Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition Review

+++ Awesome arsenal of melee weapons
+++ The 3 fights with Vergil remain some of the best in action games to date
++ Turbo Mode is wonderful
++ Most enemies are fun to fight/slaughter
+ Solid Bloody Palace Mode
+ Decent Soundtrack
+ Jester is pretty great
+ Extremely Difficult
+ Vergil is a decent character to play with
-- Secret Missions are AIDS
- Craptastic camera
- Non Vergil boss fights tend to be gimmicky
- Most normal enemies only slightly vary from one another
- Looks pretty bad for its time
- Really stupid storyline
- Poorly laid out levels

I haven’t played DMC3 quite as much as Bayonetta and DMC 4, though I do intend to. Unfortunately the main draw of the game is solely to fight Virgil and I have to go through 6 or 7 levels of meh gameplay to get there. That said this is definitely the best game of the series and had a few certain other games not come out around the same time would have been one of the best games of 2005. This game is built with the engine from DMC2 which is pretty damn ugly as far as mid era PS2 games go. If it weren’t a Capcom game I wouldn’t complain much but they certainly could have done much better.

The first 2 levels of this game are fantastic as all you do is beat the hell out of some monsters and a mini-boss. The third level is alright but you do have to fight Cerberus with very little life and he happens to be one of the hardest bosses in the game without being particularly intuitive. However, once you reach the bigass tower in the fourth level the navigation issues from the other games return and it takes quite a while to find your way around the asinine levels and figure out what random item goes where. Eventually you get to the roof and fight your good buddy Vergil; and it’s fucking awesome!

Vergil has a very tight attack pattern and only opens up for about a half second at the end of each combo (he also does a shitload of damage). As a result you have to master the dodge system to defeat him and figure out which weapons to use to quickly counter attack. The combat, which is at first not as fluid as you might like, shows its full potential in the three duels with Dante’s brother. Sometimes you might beat Vergil quickly due to getting several good dodge/counter attacks in a row, but sometimes he’ll just massacre you for your overconfidence. It’s fantastic that they built in the stagger for Vergil rather than make it a tedius battle of attrition, you have to be reasonably competent to beat him on almost any difficulty, but doing so always feels great.

Unfortunately following the first fight with Vergil you have to go through another 6 levels of okay but not great content, though the first set tends to be the worst of the bunch for navigation. After again defeating him (with a much different attack pattern) you proceed through the rest of the game. This is the first game in the series to introduce a boss gauntlet level, the only problem being that I don’t really want to fight a bunch of halfway decent to bad bosses, I just want to fight the man himself once more. I like the boss gauntlet in DMC 4 much better since you get to fight with Nero and the bosses in that game aren’t quite as gimmicky. Fortunately after quite a few levels you fight Vergil for the third time, which is murderously difficult yet still supremely awesome. It’s the one fight in the game that actually looks visually good and his pattern is much more difficult than in previous renditions. To top it all off you don’t have to fight anything else in the level, it’s just the final boss fight on top of a river/waterfall.

Of course, despite the great fights with Vergil, this game does have it’s drawbacks. The always fixed camera is pretty terrible and controls don’t seem to work quite as well as they do in DMC 4 (though the camera is much better in that game). Secret Missions return to irritate the hell out of you once more. Enemy Variety is pretty lacking, as most enemies are either a chess piece or a weird looking reaper with a Scythe that vary slightly in attack patterns. Vergil himself is added as a bonus character in this game after you clear it with Dante, and he is a fairly unique addition to the series. He pretty much rips apart everything in a few hits and doing some of the Secret Missions with him is an even larger pain in the ass. If he had a few levels of his own instead of just one prologue chapter it might have greatly enhanced the game for me.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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