Today, I was finally able to sit down and play a title that I've been drooling over for the past 10 months! I remember originally seeing the tiny video clip of Devil May Cry, and telling myself that that would be one of the most awesome PS2 games ever! Indeed I was right. Created by Resident Evil producer, Shinji Mikami, Devil May Cry is a fast action title that's almost like a mix of Onimusha and a John Woo film. Dante, who is one hell of a cool looking character, is equipped with a long sword, and two handguns, which apparently never run out of ammo, and were also made by Dante himself. Naturally, you are allowed access to upgrade your sword's power, by granting you new abilities with it. Some of the abilities include a body thrust and a 360-degree sword spin. In addition to receiving new moves, you will have pre-set moves that can be pulled off Street Fighter style, using the left analog stick. With a certain move, you can hurl an enemy upward above ground, and keep him airborne by shooting him repeatedly with your two handguns.
That my friends, that was a combo! You read right, a combo, and Devil May Cry has many of these. In order to pull of a combo such as that, one would have to get into stance by pressing R1, then if you are near enough, do a semi-circle rotation with the analog -going right to left- and Dante will swing his sword upward, and propel an enemy into the air, as soon as the enemy lifts off, start hitting the Square button, to start a barrage of bullets flowing through the poor sap's body, and he will eventually diffuse. It's an event that can only be fully witnessed in motion, basically words can't describe it as well as a video could, it's just that intense! Completely distancing itself from its horror cousin, Devil May Cry's controls are nothing like Resident Evil's, unlike RE, you can rotate Dante a full 360 degrees, by spinning your analog stick around. The cumbersome controls have completely disappeared, with the exception of one little thing, the stance button is still present. But while you're in the stance, you are still able to move around up, down, left and right, avoiding any damage that's coming at you.
A feature that has never been seen in Resident Evil or Onimusha is a jump button! Finally, Capcom has given us gamers a jump button that we can all utilize for escaping from danger. And may I add, Dante has got some "hops." The guy can leap 8-9 feet off of the ground, and is able to grab on ledges and whatnot. With the R1 stance button held, and you jump at a certain direction, Dante will either do a back-flip, a side flip, or roll forward. Control wise, the game doesn't fail one bit. The gameplay it self as I mentioned is fast-paced, and an adrenaline rusher. But the game does borrow heavily from Resident Evil's puzzle domain. You will be forced to search for key-items that when placed in a certain slot, or hole, activate a scene and allow you to progress further.
Visually, Devil May Cry is beyond impressive, the gothic setting and the atmosphere is like no other. The texture detail is downright phenomenal, and the background detail is jaw dropping. Because you are in a castle setting, the lighting effects are dynamic. Everything is perfectly lit, creating an incredibly eye-pleasing look. As for the character detail, it never seizes to amaze me, the quality is close to Metal Gear Solid 2's, which can only mean good things. Everything is made up perfectly, and there are absolutely no rough edges. Basically, expect the best from Devil May Cry's visuals.
Before I wrap this baby up, I must mention the amazing musical score that Capcom has composed. The soundtrack that Capcom has crafted is like nothing I've ever heard. It creates an eerie atmosphere that sets the mood just right. You couldn't ask for anything better. By now if you're not convinced that Devil May Cry will be one of the finest PS2 games of the year, why don't you go ahead and purchase Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, the game comes with a demo that lasts roughly 30 minutes. If you have any faith in me, then you will go pre-order Devil May Cry from your nearest retailer.