PS2 REVIEW: DEVIL MAY CRY

I know this saying is getting old already, but "Capcom has done it again." I was looking for something creative to say about Devil May Cry and I was stuck, not because I was short of words, but rather, I thought we pretty much summed up our feelings of the game in our various previews. So, I looked down and actually found the words I was looking for, and without further delay, here they are: "Devil May Cry is perhaps the coolest evolution of the survival horror series yet, even besting Onimusha Warlords, without breaking a sweat."

The game is nonstop action personified, and it feels great to let loose. It's not a "survival horror" game in that, you'll be terrified of what's lurking around each corner. More realistically, once you power up your little devil hunter, Dante, you'll be looking for fights.This game feels as far away from the slow plodding pace of Resident Evil as you can possibly get. The action is so fast and furious it makes Onimusha look like a yawn festival. Why is this game so over-the-top? Take Dante, a wise ass demon hunter with powers unknown and ties to the supernatural not yet revealed at the start of the game, mix in a couple of huge swords and fire power up the wazoo, and you get the kind of hero that wussy Simon Belmont could only dream of being. Once you become comfortable with the myriad moves at your disposal (if you want real cool powers and moves, you'll have to purchase them with the red orbs the evil dead leave in their wake), there will be no stopping Dante as he flips, rolls stabs and shoots his way through 22 missions (not including those delicious but tough Secret Missions). Dante even has the ability to turn into a demon for a period of time, which can truly make all the difference.

One extremely cool bonus, courtesy of Capcom, is that once you play through the first level on normal difficulty, an Easy Mode becomes available. This allows you to shoot without holding down the R1 button as well as provides you with rapid fire.

Graphically the game looks great and the visual effects are out in full force. Take a swipe through the air with your sword and watch the distortion of the level through it's blur. Every element from water to fire, to earth to air has been well crafted and the lighting and particle effects are incredible. The animation of all of the characters is nothing short of spectacular and the designs of each are pure evil. The scissor-wielding spectres, large flies and gigantic spiders are just a sampling of what awaits. Controlling Danta for the most part is excellent, although I am not a big fan of jumping with the Triangle button ( I was annoyed to discover this couldn't be changed....who the heck jumps with a Triangle button?!). The Resident Evil style control isn't even an option. It's full on analog movement here, as anything less would get you killed instantly. My biggest complaint with DMC is the camera angles during some of the boss battles. Too many times I was hindered by not being able to see Danta because the boss was blocking my view. In some cases, it was sheer luck that I beat them.

The story is held together for the most part by various cutscenes that show up occasionally. As you get closer to the end, more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, which means more story emphasis and things start to get a little corny in my opinion, but it doesn't ruin the game by any means. It's no "master of unlocking" at least. The background music fits the game well as it moves from gothic horror to MTV guitar-oriented action when Dante is faced with a roomfull of evil. Although that too could have come off a little cheesy, it falls right in line with Dante's personality.

Each mission has various objectives, which can range from a boss battle, to finding a way to open a door (Capcom once again proves it has many shares in the Virtual Rusty Key business), to locating a certain area within a length of time. Saves are done at the end of each mission, but continues (and other useful items) can be purchased for a set price. The aspect of buying various items such as continues, vitality and other power-ups is nothing new exactly, but it even goes a step further than the powering up that Onimusha allowed. You can purchase new moves and even new abilities if you save up your orbs enough. Considering some of the moves can be extremely powerful and helpful on your quest, it's generally worth it to shop rather carefully. Of course, you don't have to buy anything at all, but you better be bloody good.

Devil May Cry is not only long enough, but has enough replay value to satisfy any action hungry gamer. This isn't a game that you rent, unless you like torturing yourself. Buy it, play it and savor every moment of intense action. If you don't love this game, you had better get your pulse taken.

 

System: PS2
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: Oct 2001
Players: 1
Review by Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.5
GRAPHICS
5
CONTROL
4
MUSIC/FX
4
VALUE
5