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Name: Devil May Cry 3: DA Special Edition Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox 360 + PS3 (HD Collection in April 2012) Developer: Capcom Genre: Hack n Slash Release Date: January 24, 2006
Before people were introduced to a certain Greek character who is almost always angry and kills Gods, there used to be a half-human, half-devil hybrid whose sole aim was to do whatever he does in style. Yeah, God of War became very famous after it was released. It went on to become the highest selling hack-n-slash game ever. But what about Devil May Cry? The game that started it all? The first entry in the series was the one which gave birth to the superfast hack n slash genre in which games like GoW and Bayonetta belong now. The second entry was a disappointment since it apparently took away a lot of good stuff from the first game and wasn't as challenging as it was before. It went on to become a commercial success, though. And then came Dante's Awakening. A game with excruciating difficulty. People who played it called it one of the hardest games ever made. It, indeed, had a very steep learning curve and was considered overly difficult since it lacked some stuff that is usually taken for granted in most games (like save checkpoints, the ability to respawn at a place where the character died etc). So capcom went ahead and made the Special Edition. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is an enhanced re-release edition of the Greatest Hits title, boosted and more bad-assed with a new playable character (Dante's evil twin brother, Vergil, with his own unique "Dark Slayer" fighting style), the new Jester enemy, a 20% faster Turbo speed, an alternate Gold Orb save system, new and more balanced difficulty levels, Bloody Palace Mode pitting Dante against an onslaught of enemies, and Movie Mode for cutscenes. But the question is, is Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Special Edition a game for you?
Criterion for rating this game:
It will be rated based on - Story, Gameplay, Replayability, Graphics and Music.
Play this game expecting the kind of writing games like Portal have, the plot complexity that games like MGS have or the character development games like Mass Effect have and you'll be disappointed. But for the most part, story in DMC3 is pretty good for a hack and slash game. It progresses smoothly with the help of cutscenes rendered in-game before and after each mission. Basically revolves around the adventures of Dante while he tries to bring an end to the evil schemes of his twin brother Vergil. The cast doesn't consist of a lot of characters but the ones which are present in this game have fairly good character development. It also contains a plot twist or two which are good, to say the least. Overall, I think the story in this game is pretty good. Provides a good incentive for the player to keep slaying demons mission after mission.
The area the game shines the most in. You are supposed to go through 20 mission the game throws at you while slaying all the demons and bosses that block your path. The enemy variety in this game is pretty good considering there are more than 10 different types of enemy each having their own attack patterns. AI is very good. They figure out your strategy and act according to it in order to make life more miserable for you. For Example: Suppose you play by this strategy - Jump, shoot to stay in the air for some time and then perform a melee attack on the enemy below you. But too bad cuz you can't do that for long - Enemies like Hell Lusts will quickly attack you by dashing and jumping towards you in order to bring you down. This just goes on to show how hard it is to slay all these demons is.
Talking of slaying demons, there are quite a lot of bosses in this game which range from a frozen dog with three mouths, a sexy vampire seductress which attacks using bats and electricity, your evil twin brother Vergil and a 'heart' among others. Won't tell you what this 'heart' boss is. You'll have to play to know. Anyway, these boss battles are hard. Of course, they have certain attack patterns and you can take advantage of them to bring them down. But they take quite a lot of beating before coming down and most of the time it is you who is slain by these monstrosities. Vergil battles Dante three times in this game. And I'll have to say, Vergil battles are by far my favorite. He's tough to beat and has quite a lot of different attack patterns making it harder for you to devise a strategy against him. But he's no game breaker. Once you get a grasp of handling him, you can still beat him.
Another important aspect of gameplay in this game comes in the forms of 'styles'. Dante has four styles initially and can acquire two additional ones later in the game. These styles basically determine how a person can play the game. Use Trickster style to perform evasive maneuvers and teleport directly over enemies in order to demolish them quickly, Swordmaster to use a variety of strong melee based attacks which can be used to destory your opponents swiftly, Gunslinger to perform stylish attacks from those dual pistols and other guns Dante has or use Royalguard to block each and every attack from the enemy and unleash all the stored energy from those attacks in a very powerful attack which can annihilate almost anything. The choice is yours to make. These styles determine how you play the game and changing a style will bring a tremendous difference in how you play the game. So yeah, if you're bored to tricking your opponents using trickster, you can try out swordmaster or royalguard to radically alter your play style so that things feel fresh. Overall, I think the gameplay in this game is a lot of fun. Slaying Demons is cool. But doing it while looking stylish is VERY COOL, imo. The game also has quite a lot of different weapons which range from anything between a standard longsword and a guitar that fires of electric pulses. Plus, due to the balanced difficulty settings of the Special Edition, the game has become far more accessible. All the more reason to go and experience the awesome gameplay of this game.
Although not as good as games that came in the same year, they are pretty decent and still look pretty nice. The attack animations are very nicely done and there are a few, if any, bugs and lagging in the game.
Dante's Awakening boasts of a soundtrack which compliments the game very well. The metal battle themes that play while Dante slays demons is catchy and helps develop the atmosphere for demon slaying. Although one can say that these tracks tend to become a little repetitive at times, I don't really think it hurts this game much. It has some really wonderful tracks that you'll be humming in your head long after you complete this game. Devils Never Cry is a track which I find myself singing almost everyday, to be honest.
The game is a little short considering the fact that a single playthrough may take anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the difficulty level but that doesn't make it a game with no replayability. Bloody Palace, a mode where you can slay demons for as long as you like, extends the life of this game quite a lot and you can always go and replay the game in the harder difficulty settings once you've done so in the easier ones. Plus, beating the games in those harder difficulty settings and even competing in Bloody Palace earns you some pretty neat rewards. Won't spoil those, though. So yeah, this game has some decent replayability even though it is kind of short.