Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
|Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening|
North American box art
|Series||Devil May Cry|
|Engine||DMC3 engine (proprietary engine)|
Hack and slash
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, released in Japan as Devil May Cry 3 (Japanese: デビル メイ クライ 3 Hepburn: Debiru Mei Kurai Surī?), is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed and published by Capcom, released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 and ported to Microsoft Windows in 2006. The game is a prequel to the original Devil May Cry, with a younger Dante. It retains elements from the two previous games, expanding its combat system with a number of fighting styles. The story is told primarily in cutscenes using the game's engine, with several pre-rendered full motion videos.
Set several years before the events of the first Devil May Cry in an enchanted tower, Temen-ni-gru, the story centers on the dysfunctional relationship between Dante and his brother Vergil. Dante has opened an as-yet-unnamed demon-hunting agency, and his demonic heritage has not yet reached its full potential.
Although Devil May Cry 3 was criticized for its degree of difficulty, it was also praised for returning to the challenging gameplay of Devil May Cry. The game was re-released in 2006 as Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, with a re-calibrated difficulty curve and Vergil as a playable character. Combined sales of both versions were over two million, and a 2005 manga prequel to the game was published in Japan.
The gameplay in Devil May Cry 3 consists of levels ("missions") in which players battle enemies, carry out platforming tasks and solve puzzles to progress through the story. The player's performance in each mission is graded from D through C, B and A, with top marks of S and SS. Grades are based on time taken to complete a mission, the number of red orbs (game currency, obtained from defeated enemies) gathered, "stylish" combat, item usage and damage received. Stylish combat is the performance of a series of attacks while avoiding damage, and is tracked by an on-screen gauge. The longer a player attacks without repetition and evades damage, the higher the score. The gauge registers "Dope" after a few attacks, progressing through "Crazy", "Blast", "Alright", "Sweet", "SShowtime" to peak at "SSStylish". If Dante receives damage, the style rating falls; if the gauge is "Crazy" or below, it will reset. Devil May Cry 3 's battle system allows a player to link attacks, with each weapon having a set number of attacks. Although the game focuses on battle aggression, a player must also employ strategy; the enemies use a variety of artificial-intelligence tactics, and respond to a variety of events.
The Devil Trigger enables the player's character to assume a demonic form. This alters the character's appearance, increases attack and defense, restores health and enables special attacks. The Devil Trigger state lasts as long as there is energy in the Devil Trigger gauge; the gauge rises by attacking (or taunting) enemies in normal mode, and falls when using the Devil Trigger transformation or other abilities using Devil Trigger power (such as the Quicksilver and Doppelganger styles, described below). The Devil Trigger mode is not available to Dante until one-third of the way through the game, while Vergil (playable in the special edition) has the ability at the outset.
The major difference from previous Devil May Cry games is Devil May Cry 3 's combat system, which allows a player to choose one of Dante's four combat styles; each style has a different focus and techniques. Style selection is available at the beginning of each level and during gameplay at checkpoints. The styles are Trickster, for dodging and agility; Swordmaster, with abilities for swords and other weapons; Gunslinger, with firearms techniques and Royal Guard, which allows a player to repel attacks with a button press (storing energy for retaliation). Later in the game, a player accesses two additional styles: Quicksilver (slowing enemies, while the character attacks at normal speed) and Doppelgänger (creating a shadow double who fights alongside Dante). A second player may control the shadow double by pressing "Start" on a second controller. A two-player mode, similar to the Doppelgänger style, is accessible while Dante and Vergil battle Arkham. In the special edition Vergil has another style, Dark Slayer, which is similar to Trickster.
Devil May Cry 3 opens in Dante's yet-unnamed shop. A mysterious man, Arkham, arrives with an invitation from Dante's brother Vergil in the guise of a demonic attack. After Dante defeats his adversaries, a huge tower erupts from the ground nearby. Sensing that Vergil is on the structure, Dante interprets this as a challenge. He begins fighting demons during his journey; once defeated, they become his weapons. Dante is attacked by a woman on a motorcycle who turns out to be Mary, Arkham's daughter, who wants revenge on her father for causing her mother's death. Arkham works for Vergil; they plan to take Dante's half of their mother's amulet and use its power on the tower to connect the human and demonic worlds.
