Tag Archives: devil may cry

A Gaming Round-up: DmC, Sleeping Dogs, etc. Games | My Reviews 11 JAN 2014

I have a confession to make. I’m pretty much over single-player gaming these days. Blame lack of diminishing returns, or just pure apathy, but I no longer find it hugely entertaining to sit down by myself with controller in hand for an hour or two at night. Maybe I’m simply tired of it, or maybe I’ve simply outgrown the hobby or whatever you want to call it, but the fact of the matter is that I no longer enjoy the pastime as much, and as such, probably won’t be doing a hell of a lot of gaming on my own going forward any longer.

That said, I do still enjoy the multiplayer gaming experience to a fair degree, but that is a completely different kettle of fish mind you – it’s the social interactions that keeps it enjoyable, not the gaming necessarily itself!

All of that said and done though, my blogging hiatus means I’ve spent some time on a fair bit of titles without mentioning them here yet, meaning it only seems fair to do a quick round-up.

dmc devil may cry xbox promo image

First up there is Capcom and Ninja Theory’s awesome action adventure, hack and slash genre entry, Devil May Cry (DmC) (2013), a re-imagination to the original Devil May Cry series, this time from a Western perspective. There was a lot of online moaning about how much people despised the changed story and character designs, but you know what, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was tightly woven and nice and involving, the characters were actually quite believable in their motivations for a change, and just to drive the awesomeness home, Ninja Theory got the Devil May Cry game mechanics spot on, leading to a raucous, gorgeous looking, stylishly executed button-mashing gaming experience.

I’m a big fan of the original Devil May Cry franchise, and quite pleasingly, this new addition to the stable is just as fantastic as the rest!

Battlestations: Pacific (2009) is a action real-time tactic World War II game from Eidos Hungary, which basically allows you to tackle either a US or Japanese campaign by working through a variety of airborne, seaborne, and combined missions.

Although the voice acting is a little cheesy and the graphics aren’t particularly fantastic, if you are part of the target market for this game like I am (in other words, love World War II planes and boats), then it is an absolute joy to take to the sky in some classic beasts of the air, like a Mitsubishi Zero or a Lockheed P-38 Lightning to name but a few!

Naturally the single player skirmishes do get a little boring after a while, but for me (and Jessica mind you – my little 3 year old likes nothing more than taking a plane up into the sky, doing some rolls, and then ploughing straight down into the see. She screams in delight literally every single time!), the flying time was all that I was really after anyways!

There is a huge selection of ships, submarines, fighter planes, sea planes and bombers to be piloted, and the simplified arcade controls makes for an easy enough title to pick up, though I suspect only lovers are the genre will really get some entertainment value out of this one!

battlestations pacific mitsubishi zero in flight

Shoot Many Robots (2012) from Demiurge Studios is an Xbox Arcade release recently featured as part of Microsoft’s Games with Gold initiative. It’s a typical action platformer that sees you and a partner or two, strap on some silly big guns and costumes, and then run through a variety of stages shooting at pretty much anything that moves, before taking on the slightly bigger bad boy boss at the end of each level.

It’s a redneck-themed game which means the appeal is probably quite limited (seriously, rednecks just aren’t my idea of funny), and as such a lot of the items are geared in design, appearance and function to fit in with the theme.

Ryan and I had some fun shooting down robot after robot, and I have to say, the art direction on the game is really well done, though by that I mean the implementation, not necessarily the stupid theme. Overall, it’s a competent and polished XBOX Arcade title worth picking up if you are looking for some mindless side-scrolling shooting to be had.

shoot many robots xbox arcade title screen

If you are a RPG fan then without a doubt CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2 (2012) is a must play. Massive world, gorgeous graphics, classic RPG elements, enjoyable fight mechanics, and engaging and mature storyline, the Witcher 2 is undoubtedly a RPG done right.

Sadly for me though, it turns out I’m not that really into RPG games any more, meaning that it didn’t have my full attention nor a decent enough allotment of my time. Despite that, I do have to recognise just how good an entry into the RPG genre this game actually is, and it is definitely worth the recommend.

(One small gripe though. Why in the world did this game not have better movement mechanics. Seriously, I should not have to trigger a context button for the character to hop down a stone ledge or climb up a simple ladder in this day and age!)

UPDATE: (2014-05-28) I ended up coming back to this one and spending a whole lot more time with it. In the end, same result: great, mature RPG that’s an enjoyable play, but with some slightly annoying control issues. Well worth recommending though!

the witcher 2 xbox screengrab

Next to Devil May Cry, Sleeping Dogs (2012) from United Front Games and Square Enix sits squarely in the list of favourite games played recently. Turns out I rather enjoy Asian-set action games (like John Woo’s Stranglehold, Yakuza and the True Crime series – which I only recently found out are technically forerunners for this game – to name but a few), and as such I’m quite enjoying the open world action-adventure video game, running around doing jobs for the Triads, helping out the cops, boosting my stats, and in general just causing absolute mayhem, all the while wrapped up in a brutal but engaging storyline of crime and justice.

