Thunderbolt logo

Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition

Several centuries ago, a man named Dante Alighieri wrote one of the most influential works of modern literature. In the Divine Comedy, Dante portrays himself as a mere traveler wandering into the dark depths of Hell. At his side, the legendary poet Virgil acts as his guide throughout the underworld. Since its creation in the fourteenth century, the epic poem of Dante and Virgil’s travels into the various levels of the Inferno has been analyzed, critiqued, revered, and admired by historians, English majors, and anyone else who enjoys an excellent read. The names “Dante” and “Virgil” have gone down into the annals of history as the symbolic heroes of Italian literature, far surpassing any fame that they might have wielded during the Middle Ages. Skip ahead to today, and you’ll find that the two names are more popular than ever. However, the Divine Comedy has little to do with this resurgence; Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition has captured the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Dante’s Tekken 6 audition was going well.

As the sun sets against a gritty city skyline, a young man named Dante sits down to enjoy a slice of pizza. He’s just a kid trying to build up his own business and make a living in a cold and uncaring world. However, this guy doesn’t rely on selling lemonade or going door to door to sell cookies; Dante is a fully-fledged Demon Hunter, complete with his own set of dual handguns and a ridiculously large sword. Unfortunately, the job market for demon slaying is a little bit on the slow side, forcing the hero to lead a dull and lazy life. However, Dante won’t have to lounge around much longer. Before he can let that wonderfully greasy slice of pizza slide into his hungry mouth, a huge earthquake interrupts his solitude. A massive tower has sprung forth from the ground, making even the tallest skyscrapers look like footstools. Standing at the very pinnacle of this architectural monstrosity, Dante’s twin brother Vergil wants to kill the hero and unleash all sorts of unspeakable demonic evils into the world. This evil twin has not only summoned an ugly-looking building and wrecked the city, but he’s done something far worse: He’s prevented Dante from having some damned good pizza! Oh yeah, it’s time for some serious ass kicking.

What’s Dante doing hanging off that sign when there’s work to be done?

Unfortunately, there’s little chance of Vergil being stupid enough to come down from the tower and do something about the siblings’ rivalry. In order to dish out some tough brotherly love, Dante will have to gain access to the tower and ascend each floor. However, climbing a demonic building as tall as Mount Everest won’t be easy. The path to the top is a twisted and confusing one, laden with traps, puzzles and other surprises. Our hero will have to explore every room, searching for some key item or weapon that can aid in the progress of the adventure. You’ll have to study an area carefully, looking for hidden objects, breaking certain statues, activating panels, etc. While none of these puzzles are particularly difficult to figure out, Dante will still have a tough time navigating the evil abode. The tower is chock full of monsters, ghouls, and plenty of other nasty baddies. Not only do these underlings look frightening, but they also have attacks and moves that would make the average hero run screaming for his mommy. Given the unprecedented amount of difficulty placed with the fighting, you’ll have to put your best gaming skills to the test to get through unscathed.

However, Dante’s not your average hero. While he’s practically overflowing with attitude and charisma, he’s also got the blood of the legendary warrior Sparda coursing through his veins. Accordingly, this guy can brawl with the best of him. Dante has more smooth moves and fighting ability than anything his enemies could ever hope to muster. He can wield his massive sword with style and grace, making gory mincemeat out of anything that touches it. He’s also packing a pair of pistols that balance out his short-range swordplay with some brutal distance attacks. All of these are mixed up in a fine blend of attack combos, jumps, rolls, and more acrobatic moves than you should shake a stick at. He’ll also be able to acquire new weapons along his journey, allowing him to wield dual swords, gauntlets, a shotgun, and plenty of other weapons of small-scale destruction. Also, Dante will be able to choose among four fighting styles, each with their own moves and abilities. Through hard work and perseverance, he’ll be able to learn new moves and develop his chosen styles and use them to kick an unprecedented amount of ass.

I bet you look good on the dance floor.

Veterans of the first version of Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening should recognize these aspects right off the bat. But to ensure that this new edition seems fresh and somewhat original, the folks over at Capcom have loaded this game with extras not found in the original. In case you want a taste of some truly teeth-grinding and aggravating difficulty, the Very Hard difficulty may give you a run for your money. You’ll be able to unlock the Bloody Palace Mode, which basically runs as a nearly endless test of endurance. Should you happen to be slaughtered in combat, you’ll have the option of using Gold Orbs to let you continue right where you left off. For all of your speed run lovers out there, the Turbo Mode makes the action run at mind-boggling speeds. Should you get the urge to look back at your adventure, you’ll even be able to relieve your favorite cutscenes via the Demo Digest. But in case you feel that this truckload of new stuff isn’t up to par, this game still has one huge ace up its sleeve: Vergil Mode. That’s right, boys and girls. That lean, mean, demonic machine can be unlocked as a playable character, complete with unique weapons and moves. Needless to say, you’re going to busy.

That game Thunder Dragon looks like… Darts.

Dante’s bloody quest will take him from the desolate streets of the city to the very top of the highest tower ever conceived. Considering all of things that can be unlocked, puzzles that need solving and enemies that need thrashing, the journey will take quite a few hours to complete. Luckily, this violent romp through the demonic place will be both intense and amazing to watch. The game is blessed with some truly entertaining cutscenes, starting with Dante’s ill-fated pizza dinner through the final confrontation with his evil sibling. Such scenes are practically dripping with humorous dialog, Matrix-esque moves, and plenty of badass attitude. Dante can wield his weapons with the greatest of ease, letting his slick swordplay and equally smooth attack animations do all the talking for him. He’ll have to smash his way through some well-designed enemies, such as scythe-wielding skeletons, screaming ghouls, mythical monsters, and plenty of other supernatural hooligans before he can finally sink his blade into his brother’s flesh. The tower itself is decorated in the appropriate gothic style, complete with huge doors, sinister statues, dim lighting, and a seemingly endless labyrinth of hallways and rooms. Such a dreary place is offset by some pulse-pounding music that makes the constant fighting so much more enjoyable.

Off again into the moonlight, typical hero for you…

There’s a certain stigma associated with special edition versions of older games. Most of them seem more like boring rehashes than actual improvements over the original. However, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition has taken what was already a truly great game and augmented some of its finest points. You’ll get to control one of the most skilled, dangerous, and downright spunky heroes to ever grace the PS2. There will be tons of intense fighting, a wide assortment of weapons and abilities at your disposal, and an incredible amount of challenge all wrapped up in a wonderfully presented package. Not only do you get the sheer awesomeness of the first version, but you’ll also get a chance to unlock a wide variety of modes and features, all for a fraction of the price of the original. Devil May Cry fans, you know you want to get your hands on this; even if you’ve already played the original, the twenty bucks you’ll shovel out for the extras found in this game will be well worth it. For those of you that want to partake in some gaming done remarkably well, look no further. There’s more than enough to go around.

9 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2005.

Gentle persuasion

You should like us on Facebook.