After a number of battles and an encounter with a being named Jester, Dante reaches the tower's summit and battles Vergil. Vergil defeats Dante, steals his amulet and leaves; Dante's dormant demonic powers emerge, and he sets out in pursuit. He catches Vergil in a control room in the tower's basement, where Vergil cannot reactivate the tower. The brothers fight again, until they are interrupted by Mary and Jester. Jester reveals himself as Arkham, who has manipulated them all to reactivate the tower to reach the demonic world. There he plans to steal the Force Edge, the dormant form of Sparda's sword with his power, using it to rule a demon-infested Earth. The tower transforms as the spell is broken; Arkham is carried to the summit, and Vergil disappears in the confusion.
Dante battles his way back up the tower, fighting Mary for the right to pursue Arkham. He is victorious, and Mary lends him her most-powerful weapon. Reaching the summit, Dante crosses to the demonic world and catches Arkham (who has assumed Sparda's demonic form). Overwhelmed by power, Arkham transforms into a blob-like creature who battles Dante. During the fight Vergil reappears, and the brothers work together to expel Arkham from the demonic world; weakened, Arkham lands on the tower (where Mary kills him). In the demonic world, Dante and Vergil fight for ownership of the Force Edge and the amulet halves. After his defeat Vergil remains as the portal closes, vanishing into the darkness with his half of the amulet.
Dante meets Mary outside the tower; they form a friendship and the beginnings of a partnership as demon-slayers and he names his shop "Devil May Cry". A scene after the credits shows Vergil in the demonic world, weak but determined, as he charges into battle against his father's old foe Mundus.
After the mixed reception of Devil May Cry 2, Capcom developed Devil May Cry 3 in a similar manner to the series' more critically acclaimed first game, Devil May Cry; its gameplay elements, such as environment size and battle engine, were reexamined. Other aspects of Devil May Cry 2, such as the toning-down of Dante's cockiness and the game's lack of difficulty, were brought back in line with Devil May Cry.
According to a pre-release interview with the game's producer, Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the focus of the game's design was a battle system which allowed a player to control weapons in new, "stylish" ways. This coincided with the design of a new type of in-game camera which kept the character in focus, avoiding disorientation in crowded battle scenes. Devil May Cry 2 's difficulty was reduced for greater acceptance in the Japanese market, but this move cost the game support elsewhere. To remedy this, the Japanese release of Devil May Cry 3 had a lower degree of difficulty than the North American and European releases and Dante was a younger, more arrogant character than he was in the previous games. Reuben Langdon provided the character's voice and motion capture. Although he was directed in Dante's portrayal, Langdon (confused by staff suggestions) played his own version of the character.
Capcom promoted Devil May Cry 3 's release with a multimillion-dollar television campaign and extensive advertising in video-game magazines; both emphasized the game's plot and number of fighting styles. The company produced a second, "special" edition, released in North America on January 24, 2006. A Microsoft Windows version, with minor graphics changes, was developed by SourceNext; it was released by Ubisoft on June 28, 2006 in Europe and October 16, 2006 in North America. The Devil Trigger versions of Dante and Vergil were designed by Atlus' Kazuma Kaneko, who previously collaborated on Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Persona.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening was praised by critics. The aggregate-review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 84.11 percent and 84 out of 100 and the PC version 70.87 percent and 66 out of 100, respectively. It was included on Game Informer 's list of the top 50 games of 2005, and the special edition received a "Game of the Month" award. In 2010 IGN ranked it 18th on its list of the top 100 PlayStation 2 games, and a GamePro retrospective that year rated it the 28th-best game for the PS2.
Reviews typically praised the game for avoiding its predecessor's mistakes and for its storyline, customization options, gameplay and combat engine. The style-based combat engine was considered to produce fighting sequences superior to games such as Ninja Gaiden and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, and the camera and controls were praised. Devil May Cry 3 was included in the 2010 book, 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
The North American and European release's difficulty was criticized in otherwise-positive reviews. Critics disagreed with Capcom's decision to make the Japanese version's "hard" mode the North American and European "normal" mode, and Devil May Cry 3 has been cited as one of the all-time most-difficult video games by a number of websites.
