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Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 has had a large name to live up to from its release to current day. With three previous and successful installments, as well as an anime series and a very devoted fan base, many people including myself doubted that a 4th game could truly be par with the others. I can happily say it does that and much more, even though some people were little skeptical at the fact that you don’t play the entire game as the normal demon slaying hero Dante. In fact about 70 percent of the journey is as the newest protagonist Nero. This however was quite a refreshing change, and I can honestly say although Nero doesn’t have as wide a variety in combat as Dante, I enjoyed using him more so. Throwing in a slew of new faces, vastly improved graphics and excellent soundtrack, very entertaining boss battles, and a deep gripping story, Devil May Cry 4 definitely is a welcome addition to the series.

Nero himself seems to be related in some way or form to Dante, having the same white hair, seemingly superhuman abilities, and has some demon blood/power within him. It was a disappointment that the game doesn’t go to far into this aspect of the back story, although it does make ties to Dantes twin brother Virgil and Nero as well. Voiced by Johny Yong Bosch (Power Rangers, Bleach, Magna Carta 2) Nero has a well placed attitude of his own that fits remarkably well alongside that of Dante. Whether it’s brooding silence, sarcastic insults, or heartfelt plea Bosch does an amazing job bringing the character to life and making the player latch onto him and actually care about what happens to him.

So, let’s jump right into the basic story. The game begins in a church built by the Order of the Sword, a religious sect that worships the demon lord Sparda and all that he did. During mass (if you can call it that), your introduced to two of the stories main characters in Nero and his love interest Kyrie. An unexpected entrance from Dante takes place as he assassinates the head priest of the order. Nero confronts Dante which leads to a rather over the top fight and plenty of witty dialogue, which is reminiscent of past entries for the series. Dante escapes and Nero is sent to retrieve him without knowing who Dante is or what even what his motives are, all the while discovering the true intentions behind his own Order of the Sword.

Now Nero is a much welcome addition to the series. Looking eerily similar to Dante and his twin brother Virgil, Nero sports his own unique weapon set and back story giving players something new to go on. Using a twin barreled revolver called the Blue Rose, a unique sword known as the Red Queen, and a new weapon as well….his right arm, seemingly the arm of a demon. This is called the Devil Bringer and introduces a new aspect to combat not seen before in the franchise. You can grapple and pull in enemies from across the room, allowing for some new and brutal combos. Whether it’s smashing them face first into the ground, or breaking the demons in half with your Devil Bringer, it’s definitely a satisfying weapon. The arm also has several other abilities but I won’t go into that now.

Dante himself makes a return, and like always is very fun to use. His ability and weapon set is much larger than Nero’s but still feels a little restricted without the use of the Devil Bringer. The nice thing about Dante is the use of his 4 (later on 5) different styles that you can switch to on the fly and expanded use of several weapons and guns. One such is the returning favorite Pandora’s Box. The Devil Trigger makes a triumphant return as well varying in form from character to character, bringing another layer to combat that is sure to please fans of the series.

There are truly only a handful of games out there that can match the battle fluidity and beauty within Devil May Cry 4. The more over the top a move is, the more damage it will cause bringing with it a truly satisfying effect on screen. Battle is incredibly fluid and graceful for both characters, and really isn’t hard to learn all of the combos and techniques. However that being said, after you learn it all battles can seem a bit repetitive and little excessive as well. The game sports 2 initial difficulty levels, and the ability to have the characters perform a combo automatically for you. But for those hardcore gamers out there, Devil May Cry 4 sports a handful of upper tier difficulties that will leave you crying in a corner. For those achievement/trophy hunters out there, good luck. Beating the game on every difficulty, and going through it at least 6 times will be the absolute minimum for an attempt at doing everything there is to do.

Overall, Devil May Cry 4 is an absolutely gorgeous game with a vastly improved fighting system and plenty of entertaining story plots sure to attract many a gamer. Given that it can get a bit repetitive, and it is somewhat unfairly hard on the upper difficulties, this is still a gem to be bought at a price fewer than 20 dollars at most retailers now. I would highly recommend any fans of the series to pick this up, as well as someone looking for a new and entertaining game to play. 7 out of 10

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