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Devil May Cry is a video game series consisting of five mainline games, an anime, a few mangas, and one spin-off/reboot. Devil May Cry was developed and published by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya, with the first game releasing back in 2001 and the most recent game released in 2019. Devil May Cry offers hack-and-slash gameplay while trying to chain large combos together without getting hit and increasing your style meter. The gameplay improved over most of the games with some taking a few steps backward before going at a full sprint once again.

Devil May Cry

Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash

Release Date: August 23, 2001

Platforms: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

Mode: Single-player

Plot: Devil May Cry starts with the story of a demon known as the Dark Knight Sparda who, two millennia ago, woke up to the call of justice and turned against the ruler of the Underworld, Mundus, to stop him from taking over the human world and sealed him away. Sparda went on to reign over the human world quietly until his death. He later became known as ‘The Legendary Dark Knight Sparda.’ In modern times, a young demon slayer known as Dante runs a shop known as ‘Devil May Cry’ where he takes jobs hunting demons. A woman named Trish shows up and attacks him as well as reveal that Dante is the son of Sparda. Dante is able to brush off her attack on him and she reveals that she strangely looks like Dante’s deceased mother, Eva. Trish tells Dante that she needs his help as Mundus is returning from his imprisonment on an island known as ‘Mallet Island.’ Both Trish and Dante travel to Mallet Island and Dante’s adventure begins.

Gameplay: The gameplay consists of a mix of solving various puzzles and combat. The game’s levels are split into various missions which the player completes and receives a rank at the end of the mission. The mission structure would continue throughout all of the games. The combat itself is simple to understand but is very slow. You use your sword for close melee attacks and your guns for ranged attacks. You will also find various other weapons as you progress the story and as you defeat bosses. As you battle various enemies, you will fill a series of symbols that give you access to Dante’s ‘Devil Trigger,’ a more powerful, temporary form that can absolutely destroy your enemies.

Overall thoughts: Getting this out of the way, I have to say that this game did not age well at all. For such a game series to produce such well created games with fast gameplay and a fun atmosphere, Devil May Cry is one of the slowest with it’s Resident Evil style puzzles with a bit of combat thrown in. I have to say the game also has a weird thing between enemies that fall in a few hits and some that took me nearly ten minutes to defeat. The bosses in Devil May Cry are pretty amazing, if a bit hard, especially the first boss. The main reason why I say this game did not age well is because of the camera. The camera is fixed meaning you have no control of and it can give you some bad angles when trying to fight enemies. There’s also an automatic lock on system which, for one of the bosses that appear throughout the game, is a problem as you need to hit an object to show it’s weak point. In summary, Devil May Cry one is still a playable game but it didn’t age well but it should also be respected as it was the first in this great franchise.

Devil May Cry 2

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash

Release Date: January 25th, 2003

Platforms: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

Mode: Single Player

Plot: Devil May Cry 2 starts off in a museum retelling the story of Sparda. A woman named Lucia is after artifacts to defeat an evil man named Arius, who wants to rule the world with the help of a demon named Argosax. Dante appears and saves Lucia from the demons that attack her before she invites him to an island called ‘Dumary Island’ in order for Lucia’s mother, Matier, to ask for Dante’s assistance in defeating Arius before he can use the artifacts to take over the world. After this, both Dante and Lucia travel to a city called ‘Vie de Marli’ to go and stop both Arius and Argosax.

Gameplay: The gameplay here is… very poor. You will really only use your two guns with the shotgun in between. You will never use your sword because your guns do all the work for you. Despite this, the game functions almost like Devil May Cry but worse. You fight enemies with your sword and guns but like I said before, you will primarily use your guns. You do have access to your devil trigger like Devil May Cry but while it made you stronger in Devil May Cry, in this game… it makes every enemy and boss a joke because you can just spam the fire button and watch a boss’s health drop in a heartbeat. Despite all that is wrong with the gameplay, there were some interesting ideas such as being able to run up the side of certain walls as well as have a dodge button that was needed in Devil May Cry. However, this was the first Devil May Cry game to offer you a second playable character being Lucia. Her gameplay is largely similar to Dante’s gameplay except her ranged weapons are slower and her melee weapons are faster than Dante’s sword.

