|Blood and Gore, Intense Violence
| The Good
| The Bad
Did I mention difficulty?
Devil May Cry is the series that, in my opinion, brought
difficulty back into the modern day gaming era. Not since
the days of regular Nintendo had I been challenged by such
a difficult game. The game made you learn patterns and figure
out more effect ways of taking out enemies and bosses. On
that note, DMC 1 had crazy, over
the top boss battles and you really had to give them your
all to come out the victor. Shortly after that Capcom brought
us Devil May Cry 2 and while the
game was not terrible by any means it was definitely more
of a setback to the series and didn't offer anything new.
Now, the big question on everyone's mind is how does the third
one stack up and will it be able to make up for the atrocity
that the last game was? I'll use a quote from the game to
sum up what my thoughts on the third version is and that is
"This party's getting crazy"
DMC 3 is the story of sibling rivalry. Two brothers,
always in constant conflict and at each other's throat. One
wants to obtain supreme power and the other just wants to
go about his life carefree it seems. One day, while Dante
is at his new place he receives a visitor who informs him
that his brother has sent him an invitation. The visitor then
disappears and before Dante can even finish eating his pizza,
is attacked by numerous demons, and the onslaught begins.
This is the beginning of the story and while at first it seems
like nothing special, there are some twists and turns to be
found in the overall story. It's not the most complicated
of tales but it does a good job of keeping the player wanting
to progress and continue on to see what happens next. From
here on out the cut scenes in the game are all over the top
for the most part. This is due to the fact that the cinematics
are directed by the same guy that brought you the movie Versus
and, more recently did the cinematics for MGS:
Twins Snakes. While some of these cut scenes are really
far out there it just seems to work since this is a DMC
game, plus it doesn't hurt that there really awesome as well.
DMC continues along the same lines as the first one with
more in-your-face action. The gun and swordplay from the original
are all back and better than ever. The weapons you obtain
throughout the game all seem to be great and seems like the
team might have gotten a few ideas from Ninja
Gaiden (which isn't such a bad thing considering Ninja
Gaiden borrowed a lot of elements from the first DMC)
The ability to upgrade your weapons and skills is back, provided
you have the necessary red orbs to do so. To rake in the big
dough you need to build your combo meter up and get those
kills in, the more stylish the better. In this latest version
you also have different styles that you can equip. They are
gunslinger, sword master, trickster, and royal guard. These
four different styles can all be leveled up to the max of
three and as you go up each level you'll gain more special
abilities in pertaining to that style. This gives the player
a great feeling of customization and lets you play the game
in different ways but getting them to the max level will take
you awhile. Thankfully, you can go back to any mission you
have previously completed and get more red orbs. This system
works almost like leveling a character up in an RPG. It's
a good thing that the developers added this as well seeing
as the game is ultra hard. This will push some people away
from this game.
The American normal mode of difficulty is the equivalent
to the Japanese hard mode so be prepared for a beating. I
never thought I'd play a game as hard as Ninja Gaiden
so soon but I was wrong. This puppy will hand you your ass
on a plate if you don't try your hardest. The boss battles
will make you learn their every move by the time your finished
beating them to death. To top all this challenge off, if you
die and don't have any yellow orbs to continue, you then must
start the mission all over again. Now by the end of the game
that didn't seem to be a problem but believe me your going
to want a few of these bad boys so that you don't have to
do the same levels over and over again. While I have cussed
the game out and wanted to beat something in a fit of rage
over how hard something was, I never felt that game was cheap
and it was always satisfying to play and succeed. I've always
died because I just wasn't up to the bosses pattern, but once
I learned them and learned them well I succeeded every time.
Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to kick
demon ass in a dance club? This is just one of the many wonderful
background that the game has to offer. Along your journey
to confront your brother, you will make your way through a
huge tower filled with all kinds of different areas to explore.
You've got your classic castle-like theme going, a interesting
take on the inside of a monster, you'll explore what appears
to look like a futuristic clock tower, and much more. The
backgrounds do not disappoint. Meanwhile the enemy designs
are far from average. There are many different types of enemies
in the game and while they might not appear to be made out
of a vast amount of polygons the way there were designed works
well for them. Also the fact that the game runs at a smooth
60 fps for most of the game is a plus (besides the very rare,
rare, special occasion of very minor slowdown). Which now
brings me to the boss battles. These guys are incredibly designed
and are huge. These things are greatly designed to intimidate
and they know it. Overall this is the best-looking DMC
by far and one of the better-looking PS2 titles out there.
Controlling Dante is a breeze. Moving Dante around the screen
jumping around and killing enemies has never been easier.
Now, add a bunch of new combos into the mix that take a little
while getting used to but are easily mastered and you got
on great game to get your hands on. I must say that its essential
that you get to know the moves and different attacks for the
game otherwise your going to be seeing the Mission Failed
screen more often then most. The right control stick can be
used to control the camera somewhat, but there are still issues
with the camera like in the past DMC games.
The soundtrack in DMC3 is on the verge of part rock,
part electronic, and part ambiance. During the normal exploring
of the levels you get background music that just fits into
the theme of the game. They usually sound gothic in nature
and really just give more substance to the game when just
simply traveling from location to location. Now when the action
kicks in via enemies or bosses then prepare for the hard out
rocking mixed with electronic. These tracks basically feed
you with adrenaline and make you think "I'm Dante, half human
and half demon, It's time to kick some ass" and you'll go
charging at them. This will get you killed for sure and its
happened to me time after time. The music just gets you that
pumped up for the ensuing battle. Now, that's what I call music.
There are lyrics that are spoken in these tracks as well.
At times its really hard to hear what he is saying when you
have a guitar rift going with some distortions and then hearing
the screams and gasps of enemies nearby all while you're hearing
the tearing sound effects of your sword hitting the enemy,
but who needs to hear the singing anyways. All the sound effects
are wonderfully perfect. There even important as well as the
certain enemies and bosses will make certain noises to signify
what kind of attack that they will perform. Handy indeed.
Well DMC doesn't come without its flaws. There are
many times when the camera just doesn't work in your favor.
This is a minor quibble when it comes to regular enemies but
when its bosses were talking about where you need as much
concentration as possible, well that's when it becomes a problem.
There are times, yet not always, where I couldn't see the
boss and it only added to the frustration of the battle, as
if there wasn't enough frustration from the difficulty alone.
This also bring me to my other negative point and it's one
that could keep players from playing the game, period. The
difficulty is up there. If you think you going to play this
game and not die once then think again. I've been gaming since
I was a young boy and have numerous titles under my belt beaten
but this one proved more of a challenge then most games all
together and this is all just under normal difficulty. This
will push some casual gamers and maybe even some hardcore
ones away as well. These two things aside, everything else
seems to be pretty well balanced and polished.
Dante is back in his third outing and it is his best yet.
While fans were disappointed with the second title I'm letting
you know now that you will be pleased with this one. DMC
is bigger, better, more badass, and more fun then the first
one and gives you some back-story for the first game in a
way. So if you're a fan of the DMC series or action
games in general then go out and give this game a whirl. Just
make sure that you have someone to cry to when the same boss
beats you repeatedly for the last half hour, because believe
me it will happen.
- Justin Celani