| Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence
| The Good
Intense and challenging action
Graphics are top notch
Audio portion is pretty solid
Bloody Palace and Vergil modes
| The Bad
Some bad camera angles
Vergil mode is not all that great
Because the second Devil May Cry wasn't well received,
it seems that Capcom needed to give the series a fresh restart.
In Devil May Cry 3, we're given
insight to the early days of devil hunter, Dante. Before his
shop is even open, he's attacked by the demon forces summoned
when his twin brother, Vergil, and a human by the name of
Arkham raise a demon tower in the center of the city. As the
story goes, the demon Sparda closed the door between the human
and demon realms. After taking a human wife, he fathered twin
boys. In Devil May Cry 3, Sparda's sons come into direct
conflict as Vergil wants to reopen the door to the demon world
and Dante is, well, just spoiling for a fight.
The action in DMC3 is pure, intense stylish action.
Split into twenty main missions (and more than a few secret
missions), the player controls Dante, who comes equipped with
both melee and his trademark dual handguns, Ebony and Ivory.
While the X Button performs jumps for a lot of environmental
platforming, the Triangle Button performs melee attacks and
the Square Button shoots the equipped gun. The L2 and R2 buttons
can be used to quick swap equipped weapons (you can only quick
equip two of each at a time and only at the Customize menu).
This is useful in stringing together combo moves with different
weapons without having to go into the menu. The R1 button
autotargets and the L3 button switches the target.
When you finally gain access to Dante's Devil Trigger mode,
switch into it with L1. Of course, you need to have at least
three parts to your Devil Trigger Gauge to initiate this.
During Devil Trigger, you move faster, attack harder and even
slowly regenerate health. Also, this mode has special moves
that can be learned.
Speaking of special moves, Dante has access to multiple play
styles that can be leveled up through combat. Initially, you
have access to Trickster, good for dodging, Swordmaster, Gunslinger
and Royal Guard, where you can block enemy attacks. To perform
style specific moves, hit the Circle button. As you level
up each style, you can select special moves that the Circle
button will pull off. On top of this, killing enemies will
earn you red orbs, which can be spent on learning new attacks
for your weapons or to power up your guns. The melee weapon
attacks are especially important as chaining these together
can make surviving combat action far easy. On top of that,
you get a better style rating, which goes towards the end
mission score and more red orbs.
I would have to say that Capcom has really refined their
gameplay in this series to the point that I have to wonder
where they can go with it. All the moves he had in the first
two games are more spread out so Dante doesn't feel so overpowered,
but even with fewer moves available at any given time, you
can still do some great moves.
So, what makes this a special edition? Bonus content includes
a Bloody Palace Mode, a Turbo Mode to speed up the combat,
a Very Hard Mode, a Demo Digest so you can watch all the cutscenes,
and the ability to play through the game as Vergil. While
this may sound like a nice addition, it just doesn't seem
all that fleshed out. Rather than making a unique path for
Vergil, his mode feels like the original story with the story
yanked out and another character dropped in. Also, Vergil's
moveset isn't nearly as deep or fun to play. Probably one
of the best revisions to DMC3 is how Capcom has managed
to balance the game, making the difficulty a bit more manageable.
The Devil May Cry series has always been a showcase
for what the PS2 could do and DMC3 is no exception.
Locations are large and exhibit a lot of fine details. Just
about every location has detail and style packed into it.
With the exception of a few low-res textures, each setting
location is well sculpted. DMC3 features a large variety
of enemies, each with a unique look, and specific animations
and mannerisms. And, of course, each of the many bosses each
look fantastic. On top of the core game engine is a lot of
flashy visual effects that make the action feel even more
intense and flashy. The realtime cutscenes are wonderfully
directed and do a fine job at setting the game's tone.
One can not talk about the audio portion without talking
about the soundtrack, which jumps between heavy metal and
dark, gothic ambient based on the level of on-screen action.
This balance works excellently, pumping up the player as the
action gets going. Because Dante's swagger has returned in
this prequel, the voice acting returns to the over-the-top
theatrics found in the first title. Sound effects are varied
and give weight to the onscreen action.
If there is one thing that DMC3 needed to fix was
the fact that many areas still have a fixed camera, meaning
that Dante may fall pray to attacks from behind corners or
just out of sight. If Capcom could find a way to address this
in DMC4, they will have polished their gemstone to
a fine shine.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is a fine return
to the excellence of the first game. It's fun, challenging
and worth the time to play and own. When considering the Special
Edition, if you haven't bought DMC3, yet, go out and
get the SE. If you already own the original, the Vergil
and Bloody Palace modes may not be enough to warrant a repurchase.