Tag Archives: devil may cry 4

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem [GameCube] – Review

Eternal Darkness Sanity's RequiemSilicon Knights has come to be known for many things, mostly negative. One of the reasons they became so notorious though, was due to their former success. Without question, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of the studio’s highest highs. A survival horror game, published by Nintendo for the GameCube, the game met high praises upon its release in 2002, and is still fondly recalled. I recently played through the game, and while enjoyable, I didn’t become a rabid fan. For all of its uniqueness, the game feels pretty dated twelve years after its release.

Alex discovering the Tome of Eternal Darkness in her grandfather's secret study.
Alex discovering the Tome of Eternal Darkness in her grandfather’s secret study.

The game’s primary protagonist is Alex Roivas. Her grandfather was just murdered and she’s now the last of the family. Edward dealt heavily in the occult and as Alex searches for answers to his murder, she becomes embroiled in a struggle between good and evil that dates back at least two-thousand years. Center to her quest is the Tome of Eternal Darkness. As Alex discovers pages to the Tome, scattered about Edward’s mansion, she is taken back in time and relives the struggles of her ancestors as they work to prevent the revival of evil ancients. This facilitates an interesting storytelling mechanic and a wide cast of characters.

I don’t care who you are, time travel is always interesting. Personally, I think of it in context of futuristic science-fiction, so its usage in the game was something different. Alex’s reading of the Tome was translated into individual sections of the game, where I controlled characters as diverse as a Roman centurion, a Cambodian slave, and a World War I soldier. Those characters, as well as many more filled out the game. The environments were as varied as the characters themselves. This is an astonishing fact as there were only a handful of settings. The locales were revisited through the ages, and while they were mostly identical, they remained fresh by virtue of the aging process and the period pieces I’d obtain and use in them; unlike say, Devil May Cry 4.

Hugs and kisses!
Hugs and kisses!

As the game dealt with many time periods and characters, the items and weapons I’d come across naturally fit the setting. Generally, each character gained access to multiple weapons, with the majority of them being swords. These highlighted the inventive combat system well. I had the ability to target different portions of an enemy’s body – head, torso, or upper appendages. I almost always went for the head as it was the quickest way to deal with an enemy or cope with a crowd, although striking appendages was helpful in many circumstances too. Besides swords, I came across many guns and long range weapons. In my experience with the game, these were useful against only one enemy and one boss. Don’t get me wrong, I could use them on anything, I just didn’t find them effective. Ammunition wasn’t an issue, unlike other survival horror games of this period.

Finishing enemies boosted a character's sanity.
Finishing enemies boosted a character’s sanity.

Another aspect that differentiated this game from its peers was its distinct lack of tank controls. No matter the character, I was able to freely move them about. Coupling this with what I perceive as an enhanced focus on combat because of the targeting system and lack of inventory/ammo management, and this game skews more towards the action spectrum of action-adventure. However, like games of this ilk, there are plenty of items to find and puzzles to solve. Or…, association puzzles, as I’ll call them. These are what I found in the Mansion games and Juggernaut. Through exploration, I’d stumble across something I could interact with, generally nonworking; for instance, a telescope missing a handle. Eventually, I’d find the handle, and putting them together, I’d be able to advance the story.

These types of “puzzles” were never too difficult, although this game stumped me more than once. Or, it stumped my friend and me, as we played cooperatively. Yes, more than once we flat out got stuck and had to source GameFAQs. In these few instances, the solutions were obvious, but for whatever reason, we didn’t crack the game’s logic. An example: playing an archaeologist in Cambodia circa the 1980s, we roamed the entirety of an ancient ruin not knowing what to do. We had examined a handful of spider webs earlier, which spurred the archaeologist to think they might be obscuring something, but we believed that a nonstarter. We thought this because it was clear there was nothing behind them when they were examined. WRONG. In his inventory, he had a brush that we used earlier to clear away dirt. When used on the spider webs, an important item was discovered, allowing us to progress. There were a few other instances of this, and it was extremely demoralizing.

