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Devil May Cry 3

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release Date:3/01/05

Platform: PS2

Most of you know the Devil May Cry series. A vast majority of you have actually played the first game, and if you can recall, it was incredibly revolutionary and fun. Those of you who have played the second as well as the first, know that the second was nowhere near the same level of style, fun, and just plain old cool-ness of the first. Devil May Cry had a lot to make up for after the devastatingly horrible sequel to the first, and in this prequel, they take the series’ best attributes and mix them together to make a great new game.

The story is simple. Dante (the protagonist) is the son of the legendary demon Sparda, who had a change of heart and turned on his own kind to protect mankind. Sparda’s power was supreme among all others, and was never defeated. He sealed away the portal to the demon world forever in a tower deep within the earth, but along with the demon world, he also sealed his own powers. He coupled with a human female, and soon sired twins, who both inherited demonic powers. Dante, the younger of the two, has started his first business when a strange caller comes in telling him he has a message from his brother, Vergil. That message happens to be in the form of several demons from the depths of hell, and a fight ensues. Afterwards, you see the gargantuan tower burst from the ground in the middle of the city, with Vergil on the top. And with that, you’re well on your way to Dante’s first adventure. The story itself is fairly involved; it’s not dry and boring like Halo, but not vast and incredible like Metal Gear Solid. You might like it, you might not, but it’s decent and worth paying attention too.

As a regular gamer, I value game play over anything else, regardless of graphics or storyline. It really is a mix between Resident Evil, and Tekken, except you have normal weapons like swords or three rod knunchaku. Also, when fights start, the camera is always circling you, thus you are never surprised from behind and you are made aware of the location of the enemies. Dante starts out the game with Rebellion, a sword, and Ebony & Ivory, twin pistols. As you progress through the game, you receive others weapons, such as gauntlets, twin swords, a shotgun, or a high caliber rifle. However, you can only equip two of your “Devil Arms” and two of your guns at a time. You can also upgrade both Devil Arms and guns at God of Time statues, where you use your spoils from the dead bodies of your enemies to buy higher levels of damage for your guns or new moves for you Devil Arms. Each Devil Arms is specific and unique, thus you cannot buy one weapon’s move and use it in another. A very good idea taken from the second game was the quick equip buttons. By pushing L2, you can switch between your two Devil Arms, and by pushing R2 you can switch between your two equipped guns. This allows you to adapt to your combat situation; the transitions are smooth and fluid so there are no pauses that would leave you vulnerable to attack.

Devil May Cry 3 has retained the best thing from the entire series, The Style Meter. This is what the game is grounded on; it measures your style in battle, obviously. It is graded from the lowest to the highest as D, C, B, A, S, SS, and finally SSS. The meter goes up whenever you damage enemies, but if you use the same attack over and over, it won’t increase, instead it decreases steadily. After a few seconds, if you do not attack the meter resets itself back to D. In the game, an icon on the right side of the screen displays current score in terms of the words Dope!, Crazy!, Blast!, Awesome!, Sweet!, Showtime!, and the best, STYLISH! Under the icon with the word-rating there is a bar the increases and decreases telling you how much time you have left until the rating disappears or how much more style you have to use in order to reach the next rating. And fortunately, they learned a lesson from the second game’s just-keep-hitting-the-same-button-and-the-meter-will-still-go-up-at-the-same-rate Style Meter. Using longer strings, or combos, and mixing them up with variety of attacks, you will increase the Style Meter greater than with using the same attack multiple times. For example, if you start a few chops, then a launcher to throw your enemy into the air, and then jumping to follow up with an air-combo, your Style Meter will sky rocket. However, if you think that you can use two different attacks repetitively you’re out of luck. The Style Meter requires you to use at least three different attacks in order for your meter to rise.

The Style System, a different system than the Style Meter, allows you to easily vary your combos. It comprises of several different styles, Gunslinger, Trickster, Sword master, and Royal Guard. You can go into each style by pressing the circle button. Each style is unique, for example, when using the Gunslinger, you can use Two-some Time with Ebony & Ivory, where you can shoot two enemies at once, or if you have the shotgun, pressing the circle button would have Dante rapidly shooting in four separate directions in an instant. If you use Trickster, the circle button lets you dash quickly out of the way or run along the walls, which is extremely helpful in avoiding nasty attacks. Sword master gives you the ability to use air combos or stronger land attacks, while Royal Guard allows you to block enemy attacks and counter them. Each of these will upgrade a level after a certain amount of use, an example would be at Trickster lvl2, you can now dash twice on the ground, and if you jump and push the circle, you’ll do an in-air dash. Major sick-ness. All of these level advancements are stored in your own profile, allowing you to start a new game with higher level Styles, thus adding to the replay value, which for me is a must. Unfortunately, you cannot change styles unless you are at a God of Time statue. This can get annoying as you may prefer certain styles for certain situations. And believe me when I say this, you’re most likely going to use them all, because this game is not easy by any standards.

Along with all of this, there is your Devil Trigger. You don’t receive this ability until later in the game, but when you do you’ll appreciate it. What the Devil Trigger does is turn you into an actual demon. Your strength increases, your speed increases, you gain a few new powers like the ability to fly, and your health slowly regenerates. You only have a limited amount of time however, and it is judged on your Devil Trigger Meter. It is quickly drained, but just as quickly refilled, so plan to use it often. The only way to extend your Devil Trigger Meter is to buy Purple Orbs with Red Orbs. The former are expensive but worth every Red Orb you can get.

