Devil May Cry
Ladies and Gentlemen, please cast your minds back, back many moons ago, when the PS2 was young. Yes, that’s good. Do you remember Onimusha? Well of course you do, it was only four months ago after all. Well here is the game to finally claim the crown of the PS2’s best action adventure game. This, my friends, makes Onimusha look tired, worn and wooden. This is Devil May Cry…
You take on the role of Dante, a half mortal, half devil hybrid. Oh yeah, Dante’s Father happened to be the Legendary Devil Warrior Lord Sparda. Handy that, wouldn’t be up to much if his dad was a milkman called Keith from Romford (no offence Keith). Anyhow, Dante runs an agency called, (clever this) “Devil May Cry”, they specialise in killing Devils and demons and such. Must be a dodgy area he lives in then. One night a young woman named Trish drops in to see Dante (through the wall on what looks like a Ducati) and informs him that evil is once again rising and that, he , as Sparda’s son, must stop it. Then she impales him on a sword. Right. Fair enough. Dante, being a tough bloke, takes up the challenge, and off they go.
The first thing that strikes you about Devil May Cry is the graphics. They are stunning. Gorgeous. Fabulous, the best on the PS2 yet, almost Shenmue standard. The Castle looks real, every stone and cobweb is there, this is no pre-rendered back drop, this is 100% real polygons for your money. You can almost smell the mildew and rot. The camera angles are superb and very atmospheric, giving a real sense of tension. You really don’t know what’s just round the corner. The effects when you use your guns or sword are breath-taking, they slice the air and motion-blur awesomely.
The music is also spot-on. The back ground score is creepy to say the least, with long classical melodies and organ music, then as the pace quickens, so does the score. When you come across a boss the music switches to Drum ‘n’ Bass style tunes, to match your surely quickening heartbeat.
The character design itself is worthy of mention. Dante looks the part with his grey, deep eyes, white hair and blood red trench coat. Ooooh fearsome… That bloody great sword on his back may also add to his deadly image somewhat. However, it is the enemies that really grab your attention. The life-size puppet marionettes are very creepy, especially when they shamble over to you then suddenly become graceful killing machines. The Reapers are terrifying shadows with huge scissors or scythes and green medusa style masks. All the enemies look like they have stepped out of the pages of some terrifying fairy story gone wrong. It all adds to the gothic atmosphere the game emits.
The control system for DMC is perfect, with a little practice you can slice and dice the enemies to shreds in seconds. However, if you wish to succeed further on in the game, things have to be done differently. You are graded on the way you attack your foe, if you simply smack them over the head, or shoot them repeatedly, you will receive a ‘Dull’ rating. If you, However, Stab them in the stomach, flip them over your head and then repeatedly shoot them, juggling them with white hot lead until they explode, you may receive an ‘Awesome’ rating. If you finish it off with a roundhouse kick you may get a hallowed ‘Stylish’ Rating. The better the rating, the more Red Orbs the enemy will drop when it dies. These Orbs can then be traded for items or for new devil trigger moves. Which reminds me…
Although it’s great fun stabbing away with the Force Edge, the real fun starts when you receive Alastor, the thunder sword, Your first Devil Arms. This unlocks your Devil Trigger, a set of runes under the energy bar. Press R1 and Dante transforms into his Devil State, in this case a Thunder Devil who can fly and move at incredible speed, as well as sending bolts of lightning up your arse. Your can stay in this heightened state until the runes drain away, when they do, you change back again. When you receive the Ifrit Gauntlets you can switch between Alastor and Ifrit, the Fire Demon. Personally I prefer Ifrit, as it turns Dante into a master of Martial Arts, who can throw fireballs at some unsuspecting demon. Snazzy. Of course there is one more Devil Arm to receive, but I will leave that for you to find out.
There are other weapons in the game, guns. Lots of ‘em. Dante starts off with Ebony and Ivory, his pistols. These are the best weapons in the game due to their speed, they juggle the enemies better than anything else. There is also Shotguns, Grenade launchers, Needle guns and Nightmare Beta. All of which are a little slow, but more powerful. Good job that ammo is unlimited, which makes a change but makes little difference as its the speed of the guns which is crucial to Dante’s survival.
You will need all of your wits about you when you face the bosses, not to mention your Devil Arms and lots of cool Devil Trigger combos. The bosses are cool, especially the Nelo Angelo (now that’s a surprise when it happens), they are well designed and have specific weak points that need to be found, if you are to succeed. The battles are tough, but you should prevail, leaving you thinking, “Wow, Incredible!”. They just have to be seen to be believed.
In fact, I can only find one fault with Devil May Cry. It’s a Capcom favourite that plagued Resident Evil too. The script. Now, I’m not saying the story is bad, it’s not. It’s just what Dante comes out with, if it’s supposed to be cheesy, then it’s ten-year matured Stilton. Imagine that you are facing a twenty foot spider made out of lava and he has threatened to kill you. What do you say? Well Dante says, “I hope you have something in that big body of yours..”, It’s terrible! It’s like a Jean Claude Van Damme film only without the pint-sized muscle head. Oh and “Flock off, feather face” makes an appearance! No! Ruined! Ruined, I say! Well. No, not really, just unfortunate.
So, in conclusion, Devil May Cry is incredible. It is so rare to find a game so beautiful, yet so well thought out and implemented. It’s got style, it’s got grace, it’s right in your face, it’s a winner! Go and purchase.