Most of this review applies to Devil May Cry 3 as well, however, Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition came out a year after the original as a greatest hits budget release in the US. It let you play as Vergil, included a turbo mode making the game speed much faster, added Bloody Palace, and included an additional hard difficulty while the original hard difficulty was renamed very hard. It's easily the definitive version of the game and the one that's included on the PS360 HD remake.
The story starts off with Dante's shop being wrecked and demon's appearing when Arkham and Vergil attempt to open the gate to the demon world, while another character, Lady is after revenge against Arkham, her father, for killing her mother. Dante prior to this game is a likeable character, but on Dante's Awakening, they really turned up the dial on immaturity and arrogance. His dialogue is good the majority of times, but other times the dialogue is just embarassing. The rest of the cast is great, and the overall underlying plot is good. Vergil is a complete badass and one of the best villians in video game history, while Capcom does especially well portraying this and their sibling rivalry of his and Dante's every time they meet.
Like the first game, there's only a single button for your melee combat, each weapon has different attacks depending on button timing, repeated presses, or holding the lock on button while hitting forward or back, allowing you to link these attacks into one another. There are still multiple guns and still multiple weapons, but this time you can equip two weapons and two gun, switching them mid combat for more variety and depth to the system. Additionally, there is now a style system added to the game, ripped from a few the one good idea the second game included, which is used as the o button. Trickster, which allows you to do dashes on the ground similar to the expert roll but with the push of a button, air dashes, run up walls or along walls, and at max level even teleport to an enemies location. Swordmaster and Gunslinger, gave multiple additional attacks for weapons and guns, or allowed guns to fire charged shots. Royal Guard, Doppleganger, and Quicksilver, allowed to either guard attacks, create a duplicate that would mimic ones attacks, and slow down time. Vergil, included only in Special Edition, was a bit different as he had three melee weapons that he had access to at all times, his spirit swords which were his ranged weapon, and a single style.
Traversal is similar in style to Resident Evil where you find items which allow you to progress past different points. It's stage based and stages can be replayed. Any item you receive in a stage is going to be acquired somewhere in the stage and used somewhere before the stage ends. Boss battles aren't at the end of each stage, but they are at the end of or during most stages and they're very well done, never too hard if you're good enough which leads me to the games difficulty.
Even if you have to die three times to unlock easy mode, there's a difficulty level for everyone with this game. If it's your first time playing the game even on normal though, it's going to at first be a little difficult for most. Unless you're on Dante Must Die, most enemies don't take too long to die, they just take a decent amount of damage in comparison to what the amount of hit points you've got and due to your lack of skill. It's the bosses that are the most difficult part of the game though if anything. Once you've gotten a feel for the game though, it will turn simple enough because it's really only the learning curve that's the difficulty. Dante Must Die is a bit too hard though and when enemies go devil trigger, they have almost as much health as the bosses do. The game actually expects you to wear down all the enemies to low health before killing others and causing the rest of them to go into devil trigger mode. Thankfully Super Dante is available after very hard is beaten, for those of us who aren't as good as some people I've seen play the game so Dante Must Die should be beatable by the majority.
The games environments are detailed portraying a sort of warped post apocalyptic world, and while it looks good, there were games prior to its release that looked better while being just as detailed. The HD version suffers even more as some of the 2D textures look poor in comparison to the rest of the environments. There's even one point in Bloody Palace while fighting a boss that I figured they also left the standard def graphics in the game because it looked a lot worse than the same boss room from the main game. I'd also sometimes notice the very slight framerate drop while switching areas. The music was overall decent, a few tracks really good, while all the sound effects were good.
This is one of the best games in the stylish action genre. If you like the genre it's worth the purchase.
Gameplay - 9
Story/Presentation - 8
Graphics - 5
Balance - 8
Overall - 7.5
New scoring criteria.
Gameplay - 9
Design - 8
Presentation - 8
Balance - 8
Overall - 8.25