In essence it is pretty much like playing any installment of Grand Theft Auto, except that this time around you are the good guy, doing bad things to fit in, and with a lot more focus on martial arts-based hand to hand combat than what you would see in a GTA title.

Driving, shooting, and fight mechanics are all well implemented, and combined with some good graphics, a fantastic sound track and great voice artist work, this is definitely fast becoming one of my big time favourites.

sleeping dogs xbox screengrab

Review: Devil May Cry 4 Games | My Reviews 22 MAR 2010

Hands up if you were a fan of the trigger-happy button masher on steroids that was Devil May Cry 3, featuring everyone’s favourite son of Sparda come Demon Hunter, Dante? Yes? Well I absolutely loved it and I’m happy to say that Devil May Cry 4 kicks off exactly from the level set by Devil May Cry 3 and then raises the bar just that little – Oh and it even looks a whole lot prettier this time around!

For this outing the story follows a man other than Dante, a young trouble-maker with a itching for a fight and a demonic hand to match, who just happens to be in the employ of the Order of the Sword that currently worships Sparda as the saviour of its people. Nero is however drawn into an unlikely conflict as demons are unleashed upon the world once again and at the same time, a mysterious man in red appears to murder the Order’s leader and spiritual guide Sanctus. With only the safety of his beloved Kyrie in his mind, Nero accepts the challenge and enters the fray – though the extent of the deception and danger that still awaits him has yet to fully reveal itself!

Released in 2008 from makers Capcom, Devil May Cry 4 slips snuggly in the same fast-paced 3rd person, hack and slash gameplay of its predecessors, though it brings a new element into play thanks to Nero’s Devil Bringer demonic grappling arm. Again we have the fixed camera locations, the industrial metal soundtrack, the over the top sound effects, screams and one-liners, a variety of some fairly strangely designed demons together with a LOT of very cool, well executed CG cutscenes to take in.

Ice demons can just be so cold, you know?

In terms of gameplay, you get to experience the game controlling both Nero and Dante through the course of the game, though it is without a doubt that this new upstart Nero is the main protagonist from stage 1. Armed with both a ranged gun attack as well as a sword attack, Nero gets the added grappling abilities gifted through his Devil Bringer arm, a new gameplay mechanic and one that actually elevates the Devil May Cry experience and actually makes Nero more fun to play with than Dante himself! In terms of Dante, you have access to the same abilities and styles as from Devil May Cry 3, meaning you still have your various guns and swords available to you to switch through as you like (though now you can switch between all at a simple button press during a stage whenever you want), plus the added four styles of Trickster, Gunslinger, Swordmaster and Royal Guard to play with.

Both Nero and Dante have access to a Devil Trigger ability that when activated grants them a cool new look, increased power and abilities and also a slow health regeneration boost. As for the actually running around and playing, the pace is still frenetic as you jump, hack and slash away at enemies to eventually reveal over the top, larger than life boss characters and of course obtain those all important red orbs that can be used to upgrade your weapons and abilities at designated divinity statues and stage begin menus. As before, the style system is in place to judge your overall score on a particular stage as well as the amount of orbs dropped from defeated enemies, meaning that it is in your best interest to constantly switch between attacks and avoid get hits – all in order to reach that sought after Smokin’ Sick Style (SSS) ranking!

Visually Devil May Cry 4 is as polished a game as what you could hope for. Character models are well detailed, special effect are beautiful to behold and the character animations and movement is smooth and shows off all the right visuals. Of course, no Devil May Cry game would be complete without beautifully rendered and often over the top CG cutscenes and I’m pleased to report that DMC4 has these dripping in abundance, complete with those crazy Dante performance that you got used to witnessing the last time round in this particular franchise.

In terms of difficulty, DMC4 is not overly aggressive and will actually dumb down boss characters should you find yourself on a game over screen just one too many times. Also, because the red orb and experience point accumulation is exactly that, accumulated, it means that you’ll keep levelling up even if you keep losing, meaning that eventually you should be able to make your way through to the end. Most of the boss fights are pretty simple to work out and give a decent challenge, but be warned that the final battle has a trick to it that you’ll need to think around in order to beat it (Devil Bringer – it’s all I’m going to say!)

Aurally Devil May Cry 4 delivers the good exactly as what you would expect from a AAA title, featuring a beautiful and haunting soundtrack mixed in with some frenetic and hardcore riffs during the fight scenes. Voice acting is top notch and for the most part there is very little to complain about.