Overall Thoughts: Despite all that was said about the gameplay, I strangely liked the game? Compared to Devil May Cry, the game was easier which I enjoyed. I do like a challenge in my game at times but also not an unfair challenge as well. Do I think Devil May Cry 2 could have done better? Yes. Do I think it’s a very small step forward in the right direction for what should have been acceptable in these kinds of games? I think so.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash, shooter

Release Date: February 17th, 2005

Platforms: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer on Switch version only

Plot: The game starts out with Dante in his unnamed shop. However, a mysterious man later known as Arkham appears with an invitation to Dante by his brother Vergil. This results in a demonic attack which Dante easily survives. After defeating the demons, a large tower known as the Temun-ni-gru appears from the ground which is later revealed to act as a gateway to the demon world. Dante then sets off to the tower to go fight his brother. However, as this happens as well, a mysterious woman known as Mary goes to stop Arkham for her own reasons relating to her now-deceased mother.

Gameplay: Dante’s gameplay is similar to how it was in past games but with new and exciting weapons that change his moveset in various ways that you can upgrade to become even stronger. You start the game off with Dante’s signature weapons Rebellion and Ebony and Ivory, both offering ranged attacks and close attacks. You get many different guns, swords, and a few weapons in between to help you on your way from bosses or just finding them in the environment. You also get access to various ‘Styles’ as well. These styles include Swordmaster which gives you more attacks with your sword weapons, Gunslinger, which also gives you more attacks but with your guns, Trickster, a type of dodging style which can be helpful with tricky bosses, and Royal Guard, your block which sends a powerful burst of energy back to your enemies. With Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, you get access to play as Vergil after completing the main story as Dante. Vergil’s moveset is vastly different from Dante and he only has access to three different sword weapons compared to Dante’s various gun and sword weapons that you acquire throughout the game. Both playable characters do go through the same levels however full of demons. The combat itself is very smooth and if you get good at the game, you can pull off some amazing combos with every one of your weapons combined.

Overall Thoughts: This game is HARD and that is not even an exaggeration. When Devil May Cry 3 was first released, the game was criticized by nearly everyone for its high difficulty which was rebalanced in later versions of the game starting with Special Edition. Even though the difficulty was changed, you will still die a lot. Despite the difficulty of the game, it was still an amazing game to go through. The story, characters, and the combat of the game have something special in it. I would just say if you’re a casual gamer and you’re not going to dedicate yourself to learning how to do everything, this game isn’t for you.

Note: From what I have heard, the Switch version of Devil May Cry 3 has updated the game A LOT in terms of gameplay. You have free access to your styles at any time in the game and as well as have all your weapons at once. In the original ports of the game before a mission started, you could swap in and out weapons as well as styles and could switch out in the upgrades menu when you are able to find one.

Devil May Cry 4

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash

Release Date: January 31st, 2008

Platforms: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Android, IOS, Shield Android TV

Mode: Single Player

Plot: Nero is a demon hunter who lives in a city named ‘Fortuna’ which is the home of a religious group named ‘The Order of the Sword’ who worship the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda. During a service that Nero is a part of, Dante appears and murders the High Priest Sanctus in front of everyone gathered to hear him speak. Nero and Dante battle before Dante escapes. However, demons begin to invade as Dante escapes, putting the whole city including Nero’s love interest, Kyrie, in danger. Ordered by Kyrie’s brother Credo to find and stop Dante, Nero sets out on a journey where he discovers the true evil behind why demons are invading and what this new threat hopes to achieve.

