Review: Devil May Cry 3

October 15, 2006

Gamer May Cry
Capcom / Playstation 2 / Mature

It needs to be made clear to anyone wanting to play this game that it is not for novices. Devil May Cry 3 is not just hard, it’s a Ninja Gaiden hard, a hair tearing frustration hard that can reduce seasoned gamers to blubbering babies and will result in the destruction of many a controller crushed in the hands of an enraged gaming enthusiasts. The game actually takes pity on players after they die several times and offers an easy difficulty level.

While DMC 3 will make players want to throw their PS2s across the room, don’t. Instead sit back and realize it is a very good game, getting a bad rap for its difficulty.

DMC 3 is an about face for the series which made a splash in 2001 with the original but fizzled in its second edition. DMC 3 is a prequel taking gamers back to a younger Dante who likes, among other things, pizza, fighting, and rock and roll. While Dante comes across as a show off in the cut scenes, gamers must use every bit of their hack-n-slash skill and strategy to make it past the tough demonic enemies.

The difficulty, thankfully, does not come from poor gameplay mechanics, because targeting is silky smooth and the different fighting styles offer useful solutions to any situation. The difficulty comes, instead, from Dante’s health. He will die after about five hits from enemies and health is anything but plentiful. This may be normal in the real world but it is not in the average action game.

There is no way around it. Players will die often and this will scare off many casual gamers, but hack-n-slash veterans will persevere to find an enjoyable experience. The mission structure prevents greater frustration by providing save points before each fairly short level.

Dante has a large number of purchasable moves to add to gameplay and keep it from getting stale; however, objectives still fall into the, kill everything that moves until a cutscene, variety. Also, the levels have a tendency to be fairly small, putting more focus on the aforementioned hacking and slashing.

There is no doubt that the sword and gunplay are the highlight of the DMC 3 experience. Gamers choose from one of four fighting styles. The trickster has a number of evasive maneuvers to avoid damage. The sword master has some fancy sword moves. The gunslinger has better ranged attacks, and the royal guard is more defense oriented. These styles can be switched on the fly between missions so gamers can choose the best one for the job.

By far the worst part of the DMC 3 experience comes from the audio department. The music and dialogue is cheesier than a plate of nachos, and yet it somehow adds to Dante’s character to have him spout such silly phrases.

Capcom does good on what it set out to do but this franchise is not yet perfect. Work is needed on mission variety, audio, and the difficulty for DMC 4. Devil May Cry is far from over and with improvements could live up to its potential for greatness. Until then, it is still the hack-n’-slash king on the PS2.

8/10
By Zack Rovinsky

Devil May Cry 3

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