In summary, Capcom’s MT Framework game engine is once again responsible for bringing to life a superb entry in the fast-paced, button bashing and trigger happy hack and slash genre that is difficult to put down and even harder not to enjoy. It is satisfying building up style points, getting good ratings for levels and eventually beating the game. It looks good, sounds good and plays smoothly, making it a firm favourite of mine – in other words, pick it up if you are a fan of this genre… you won’t go wrong! :)

(Just a tip though. In order to unlock the secret game ending cutscene, you need to protect Kyrie and basically ensure she doesn’t take a hit. Not go after the bad guys like I did. Doh!)

Demon bosses. They're generally on the big side

A dragon... flower... seed-flinging demon boss? Don't ask.

I'm really not lying when I say that the bosses really are on the big side at times!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_May_Cry_4

Review: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition Games | My Reviews 16 MAR 2008

Devil May Cry 3The undisputed king of PS2 frenetic-paced action titles without a doubt sits squarely with Capcom’s legendary 2005 release, Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening which exploded on the scene and left millions of frustrated gamers on an complete adrenaline rush. One year later and Capcom decides to treat us all by releasing Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening – Special Edition which features a whole lot of new extras plus the chance to play with Dante’s rogue brother Vergil as a main playable character (and at budget price just to make the deal so much sweeter to boot).

Devil May Cry 3 is best described as frantic-paced, high-energy metal that sees you controlling the brash and arrogant Dante, half human and half demon, devil hunter and detective as he attempts to stop his brother’s insane plan of bringing the demon world to Earth while at the same time cut his way through half of Hell itself just to do it. The focus of the game is on unrelenting action and sees you tackle hordes of demons with a wide variety of weapons (both melee and ranged), all instantaneously switchable mid combo just for the hell of it!

The action and fighting is about as fluid as you can get and combined with the upgradeable move set for the various fighting ‘styles’ that you can employ makes for a pretty deep combat experience. There are a number of very detailed and finely connected levels to make you way through, usually battling scores of demons just to get to the other side where you are more often than not presented with some or other fiendishly difficult boss battle to deal with. There are one or two annoying puzzles you get stuck with, a little backtracking and a few infuriating Fight Adjudicators to deal with, but other than those, it is pretty much gun-blazing, sword-slashing action through the good number of hours it will take you to beat this game.

On the story-telling side of things, Devil May Cry 3 has one of those epics stories that reels you in and is jam-packed with intrigue, twists and poignancy and in the end makes for one of those games that stand as tall on the story that they deliver as on the game play that they dish out.

Visually, Devil May Cry 3 comes out on top with extremely detailed and moody backgrounds, fixed cinematic camera angles and extremely stylish and fluid movement animations. The environments themselves although confined in one building are so diverse and styled that you never ever seem to get bored or tired of your surroundings – not that you notice them all that much with the non-stop action flowing around you anyway!

The game is also literally littered with breathtaking cutscenes that makes full use of the exciting Asian choreography and special techniques that makes so many Hong Kong and Japanese action movies stand out above traditional Western offerings.

Of course, even with all the breathtakingly designed characters and backgrounds and the non-stop button mashing, the true genius behind the frenzy that is Devil May Cry 3 is the extremely cleverly picked hard rock/metal soundtrack and scintillating sound effects that propel the pace of the game to a new level. The extreme energy and aggression that comes from the soundtrack is enough to get any gamer’s adrenaline flowing and this heightened aggression is what makes Devil May Cry 3 an even more action-packed adventure that what it should perhaps be.

Another reason for Devil May Cry 3’s massive popularity is its legendary difficulty that was guaranteed to put even the most ardent of gamers through their paces and leave you with a sense of owning the world should you ever actually beat the damn game! Funnily enough, the main reason for this was the rather strange decision to set the initial American release’s normal difficulty level to the Japanese release’s difficult setting and the easy setting became the Japanese’s equivalent normal setting.

For better or worse, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition sets the difficulty level back to the normal setting it was originally meant to be on, meaning that many who haven’t played the original will be left wondering as to why Devil May Cry 3 used to be hailed as one of the most difficult games to get through. Although this reduced difficulty doesn’t take much away from the game as a whole, it does become slightly less rewarding for gamers who clocked the original but thankfully there is still enough added bonuses and extras to make old gamers come back for more.

First off, the most touted extra feature is the ability to play through the game as Vergil, complete with his own set of upgradeable moves and styles. As cool as it is to play with this new character, you can’t help but feel a little cheated when you realise the developer have done nothing more than create the new character and generate his new moves set but then simply tack him into the game and strip the cutscenes to make the story more or less move forward. And if you think you are going to finish the game by fighting against Dante, think again – you’ll simply be fighting a differently coloured clone of yourself I’m afraid.

