The Spur

Series: Devil May Cry

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There’s a lot of games that people could consider influential for their genre. Mario 64 was influential for 3D platformers, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time was influential for adventure games, and Final Fantasy was influential for RPGs.

However, not many games can say they created a new sub-genre like the original Devil May Cry (DMC) did. With Devil May Cry 5 on the horizon, it was time to finally talk about this franchise.

The original DMC was released on Aug. 21, 2001 and was highly rated when released. Critics praised the game for the impressive visuals and music for the time, great sense of atmosphere, charismatic protagonist, and blood-pumping action. However, that was more than 17 years ago and the big question for this review is has this game aged like cheese or milk?

The story of this game is fairly simple and frankly isn’t important. The game wasn’t made to have a huge focus on the narrative. The story is themed around the protagonist, Dante, who hunts demons for a living.

The adventure starts when Dante is asked to take up a certain job that involves killing the monster that killed his mother and brother. Despite the seriousness of his mission, he manages to have the time of his life, popping off one-liners and showing his funny antics throughout the game. The story isn’t that strong, but Dante on his own makes the story enjoyable.

Easily the best part of the game is the music and sound design. The sound effects of this game give a great feeling of impact. The music between battles is haunting and atmospheric. When you engage in fights, it’s rock music that makes the battles in this game engaging.

In terms of presentation, DMC was ahead of its time. While it admittedly hasn’t aged well, it still is a nice-looking game. The character and monster designs are cool and fitting. The lighting in this game works well and has a great sense of atmosphere.

However, the presentation in this game has two big problems. That would be the voice acting and the camera of this game. This is all the more fitting when you find out this was originally supposed to be Resident Evil 4. In case you didn’t know, the Resident Evil games are well known for the awkward fixed camera and the cheesy and bad voice acting.

In a horror game, this isn’t all that bad since the camera is made to help give the creepy atmosphere. However, in DMC, the games fixed camera makes it hard to see enemies and enemies can blindside you.

Admittedly it isn’t that hard to get used too, due to the more enclosed spaces in the game. You cannot however, get used to the voice acting. It’s so incredibly hammy; no one gives a decent performance, except for occasionally Dante. It was an early Playstation 2 (PS2) game so I can forgive it to a degree, but it’s still pretty bad.

The gameplay was the basis of an entire sub-genre. The controls are admittedly dated, but they still work well once you get the hang of it.

Essentially, you have two main methods of attack. There is a up close and personal weapon, which can either be a sword or a pair of gauntlets you get later in the game.

There is also a ranged weapon, which can be double hand guns, a grenade launcher, a gun that ricochets off of walls, or a shot gun. All of these have their own benefits and downsides making for a decent amount of customization.

The game from a control standpoint is easy to understand and challenging to master. I wouldn’t say the game is terribly challenging, unless you’re on higher difficulties. The game also isn’t too long. Overall, the gameplay of this game is pretty fun, but outdated by today’s standards.

This is not to say there are not faults with the game. The first thing to mention is that the enemy variety in this game is very shallow. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if the bosses in the game made up for this, but sadly they don’t. There are only five different bosses in the game and four of them you fight several times throughout the game.

Funnily enough the only boss you fight once, the final boss, is by far the best. The last negative I would like to mention is that the combat can get a little monotonous near the end of the game. I can forgive lot of the negativities of the game because of how influential the game was at the time. The first game in any genre is going to have issues. Even looking aside from that I can say that I did enjoy my experience with this game. Now would I recommend it? If you are looking for a good hack and slash game or are wanting to get in the series, I would say yes, but don’t expect anything too amazing.

My final rating for DMC 1 is 3 out 5 Spurs.

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Series: Devil May Cry