The hero's name is Dante', his evil twin brother is Vergil, and they are both the sons of Sparda (sic). But this video game is no divine comedy. It is a pathetic arcade game whose constant violence does not hold up its story line.
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICHDevil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (Special Edition), a DVD-ROM in English by Capcom for Ubisoft, distributed with a 32-page Hebrew-language user's manual by Hed Artzi Multimedia, requires Windows XP and a 1 Ghz Pentium III PC or better, for ages 16 and above, NIS 219. - Rating: **
The hero's name is Dante', his evil twin brother is Vergil, and they are both the sons of Sparda (sic). But this video game is no divine comedy. It is a pathetic arcade game whose constant violence does not hold up its story line. It has plenty of Inferno, playing it (unless you are a teenage boy with nothing else to do) is Purgatory and deleting it from your hard drive is Paradise.
Strangely enough, the company that developed it is Japanese. The third-person shooter begins by showing Dante' - young but with straight white hair - stab his brother to death and leave his body in a pool of blood in the rain. The female announcer explains that "A demon rebelled against its own kind for the benefit of the human race, and the two sons of Sparda battled each other like fierce enemies. Only one was left standing."
Then, none the worse for wear, we meet Dante' in a dirty storefront, sitting shirtless at a desk and munching on a slice of pizza. A man in dark clothes enters, and our hero says that if he needs the bathroom, it's in the back. But instead of that, the intruder brings him a message from "your brother," and all Hell breaks loose. Bent, spooky creatures with luminous eyes beaming out of skulls, dressed in black mantles and carrying sharp scythes attack him. He fights back, firing away pistols in each hand and slashing with his sword. "You guys ruined my shop, and I haven't even named it yet," he protests pathetically at the end of this battle.
This "Special Edition," which has heavy metal music in the background, allows you to play as the nasty Vergil as well, unlike the first and second editions of Devil May Cry (which fortunately I have never encountered). Vergil has only one style, called Dark Slayer, with many evasive maneuvers. This disk also has a new survival mode called the "Bloody Palace," which contains a total of 9,999 levels, which - if you finish them - will probably feel like the Nine Circles of Hell. If you collect Yellow Orbs, after saving the game you can start the section again and retain Dante's inventory as well as enemies; Gold Orbs, which must be enabled at the start of the game, remove Yellow Orbs and allow an infinite number of continuations.
From the outset, using keyboard keys or gamepad, you can select any of four fighting styles: Trickster (in which Dante' is as acrobatic as Batman); Swordmaster (for short-term, frenetic saber battles); and (a variety of arms); and Royalguard (face-to-face defensive battles). Dante' can use all of them wearing a crimson cape over his shirtless chest; in subsequent missions, he will be dressed up in a "legendary Dark Knight" costume.
His two hand-made semi-automatic handguns are called Ivory and Ebony, and they can shoot as fast as you can press the buttons or keys, with unlimited ammunition; use Twosome Time to fire them in two different directions; Wild Stomp to hit a downed enemy and then kick it away; Rain Storm to blast pistols in circular motion and hit all enemies; and Charge Shot that fires off a magically imbued burst. A 12-gauge double-barreled sawed-off shotgun fires much more slowly, while a laser weapon dubbed Artemis can hit several demons simultaneously. There are also two sharp-toothed scimitars called Agni and Rudra (based on Hindu mythology, with Agni the god of fire and Rudra the god of storms and wind). The cache of weapons is rounded out by an electric guitar that attracts bats when Dante' plays it and can double as a weapon when wielded in the air.
There is no multiplayer, the storyline is ridiculous, the camera angle is irritating, and the graphics are poor. The interminable, senseless violence is the worst part of this game, but at least the gore is not overpowering and enemies groan and disappear in a puff of smoke when they're killed.
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