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Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Score: 94%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

With backwards compatibility taken away, I was afraid I would never get to play any of my old favorites from the past generation of consoles. Fortunately, many companies brought several games to the new generation, such as The Last of Us and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 remakes. To add to the list, weíve got our favorite sword-revving demon slayer back and ready to kick some ass. Never a series to miss out on a party, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is a welcome addition to the new gaming generation.

I always thought Devil May Cry 4 looked pretty nice before, but the upgrade to 1080p and 60fps is a massive plus for the game. The upgrade makes the game look even more beautiful and run even better. Itís nice to do all those fancy dodges and dish out some nice combos to slice through hordes of demons, and donít even get me started on the Exceed. Unleashing attacks using a revved-up Red Queen looks breathtaking, and the character models look sharper as well. Updated graphics really help see what youíve been missing, like how incredible the Berial boss fight looks or how incredibly ugly Bael is. That toad really made me cringe.

The soundtrack returns and is just as good as before. Those haunting melodies and fast-paced rock tones will probably cause you to break down with the feels, in a good way. Iíve always been a fan of immersive gameplay and running around Fortuna Castle or going through the underground path to the lab with the different little sound effects or subtle tracks in the background really made the experience all the more enjoyable to go through again. Couple the tracks with the good old sound of a sword slicing through the air, along with bullets flying through the sky and youíll really feel like a demon slayer again.

Donít worry, weíve still got the excellent cast of voice actors. Unfortunately, since my love of anime has taken over lately, I found myself calling Nero by a different name a few times. Lelouch and Nero couldnít be more different, but I digress. Also, Iím not sure if itís my TV or my settings, but the voices did sound a bit quiet for me. Easily worked around by turning up the volume though, so not a huge issue.


Gameplay:

Hopefully you wonít be as rusty as I was when starting Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. We join Nero, the young buck from the Order of the Sword, as he comes into his demon heritage and his journey to find Dante, as well as figure out what his precious Order is up to. DMC 4: Special Edition plays similar to the original, and with the rebalanced combat system, youíll be able to jump right in to the party. Nero and Dante still boast their incredibly satisfying sword and gunplay, leaving devastation in their wake. I really enjoyed picking up a costume and making the playthrough with a different set of clothes. Every playable character receives an alternate change and they stick in cut scenes as well. A small detail, but strangely satisfying nonetheless. Players can also decide if theyíd like to pick up DLC for the game, such as some Blue and Red Orbs or alternate costumes. You can even unlock all the game modes, but keep in mind all this DLC comes at a price, so itís up to you if you want to buy it and get rolling or just unlock it.

So, I mentioned the words "every" and "playable character" just a moment ago for a good reason. In addition to Nero and Dante, players also have the chance to bring out Vergil, Lady and Trish for a little fun. Each character has a unique playstyle and brings something different for players to try out. When selecting a character, the missions will basically be the same mission except youíll be using the different character. As a nice little bonus, the characters do have a little intro video to give some background or motive as to why theyíre doing what theyíre doing. Naturally, the gameplay for each character is radically different or else itíd be kind of pointless to change characters other than for aesthetic purposes.

Vergil proves heís a force to be reckoned with, whether it be with his sword Yamato or the Beowulf gauntlets, and even throws in his sword summons to boot. He also features a Concentration gauge which increases his power the more the gauge is filled. The gauge is filled by attacking, not getting attacked, dodging successfully and not running. The gauge will fill from 0, to level 1 and then to max level. Each level gives Vergil a certain amount of power, with his max level giving him a large power boost and an increased attack range. Some of his attacks require max level to perform, so players should fill the gauge and attack efficiently to keep a full gauge and access to Vergilís strongest moves. Like Nero and Dante, Vergil also boasts his own Devil Trigger Mode, but his Devil Trigger will vary based on the weapon he is using. His standard Devil Trigger features the Yamato and gives Vergil an increase in power, speed and also features health recovery, while his Beowulf Devil Trigger features close quarters combat from favoring his Beowulf weapon with the stat increases as well. Super Vergil is also present and boasts a constant Devil Trigger along with a maxed out Concentration gauge, but remember that you get reduced style points for using the Super forms of any character. Vergilís strong and master players will have a blast using his combos to the fullest effect.

I swear Lady is misnamed because she doesnít act like one at all. Sheís all about devastating gunplay and brings in a whole arsenal of toys to satisfy players. She has a gun for about every range and executing masterful combos will require players to know what weapon to use at what range. I thought a character who used only guns would be kind of boring, but then I got my hands on the Kalina Ann. Blowing up hordes of enemies is more fun than you might think, trust me. For close range, Lady whips out a shotgun to blast enemies out of her face. The shotgun doesnít shoot too fast, but it does a ton of damage and has great knockback. The spread on the gun is pretty big though, so using it beyond close range may not yield the expected results. For enemies at longer ranges, Lady can pull out two handguns and stop them in their tracks with quick, sustained fire. Players can also maneuver as much as they want with the handguns to reposition while keeping demons in check. Finally, we get to the Kalina Ann. For large groups of enemies at range, or just for a bit of self-indulgence, Lady can pull out the Kalina Ann, a large rocket launcher with a bayonet. This thing will blow everything to pieces, but itís fire rate is pretty slow and the weight makes sure Lady wonít be bouncing around the battlefield too much. Keep in mind that Lady is only playable during Neroís missions, but thatís more than enough time to wreak some havoc.

