"Capcom rock!", I'm proud to say that. Not only do they bring us one of the better Resident Evil style games with Onimusha, but also they go and break into another genre by bringing slavering fans. Devil May Cry. A 3d 3rd person hack-slash and adventure set against the backdrop of a dark war against mankind, waged by an evil Hellbeing known as Mundus.
Devil May Cry blends quite successfully the 3rd Person explore, solve puzzles and find items style of game-play with a fairly cool storyline and a kick ass control system. The joy of playing Devil May Cry is the feeling of control you get as the main character Dante, the two guns blazing, sword wielding, long red trench-coat wearing half demon hero of the game.
Dante is able to pull of a wide variety of moves as standard and as the game progresses the character is upgradeable through the use of the red-orb like souls of his slain enemies. Get enough of these and you can buy extra items and abilities when you come across certain statues, you can't miss them since the game explains what things are the first time you use or pick them up.
You can find a few weapons that give Dante his new skills and powers, at least two of these are Demonic in origin and have a set of upgradeable skills built in, fans of Onimusha Warlords will immediately feel at home with this kind of system and game. Though compared to Onimusha, Devil May Cry is more flowing and a much more satisfying game overall. Collect the Orbs and hack the monsters to bits, you'll gain more and more power, the better you are at the Combat System in the game the much better Orbs the defeated creatures will drop.
Devil May Cry has the most flashy combat system of any game on the PS2 to date, it's smooth and it's quick to learn, soon you'll be jumping off enemies, walls, and swinging your sword with the best of them. A few button taps and a direction and Dante whips the enemy into the air with his blade, then you can quickly and I mean quickly switch to his trademark two-guns and blaze away juggling them with a burst of mean gunfire. Let's rock baby, as Dante would say. Once they're dead or you're fed up you can switch back to the sword and pile on the hits again. A little meter to the right of the main heath bar will flash up words like Dull, Cool, Amazing, Stylin to show you how the game thinks you're doing in a combat, the more of these you get the better score you will have.
The Puzzles and Encounters in Devil are none too hard, some of the boss fights can take a bit of getting used to and often or not if you don't learn the best way of battling a boss you'll be sucking down on some major pain. But hey it's all in the game and that's what we like. Complain if it's too easy and if it's too hard. In my opinion in places Devil is too easy and a little harder in others but overall it's got a good learning curve to it.
Devil's story starts with your character being recruited to aid him by the sexy Trish, who also happens to look like someone that Dante knows, it then moves to the location of a Gothic Style Castle and this is where Devil really does shine. The actual graphics of the game are no short of stunning with impressive camera angles and a polished feel to them. The Architecture of the gameworld is jaw dropping in places and you might just spend a few minutes actually looking around and admiring it before you're thrown into some fiendish encounter or evil puzzle. Dante is beautifully animated and moves with the kind of flash you expect a Hong Kong action hero to, he can do a variety of cool moves and they're all brought to life with style and skill. It really does show Capcom know their stuff having learned what makes a wicked game.
The lighting in places is wonderfully atmospheric and shows off the shadow technology quite nicely, they're cast realistically onto walls and surfaces as Dante passes by. It really is jam packed with action as well, they're not stingy on the monsters or the boss fights and you'll be doing a lot of fast moving, powering up those special powers and using them all the time to get past some of the trickier sections of the game. Dante has two prime weapons that give him these great powers, Alastor and Ifrit. I'm not going to tell you what they do but I will say that once you have them you'll be able to do some mean stuff once you've played with powering them up via Red Orbs. Just keep an eye on Dante's Devil Trigger Guage, once it's depleted he'll be unable to use his Devil Powers...that's right most of these powers can only be activated while in Devil Trigger Form, where Dante shows the Devil Inside a little and becomes even more acrobatic and usually much faster.
To suppliment his hack and slay weapons, there's at least a few guns, his twin pistols and a shotgun to name but two, the shotgun being of the sawn-off variety. The good news is that all Dante's weapons come with Infinite Ammo so there's no need to worry about running out of rounds when you're blazing away with those guns of yours. I have to admit I really did like that feature, it meant I could concentrate on having fun and not having to fear the click click of my gun when I ran out of the last bullet. Then again it works for a Resident Evil game, which Devil certainly isn't.
Alongside the gorgeous graphics and excellent top quality animations are some slick sound effects and musical pieces, all of which combine to bring the game to a surreal kind of life. The voice acting is pretty good in places, in others it does kind of set off the cringe factor but once again it's tolerable and we're not looking for cinema quality in games yet anyhow.
So in conclusion and I'm sure I've left a lot out, Devil is an entertaining game that is maybe a little too short for the average gamer but does offer the chance to unearth special missions and unlock a few things. Keep playing it and you'll find that you can gain harder and harder difficulty modes until you can play as the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda...Dante's dad from the Intro.
But till the sequel which I sincerely hope allows you to play more than one character and a has a whole host of new moves, I'll leave you with these final words of Dante's...
Swords? Haha, time to go to work guys *blamblamblamblam!*