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Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition Review: Pizza-zz

/ Jul 21st, 2015 No Comments

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

“Remastered-gen” is a common complaint hurled at the current generation of consoles, and it isn’t without basis. For every game developed for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there seems to be two “HD remasters” of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games. While some remasters benefit from the bump to 1080p, many more of them feel like nothing more than a quick cash grab.

Luckily, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition (DMC4:SE) is one of the better recent remasters. A good deal of work was put into making the seven-year-old game worth replaying. DMC4:SE has enough extras to justify its reasonable price tag, and the inclusion of Vergil, Trish and Lady makes giving the game another shot an inviting prospect.

I Just Want My Girlfriend Back

As it was before, it shall be again. Fortuna has a cancer in it. The Order of the Sword is a sect worshiping the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda as a deity. While strange on its own, the Order of the Sword has a darkness lurking behind the scenes. Nero is a young demon hunter working for the order, whom is brought into a giant conspiracy of demons and kidnapped girlfriends.

After witnessing famed demon hunter Dante murder the Order’s high priest, Nero is tasked with helping track down and taking out Dante. Despite being told Dante is the enemy, Nero uncovers the ugly truth about the Order and its Holy Knights. Knowing Nero is compromised, the Order kidnaps his girlfriend Kyrie, and he now must save her while also stopping the Order’s nefarious demonic plans.
 

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Nero still has his amazing hoody and giant demon arm.

Vergil investigates the Order of the Sword and why they worship Sparda like a god. The other new story sees Lady informing Dante and Trish about a new job. Lady and Trish end up looking into the Order’s collection of demons and Devil Arms. Vergil, Trish and Lady’s story reveal a bit more about the Order of the Sword. However, since they are not fully fledged story modes, there aren’t many major revelations. This does provide some intrigue for completists.

Outside of the small new story additions in the extra modes, there isn’t much new to the story of DMC4. It still has the same over-the-top cutscenes with the questionable choice of making Nero the core focus of the main story. But it has its compelling parts, and it is fun to see the clash of personalities between the brash Dante and the naïve Nero.

Beauty and Beauty

It’s amazing how much action games have changed in seven years. In many ways, DMC4:SE plays like a relic. That isn’t to say the gameplay has aged poorly, because it still offers stiff difficulty and tight combat. However, there are obvious antiquated techniques that have thankfully been done away with since DMC4’s original release.
 

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Vergil remains the lone swordsman with his trusty Yamato.

DMC4 was a major offender of the cutscenes where the coolest action set pieces occurred without you controlling them. While quick-time events aren’t the greatest replacement, they at least keep players involved in the game and don’t kill momentum and pacing. One thing that has aged badly is the platforming sections, which become exercises in futility at times. This is especially obvious in the new playable modes.

What makes the game a clear snapshot of time is the complexity of the combat and its slower speed. Not as sophisticated as its predecessors, DMC4 demands a level of acuity, skill and reflexes from players in order to be successful against the multitude of demons they’ll face. Cool moves aren’t as simple as button mashing, and in order to get higher style rankings, the ability to chain together combos is vital. It also forces players to perform well to unlock better abilities.
 

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Lady’s charge attacks make her a deadly force.

In spite of how historic the gameplay comes across, the addition of Vergil, Trish and Lady breathes life into the combat. Playing the game again with new characters, fighting styles and moves makes replaying DMC4 more palatable. Vergil plays similar to his previous iterations, with the ability to switch between a few weapons and chain together combos. Compared to the other fighters, Vergil has a steeper learning curve.

Trish and Lady share a section with time spent split between them, much like the main story. Lady has a selection of guns at her disposal, but her deadliest move is a fully charged rocket launch, which when timed right can raise the style meter to near SSS ranking. She is much less nimble than the other fighters, making her trickier to use during some of the more heated moments.

Trish is the easiest fighter to get a handle on since she requires no weapon switching. She has the use of Sparda’s sword, a pair of pistols, powerful electrified melee moves and a morphable selection of guns. The three new characters add a lot of replay value to the game.
 

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Trish got them kicks to die for.

Replaying DMC4 will put the rancor over DmC: Devil May Cry into perspective. While the redesign and tone of the game are an issue, the gameplay is modern compared to the roots of the Devil May Cry series. Despite being a solid port, DmC: Definitive Edition is a much less impressive remaster than Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition. For your money, this is the Devil May Cry remaster to buy.

Overall

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is worth the price of admission. It is still a seven-year-old game in many ways, but the remastering adds just enough to warrant another playthrough. Being able to play as new characters is fun and novel, but level design can get wonky with their new move sets. Still there is enough additional meat on the bones to satisfy those action game hunger pangs.

If you’ve never played Devil May Cry 4, this is the perfect opportunity to play the third best Devil May Cry game.

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition was reviewed on the PS4 using a code of the game provided by the publisher.
 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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DEVIL MAY CRY 4: SPECIAL EDITION REVIEW: PIZZA-ZZ

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall81%

GAMEPLAY8.5

While Nero and Dante's section plays similar to the original, the new segments with Lady, Trish, and Vergil offer a new spin on the familiar levels and enemies. Despite some wonky behavior with some of the level designs and platforming, the new story modes offer some fun action.

GRAPHICS8

DMC4:SE plays well, but shows its age in terms of looks. No amount of remastering can prevent it from looking like a 360 game, but the frame rate is there.

SOUND8

The soundtrack is still wonderfully orchestral with splashes of the series’ signature heavy metal. Voice acting is as hammy as ever, which matches perfectly with the over-the-top cutscenes.

STORY8

Outside of the new opening and closing movies for Vergil, Trish and Lady’s segments, the story for DMC4:SE is much the same. There is some additional stuff about the Order of the Sword, but nothing supremely illuminating.