The special-edition PlayStation 2 release ranked ninth on GameSpy's 2006 "Game of the Year" list; it was commended for recalibrating its difficulty, a survival mode known as "Bloody Palace" and making Vergil a playable character. Play as Vergil was cited for the character's difference from Dante, although the reuse of Dante's bosses and the lack of cutscenes was criticized.
The PC version was considered inferior to the PlayStation 2 version. Issues included its game engine (thought rough and underpowered), its controls and the inability to save the game and exit, a feature of most PC games. Jeremy Dunham of IGN gave the PC version a score of 5.8 out of 10 (compared to the PS2 version's 9.6), citing its "awful performance" and "craptacular controls".
Devil May Cry 3 was a commercial success, and was the eighth-best-selling game in Japan a week after its release. The game sold over 1,300,000 copies worldwide (earning Capcom's "Platinum Title" status), and the special edition sold an additional one million copies.
After Devil May Cry 3 's release Capcom introduced merchandise based on the game, including a manga (written by Suguro Chayamachi and published by Tokyopop in North America) and a Dante action figure manufactured by Revoltech. A 2006 sourcebook, Devil May Cry 3 Material Archive - Note of Naught, featured previously unreleased production and CG artwork, storyboards and a UMD video disc for the PSP with trailers and videos (region 2 only). A three-disc Devil May Cry 3 soundtrack was released on March 31, 2005 (shortly after the game's release), produced by Tetsuya Shibata and Kento Hasegawa[not in citation given] with lyrics and vocals by Shawn McPherson.
At the 2005 Tokyo Game Show, Capcom announced a special edition of Devil May Cry 3 with gameplay changes and additional content; most notably, Dante's twin brother Vergil was now playable. Other changes included an additional survival mode, "Bloody Palace", with 9,999 levels; a Jester fight early in the game, with optional fights later; a "Turbo Mode", increasing game speed by 20 percent; a "continue" feature, allowing a player to revive a character or restart a lost fight, and rebalanced difficulty. Vergil's gameplay differed from Dante's; although Dante was weaker than Vergil in terms of skills and combos, he was easier to control. Because of the game's space limitations, not all of Vergil's moves were included in the special edition.
Vergil has one style, "Dark Slayer" (similar to Dante's "Trickster" style), with evasive maneuvers which can be leveled-up twice like Dante's four styles. He has three weapons: a katana known as Yamato, Beowulf gauntlets and greaves and the Force Edge broadsword. Vergil has two ranges of attack: "Summoned Swords" (creating magical swords for a variety of effects) and "Judgment Cut" (creating spheres of force).
The new boss is Jester, a character encountered several times in first-edition cutscenes but not fought. In Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, he is a boss who may be fought three times. The special edition was released on January 24, 2006 as part of the PlayStation 2 greatest-hits collection, and it was later confirmed that the PlayStation 2 version of the game would be released in Europe.
On February 1, 2006, Ubisoft announced that it would release a Microsoft Windows version of the game developed by SourceNext. The European PC version was the first one released (before the special-edition PlayStation 2 version in that region), on June 28, 2006. The Japanese version was released two days later, and the North American version on October 16. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition was re-released in the Devil May Cry HD Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (with Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2) on April 3, 2012.
