Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Dante's back with a fresh serving of badass goodness
Created By: Capcom
Difficulty: Hard-GUT WRETCHINGLY IMPOSSIBLE
Devil May Cry hit the gaming scene in 2001. It was fresh, original and full of kick ass characters, weapons and much more. It also introduced one of the greatest characters to grace the console world *well in opinion at least*. Dante the half demon, half human devil slaying machine brought a badass attitude never seen before by any gamer. With word of a sequel on the way, fans of the previous title including me were hyped. We were ready with money in hand and hopes and dreams on the line. Devil May Cry 2 had arrived…………..It was a good game in all respect, but in comparison to its predecessor the game was trash. Then after a good long while gamers saw at the E3 festival the remarkable trailer of the prequel to Devil May Cry. Like many the trailer brought hope that Dante may rise up again and rock the gaming domain like no other. Now that I have Devil May Cry 3 Dante's Awakening in my hands will it be a major disappointment or a triumphant return?
Two thousand years ago the demon knight known as Sparda woke up to justice and battled the legions of hell alone in order to preserve peace in the human world. After many battles Sparda successfully sealed the portal that served as the link between the opposing worlds. In doing so he sealed his demonic powers off never to be seen again. Sparda then went on to live a peaceful life. He settled down with a human woman and fathered two sons, Vergil and Dante. At current date Sparda has past and Vergil and Dante's mother has been killed. Dante has chosen the path of justice and Vergil the path of a traditional demon. Dante begins the story setting up his new shop; everything is fine until Dante is approached by Arkham, Vergil's right hand man. The setup for the beginning of this game is very similar to that of the first game. Arkham tells Dante he has an invitation from his brother Virgil, and before Dante can even wink, Arkham flips the desk shooting Dante into the air only to land on his feet and be confronted by no one. A few seconds pass before he gets ambushed by a handful of demons who impale him with metal scythes. Think this will stop Dante? No way! He just waltzes over to his handy dandy juke box and puts on a heavy track. This cues an amazingly choreographed fight sequence followed by the start of the game. Basically from here on you as Dante must make it to Virgil by battling through gut wrenching levels, terrifying bosses and badass cinematics all in hoped of stopping his evil plan to break the seal to the demon world your father put in place so long ago.
Now you can't take on the forces of hell without a good assortment of weapons and skills and believe me Devil May Cry 3 has got you covered. You get a set of five weapons for both ranged and close combat. The close weapons range from your basic long sword; to a pair of fire and wind swords, a pair of ice nunchuks, the super powered gauntlets, and yes even an electric guitar. Ranged weapons include your trusty pistols; a powerful shot gun, a laser cannon, a sniper rifle *scope not included*, and last but not least the all powerful rocket launcher. Every gun in the game can be powered up with red orbs you obtain from killing those vile demons. The melee weapons get the better end of the stick as you can use red orbs to buy special abilities for each individual weapon.
Now all these weapons and upgrades are the mere tip of ice berg when it comes to combat in DMC3. Capcom has implemented the "My Dante" system. Before you start a level you are aloud to choose one and only one style that will give Dante certain abilities. A few examples are Trickster style, which allows you to dash and dodge attacks more easily. The Royal Guard style allows you to block attacks and release the stored up damage, which is great for dealing massive damage to enemies and bosses alike. The other two main styles are Sword Master that gives you extra abilities for the melee weapons you are using, and Gun Slinger, which does the same as Sword Master except with all the ranged weapons. Now an even better part of all the styles is the more you fight the more experience you gain and the more experience you gain the higher the level of your skill becomes, therefore enabling better moves then before. There are two secret styles that you can get while playing the game, but I won't ruin it for you. Overall combat has definitely improved since Devil May Cry 2, but how about the other aspects well your about to find out.
Now the graphics are excellent on many different levels. The characters look quite good both in game and during the many action/dialogue sequences spread out throughout the entire game. Backgrounds and landscapes you will be traversing during the course of the game are well designed with really no flaws in site, and unlike DMC2 the designs are no longer bland, but quite the opposite as they are very immersive. Another nice touch is with such a wide variety of enemies you never seem to have to much repetition in their looks or sounds. Now on the note of sound you're getting a good bundle with DMC3. You got your bullets, swords and even gruesome screams of monsters you will be hear as you hacking into them. This is a truly great experience overall as the sounds really put you right into the battle. The sound is only the beginning as DMC3 has a very diverse soundtrack. The music spans from guttural metal for those badass battle sequences during play and climatic instrumentals that put you right into the action of the game.
One aspect of the game you are going to have to accept is that this game is hard. When you begin you may die again and again and again. When I first played the game it took me a few hours to get by the first boss, a very sad moment in my gaming career. With no check points besides the boss fight and limited continues the difficulty could act as a deterrent for many gamers. I only have one thing to say. Stop whining and get better at the game, gamers complain about games being far to easy and finally when a challenging game comes along it gets hit in the reviews for it. Once you get into the swing of things this game becomes both fun and enjoyable and much easier as your skill blossoms.
DMC3 is a truly amazing game overall complete with great combat, beautiful scenery, a decent story, and characters to play it out. There are virtually no flaws, except for Dante's fashion sense of course. If you are willing to overcome a steep learning curve get ready for one hell of an adventure.