later in a large American Metropolis, you, Dante, are a private investigator of the supernatural seeking revenge for the death of his mother and brother. You, Dante, are part human and part devil and you have been asked to investigate a series of bizarre happenings in a gigantic castle by a mysterious woman by the name of Trish. You start your quest at Mallet Island and the castle on it is your gateway to the world of the demons.
Being a Play Station 2 title, this game had a lot to live up to. Great graphics, breath-taking sound effects and awesome gameplay was the order and lets not forget the game should also have a high replay value. Well, you can be happy because Capcom have surely not forgotten about them. Devil May Cry has everything an action gamer can ask for and more!
Don’t think of it as being similar to any of the Resident Evil instalments and has little similarity to the survival horror genre. In ‘Devil May Cry’, all you have to do is shoot or slash. Forget about ammunitions. Forget the necessity of pointing at an enemy before shooting. The only thing that you have to remember is to shoot and slash at the right moment.
Now let me start the review with the graphics first.
Graphics: 10
Ah! The graphics! Anybody who even gets a glimpse of the visuals will start drooling all over the floor! It’s that good! The game produces a rather eerie feeling with the dim lights and the worn out walls of the castle and it really matches the gothic atmosphere. Most of the time you’ll be spending will be inside the castle so every tiny detail of it from the pictures to the bricks that make up the wall are finely textured. The monster designs are all unique and one of a kind. You won’t find a game in which one of the bosses is a 10-20 tons bird who uses sparks to damage you. Everything runs as smoothly as it can be and you won’t notice a trace of slowdown. Not even if about 6-10 enemies clog the screen. Dante moves gracefully and his attack moves are no exception. The movie that you will see at the start of the game is truly first-class and you won’t get any jagged edges or graphical break-ups in during any of the game’s cut scenes. When you view the Alastor (One of Dante’s sword) and some of his other weapons, you’ll be amazed by their lightening effects. But the most impressive are Dante’s handguns (Ebony and Ivory). They really look fantastic and when you equip them, they show the effects of firing the handguns. Really breath-taking! And the underwater level, which takes place on an abandoned ship, really shows off the true power of the Play Station 2. One more thing that I almost forgot to mention is that when you shoot in air, you get this matrix kind of effect. It’s pretty cool watching Dante unload a rain of bullets on the enemy while falling down at a snail-like pace. The only thing that annoys me is the camera angle. It really makes moving from one place to another a real pain. Suppose your having a boss fight. You dodge an attack by the boss. Suddenly, the camera angle changes and you end up running in the same direction you were avoiding. Other than this, no other problems! A job very well done here, Capcom!
Audio: 8
The game has a very superb soundtrack. The soundtrack that is played while fighting a boss is very fast paced and really does set the mood as you evade enemy attacks while wielding your sword at the same time. While alone, you won’t hear much music but mostly the ambience of the castle. The sudden change of pace of the music can also serve another purpose. The enemies can be detected by listening to the music. Though don’t get put off by this. You still have to look if you are to slay the demonic creature. The sound of the swords clashing, guns firing and the moan and groan of the enemy after you slice them into pieces are immensely satisfying. All the different swords and gauntlets have a different feel to it. When the Alastor is equipped, for example, you will hear the electricity surging through the sword. If you have your fire-covered gauntlets equipped, then you will hear the roar and menacing crackle of the fire. The puppets or marionettes make a rather creepy sound when they walk. Almost scary!!
The voice acting of the characters is good but nothing to write home about. Dante’s isn’t bad but he sounds like this overconfident oddball who’s trying a little too hard to sound cool. The woman who says the ‘Devil May Cry’ sentence at the title screen is absolutely terrific though. The voices of the monster bosses like Phantom (He’s a gigantic spider) are beautifully acted out and really fit the bosses intimidating attitude. So Capcom, you should really have to work hard and find a suitable voice actor to improve the voice acting of Dante. Other than that, the audio department is flawless.
Controls: 10
The controls aren’t hard to master but it’s always rather annoying when the camera angle changes and you find yourself running back again. The shoulder buttons are for triggering the Devil Trigger Mode (Explained later) and readying your arms while the face buttons are for interacting with the surroundings and for shooting, jumping and using your Devil Arms (Swords or gauntlets). The learning curve isn’t much and after playing for about 15 to 30 minutes, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Gameplay: 10
The gameplay of this game? Well as you all know, the gameplay of a game can either make it or break it. However, Devil May Cry sure has it’s made!