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- Dante: Damn it! you guys totally wrecked my shop and I haven't even named it yet! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Arkham: Is your name Dante? Son of Sparda? Dante: Where did you hear that? Arkham: From your brother. He sent this invitation to you. Please, accept it.. Dante: Invitation huh? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Arkham: Well? Doesn't it excite you? The Temen-ni-gru has revived. The Great One who once ruled this earth as the medium between the Human world, and the Demon world. Isn't it a magnificent view? The greatest minds of their time, those who revered Evil, constructed this glorious edifice. Now after two millenniums of confinement it can at last fulfill the purpose for which it was intended - Vergil: That's... none of my concern. Did he have it? (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Dante: It's been nearly a year since we last met. Where does the time go? No doubt you've got some fun planned for me. Right Vergil? (Devil May Cry) Capcom, 2005
- Cerberus: You are not a human, are you? Dante: Who knows? I'm not even sure myself. Cerberus: Regardless, you have proved your strength. I acknowledge your ability. Take my soul and go forth. You have my blessing. Dante: Too easy! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why didn't you kill her? Perhaps, because she is your daughter? Did some pesky fatherly love get in your way? Arkham: That is none of your - Vergil: To further your study of the black arts, you sacrificed your loving wife, to become a devil as well. Knowing this I thought you'd be more useful to me, but I was wrong. No wonder your attainment of power is incomplete. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Mary: Shut up! He was obsessed with becoming a devil, so much he killed his own wife. For that he butchered innocent people too. He's the most vile kind of creature. To top it off, that filthy scum... is my father. Dante: Well, we have something in common. I have a dysfunctional family too.Mary: And what would you know about family? You're a demon! This is my father. My family! This was all supposed to end by my hand! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why isn't this working?! is there something missing? Must more blood be shed? Dante : You seem to be in a bad mood. Vergil: Dante. Dante: So my mother's amulet is the key that unlocks the door to the Demon World. Good Plan, Pop. Vergil: Just the opposite actually... Originally it was the key to the Demon World but was given to humans as a gift. Dante: It doesn't matter to me one way or the other. More importantly I've came all this way. I'm sure you have time for one more game, right? Vergil: Why not? After all we share the same blood. I'll just use more of yours to undo daddy's little spell. Dante: So you want a piece of me. literally. Okay, bro. come and get it, if you can! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Jester: That could be a problem. Just hear me out. You got nothing to lose, right? My name is Jester, and I know a thing or two about this place. That thing there, is a power generator for this entire sector. In order to open the door, you need to apply a little something to it first. Do you know what that is, kid? Or is that too difficult for you? Ahahahahahaha - (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: Why do you refuse to gain power? The power of our father Sparda? Dante: Father? I don't have a father. I just don't like you, that's all. Vergil: Foolishness, Dante, foolishness. Might controls everything. And without strength, you can't protect anything. Let alone yourself. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Jester: It was quite a ride, you know! If any of you had died before getting here, our little plan would have gone to waste! Therefore, my job was to get you to battle each other in order to weaken you. But at the same time, I needed to guide you here and make sure you were kept alive. I even went so far as dressing like a complete idiot! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Arkham: He plucks the threads that make us dance, finger and toe! We surrender in joy to the lowest of the foul and rank; we submerge through darkness, rancid filth. Hour by hour, we move downward, ever closer to Hell, in a slow, steady gait. Now, let the world resonate! Sloth! Gluttony! Greed! Envy! Lust! Wrath! And pride! A bell of chaos that tolls human desires! After two thousand long years, the once sealed gate to the demonic world will open! Destruction! Carnage and Despair! Let your instincts drive you! Entrap this world in fear! As its very name Temen-ni-gru strikes terror into the heart of mankind. Then I will become the ultimate ruler of this wasteland engulfed with pandemonium. The demonic power that Sparda once imprisoned... will be mine! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: No one can have this Dante. It's mine. It belongs to a son of Sparda. Leave me and go, if you don't want to be trapped in the demon world. I'm staying. This place, was our father's home. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Mary: Are you crying? Dante: It's only the rain. Mary: The rain already stopped. Dante: Devils never cry. Mary: I see. Maybe somewhere out there even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one. Don't you think? Dante: Maybe. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Mary: Oh, speaking of a kind devil, he finally decided on a name for his shop. It took him quite a while to pick one. Want to know the name? Devil May Cry. (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
- Vergil: It would be fun to fight with the Prince of Darkness. If my father did it, then I should be able to do it too! (Devil May Cry 3) Capcom, 2005
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- Official website at Capcom Japan (Japanese)
- Official website at Capcom Japan (Japanese) (Special Edition)
- Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (PC) at Ubisoft UK website