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Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Special Edition - PS2 - Review


Posted by: jkdmedia

Review Rating 9.0 Amazing

It has only been a little under a year (March 2005 to be exact) since the original Devil May Cry 3 released. Now only ten months later, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition hits store shelves nation wide. Would one of 2005’s craziest action games deliver the fast and challenging gameplay again? Or would it just be a gimmick with the special edition name tacked onto it?

If you haven’t played the original Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s awakening, you’re in luck. The special edition is the exact same game with a few new additions to spice things up. You’ll first notice that the cover art is the same with one exception; it’s now apart of the “Greatest Hits” line. With receiving a low price point that follows every Greatest Hit title, Devil May Cry 3 is, without question, affordable to everyone at a measly $19.99. If you didn’t have a chance to play Devil May Cry 3 in 2005 due to reasons such as, Resident Evil 4 and God of War, 2006 should be the year you pick it up and give it a go.

The add-on that has Devil May Cry fanatics going bonkers is the ability to play as Vergil. This is the very same Vergil that is Dante’s evil twin brother. He’s so evil that he has chosen to follow the path of the demons while Dante follows the path of the humans. Not that big of a concept to understand but playing as Vergil is a welcomed addition. Vergil only has access to one combat style throughout the entire game. Unfortunately, Vergil doesn’t retain all the powerful moves you encountered when he was just a boss fight for Dante. Vergil is also limited to a smaller set of attacks but makes it up with quality maneuvers.

Introducing Vergil as a playable character reminds me of recent Castlevania titles that allow you to play as hidden characters and bosses. Playing as Vergil definitely has his upsides but the drawbacks far outnumber the pluses. His overpowering strength removes any chance of a challenge against the opponents that had me fumbling my controller trying to decide which fighting style to use. Vergil is a walking case of destruction and has moments of excitement right from the get go. The moments of excitement will soon become tiresome and tedious instances where you want good ole’ Dante back as the lead character.

If you find that Devil May Cry has become a cinch to beat, why not ante up the difficulty to the “Very Hard Mode” setting? The very hard mode may sound amazingly hard but in all reality it isn’t. The original hard mode has been renamed to “Very Hard” to give off the illusion that there are oodles of additions to the special edition. With my fair warning, the very hard mode is actually the hard mode in disguise - nothing more, nothing less. If it’s your first time playing DM3, be prepared for trouble it will be harder than I am leading on to.

For those hardcore Dante lovers you won’t be disappointed, Capcom has planted in a new “Turbo Mode” to change up the gameplay. Turbo mode increases the speed of the game by at least 20 percent. Does the 20 percent feel any different than playing the original? Nope, not a single bit but at least to me. If you pay attention to the small subtle differences, you come to a conclusion that it’s a little faster. For those who are godly and know all there is to know about DMC3, the “Bloody Palace” mode may be where you need to go immediately. You’ll be thrown into a huge dungeon fighting the gauntlet against an endless amount of enemies as they come in waves. Sounds extreme doesn’t it?

Capcom also has reverted back to using the Japanese save system. This in turn is the biggest addition to the special edition since it makes the game easier. The Japanese save system dishes out as many checkpoints as you need in the game to save. The old save system only allowed as many checkpoints as how many Yellow Orbs you had. The new save system has adjusted the difficulty to make it much easier for the casual gamer to pick up and play.

There are a few downsides to the special edition. You know all the hyped-up content that you read on the back of the box? It has to be unlocked! How absurd is that? They tell you can play as Vergil but only by beating the game first. Why in the world would they do that? It’s one of the biggest billings placed on the game that’s new so this baffles me. Another thing that Capcom didn’t tinker with was the camera. The camera could have used some tweaks to help avoid it becoming stuck in certain corners of the levels.

You may be wondering how the sound and graphics are? Nothing has been changed virtually in these areas. The techno beats that are mixed with rock are present to encourage faster action. Dante’s voice acting is impressive and makes listening to the dialogue fulfilling. The graphics continue to have beautiful lighting and spectacular designs. Capcom knew what they were doing the first time around with the original and didn’t want to mess that up. Both the audio and visuals remain in tact.

Is Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition worthy of a purchase? If you have never played 2005’s original, then yes. There should be nothing stopping you since the start of 2006 has been slow with new video games. The price point is lowered and it does feature some neat fine-tunings. For those who played the original and completed it several times, the only drawing point that should attract you is the ability to play as Vergil. Even then though, you may be frustrated that Devil May Cry 3 is easier than ever.

Review Scoring Details for Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Special Edition

Gameplay: 9.1
New modes such as Turbo Mode and Bloody Palace, are definitely something that should attract hardcore gamers to try out. Using Vergil is great but he’s overpowered quite a bit.

Graphics: 8.7
Devil May Cry 3 looks exactly like it did last year. It still looks great in action, especially now that the action has been beefed up a little.

Sound: 8.5
Capcom has put together the best voice-casting it has done in the last few years. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly and it holds up all the way through the game.

Difficulty: Hard
I may have repeated myself stating that the game is easier, but make no mistake – the game is amazingly hard. Not as hard as it originally was but newcomers will find themselves tormented with multiple deaths for the difficulty.

Concept: 6.8
Devil May Cry 3 is a prequel to the original Devil May Cry so the premise isn’t one hard to draw up. Adding in features such as modes, new characters, and videos have done before a million times before. Is there anything refreshening about the special edition? Of course! The gameplay is extraordinary fast paced and challenging.

Overall: 9.0
Dante is cooler then ever especially now that his game has a special edition. This is the version to buy if you never had the chance to play Devil May Cry 3.

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