Devil May Cry. Everyone wondered, “What's with the name?,” as soon as they heard about this game. But that was all forgotten when actual screenshots of the game were released. This, added to the fact that it was being made by several of those involved in the Resident Evil series, made Devil May Cry one of 2001's most anticipated games. Those who purchased Resident Evil: Code Veronica X were treated to a short demo of Devil May Cry. Uhm, you remember the first time you saw or pulled off the High Time move? Yeah? Uhm, that was cool.

The game begins by showing you a short FMV about the war between mankind and the Underworld. Then a mysterious woman named Trish comes by Dante's office (the business is cleverly named Devil May Cry). After a little scuffle, she tells Dante that she seeks his help. After some dialogue, Trish proceeds to take you to Mallet Island, which serves as the setting for the entire game. This is where Dante’s adventure begins. Much of the game's 23 Missions will take place here and will have you doing various things such as finding 45 Red Orbs to open the next door or bringing an item to a particular spot before all your health runs out.

This game is mission-based. At the beginning of each mission, you can purchase skills, and afterwards, you are notified of your mission objective, which can also be viewed from the sub screen at your convenience. At the end of each mission you are given the chance to save your game. A typical mission will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your skill level. To save the game, you are required to create a setup file which gives you room for 10 saves. Since these 10 spots are taking up space on your memory card anyway, it is recommended that you utilize them all. At about the end of Mission 3, you will be given the chance to play Easy Automatic Mode if you have used a Yellow Orb (more on that later). This Mode makes the game much easier, but completion of this mode will not net you any of the game's extras, which are quite good may I add. Completion of Normal Mode is required to do that. 12 Secret Missions, which are not as long as the Main Missions, are littered throughout the game. Some can be tough, but none are really impossible after playing through the game one time. Each will net you with a Blue Orb slice (4 of these extend your health bar by a small amount) and the last will give you a whole Blue Orb. Note that the Secret Missions you have beaten at one time will carry over to your next game. This will make more sense in the Extras paragraph. The game also grades your play for each mission. Grades range from S (best) to D (worst). Getting an S requires a combination of Speed, knowing what battles to fight, acquiring a certain amount of Red orbs, and no item use. Words such as Stylish, Cool, and Dull will grade your combos, but really have no effect on anything else.

The first thing one will notice about this game are its gorgeous graphics. The game still sets a bar for today's PS2 games as well as tomorrow's. You will never hear complaints from anyone about the graphics because none are needed. Boss fights are nice to look at and might even have you pausing the game once or twice to take in the visuals. It's worth mentioning that Devil May Cry does ship on DVD-ROM, so you're getting more MBs worth of game for your gaming dollar.

Also worth mentioning are Devil May Cry's superb controls. No Resident Evil plague here. Amazingly, if the camera shot of the current room changes (as it does in Resident Evil), you will continue walking/running in the direction originally intended. Busting out moves such as Dante's High Time requires little to no effort at all. Looking under File in the sub screen to learn all the basic moves available to Dante won't hurt, although they won't be too hard to find through the process of experimentation. Be sure to make note of how to execute the new attacks you buy for Dante as well.

Sound in this game is by no means horrible, but it definitely was not the main focus of the game. There are various tracks for various times (such as when you are fighting enemies), but none that you will be humming in your head while not playing. At times, no music even plays at all. Sound effects such as gunshots, enemy attacks, and Dante grunts/yells are all present.

Another thing worth mentioning is the Devil Trigger. After acquiring a certain item in Mission 2, you are given the opportunity to go into this state by pressing L1. This allows Dante to become even more powerful than he already is with increased speed and strength. This mode does not last forever since you only have 3 gauges when you first acquire this. However, this can be refilled by killing enemies and may be extended by buying more Devil Triggers (up to 10).

Items in this game will play a vital role to your survival. Yellow Stars will allow you to continue if you die. Vital Stars refill a portion of your health. Devil Stars refill up to 5 Devil Gauges. Holy Waters destroy all evil around you at that time. Untouchables allow you to be Invincible and go into Devil Trigger mode for a short period of time without any filled Devil Gauges.

There are many extra things to do in this game. Upon completion of a Normal game for the first time, you will be allowed to challenge Hard mode. This mode is quite noticeably harder than Normal. After beating Hard Mode, you must choose the difficulty for your next playthrough after beating the game. Then you are given the chance to save your file. It would have been much simpler for Capcom to allow you choose your difficulty prior to starting the first mission of your next game. This is the main gripe that I have with the game. Completion of Hard mode will grant an extra mode called Dante Must Die!, which would be more adequately named Nightmare Mode. Completion of Hard Mode gives you an extra character to play with as well. Completing Dante Must Die! will net you another new character to play with. Getting S ranks through all the Missions will get you a special picture after you beat the game. Expect to spend 20-25 hours seeing every single thing this game has to offer. Now it's up to you to decide whether or not $2 for each hour of play of this magnificent game is in fact worth the money. If this review has failed to convince you, let me help you. Yes, it is!

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Devil May Cry

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Playstation 2


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