Gameplay: Nero plays differently from Dante in various ways, including the usage of a single gun (which acts the same as Dante’s guns, being able to fire bullets quickly) and his sword which has different combos compared to Dante’s Rebellion. However, what sets Nero and Dante apart is that Nero has access to his Devil Bringer. Nero’s Devil Bringer is his demonic right arm which can grab enemies from a distance to pull them close to him or can pull Nero to enemies if they’re bigger. You can also grab enemies using the Devil Bringer and deliver powerful attacks on them. Nero also doesn’t have access to a Devil Trigger at the very beginning of the game but receives one later through spoiler means.

However, Dante is a playable character within the story at one point through other plot twists. Dante largely plays the same as he did in Devil May Cry 3. His styles and his starting weapons, his guns Ebony and Ivory and signature sword Rebellion, all return. However, defeating different bosses provides Dante with new and exciting weaponry which helps him on his own journey as well.

Overall Thoughts: Devil May Cry 4 is yet another game that gave the series new blood in various ways but also lacks in other ways as well. The story itself is pretty good with many different plot twists along the way and the gameplay is good as well. Unlike Devil May Cry 3, the game is mostly fair and I would say most players can pick up this game. While there are a few frustrating parts to it, Devil May Cry 3 is a game that I could go back and play every once and a while.

DmC: Devil May Cry

Developer: Ninja Theory

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash

Release Date: January 31st, 2008

Platforms: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Mode: Single Player

Note: DmC: Devil May Cry doesn’t fall within the regular Devil May Cry timeline. It is a spin-off/reboot of the original franchise instead.

Plot: Mundus is a demon who rules the world through various means (debt, blackmail, etc.) by posing as a wealthy businessman. However, he is searching for someone known as Dante. Dante is a loner and a punk type of guy who gets recruited into this freedom fighting group led by Vergil, his long lost brother who has been looking for him as they both lost their memories at some point when they were younger. Dante eventually gets his memories back of his father, mother, and old home, remembers that Mundus killed his mother Eva and sentenced his father Sparda to endure eternal torture. Dante must now team up with Vergil’s freedom fighters, ‘The Order’ along with Kat to overthrow the demon king and restore the world back to normal.

Gameplay: At this point in time, DmC offered a very smooth combat challenge with some decent enemies to fight. It wasn’t as combo-based as the other games but it was a game that I feel anyone could pick up and start fighting demons with. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would compare to the other games. The game also isn’t unfair in any kind of way but it does offer the perfect challenge as well. You get access to Dante’s guns and sword, all still named the same from previous games. As you go through the game, you gain access to new weapons and Dante’s Devil Trigger which isn’t a good Devil Trigger compared to the other games. It freezes time and launches enemies up into the air which really doesn’t help in different ways. You use your different weapons by switching between them with the trigger buttons on the controller.

There was also a DLC called ‘Vergil’s Downfall’ which explores a story about Vergil. Vergil plays similarly to Dante but only has access to his one melee weapon ‘Yamato’ while his ranged attack largely stays the same as Dante’s guns.

Overall thoughts: DmC: Devil May Cry is a great game. It’s a challenging yet fair experience while also remaining fun. You can argue that the characters, story, and atmosphere isn’t as good as the other games but I personally enjoyed it all. The plot could have been better of course but the plot to Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry could have been better as well. I think this game got an unneeded amount of hate but now that the hate has subsided and Devil May Cry fans got their fifth entry into the series that they wanted, this game needs to be looked back on as at least a good game with even better gameplay and music (done by both Combichrist and Noisia). I also believe that DmC gave some insight to how Capcom should structure Devil May Cry from now on and that’s what they did with the next game.

Devil May Cry 5

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Action-Adventure, hack-and-slash

Release Date: January 31st, 2008

Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows,

Mode: Single Player

Plot: Nero, now missing his Devil Bringer arm, goes off to stop the new demon king named Urizen, the same demon who stole his arm. Dante was already one step ahead of Nero, going to fight the new demon king as a job since he was hired by a new character known as ‘V.’ However, both Dante and Nero are defeated by Urizen but Dante holds back for a second round against Urizen to hold him off long enough for Nero and V to escape while it is assumed that Dante is dead or captured. A month later, Nero, V, and Nero’s gunsmith and friend, Nico all return to the city where Urizen is to try once again to stop the demon king. 

