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Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition by Mischief Maker 01/28/2006, 4:39pm PST
Some of you may be aware that Freespace 2 is my favorite game of all time. My #2 favorite game is Devil May Cry 3. If God of War is Clash of the Titans meets Spawn and Shadow of the Colossus is The Neverending Story meets The English Patient, then Devil May Cry 3 is Army of Darkness meets Equilibrium.

I love how as you get better at the game you go from desperately dodging boss attacks, slowly pecking them to death at a distance, to leaping up and shotgun blasting them in the face point blank. I love how it satirizes everything from action movie cliches to how "bad dudes" dressed in the 80s. I love the aggression-rewarding combat engine, especially how you do better if you play while you're pissed off. It's a gift that keeps on giving. Now the "greatest hits" cheap version is out and it has some new stuff.

Perhaps in response to Ninja Gaiden's success, they made the original American release one degree of magnitude tougher than the Japanese original. On one hand, USA! USA! USA! On the other hand, the American version was ballstompingly tough for new players. The Special edition brings back the Japanese easy mode and renamed the American hard mode "Very Hard." They've also added the option of unlimited continues and a new "gold orb" that will bring you back to full health if you get your ass killed. In other words, this special edition is very forgiving for newcomers. If you're the type who said Ninja Gaiden could have been a good game if it wasn't insanely hard, your wish has been granted, albeit by a different, better, game. Highly recommended and cheap.

So the next question is, what does the Special edition offer for people who weren't scared off by the original release? (Minor Spoilerz ahead)

The biggest draw is being able to play as Dante's evil twin brother, Vergil. Yes, he has every single move and weapon from all 3 boss battles and he can switch between all 3 weapon sets on the fly. Plus, to make up for the fact that he doesn't use guns, they gave him the ability to summon Neo Angelo spirit swords from DMC1. He has his own introductory cutscene, (and holy arcing ropes of jism, batman, is it homoerotic) but otherwise goes through the main campaign with no changes, complete with battles against a Vergil in red. On the downside, none of his weapon sets are as well-developed as Dante's. They have no timing delays to switch up attacks and no million-slash moves for pumping up the style rating. It's very hard to get SSS combos with Vergil. Of the 3 weapons, the yamato katana is the most interesting as its moves are delayed effect slashes that cut half the room to pieces, very different than how dante handles. He has his own style called "Dark Slayer" which sounds totally awesome, but you'll soon find it's just a twitchier version of Trickster. So not as developed as Dante, but I still had a blast playing him.

The other big thing is a survival mode called Bloody Palace. You fight individual battles on a giant circular arena against various combinations of enemies with the occasional boss battle thrown in. After each fight you choose whether you advance 1, 10, or 100 rooms. Every 1,000 rooms the textures change. There are 9,999 rooms in total and actually beating it unlocks super Vergil. The cool thing is, after you die, you get to keep all the orbs you picked up, plus 10 times the number of the last room you beat, so it's a far less tedious alternative for accumulating orbs than playing level 1 over and over again. Later it becomes an "ultimate challenge" to tackle once you get Dante or Vergil fully powered up.

Yes, there are now parts where you fight jester. I'll be kind and describe them as retarded, hastily slapped together, and clumsily shoehorned into the game. 3 times during the game a red portal appears and jumping in it takes you to an arena to fight jester. 90% of the time he's standing still inside a damage cushioning shield as giant electric balls bounce around the screen while he spouts random voice samples from other parts of the game that make no sense ("My name is jester," "Well done, everyone," etc.) Random bouncing balls of death would be lazy design for a 16-bit 2D game, it's unacceptable for Devil May Cry. Your only reward for these fights is a couple orbs and jester spanking his ass at you before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Fortunately, the 1st fight is easy and the 2nd and 3rd fights are optional. Their time would have been better spent making an computer-controlled Dante for Vergil to fight or even just adding some parts where you tiptoe along balance beams like a ballerina.

The rest is little things. The engine has been noticeably tweaked with slightly shorter load times and having a "gluttony" demon puke at you no longer gives the frame rate a kick in the nuts. If you hate the lock on reticule, you can disable it, and if you think those carpal tunnel syndrome gauntlets are awesome, you can turn on turbo mode which makes the game move 20% faster. Those floating knights with the rotating razorblade shields have become more developed and replace those squid things in a few fights.