Secondly, we get a new boss battle tossed into the mix, this time a fight against Jester, though this boss battle is a lot more forgiving than the original bosses that you still need to mix it up against. You do however get to experience this new fight a whole three times during the game, increasing in difficulty with each encounter.

Another major change that has been implemented has quite an effect on the frustration that was the original version, namely the continue system. In the original you needed to buy yellow orbs which could be used to continue with on death, but these orbs quickly became prohibitedly expensive and you pretty much had to replay level after level simply because the tough boss at the end of it wasn’t going to let you have your own way. This time around you can set it that you have unlimited continues which makes for a far smoother and less frustrating trip through to the final battle, something that goes a long way in making this game more accessible to casual gamers.

And then there is all the other bonus material of course. Tons and tons of images to view, alternative costumes, video theatre and soundtrack material to unlock plus a little extra in the form of the Blood Palace, a 9 999 level big play area which pits you in endless combat and is best suited to those DMC3 professionals that want to squeeze the most out of the game.

Overall, the reduced difficulty level and infinites continues structure lessons the impact of this classic title ever so slightly, reducing the personal reward gained in clocking it, however it does make it far more inviting to players new to the Devil May Cry 3 mythos and remains as worthy an action title as what it ever has been. If you are looking for non-stop, heart-pounding action featuring some of the most breathtaking cutscene choreography ever devised combined with some of the toughest boss battles out there, you really can’t go wrong by picking up this legendary title. And at the price it is going for, you would really have to kick yourself if you miss out!

Devil May Cry 31 Devil May Cry 32 Devil May Cry 33 Devil May Cry 34


Review: Devil May Cry (2007) Anime | My Reviews 14 OCT 2007

For any non-gamer out there, Capcom’s Devil May Cry is one of the most popular extreme action titles to ever grace the PlayStation 2 and there are currently 4 titles in this hugely successful franchise (the fourth game is in post production for the PlayStation 3). This 12 episode long anime series is produced by the Madhouse Studios and is directed by Shin Itagaki.

The anime details the exploits of the permanently broke and in debt (but always ultra cool) half-human, half-demon Dante as he struggles to make ends meet with the operation of his gun-for-hire business, Devil May Cry. Each episode is annoyingly self-contained and ends up being pretty much the standard demon of the week story, with Dante being challenged by some beastie which he then kills off by the end of the show. The stories are all well told, but the lack of a continuum or an advancing storyline soon becomes very frustrating and leaves Devil May Cry wallowing as a VERY average title.

The writers attempt to be clever and string the last couple of episodes into an arc, tying into the very first episodes story, but to be honest, at this late stage in the show it is a little too late. This is quite a disappointment because with the richness of the Devil May Cry universe, there was more than enough scope to come up with a compelling or richer storyline for this show than just the run of the mill monster-of-the-week formula it degenerated into.

(However, don’t get me wrong, the standalone episodes themselves are all pretty good. Predictable yes, but well executed and all interesting in their own right – perfect fodder for Anime society screenings or something along those lines then.)

In terms of animation quality, Madhouse studios, as per usual, doesn’t disappoint. Although there is a remarkably noticeable difference in animation quality between the opening and last episodes of the series (as always the big budget is spent on the two ends of the series), Devil May Cry screams pure, unadulterated style. The action sequences are fast, fluid and extremely stylish in presentation, following very much in the vein of the cut-scene style from the legendary game series. The demon character models start looking a bit flat and uninspired as the show progresses, but the main characters such as Dante, Lady and Trish never fail to shine.

Note that this is an older-teen orientated show, so there is a fair bit of on-screen violence and gore, particularly towards the end of the series.

Devil May Cry features a very competent voice cast, but it really is the soundtrack that shines above all. Heavy rock riffs feature throughout the show and add to the pace and style of every episode. If you enjoy music with a harder edge, then Devil May Cry certainly wont disappoint.

In summing it all up, to say that I was bitterly disappointed by this show is an understatement. As a fan of the game, the anime was perfectly adequate, just disappointing, while to any other anime fan this show would be pretty much an average affair and lie around on the heap with all the other mediocre titles around. The style and flair which Devil May Cry is known for has been captured well in the anime, but the lack of a cohesive storyline really, really hampers the enjoyment of this show and I can only recommend it being watched one episode at a time, spread over a decent length of time – It simply doesn’t warrant hording all the episodes and then watching everything at once.

Thank goodness it does at least try and save itself from complete ignominy by putting on a great show right at the death of the series, but it is too little too late though, and as much as I hate to say it, Devil May Cry should not be at the top of any anime fans must see list :(

Enjoyable, fun, but stops a long, long way off from being great.

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_May_Cry_%28anime%29