After completing each mission, you will be graded on several aspects. The 1st will be your Time; how fast you complete your mission will earn you a D-S rating. 2nd is your style; the Style Meter ratings you get for your fights will determine what rank you get for this category. 3rd will be how many orbs you collected; the higher the amount, the higher the rating. 4th is the amount of damage you received; the more you have been hurt, the lower the rating. 5th is the amount of items you used; the greater the quantity, the lower the rating. Lastly, there is your overall combined rating, and the higher your rating, the more Red orbs you will receive as a prize.

Overall, the game play is outstanding. It takes the style and intense, furious action from the first Devil May Cry, and adds in the Quick Equip feature from the second. The added style and variety makes this game just plain awesome. Another note is that you can usually use your surroundings to help you, like using a strip club dancing pole to kick around your enemies, or an explosive barrel. The style meter puts some needed variety into the game to make it worthwhile. There are periods when things might feel stale, when you have to wander the tower to find items to put into slots, puzzles that really require no thought at all. The difficulty lies in the fighting; some monsters require strategies, while others need to be smacked around a lot. The bosses are actual bosses and usually can’t be beaten in one try, unless you’re really good and have all the upgrades. Upgrades can only be bought by the massive amounts of red orbs you’ll collect, which can be heath upgrades, or heath items, or devil trigger stars.

Its difficulty is very high, beginners will be frustrated to the near point of feeling like they are playing Contra all over again, while veterans of the series will love the fact that it is a good challenge on only normal. However, if things prove too difficult, Easy mode is unlocked for you to play on after you die three times. Now imagine Hard mode or the near impossible Dante Must Die mode. And just a side note, the American Normal mode is actually the Japanese Hard mode, so if you find it to be exceptionally hard, that might be why. It is a game for experts for sure. It is a good challenge and players will find themselves feeling proud. If you aren't a dedicated action gamer, I would suggest either getting another game, or improving your action game playing skills.

I must say that the graphics were extraordinarily crisp, smooth, and fluid. The explosions were impressive, though not as realistic as it should be. The surroundings, in the beginning stages, vary as you wander through the city to reach the Tower. For instance, you pass through or by a strip club, a bar, Dante's pad, and the regular streets. And even in the Tower the building designs are artistic, though sometimes a bit plain. It is of course a very dark game so don’t expect to see pretty flowers or bright neon colors other than that of the strip club stage. The majority of the monsters are designed after the denizens of the Seven Layers of Hell. All of the creatures are unique, each with their own amazing looking attack. One of them blasts sand out of its chest, and looks as if a block of C4 was planted inside. When enemies die, or resurrect themselves, it looks incredible; I guarantee during one fight you’ll say “Whoa… nice…” Meanwhile you’ll be attacked by that same monster and then realize you have to kill it. Enemies die with graphic grace, and it’s nice to watch them turn into sand. If you’re an eye candy lover, this game will satisfy your needs.

It’s a half and half with the characters in this game. The half that are cool includes Dante, Virgil, and the assorted demon bosses. Dante and Virgil are in their 20’s, but carry a lot of attitude and near teenage personalities, considering who they are. Dante is a bit too cocky for his age, but that’s what makes him a good character. Vergil has his cockiness as well but is more serious and sinister. The other half would be the two new characters, Lady and Arkham. Both of them are beyond strange; Lady never talks and Arkham never shuts up. But other than that, you’ll enjoy every other character, and either they’ll awe you or make you laugh. No character is bright and happy, but there is a pair that isn’t so evil and violently hostile at heart. Overall good character design.

There is a definite lack of variety with the music of DMC3. However, the music is good for battle because it gets you pumped, mostly a mix of rock/techno that has a dark tone to it. Not much to say about it; I liked the music but I would have just preferred to have different songs. Your score may vary depending on whether or not you like it.

I’ll admit that I enjoyed watching all of the movies. There are some of those serious story telling movies, some sweet action scenes, and your just plain funny as hell scenes. Fans of the series will be happy because Dante talks a lot in this game, and they revived the monster interaction with Dante. It’s great to see Dante mock a gargantuan three headed dog that threatens to bite his head off, or make fun of a pair of demons, who love company. It’s interesting to see that the game directors put in the same cocky bad-ass that you know, but made him into an inexperienced goof off. For instance, a certain character fires a rocket at Dante, and of course he dodges it (Matrix style, as if there was anything else), but instead of letting it hit the wall behind him…. He jumps on and rides it like a skateboard. May I mention that the graphics are so clean and crisp, it almost looks real? Overall, the scenes are extraordinarily good; they’ll make you smile, laugh, say, “DAAAAAYUUUMMMN” out loud, and make you feel like you’re in a movie theater.

Unfortunately there is not much to unlock in this game. There are the 10+ secret missions during the game you can find by checking certain things in missions. Hard and Dante Must Die Modes can be unlocked by beating Normal and Hard Modes respectively. As a hint, beat Dante Must Die mode and receive a very nice surprise. The several different types of Dante, including DMC1 Dante or The Legendary Dark Knight, can be unlocked through beating harder difficulties. There are two or three costume unlockables, but other than that not much else.

It’s not the best game in the world, but it is pretty close. You’ll like being in Dante’s shoes again, slashing, bashing, and trash-talking enemies to death. Finally the fans of the series will be blessed with a good game after the horrible disappointment of the 2nd. This is a game for those who like to beat the crap out of enemies. This is an adrenaline-pumping, fast paced game; so if you hate to be stressed, this isn’t your type of game. I enjoyed almost every moment in this game but in contrast you may not. If you’re not the greatest fan of the series, then rent it to beat it. For those of you who are fans, I would definitely recommend buying it because you’ll enjoy playing it again and again trying to play with all the different styles. Now go kick some ass.



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Published on: 2005-06-03 (30050 reads)

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