Note that while having a DMC3 original release save will unlock Vergil and Bloody Palace, your savegame will not transfer over so you will have to build up your movesets, devil trigger, and style levels all over again. And beware, Vergil has to be played on a separate save from Dante so if you're not careful, you could overwrite one of them and lose all your work if you aren't paying attention.

So I'd say only trade in if you absolutely LOVE the combat system enough to enjoy bloody palace. Vergil is equivalent to one new weapon set, jester sucks, and the engine tweak is only noticeable if you're actively looking for it. But, if you've never tried it before and you like action games, fucking get it. It's now cheap, and if you can't handle Japanese easy mode with unlimited continues, well, you just might suck at games.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition by Mischief Maker 01/28/2006, 4:39pm PST
    Re: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition by Flavio 01/28/2006, 5:24pm PST
        and one question by Flavio 01/28/2006, 6:04pm PST
            No harder than the Original American release. Bloody Palace perhaps? NT by Mischief Maker 01/30/2006, 5:45pm PST
        Re: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition by Quentin Beck 01/31/2006, 6:07pm PST
    Guess I better finally ice the final boss in DMC1 and pick this up. by Worm 01/28/2006, 6:03pm PST
        I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with light!!! NT by Devil Stars and more Devil Stars 01/30/2006, 5:44pm PST
            The ending was spectacular. by Worm 01/30/2006, 10:26pm PST
    Cut this by Pompei 01/31/2006, 6:24pm PST
        what's wrong with it? NT by (Zseni loves) FABIO 01/31/2006, 7:21pm PST
        No. NT by Mischief Adam West Rape Nightmare 02/01/2006, 3:12pm PST
    Thanks. I'll post your review and Flagrio's ASAP. NT by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/31/2006, 7:52pm PST
        Is it P yet? NT by MM 03/16/2006, 2:43pm PST
            *cries* NT by MM 03/17/2006, 3:46pm PST
                Re: *cries* by Ice Cream Jonsey 03/17/2006, 3:56pm PST
                    There is no Xbox version of DMC3 by Johnny Merzbow 03/17/2006, 5:08pm PST
                        Thank you, Johnny by Ice Cream Jonsey 03/17/2006, 5:27pm PST
                            Re: Thank you, Johnny by MM 03/18/2006, 5:21pm PST
    One more thing by MM 02/20/2006, 7:12pm PST
        doesn't Dante already turn into that with his alternate costumes? NT by Flavio 03/16/2006, 3:10pm PST
    Bloody Palace question by Flavio 03/18/2006, 3:41pm PST
        Every single combination of every single enemy by MM 03/18/2006, 5:17pm PST
            Re: Every single combination of every single enemy by Flavio 03/18/2006, 6:39pm PST
    I apologize, MM by Ice Cream Jonsey 04/11/2006, 12:53pm PDT
        Don't let this happen again, OR I'LL HAVE YOUR JOB!!! NT by MM 04/11/2006, 5:08pm PDT
    Devil May Cry 1 -- is it now obsolete or still worth a purchase? NT by mark 04/12/2006, 7:36pm PDT
        Depends... by Mischief Maker 04/12/2006, 8:55pm PDT
            Also probably still contains the two best lines in the franchise. NT by motherfuckerfoodeater 04/16/2006, 11:45pm PDT
            you forgot the cutscenes by Flavio 04/17/2006, 12:53am PDT
                2 was my one true love. 3 was just a fling. by Lizard_King 04/18/2006, 7:35pm PDT
        It will always be awesome. Buy 2. by motherfuckerfoodeater 04/12/2006, 8:56pm PDT
            Also worth mentioning: DMC1 rendered Castlevania obsolete. NT by Mischief Maker 04/12/2006, 9:32pm PDT
                The 3D Castlevanias anyway. NT by Creexul :( 04/12/2006, 11:30pm PDT
    NOT AGAIN!!! NT by M Squared 04/25/2006, 5:19pm PDT
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