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Developer:
Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PS2
Release Date: January 24, 2006

by Josh Ferguson




In late January 2005, Capcom's action-packed game, Devil May Cry 3, was added to the list of PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits. Unlike most Greatest Hits, Devil May Cry 3 is actually a Special Edition version of the original game released in 2005. This latest version features an all-new boss battle, turbo mode, and the ability to play through the game as Dante's nemesis, Vergil!


The storyline in Devil May Cry 3 revolves around Dante as he is in preparation to open his shop, Devil May Cry. As Dante sits back and indulges himself with some pizza, a mysterious man arrives, informing Dante that his twin brother Vergil has sent him an invitation. Soon after, several demons appear, piercing Dante's skin with multiple blades. Of course, being half demon himself, Dante ignores these injuries and destroys all of them, but not before setting the mood by playing his jukebox. Dante then heads for the large tower that Vergil has summoned in the center of the city, hoping to bring an end to his brother's evil doings once and for all.


If you didn't know, Devil May Cry 3 is actually a prequel to the original Devil May Cry that was released years ago. Of course, the Dante in this game is younger than the one in the original game, and it is easily noticeable by his actions. During much of the game, Dante seems to be very cocky and constantly lets out "WAHOOO" while battling through enemies. His overall personality seems very different from the original and at times can be a little bit difficult to take seriously. While Dante's personality can be a little much and, well, comedic at times, I can assure you that the action in Devil May Cry 3 definitely will not disappoint.


Similar to the original Devil May Cry, the latest game features a lot of fast-paced and overall excellent action. The controls are highly responsive, and for the most part are pretty easy. Dante is also able to pull off some new abilities that come in the form of "styles." There are several different styles of combat that Dante can use, each of which has its own unique abilities attached. One of these is the Trickster style, which helps Dante pull off different maneuvers to avoid incoming enemy attacks. Another style is known as the Gunslinger, which involves Dante pulling off different moves using his guns. Styles have a total of three different levels, each of which has different abilities attached to that level. These styles gain experience by defeating enemies, and once a certain amount of experience is obtained, that style will level up, allowing you access to even more abilities. In order to perform these abilities, Dante must first equip the style that corresponds to that ability. While you might learn a certain ability, it can only be performed if that style is equipped. This new style of combat adds several more RPG elements to the series and adds more depth to the excellent action.


Like previous games in the Devil May Cry series, Dante comes equipped with a list of new weapons and some that fans of the serious will recognize. Of course, Dante wouldn't be Dante if he didn't come with his pair of pistols, Ebony and Ivory. In the early going, Dante also uses the popular "Rebellion" as his form of melee attack. However, as time goes on he will obtain a new list of melee and range weaponry, including a shotgun, a pair of frozen nunchucks, and a guitar that is able to control bats. The action becomes even better with the ability to automatically switch weapons while in combat. Unlike previous Devil May Cry games, Dante is able to equip two melee and two range weapons, which can be automatically switched back and forth while in combat. This is a great addition because in previous Devil May Cry games it became a little annoying having to go through the entire menu to switch weapons.


While Dante is able to perform abilities with the new style system, there are also certain abilities that can be attached to Dante's different weapons. One of these is a sort of double jump that can be purchased by collecting red orbs that are located throughout the game. The double jump ability can be purchased for Dante's sword, Rebellion, and for a couple other of Dante's weapons. It is also possible to upgrade the strength of Ebony and Ivory and other ranged weapons by collecting red orbs.


Even though all of these things made the original version of Devil May Cry 3 a great game, the Special Edition version is a hit because of the option to play through as Vergil. However, Vergil does not become playable from the beginning unless you either have a completed file of the original version on your memory card or by completing a playthrough of Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. The best thing is that Vergil is not just a clone of Dante, featuring the same abilities and movesets. Instead, Vergil is very different, featuring his own unique weapons and abilities. Unlike Dante, Vergil is only able to use the "Dark Slayer" style that he comes equipped with in the beginning. Also, instead of using guns as his range weapons, Vergil is able to summon small swords that launch and damage his enemies. Unlike Dante, Vergil is also able to transform into his demon form at the beginning of the game. This ability to use his demon form from the beginning and the fact that Vergil is overall more powerful than Dante leaves the overall difficulty somewhat easier.


The option of playing through as Vergil is fun and interesting, but it could have been done better. When you begin playing as Vergil, you will witness a couple of cinematics that explain part of the story, but that's all. For the rest of the game you won't have any unique levels or any other cinematics, even once you have finished a playthrough. Rather than viewing any other cinematics, the game skips all of them and just starts you off in the level, with no real idea of a story or anything. It is also a little odd that rather than fighting an actual copy of Dante, he will instead battle an individual with the exact same movesets and abilities as himself, but with a red coat. Personally, I would have loved to see an actual playthrough as Vergil with a unique storyline from his actual perspective of the events.


Aside from unlocking Vergil, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition features even more additions, including an all-new Jester boss battle. If you have played the original version of the game, chances are you will know who the Jester is, but you were never able to actually battle against him. However, the Special Edition features a few moments when you are able to battle against him. Aside from that, the game features an all new Demo Digest mode, which allows the player to view all of the previously viewed cinematics. Some other additions include the turbo mode, which increases the game's speed by 20%, which isn't actually all that noticeable.


One of the biggest complaints about the original Devil May Cry 3 was the overall difficulty. Personally, defeating the second level alone took me days and days. Well, the Special Edition version of the game has changed the difficulty level to better suit some of our needs. This time around the normal difficulty of the Special Edition version is equivalent to the easy difficulty of the original. Of course, this adds an even easier difficulty to the Special Edition version, which almost makes the game a little too easy. While some gamers might welcome the newer difficulty level, there are still those others that will become a little irritated.


As far as the presentation goes, Devil May Cry 3: SE is pretty much the exact same as the original version. However, Devil May Cry 3 featured some great-looking cinematics and beautifully done gothic-styled environments. The game also features some great-looking character models that look and sound excellent while in combat. Devil May Cry 3 also featured some excellent voice acting and some heavy metal background music that fit excellently.


Overall, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition features some fun new additions, including the ability to play as Vergil and a new boss battle. If you have yet to experience Devil May Cry 3, than I highly recommend picking this version up. With a price tag of only $20, gamers can't go wrong with this action-packed Special Edition of Devil May Cry 3.


Final Grade: 88%




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