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Review: Devil May Cry

Posted Jul-16 2007 by ron
For PS2, runs fine on PS3, 60Hz only (outputs NTSC signal!)


The exploits of Dante have received much attention lately as the fourth installment of the series should be out soonish. It was high time for us to catch up with the series, and because we could we started with part 1. Even though Devil May Cry 1 does have some problems, playing it through has absolutely reaffirmed our interest in the upcoming fourth one. We also hope to go through part 3 soon (we hear part 2 is rubbish, hence we're avoiding it).
But for now let's pretend that none of the sequels exist and just inspect the very first Devil May Cry.

Dante

Poor manners, guns, a huge sword and a short temper: Dante, dressed up for the weekend.

It all starts with character. Devil May Cry doesn't have many of them, but lots of it. As the primary dude of a third-person action game, Dante himself better be some ballsy bad-ass, and sure enough that expectation is fully realized mere seconds into a new game. It's over the top to the point of being ridiculous. Slicing-in-half-a-motorcycle-that-is-thrown-at-you-with-your-sword ridiculous. That might be okay though. We don't quite believe action-game heroes need to be deep personalities.

A looming castle

Most of Devil May Cry takes place inside these eerie walls.

Devil May Cry's story aspects stay fittingly light. Dante, continuing a long family tradition of bad-assery and demon-hunting, wants to kill lots of demons, too, basically, and as the intro cinematic ends he will have the finest of excuses to go visit a remote castle and do just that. Roughly at that point you can safely power down the story lobe of your brain, and reroute all neuro-transmitters to your smacking-stuff-over-the-head cortex.

Dante in a study room

At first it seems we are alone in the castle. That will soon change.

For a short while the game lets us explore our new surroundings and come to grips with the controls unharmed. Dante can notably perform wall jumps to reach high places. As he also comes readily equipped with a sword and a pair of pistols, we can experiment with attacks. Or rather we should, because the game doesn't have any tutorial and absolutely is not self-explanatory. You will very soon be in way over your head.

Ghosts surprise Dante

You may yet mash your way through the most basic enemies, but these guys here will definitely make short work of Dante if you don't know how to handle them. Never mind that in the greater scheme of things they will soon be among the least of your worries.

So.
Unlike certain other titles in the broader genre, in Devil May Cry there is no distinction between heavy and light attacks, nor grabs. There is but one button to swing your sword. There's a lock-on toggle button that will help you aim you at the nearest enemy and also slow down your movement. The lock-on also transforms your standard jumps into quick evasive rolls when aiming sideways.
Firing your guns can be achieved in two different ways: either when locked on while on the ground, or in mid-air without that lock-on, but both approaches lead to what really is the same attack.

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