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Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PlayStation 2) artwork

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PlayStation 2) review


"The rest of it rules, save possibly the atrocious vocals in the background music (TO TAKE ME DOWN YOU MUST FIGHT LIKE A MAN!), but the lacking opposition is a flaw that can't possibly be understated. Most every battle in the original was refreshing thanks to the constantly-changing yet consistently-excellent lineup of monsters; in stark contrast, I was almost bored with many of this one's fights by the time I'd worked my way through a few hours of "guy with scythe"."



Everything you've read about Devil May Cry 3 is true. It's got a metric shitload of awesome moves for you to use thanks to its myriad weapons and varied offensive styles, it's got a sometimes ridiculous but mostly slick sense of style pervading each and every one of its entertaining cutscenes, and it's definitely got a hearty cast of brutal bosses lurking within its detailed stages in hopes of pummeling you. But you've heard about that already, and if you haven't, you can read all about it in one of several reviews far more entertaining than my ramblings on the game could ever be--what most of those other reviews don't seem to dwell on is the game's enemy variety, something that I found to be quite... striking.

The first DMC's greatest strength was its wonderful cast of foes; even the least of its non-boss demons were blade-armed, shotgun-wielding demon puppets, while more advanced monstrosities such as shear-equipped witch ghosts and shapeshifting shadow cats reared their ugly heads often enough to keep things interesting. It makes sense to expect a stellar bestiary out of its first proper sequel, then, and just witness some of the baddies you'll be brawling with over the course of DMC3!

*Not one but five variants of "guy with scythe", demonic entities sporting a whopping ONE attack each! I bet you can't guess what it is... although even if you can't, you'll be quite familiar with it by the time you struggle through four or five missions.

*Possessed, lumbering chess pieces (chess pieces!) that telegraph their moves so ostentatiously that David Bowie himself would fume with envy! Watch in awe as their icy-blue details turn a blazing shade of red just five seconds before they unleash a clumsy, easily-dodged smashing attack--truly, these are creatures that strike terror into the hearts of men.

*Fallen angels with a bijillion hit points each that like to hover tantalizingly beyond the reach of your ground-based moves, artificially prolonging the fight for those without the extra agility granted by the trickster style--and even those trained in the art of wall-running will have to keep track of their flying foes via the better-but-imperfect camera...

...and sadly, those are the best enemies this game has to offer. The rest of it rules, save possibly the atrocious vocals in the background music (TO TAKE ME DOWN YOU MUST FIGHT LIKE A MAN!), but the lacking opposition is a flaw that can't possibly be understated. Most every battle in the original was refreshing thanks to the constantly-changing yet consistently-excellent lineup of monsters; in stark contrast, I was almost bored with many of this one's fights by the time I'd worked my way through a few hours of "guy with scythe".

I have to reiterate, though, that everything you've heard about this game is true; it isn't bad. I'll even admit that it's pretty good; the tricky bosses and captivating stage designs that everybody sings the praises of are indeed awesome, and it's a blast playing around with weapons like an electricity-blasting guitar as well as the more unique moves of styles such as the counter-heavy Royal Guard. But were as much variety packed into its cast of foes, Devil May Cry 3 could have been more than "pretty good". It could have been great.

Rating: 7/10

bluberry's avatar
Staff review by John L (October 14, 2005)

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