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Review Rewind: Devil May Cry 4

Welcome to a new feature for As many of you know, I’ve only owned a PS3 for a year (bought a slim console in November 2009) and thus, I had a list of several games I wanted to try for myself since I was a late owner and it’s been a while since Sony’s latest console materialized at retailers. This got me thinking about how there might be others that have either bought their PS3 in the last year or could have even just obtained theirs a couple of days ago, and that they might find this site (along with and make it one of their “go to” destinations for everything PS3 related.

They won’t only need to know about the latest releases for their new console, as they would also  like to get an idea about what games they should add to their collection… as well as what games to only rent and/or avoid. It’s with that in mind that I realized that by adding reviews for older games we could better provide them with an “experience” that caters to most of their information needs.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get things started!

Devil May Cry 4 was released on February 5, 2008 by CAPCOM, which, in video game years, means it’s already eligible for senior citizen status in the minds of gamers worldwide. Now, before you continue reading, please pop in the game into your PS3 and start installing it since it take about 15-20 minutes for the 5 GB data to be placed in the HDD, thus allowing you to finally play it. What does the install do? Why, it shortens loading time by making you wait in advance! You can even go and make yourself a snack to comfortably read this review.

DMC4 (let’´s do it this way so I don’t have to type Devil May Cry 4 every time I refer to the game… but then again the space that this explanation has taken would have allowed me to mentiot it by full name at least eight times. Oh well, carry on!) is what I like to call a transition game since it really doesn’t stray far from the original franchise format as to not make fans uncomfortable with their new purchase, and it brings them to the PS3 front for a game that is 70% DMC and 30% DMC3.

You play as a white haired “sorta-demon” that is definitely a human looking kid (as is required when applying for the position of main protagonist of a DMC game) named Nero, who is part of an Order that worships and admires Sparda (the father of Dante and Virgil) a bit too religiously.. but all is not as it seems. Kyrie, the songstress of the Order, is performing a delightful song at a ceremony for Sparda when suddenly we start to see everything in a different light.

Dante breaks into the Opera House and starts eliminating all the guards with great ease, for apparently no reason, until Nero decides to step in and have a go at it. Our new hero is 95% human and 5% demon since his arm is of “horns and sulfur” origin, but it turns out that all the members of the order are actually demons (as explained by Dante) and that Kyrie and Nero are actually their most normal members. Nero doesn’t believe Dante, of course (since doing so would make for a very short, 5 minute game), and is tasked with finding and eliminating the son of Sparda. As soon as he steps out a full on demon attack starts and the game proper begins. This is as much story as I’ll share, as to avoid accidentally starting a spoilers extravaganza here.

For me, other than a deeper draw distance, some extra shadows and a bit of interesting lighting choices and shiny textures here and there, the game doesn’t feel much different than the original trilogy released for the PS2 (except for DMC2 which really wasn’t as bad as the press said it was, but isn’t as good as DMC3), and for new PS3 owners it’s a great option that doesn’t try shoehorning  limited motion controlled by way of the Sixasis (mmm, they don’t use that name anymore… I wonder why?) to spice things up. It does suffer from some unnecessary backtracking since you visit the same terrain several times, because it seems that doing so using  a character that controls a bit differently is a great way to reduce cost by reusing resources, while, at the same time, increasing the total number of hours needed to finish a game. Who doesn’t LOVE that?

Did I have fun playing Devil May Cry 4? Yes, I certainly did. Would I change some things? Definitely. If you’re using a new character in place of someone who is considered the face of the franchise, you should go in a different direction instead of just using a slightly different hairstyle, a gauntlet and calling it a day. Maybe this game is in part responsible for the reboot that the franchise is due for. In case you don’t read forums, here’s the trailer that started the flames:

You can still find new copies (always buy them new kids, it’s the best you can do for the industry!) of DMC4 here and there for $15-20 at most and at that price it’s a game that should fin a place in your collection. If you’re a fan of the series then you don’t have to overthink it at all. Do take into consideration that this game does not support trophies and, if you’re a trophy hunter like me,  you won’t have anything to show for it once you’re done with the game.

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Devil May Cry 4 provided by Capcom.