Trish returns as a playable character and wields the mighty Sword of Sparda. Unlike the other characters, Trish cannot switch from the Sparda, but it doesnít slow her down at all. She boasts plenty of quick, devastating combos which are simple, yet also very satisfying to pull off. She does use other weapons in some of her combos, such as the Pandora. The key to Trish is stringing together her quick moves to rack up some devastating combos on hordes of enemies. Sheís easy to pick up and play, but master players will turn her into a lethal force capable of decimating anything in their path. Trish is only playable during Danteís missions and Iím sure the demons are thankful for that. Anything more, and they might have to be put on the endangered species list.


Difficulty:

The best thing about the DMC series has always been the difficulties, right? Thatís debatable, but have no fear players, as all your favorite difficulty levels return in Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. The default modes available are Human, Devil Hunter and Legendary Dark Knight. Human and Devil Hunter are basically the Easy and Normal equivalents of the game. Beating the game on Devil Hunter unlocks Son of Sparda, which is the equivalent of the Hard Mode. Beating that mode unlocks the Dante Must Die Mode along with the Heaven Or Hell Mode. Dante Must Die is a pretty hellish mode where the enemies are vastly tougher and also sport a Devil Trigger upgrade, while Heaven Or Hell has both the enemies and player die in a single hit. You're given a few lives as a buffer when you die, but don't overdo it. Hell And Hell can be unlocked by clearing the game on Dante Must Die and this mode has only the player die in a single hit. Like Heaven Or Hell mode, players are given a few Gold Orbs to use to restore their life upon death. Legendary Dark Knight Mode is the hardest difficulty and was originally only available for the PC version of Devil May Cry 4. Thankfully, console gamers can sink their claws into it and give it a run. Iíll leave that one for the more experienced demon slayers though.

Game Mechanics:

If you think Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is slow-paced, you may need a racing game. Thankfully, Capcom thought ahead and added Turbo Mode. You can turn this on from the settings Menu and increase the game speed by 1.2 for faster gameplay. Personally, this was a bit too fast for me and I could never react to anything the enemies threw at me. Donít even ask how boss fights went. Faster gameplay is always welcome though, and should appeal to those speed fanatics.

Super forms make a return for Nero and Dante as well. Sorry Vergil, youíre not the only one special around here. These overpowered forms will give players all the power they want and make cutting through demons a breeze. Super Nero features a maxed out Exceed gauge, so you can use all the insane sword combos you could ever dream of. Donít forget about that Devil Trigger either. Itís pretty handy having an ethereal warrior backing up your every move. Danteís not about to let a young upstart show him up, though. He brings his Pandora out to play and without having to worry about that pesky Disaster gauge, players can unleash all the destruction they want. Super forms might not appeal to the hardcore fans, but a little self-indulgence never hurt anyone, right?

Like I said earlier, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition includes the Legendary Dark Knight Mode for those hardcore players itching for a bigger challenge. If you pick this mode, youíd better not be playing around or you might find yourself dead quick. This mode boasts tons of enemies and features similar difficulty mechanics to the Son Of Sparda Mode. Looks like all those jokes about hordes of demons actually apply to this mode. As I said before, I leave this to you, my friendly hardcore players. Go forth and conquer for all of us!

If you loved Devil May Cry 4, youíll definitely love Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. With the updated graphics, three new characters, and the tweaks to the game mechanics, this little gem is definitely worth the buy for $25. Even if you want the updates, you can still play the original game by inputting the special code on the title screen. Just hold the Left Bumper and Right Trigger, then turn the Left Stick clockwise twice and the Right Stick clockwise twice and end with pressing the Left and Right Stick buttons together. This restores the game to the same classic you played back in 2008. Iím not sure why anyone would ever do that, but itís there for those really hardcore fans. Youíll know youíve done it right when the settings confirmation opens and the logo changes. Keep in mind you can only do this trick when thereís no existing save data, so youíll have to delete your data if youíve already started. Other than that, I highly recommend this game if youíre a fan of the original game, a fan of the series, or just enjoy slaying demons. Itís definitely worth it and itíll keep you entertained while you wait for some future releases. If you need me, Iíll be spending some time with Lady. Letís hope she doesnít blow me up along with the demons.


-SS-54, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ren Plummer

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