So, I played some Devil May Cry 3

I love this guy. No joke.

I love this guy. No joke.

Hello again, Riddlethosians. It’s a dark, gloomy Saturday here in Murfreesboro, TN… one of those days where it’s almost impossible to drag yourself out of bed and face the world. Hence why I didn’t get up until 1:30 p.m.

Then again, it might have had something to do with all the empty beer bottles littered around my apartment.

Regardless, once I did manage to get up,  I (finally) took my copy of Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition out of its shrinkwrap, dusted off my PS2, and gave it a go. It was the first time I’d played a Devil May Cry game in a few years, and honestly, it felt pretty good to go back to the series.

My last experience with Devil May Cry was a playthrough of Devil May Cry 2. I played it almost immediately after beating the first Devil May Cry, which remains one of my favorite action games on the PlayStation 2. Because I enjoyed the first one so much, I decided to give the second game a try in spite of all the terrible things I heard about it.

Once again, I ignored the advice of others at my own peril – playing Devil May Cry 2 was a spirit-crushing experience. I’ve never played a sequel quite like it; the mechanics and design of the game are all but identical the original, and in many ways, they’ve been improved. But somehow, Capcom managed to entirely suck the life and soul out of the experience. Devil May Cry 2 is best described as a skeleton of an action game, and needless to say, it left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth – hence why it took me so long to play Devil May Cry 3.

Thankfully, Devil May Cry 3 is a massive step up from 2, and in fact, it seems like it could be the best of the series. (Not including Devil May Cry 4, which I’ve never played or owned.) It’s especially interesting to play directly after Bayonetta, which has been described as an “evolution” of the DMC series.

Like Bayonetta, Devil May Cry features a stylish blend of guns, swords, and magic all wrapped up in an absurdly Japanese package. Dialog and voice acting is appropriately cheesy and over-the-top, and the plot is fairly inconsequential. Granted, it’s actually told fairly well – especially compared to the clusterfuck that is Bayonetta’s plotline – but it’s hardly a prominent feature of the game.

Like Bayonetta, Devil May Cry is all about combat, and lots of it. The combat system in Devil May Cry 3 is quite satisfying indeed, both from a mechanical and visual standpoint. Launching enemies into the air with a swipe of your sword, and then juggling them with a barrage of bullets as they fall to the ground, simply never gets old. Like Bayonetta, the game encourages fast, responsive play with an emphasis on avoiding damage – sloppy play will get you killed.

But as fun as it is, when compared to Bayonetta, Devil May Cry really does feel like last generation’s model. It’s more of a compliment to Bayonetta than anything else, really, but when compared side-by-side, Devil May Cry just feels… slow. Slow, and occasionally, unwieldy. The ability to dodge attacks with the tap of a shoulder button is sorely missed, and so is the addition of a second attack button. However, I will say that the guns in Devil May Cry are actually worth a shit. More so than they were in Bayonetta, at least, and she had four of ‘em.

Also, I have to say that I prefer the atmosphere and setting of Devil May Cry to that of Bayonetta. I wasn’t bothered by Bayonetta’s J-pop and overtly feminine vibes, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer Devil May Cry’s gritter, more “macho” setting. It’s just a matter of personal preference, really; nothing that reflects on the quality of either game.

Okay! The week is almost over, but I’ve managed to spend some time with all three franchises taking part in my little “faceoff.” Who’s the winner? I’m not telling yet! Look for a final editorial before the week’s end. I believe I require more playtime…

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