Gameplay: The game, just like Devil May Cry 4, starts out with us playing as Nero who no longer has his demonic Devil Bringer arm anymore but instead is outfitted with various ‘Devil Breakers’ made by Nico. These Devil Bringers provide various effects and cool new attacks to add into your combos you’ll be doing but you will also need to play carefully too, as performing an attack with your Devil Breaker as an enemy hits you will result in your Devil Bringer breaking and switching to a new one. Once you run out of Devil Breakers, you will have to find new ones laying around the area or buy new ones from Nico’s shop. Nero also doesn’t have his own Devil Trigger anymore. Other than that, Nero plays as he did in Devil May Cry 4.

New character V has a very different and unique moveset introduced into the franchise. V is too weak to fight demons but has to be the one to do the final blow to defeat them. V fights with Familiars, demonic beings who fight for him. You can control how they fight and it really gives you a lot of legroom on how to do various attacks. V has access to three familiars: Griffin, a bird familiar who acts as your gun and can fire projectiles, Shadow, a panther familiar who acts as your offensive weapon with many deadly attacks, and Nightmare, a demonic monster summoned by using V’s Devil Trigger who destroys everything in his path for a limited time. The best way V could be described is that you are a boss battle in of yourself and you need to command your minions to fight for you. Master V’s strange new gameplay and you’ll have a lot of fun with him.

Dante is also a playable character in this game as well. His moveset aside from some brand new weapons that he receives largely stays the same. However, he does not only have access to Ebony and Ivory and Rebellion, but also a melee type of weapon known as Balrog, which acts similarly to another weapon you get in Devil May Cry 3 and Coyote-A, a shotgun that blasts enemies back and has a lot of power.

With the addiction of Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X (Deluxe Edition for Playstation 4 and Xbox One), Dante’s brother Vergil becomes playable as well through DLC on the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Vergil’s moveset largely remains unchanged from Devil May Cry 3. I believe there are some attacks that are new but Vergil stays the same. There are a few new cutscenes in Vergil’s story but he traverses the same levels that Dante, Nero, and V traverse through and fight the same bosses. This isn’t saying that Vergil is bad or the purchase of Vergil doesn’t make the extra five dollars with it, but just be aware of what it comes with before you make that purchase.

Overall Thoughts: Devil May Cry 5 would probably be the best in the series. The difficulty, while still hard in various places, was toned down enough so that new players can get a handle on it and not get frustrated like in Devil May Cry 3 or even Devil May Cry 1. I would recommend this game to anyone new to the series, especially since in the main menu, there is a recap of every game, including the anime, for you to view if you are new to the series and want to get into it without playing the other games.

Where the series will go from here

Devil May Cry has had its ups and downs but the fans still want a lot more from it. Devil May Cry 5 won the award for Best Action Game at the Game Awards in 2019 and it seems there are plans for more Devil May Cry games as the reception for Devil May Cry 5 was so massive.

I personally believe that the series will focus on Nero from now on, as Capcom confirmed that Devil May Cry 5 was the last game to focus on Dante. It could be possible that Nero will be like Dante for a little while longer until he gets replaced by a new demon hunter or the series ends. If that’s the case, I could see Capcom going back to DmC: Devil May Cry. This, however, seems unlikely, as Ninja Theory was actually bought by Xbox Game Studios back in June 2018. This also means that a sequel to DmC: Devil May Cry is unlikely unless it was an Xbox One exclusive.

End

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Buy the Games here

Nintendo Switch

Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition

Playstation 3

Devil May Cry HD Collection

Playstation 4

Devil May Cry HD Collection

Devil May Cry 4

DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition

Devil May Cry 5

Playstation 5

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition

Xbox 360

Devil May Cry HD Collection

Xbox One

Devil May Cry HD Collection

DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition

Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5 Deluxe Edition

Xbox Series X

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition

PC

Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition

DmC: Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5 Deluxe Edition

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