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Reviewed: Devil May Cry 3
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: March 29th, 2005
Page: 2

We'll start with the basics. Graphically, Devil May Cry 3 is up relatively close to the first one. Some levels are relatively close in scope and hue to Devil May Cry 2, but they don't dominate the game, instead fitting into the flavor and background. Dante spends a small amount of time with his shirt off, but for most of the game he's in his signature red cloak, kicking butt as always. The weapons and enemy attacks have the usual flair to them, perhaps overly so.

Camera-wise, I'm sorry to say that Capcom still hasn't gotten it. The camera-on-rails is nice enough, but Capcom doesn't properly keep the camera back from the action. It's great for making a really flashy advertisement video, but it's lousy for gameplay: inevitably, enemies will telegraph higher-damage or ranged attacks from offscreen, and Dante will take damage from them. This is especially apparent in indoor fighting areas, where the camera swings wildly around a room from the center point instead of planting itself into a nice corner and following the action at a leisurely pace.

As both a bonus and downside, Capcom included plenty of weapons for the game. It's a bonus because there's one more melee weapon and as many guns in this one as there were in the original Devil May Cry. Dante's got his original sword, a trio of nunchuks (3 wooden chuks on a ring), a pair of smaller swords, a gauntlet (think Ifrit, sort of) and a guitar to work with. On the guns side, his two handguns are back, plus the shotgun, a laser gun, a bazooka, and a rifle. Instead of being easily switchable (as in DMC) only two of each can be equipped at a time, and are switched with the appropriate buttons. The downside is that unlocking all the moves for each weapon takes forever, as well as assessing how well the weapons work together.

Capcom's also expanded the fighting system some more (yes, that's right, they weren't done yet!) with a "Styles" system; "Styles" add moves to Dante's repertoire, allowing him to concentrate on areas of ability. Trickster style is all about mobility and not getting hit; Swordmaster gives melee weapons extra moves; Gunslinger hands out ranged weapon abilities; Royal Guard depends on blocking enemy attacks, and then building up meter to turn back upon them; Quicksilver allows Dante to slow down time; and Doppelganger allows Dante to create a copy of himself for doubled beatdown. Styles also build up their level not by spending Red Stones, but by being played over and over; the more "experience" a Style has, the stronger it becomes.

Needless to say, if you thought that unlocking everything took a while in the original DMC, you'll be happy to know that it's going to take even LONGER playing DMC 3.

Devil May Cry 3's storyline isn't bad; the basics are that Dante is following in his older and more powerful brother's footsteps, being toyed with while a plot to reopen the gate and let the devils come back to Earth unfolds. Needless to say, Capcom once again went nuts with the cutscenes. They also forgot to do level loading behind the cutscenes, which means that most levels take forever to start/restart even when skipping the FMV's due to the game's excruciatingly long load times.

But does it work? Partially yes, and partially no. Gamers looking for a quick thrill would do well to stick with the original Devil May Cry: it's fun to play without being overly complex. Gamers obsessed with opening every single item up, no matter how long it takes, will find plenty of enjoyment to be had. It's got its good points, and it's definitely no Devil May Cry 2, but there are obvious flaws to be seen; certain bosses resemble their Devil May Cry 2 counterparts far better than the fun, exciting pattern-attack bosses of the original. The Style system allows gamers who have a particular flair for a certain variety of play to stick with it and exploit it, but it also engenders the mindless replaying of stages to level styles up. This is both helped and hindered by the game's ability to jump to any stage. My biggest complaint is that certain stages are designed to be nothing more than mills of red stones and experience, played mindlessly over and over to level Dante up in order to enjoy future stages, with little thought to actually making the game fun.

Added:  Monday, March 28, 2005
Reviewer:  Mike Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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