Review by wolverinefan
"Not all it's cracked up to be..."
Oh, Devil May Cry. The most loved series on the PS2, or so it seems. I played the demo way back when it came out with Resident Evil Code Veronica X. Loved the demo and rented the full game on its release. I wasn't impressed... A few weeks ago I needed a free game at Game Stop and went with Devil May Cry. I had beat Devil May Cry 2 and thought it sucked so maybe I had just missed something in the first game. I beat the game in a 2-3 day period of just about an hour a day. I must say I have never felt stupid playing a game before. It just felt like I wasn't getting what this title had to offer but I then realized that it was just that shallow of a game.... Oh no, the hate mail is going to be flowing now...
Dante runs a detective agency. Some hot leather chick comes crashing into his window and says he has to go to some castle, she knows about his father ect. The funny thing is that I may have missed something somewhere because I had no real idea why Dante even went there. Then the game decides that for the first three fourths of the game that there isn't going to be any plot. Nothing, nadda, zilch. Why Capcom? Maybe because even when plot is introduced, it just isn't very good. I didn't care for the characters, the enemies had no real motive and our hero was rather, dare I say it, boring. He looked cool and tough but whatever.
For it's time Devil may Cry had some nice graphics. Oddly enough, it still looks decent by today's standards. Character models are nice and some of the enemies just kick butt but then some of them are weak. Bosses are big and kind of cool. Level design is alright. Nothing exciting and I found the final areas to be rather bad on the design side of things. Cut scenes are rare but almost look on par with Final Fantasy X.
The sound is a mixed bag for me. Sound effects are decent. Guns sound alright, metal on metal is nice. During the moments with lightning, I don't remember thunder or anything of the like. I actually don't remember anything special about the sound effects. Also, the music is very still during the times where no fighting is happening. When you start to fight is when the rock soundtrack kicks it. It adds some attitude to the game and gets your blood pumping for the fight. Voice acting was alright. Enemies had decent voices but to be honest Dante's voice just isn't "bad ass" enough for the persona they are going for.
Devil may Cry offers some of the weird control set ups. You need to hold R1 to use your guns, this has you pulling them out and you shoot by hitting X or Square. Whichever. Circle is for your sword or hand combat. That's fine and all but for some ungodly reason, Triangle is for jump. You can not change that setup and it just feels weird. The combo system is very simplistic unless I'm missing something. You buy new combos and you can use them but they weren't difficult to sue and didn't blow me away. Oddly enough, I recently finished Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and I just feel that it had a much better combo system than this game and they feel a lot alike in the way you play them. I found the platforming moments in Devil may Cry to be nightmares due to the awkward floatyness of it and the bad button placement. The game offers two control setups but neither is worthwhile.
I feel that the game play in Devil May Cry just might be its biggest problem. I'm not sure where to start with this area of the game so let's just begin with the fighting itself I guess. Dante starts with his pistols and his sword. As you advance you get other guns and a few different ways of fighting. I found using my sword was the quickest way to do combat. However, I found the flame thing to be the coolest and the more enjoyable way of defeating enemies. The game offers the ability to upgrade weapons by using red orbs which can be found laying in the missions and are dropped by enemies as well as being rewards for completing the levels. Most of the time these new things are just new combos that you do.
The mission areas tend to be rather small and when you get back to thinking about it when you beat the game, there really aren't a lot of places you go. There is a lot of backtracking that is hidden by making the game mission based. Some areas are larger than others but some are really small. The pirate ship is one of the smaller ones and is only used for 2 missions, both of which are very short.
The platforming moments in the game feel weird. The control is a bit too toughie for them and the funny thing is the fact that a few of them have an auto super jump built in so you just need to hit jump and he leaps across the gap. Not sure why they just didn't put in this feature for all of the jumping parts because there isn't a whole lot but enough so that it's annoying.
You can rack up the combos but I think the problem of the game is that it just wasn't fun for me. I wasn't wowed by it and I didn't squeal with joy over something cool. I found most of the stuff to be rather bland. I also could be wrong but it seemed like I couldn't combine different types of combos unless it was with just one weapon. Oh and a number of combos can only be done while in Devil Mode, or something like that. If you've played Capcom's other series, Onimusha, and then you'll have a basic idea of how it all works. Let the little symbols fill up and hit L1 to unleash a killer attack. This move makes Dante fast and his attacks more powerful.
The fighting in the game is fast paced. Sword slashing is rather frantic at times but gun fighting is more visually entertaining. Jumping and shooting as you slowly float back down is pleasing to the eyes but keep in mind, only the pistols shoot fast. The other weapons do more damage but shoot much slower. So, if you like run and gun game play this might be up your ally. The shooting feels a lot like that which is found in Max Payne.
Now, this game is missed based and I believe it has 23 missions. Sounds like a lot but some are about 30 seconds long. Actually, the entire game took me 3 1/2 hours to beat on my first try and I didn't die once. And for those wondering, this was on normal, not easy.... The missions some times are just getting to X place. others are getting X item and then get to X place. The entire game takes place in a castle or on the outskirts of the castle. Not a whole lot of platforming moments are here but a few.
The biggest problem with game play is the boss fights. Yes, they are huge and provide a nice challenge but there is a major problem with them. When I play a game like this, I prefer variety. I do not want to fight a giant bird 3 times in 3 1/2 hours. I don't want to fight a giant spider thing 4 times in 2 hours. There is no reason to make gamers keep fighting the same lame bosses, it gets tiresome and they are always close to each other, excluding the Black Knight. It just feels that Capcom was being lazy with this...
Replay Value seems to be up there. Upon beating the game you unlock the hard setting. After beating that you unlock another setting, ect. The game also has a ton of secret missions but I only found one and quickly exited it because it was one of those "hunt and kill everything" missions that just don't excite me when I find the game play this dull. So, for those gamers who love to beat the same game over and over on a harder setting, this game offers a lot of replay. Otherwise, you shouldn't expect a whole lot from it in that area.
The game was also fairly short. It's expected of these games from Capcom but this one did seem a bit shorter than the rest. I'm sure it's longer if you do the secret missions, which will require you to find them. I only accidentally stumbled upon one of them.
Is Devil May Cry a must own game? No. It's an average game at best. Shallow fighting, useless mission based game play and reused bosses out of the wazoo. A fine rental and if you can find it for dirt cheap then maybe you should just rent it but I wish I hadn't used my free game chance on this title. It didn't excite me but obviously it excites others since it's loved by so many. I just can't recommend this game past a rental or a super cheap buy.
Story - 2/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 6/10
Game Play - 5/10
Replay value - 5/10
Final Score - 5/10
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 02/08/06
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