As I said earlier, it doesn’t have too many similarities to the Resident Evil series which many people say. Its gameplay revolves around killing monsters, solving some rather clear-cut puzzles and getting red orbs. These red orbs are used to buy you new moves like the Stinger (This move makes Dante capable of stabbing his enemies and comes in two powers), the Round Trip (Dante flings his sword in front of him and the sword spins in place for a short period before returning to him), the Air Hike (The ability to jump twice in mid-air without having to bounce back off any solid object), the Air Raid (A move which allows Dante to fly in the air as a demon and shoot bolts of lightning) and the Vortex (This move also comes in two strengths and has you spinning at your enemies and damaging them at the same time). The above moves can only be executed with the Alastor sword. Now the moves that can be done with the Ifrit gauntlets (These are gauntlets covered in fire) are the Magma Drive (An uppercut that makes your enemies fly into the air thus allowing you to juggle them), the Kick 13 (Another move that is available in two strengths. This move has you kicking anything in front of you at a fast pace), the Rolling Blaze (when jumping, Dante’s body will get covered in flames thus making him untouchable to your enemies), Meteor (Dante can shoot fireballs from his fists and it comes in two strengths) and the Inferno (When you land on the ground, a wall of fire springs up and burns everything within range).
However, all the above said moves can only be executed while in Devil Trigger Mode with the exception of some. As Dante is part human and part devil, he can transform into a devil, which makes his attacks more deadly for his opponents and gives him access to some of the game’s special moves (Mentioned above) and even makes him move faster. However, you can’t turn into a devil whenever you want. The gauge of the Devil Trigger Mode is a couple of Rune symbols. When three or more of them are lit, you can turn into the beast you so much love. Slaughtering a couple of demons or taunting them can light the symbols.
The game is divided into 23 missions and nearly each one of them has something new to offer you. To complete a mission, a combination of wit and strength is required and as the levels progress, the difficulty also increases. The steady increase of the difficulty in every stage means that the game challenges even the most capable player. The balanced increase of the difficult also results in the unlocking of some of the game’s weapons like the shotgun and the grenade launcher and the special Devil Trigger Moves so it indicates that your character also becomes stronger as compared to the difficulty.
Dante’s unique arsenal of moves really does keep you in the grip of the game and every move that you carry out will be as entertaining as the last one. Powerful though Dante is, his adversaries are equally proficient at disposing devil hunters like our hero. This helps to keep you in the game and doesn’t get you so frustrated that you will throw or break your controller. Though I admit that some of the levels can get a little maddening but don’t get discouraged by the fact.
After the end of a mission, you are given a Devil Hunting rank. This basically tells you how well you did the mission. The factors that are taken are the time you took in completing the mission, the number of orbs you got in a level and your fighting style. The ranks are S (Being best), A, B, C and D (Being worst). If you do remarkably well in the levels, you may also get a reward for it.
The game has many monsters to offer you and they are constantly on patrol to hamper our gallant hero’s quest. Some of them are Shadows (A spirit in the form of a black catlike creature), Marionettes (Bloody puppets) and Sin Scissors (Evil spirits who use scissors to assault you). Each one of them has a deadly attack pattern that could destroy Dante in a second.
The title also offers us a distinctive combo system. The combos also have a rating from S-D depending on the style and timing. E.g. Uppercut a puppet, then jump and start shooting it with your pistol and when you touch the ground, plunge a Stinger into the foul dummy. The ratings you get play a very large role at the end of the mission when you get your Devil Hunter rank.
Dante can also acquire stuff from statues called the Time Statues to help him on his journey. Many of them you can get during the course of the game but some are only available for purchasing. Capcom, you’ve done it again with outstanding gameplay!
Replay value: 9
After playing through game at normal difficulty, you will unlock the Hard difficulty mode which in turn unlocks the Dante must Die mode (A truly frightening mode which makes the normal difficulty mode seem like a walk through the park). You can also play the Secret missions, which upon completion, gives you a quarter of a blue orb (Orbs for extending Dante’s lifespan). New characters can also be unlocked and some items too. Capcom have undoubtedly made sure that you won’t get tired of the game after playing through it once.
Buy or rent?
Hey! You’re still reading my review? After all that I have said about this game you should be at the video game store by now. Forget what ever you are doing and head straight to your nearest game store and get your copy. However, I’d say that if you’re new to this genre (Really?!?) then you should rent it first. Enough said, now GO!!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/05/04

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