Devil May Cry, the series that re-asserted the cool factor in Hack 'n Slash gaming is back with the latest installment. Being the third in the series, Capcom's taken Dante back to the beginning, before his demon-busting business even got off the ground.
And he wasn't an only child, as it turns out.
While DMC1 started the series off with a bang, a large number of people complained that the game was too difficult, so Capcom toned the difficulty down in the second installment. Lo, many people complained that the new game was too EASY. Nothin' like picky customers, eh? Apparently they decided that the third time around, they didn't much care either way and cranked the Difficulty Meter to 20 and let 'er rip.
If you found the first game to be too hard, you may as well save yourself the $50 now, because this game is probably one of the most difficult games in stores right now, NAY... for the SYSTEM.
Now, maybe you don't remember back in the days of Galaga and Centipede (Yes, we're discussing PRE-Donkey Kong), people would fill up in the arcades and plunk their hard-earned quarters into the machine again and again, hoping to make further progress than before, because the games were HARD. So hard, in fact, that there wasn't any defined end to them. You get as far as you can go, game over, sign your initials on the High Score chart (or don't) and call it a day. And it was fun!
Nowadays, seems like everyone's playing games to see the CGI ending(s) and put the games away. It's difficult to find a game that'll keep you playing over and over again in the hopes of actually advancing to the next stage. A rare breed. I tell you, DEVIL MAY CRY 3 IS THAT GAME! Rejoice!
Or complain. Just remember, instant gratification does not a good game make!
The story puts you in control of Dante, the little half-demon that could, making his way up a grand tower to keep his date with his twin. Twists here, turns there, the usual... it keeps the game fresh throughout. It's not a mind-bending plot, but it's enough to keep you playing. And what's a good story nowadays without good voice acting? That's right, nothing whatsoever. No need to fear; the actors portrayed their characters very nicely. Dante's voice actor, in specific, is quite good. You'll hear a few cheesey lines that'll make you wince now and again, but it's from Japan. What do you want? Hard-core heavy metal/techno/operatic amalgam soundtrack throughout the game? Fine. The tunes in DMC3 never really get old... they compliment the action quite nicely, in fact.
Graphics surpass every game in the series in multiples, which is also very good. Special effects range from dazzling to "AMAGAD, TURN THE TV OFF, MY EYES ARE BURNINNNNNNG!". Which is, of course, very very GOOD.
The gameplay, sadly, is rather unforgiving to the experienced player, and downright unfair to the action novice. The cutscenes in this game portray Dante as an immortal human with the gods themselves carrying him to victory... but once the game cuts into playable scenarios, you'll find very quickly that appearances can and will be cruelly decieving in this case. Even on the easiest difficulty, you will find yourself cursing at how hard and fast the enemy will come down on you. The controls have part of the blame for that... it's very, very hard to get Dante to do what you want him to do. Most of the really cool moves will be performed on accident, if at all. WAY too much action going on at any given point for you to focus on one enemy. More realistic in the setting as it may be, it can be extremely frustrating. The only way to progress if you're having no luck finishing the missions in one piece is to go through half or more of the level, or less, if you can't get that far, and SAVE YOUR STATUS before you're about to die. In fact, be safe. Save every five minutes to avoid losing all your hard-earned red orbs (the "currency" in the game that lets you train more moves and strengthen overall effectiveness of your current weapons and abilities) in a freak ambush attack, which happens more often than you'd think. Learn the special moves, level them up. You'll have much better luck with more bang in your arsenal. And if you're having trouble defeating your enemies at all, you may want to switch fighting styles. The Melee specialization, in particular, seems to take a bit of the load off the difficulty.
Should you have the talent to finish the game, there's plenty of reasons to make you do it again and again. If you found Easy to be pish-posh, there's always Normal, Hard, Something Harder Than Hard But I Can't Possibly Imagine How That Could Be Possible... and the ever-fabulous Devil May Cry mode, where one hit sends not only your opponents, but YOU to the grave. Very hectic, but very fun. Additional unlockables include trailers, galleries and, of course, super-cool unlockable outfits. Oddly enough, they didn't take the time to put the new outfits into the cutscenes, which is a bit awkward, but mostly cosmetic.
Overall, the game improved on what it could and the general presentation of the game is very sleek and stylish. You may grind your teeth, but stick with the game. It's worth the gratification you feel once you finally finish up that tough boss.