I can’t give a completely accurate first impression for my experience so far with Devil May Cry 3… not without having to up the rating of this blog. I was surprised someone didn’t come in my room to ask what my problem was because I kept screaming. I mean, come on! Challenge is one thing, but it was starting to feel like the game was trolling me.
Let me explain. I actually started out doing okay with the game. I was enjoying the opening cutscene, smirking at Dante’s typical teenage attitude — at least I assume he’s about 18 or 19 in this game because it doesn’t actually say. Dante’s quips never cease to pull an amused snort from me. And between the kicking soundtrack & action, I’m preparing myself for this being the best DMC game so far.
The first level doesn’t disappoint. The game introduces me to the new Style system which I think will give a lot of variety to the combat. Dante is fast & fluid, slicing & shooting through the Reaper wannabes with relative ease. The game starts by using the Trickster Style which I enjoyed because of the dodge move. And holy crap, is that a controllable camera!? And reassignable controller layout? We’re one level in & the game has already solved two of the biggest complaints I had with the previous games.
The second level goes by relatively easily as well. I used Gunslinger this time, both to mix things up & because my own personal style is to stay as far away from enemies as I can. I practice with various combos & the action button (which for Gunslinger lets me shoot in two different directions). I have difficulty with the lock-on in that I don’t know if there’s a way to switch targets aside from releasing the lock-on & targeting a closer enemy. It also takes me some getting use to the fact that I don’t have a double jump, & I’m not thrilled that I have to continually hit the fire button. But I somehow managed to pull off a Free Ride, which is where Dante surfs around on an enemy’s back while shooting (he does it in the first cutscene). Not sure how I did it though. The Hell Vanguard gives me a little trouble, but after getting smacked around a bit I get into the rhythm of the fight.
So far, you may be wondering why I was so upset with the game. Indeed, up until this point everything had been going relatively well & I was enjoying myself immensely. Then I played through the third level. This is the first proper level in the sense that you actually get to run around a stage. In the beginning everything was fine. I had a little trouble in strip club, but I was only at the point where I was shouting, “Get away from me!” at the game. This is the second most useless response to a game. It come in only behind, “Stop hitting me!”
Then the boss fight happened. I died three times to Cerberus. And the second two times I almost had him! I was down to one head & he had maybe a half-inch of health left. I think the part that made me most frustrated was that even though the game let me continue just outside of the boss room, it didn’t give me back any of my health items. I would’ve beaten him the second time if I had a healing item left. Sure, I could just start the whole level over again, but that’s not the point. If you’re going to let me continue, why not give me all of my items back?
Fortunately, Capcom seemed to know that three deaths in one fight would be the breaking point for most gamers, because it was after dying three times that I unlocked Easy Mode. And I feel no shame in admitting I restarted the game on Easy. And then, I beat the first two levels in five minutes. I even got an S rank on one. Talk about a difference.
I supposed I can’t complain too much, because I knew what the whole Devil May Cry series was like going into it. And I’d heard that DMC3 was the hardest one. But I didn’t think there would be that big a difference between the modes. I was reading on the Wiki page that the Special Edition version (which is what the HD re-release is) shifted all of the difficulties down. This means that this version’s Normal was the original version’s Easy. Christ! You know it’s bad when developers have to lower the difficulty for fans of an already notoriously difficult series.
Rage aside, I have enjoyed the game so far. I really like the new combat system. I love the music so far & the graphics look good as well. Adding a controllable camera & letting me reassign buttons is a major improvement. And the game actually seems to have a proper plot this time. Hopefully the new difficulty will prevent me from giving up. As I said, challenge is one thing, but I play games to have fun not to give myself an aneurism.