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[ Writer ] = SolSadGuy
[ 08/12/08 ] = Guns 'N Swords 'N Just Plain Badassery

If you haven't heard of Capcom's excellent Devil May Cry series, kill yourself. No, I mean it. Right now, you should be taking a bath with your toaster, or doing a Drain-o keg stand. People who haven't played Devil May Cry are a social embarrassment. And if you loved playing through numbers 1 and 3, you'll appreciate just how good number 4 is. If you're not a lame asshole, then you'll love this game. Period.

Capcom is noted for cranking out games that have ridiculous difficulty, convoluted storylines, and excellent gameplay. If DMC4 were an exception, you wouldn't be reading this right now. You'd instead be hearing me describe just how much it resembles #2, and how much #2 resembles a spider monkey crawling up your ass to play jump rope with your intestines. However, such is not the case, and DMC4 delivers in almost every way imaginable to create a game that's satisfying, wickedly entertaining, and tons of fun.

The game starts out with a sweet cutscene of a newcomer to the DMC scene, named Nero. Said hero is knocking the shit out of some demon puppets, with enough style and aplomb to make any modern action movie star seem wussy by comparison. After beating some ass, Nero proceeds to church where he refuses to take his headphones off. Listening to some metal while in church is kind of like punching a mouthy bitch on the scale of awesomeness. Make any Chuck Norris references you'd like, but none of them are even close. If raw testosterone gave birth, the product would be Nero. And when the doctor went to slap him, Nero would proceed to toss that motherfucker around his own office.

I'll try to skip any spoilers, but suffice to say you fight Dante at several points through the game, and none of these cutscenes fail to impress. It's like they're both engaged in some kind of badass Olympics and neither want the silver medal. You switch characters at the halfway point, and then get control of Nero back 2 levels before the finale. It's one hell of a ride, and the total package is sickeningly good. To start with, Nero is a Capcom fighter's dream- He utilizes different combos, pseudo-supers, jump canceling, and even just frame mechanics. To play Nero effectively, you need to add a touch of finesse. It is literally impossible to beat this game without using different combos, unless you're on Human difficulty. To make matters even sweeter, he has a throw. Knowing Capcom, it probably won't surprise you to know the name of his throw is simply the "buster."






DMC4 pays homage to earlier Capcom titles, mainly Street Fighter. While in Devil Trigger, if you buster a Alto Angelo, Nero will go into Zangief's "Final Atomic Buster" animation! Sweet! Every enemy has their own unique "being thrown" animation. While there aren't too many different types of enemy (16, to be exact) the ones you fight are pretty wicked and have differing abilities. The subtleties in this game are entirely too numerous to catalogue here, but I'll let you in on a little secret- When Blanco Angeloes and an Alto Angelo try to shoot a big fireball at you, you can nail it right back at them with a charged shot! The graphics are amazing, and when pumped through an HDTV, it's simply JAW dropping. Items are handled in the classic "Spend a metric fuckload of orbs for a vital star" fashion, but to power up your abilities, you need to spend "Proud Souls." You obtain Proud Souls depending on your level ranking, which is great incentive to explore for all red orbs hidden in a level, and to do it quickly. The emphasis on skillful play somehow seems to blend well with the not-too-tough normal difficulty, making this game easily accessible for gamers of all skill, right out of the box. Capcom really kicked ass this time, and I can't wait for the fifth iteration of the series. However...




Where the game succeeds, it succeeds so well it's difficult to fault. Difficult, but far from impossible.

Musically, this game is a blast of scat on the tongue. If it's not some ambient "gothic" bullshit, it's faux-metal nonsense will drive you batty. "The time has come" isn't a bad track, but you hear it from start to finish so many times your ears will bleed. Dante's theme, which is a remix of lock and load, is so terrible that you'll wish you thought to put some good 'ol Pantera on your XBox 360 to drown out this crap. The boss themes are pretty good, especially Berial's, but mostly, it's garbage. Ditch it.

Also, the story centers around a cardboard cutout girl (anyone could have replaced Kyrie, seriously) and Nero's weird love for her. The guy who looks like the pope is trying to give life to a big statue, and Dante ends up saving the day with Nero's help. At least the cutscenes aren't stillframe, ALA EVERY FUCKING STREET FIGHTER GAME IN EXISTENCE, but still... For the fans, we need more than a hackneyed excuse to fuck shit up. Usually.

Also, they use an asenine "backtrack" system, where Dante and Nero end up in the same levels fighting the same bosses. Bullshit. It didn't bother me too much, but this game was in a really long development cycle. Too long to have to play the same scenario as "the other guy". Also, the mechanics of this game were definitely centered on Nero's unique Devil Bringer abilities. Playing as Dante seems clunky and unwieldy by contrast. Dante dishes out a ton of damage, and the Pandora weapon is quite possibly the most amazing weapon ever seen in this series, but he requires no actual finesse to play. When put next to Nero, Dante seems a tank compared to Nero's Ferarri.

In all though, this game is worth whatever money you currently have. Fuck Halo, fuck Final Fantasy, fuck God of War, and it'll try to fuck Ninja Gaiden 2 and fail, but for the time being, this is THE action game to sink your teeth into.