Special Editions are nothing new to dvds, they are good ways to make the perspective consumer take that “double dip” and buy something more than once. However, when it comes to video games, this is a rare occurrence. However, with the advancement of technology and games using the cd/dvd format, the opportunity is there to make games with special content. Not to mention with games being released two or three times due to the platinum/greatest hits moniker, it is a great chance to lure people lik… it is a whole new experience. So we come to such a title in Devil May Cry 3 SE: Dante’s Awakening. With great results, this title shows that adding some extras and keeping the same fantastic play, you will want to play it all over again.
Having only played Devil May Cry 1 prior to this game, I must say this is an incredible improvement (We probably should ignore DMC2 anyhow). Dante looks more defined as do all the characters. The creatures you face look more revolting and scary than ever before. The animations are crisp and are one of those rare games that look good when you play it or just watch it for a while. The lighting helps to create ambiance but at the same time not seem overly dark like many other evil games (*caugh* Doom, Quake, Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark…oh wait…hrmm). Never do I feel that the movements of your character go past the technology of the graphics engine. Awesome all the way around.
*Organs kick in*. Yes it is another creepy, but rockingly dark soundtrack. But oh does it hum. The soundtrack to this game is just what the doctor ordered and throws you into the game at max speed. Every selection seems to dictate to what you are doing to the enemies around you. The Dolby Pro Logic sounds great in every way possible. Wait, what is this? Do my ears deceive me? *checks sound system*. How about that, during the cut scenes, your playstation will actually play the soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1. So get out that optical cable and allow yourself the pleasure of total immersion into this fantastical auditory journey. Once you move past just the music, expect the little details like sword cuts, the rain of gunfire, and any other sound effect to be just as good. Turn it up, it’s okay; the loved ones will ignore you shortly.
Let me take you through a quick story of Dante. This is the prequel to the original Devil May Cry, essentially takes you to the beginning of Dante and when he learns about his true power. Dante has the blood of a demon father and a human mother. He has chosen the side of good, however his brother – Vergil has chosen the evil (demon) side. This is the struggle between the two and the stories behind it. Along the way you will meet various characters including Arkham (a demon wannabe) and Demon Hunter Lady who just doesn’t like demons (they probably cursed her with that short hairdo, I’d go postal too).
Anyhow, Devil May Cry 3 is one of those fun games that allows you to have two primarily different weapons in the sword (Rebellion) & guns (Ebony & Ivory). Plus there are more weapons later on that you can switch to on the fly. In addition, there are various combos and upgrades associated with each weapon. This makes for an unique experience no matter which melee weapon and which gun you choose to dine with. Dante also has the pleasure of different styles of attack. These include Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger, & Royal Guard. They are pretty easy to figure out for advantages and disadvantages. But they are actually unique and can all be used throughout the game from level to level customization. A nice rpg effect is added with experience points for each style leading to new moves along the way.
In the struggle to find a low point in this game, we have to address the concern of difficulty. It’s no cakewalk, in fact this game could be described as hard. The SE has added checkpoints along the way to make things easier, however it could still be argued that some levels have too few in too large of a setting. The camera also still has issues despite the SE giving you a chance to adjust it at any time. When you are whopping demon tucus you hardly have time to adjust the camera when jumping around and shooting so much. To be honest, the first mini boss in this game, I hardly ever saw them cause I was just jumping around and shooting (which is a very effective technique). However, this only brings down the game a slight touch.
Here are some additional features associated with the special edition of the game. 1) You can play as Vergil, the evil brother. He also comes with different weapons and even some different moves. But he’s still pretty similar as brothers go….and he likes blue not red. (he can be accessed with a previous DMC3 save or beating the SE with Dante). 2)Bloody Palace Mode which is a labyrinth style mode where you defeat enemies on a level and then advance to the next and next…(and 9997 more). (Again this can be accessed like the Vergil mode). 3)As mentioned previously a different continue mode has been created with checkpoints along the way. 4)Turbo Mode – like the name says, play the game at 120% speed. 5)Demo Digest, a rather simple mode where you can play cut scenes you’ve already saw or unlocked, and finally 6)Very Hard Mode when Hard isn’t enough.
Devil May Cry 3 actually tries to tackle the idea of playing an adventure game again after you finish it. The styles as described above help you especially if you like sticking to one style to the end. The fact that you can play as a different character in your evil brother is interesting too. Also once you play through it the first time, you might want to go back and find the secret missions and little hidden things along the way. Also like the first adventure, there are grading measures based on style, orbs and other methods. To get a perfect, you have to get an “S” rating. However, even with all of these improvements to the system, once you get through it unless you are being a die hard, you will find it hard to go through it again and again. Most likely, just twice, once with Dante and once with Vergil.
Most of the time, greatest hits titles are just the great games of last year with a new label and nothing else. However, Devil May Cry 3 SE does a little more. By adding new modes, a new character and other little tidbits (even a new boss) along the way, it makes for a fun experience. It pulls you in with the story, and then holds you there with great graphics and a gripping soundtrack. If you can get past the difficulty and the camera, you will have one incredible ride. One final bonus to speak of, its $20. Yes, one of the best games of 2005 with more modes, characters, enemies, and various items to shake Ebony and Ivory at. Even if you have played this game before, you want to pick up this special edition. Double dip, you know you want to.