The writing in the game - the story and descriptions - was so good. Very atmospheric and dark.
The writing in the game – the story and descriptions – was so good. Very atmospheric and dark.

My time with Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem started strong. An impressive narrative wrapped around an inventive storytelling mechanic and large cast of characters served well to draw me in. The unique combat system and strong playability were nothing to scoff at, especially considering its peers. However, the weak puzzles and sometimes confusing internal logic required to progress grew tepid. AND, there are sanity effects that I didn’t even mention! Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed by them because I always kept my sanity meter high. By the end of it, I was more jazzed than ever to see how the story culminated, but I was ready to finish playing the game. It’s still a very impressive game. But, it was more impressive twelve years ago, just like Silicon Knights.

Devil May Cry 4 – Collector’s Edition Review

Utilizing the slipcase, you can choose to display either Nero or Dante on the collector's edition.

When Devil May Cry 4 was released in 2008, Capcom released a collector’s edition alongside the standard edition of the game. Included in the collector’s edition were two bonus DVDs. The first containing episodes of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series with the second DVD containing traditional collector’s edition goodies. And of course, it all comes in a much nicer package.

Like the Final Fantasy XII collector’s edition, Devil May Cry 4’s collector’s edition comes in a SteelBook package as opposed to the standard plastic DVD case. There is artwork on either side of the SteelBook case, one side featuring Nero and the other, Dante. Included is a slipcase that features the logo of the game and a viewing area that will display either character.

The first bonus included in the collector’s edition is a DVD containing the first four episodes of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series. There are only twelve episodes in the series so getting four seems like a pretty good deal. I didn’t care for the anime however. I like a good deal of anime but I’m definitely not too knowledgeable in the medium, but I feel safe in saying this anime isn’t that great. I thought the dialogue was very ridiculous, like the game to be fair, but the action scenes were lackluster and not that prevalent.

The second bonus included in the collector’s edition is a second DVD containing standard goodies. The most notable inclusion contained here is an interview with the producer of Devil Mary Cry 4, Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Also included is a gallery of artwork, a few wallpapers, a screensaver, some chat icons, and a few songs from the game. I could care less for the contents of this DVD, well, besides the interview. That’s because I always appreciate learning about the creative forces behind video games.

The SteelBook case is mint. With all the contents present it has a nice weight and I like the art and slipcase design. The collector’s edition came with a DVD containing four episodes of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, a pretty good deal, but I didn’t jive on the anime. The second bonus DVD contained a lot of standard fair for collector’s editions, and really, I could care less for its contents. I’m sure most of it could be found online anyways. It appears the collector’s edition of Devil May Cry 4 will run an extra five dollars over the standard edition and personally I’d go for it. The extras included aren’t that great, but the packaging itself is very nice.

Devil May Cry 4 – Review

Nero should probably get that arm looked at.

Devil May Cry 4 is a crazy action game. Developed and published by Capcom in 2008, DMC4 saw a change in the series, namely the protagonist. Everything else has apparently stayed the same however. The plot is utterly ridiculous and much of the plot is outlandish. There are two hours of cutscenes in the game that progress this crazy plot. But the gameplay itself is fun. It was a little much to handle early on, but after some time with the combat system, I’ve learned how to battle effectively, and more importantly, look good doing so.

The plot in Devil May Cry 4 is relatively easy to follow and not too complex, although at some point I began to lose interest and cared more about just getting to the action. I played as Nero, a young man who, at first, begins fighting for the Order of the Sword, a cult like religion, but later on develops new motives. Demons are the scourge in Devil May Cry 4and boy, there are plenty of them. As a character, Nero came off as whiney, or maybe more naïve than anything.

There were a few different weapons to choose from later on in DMC4, and a lot of combos to unlock.

Strangely enough, you also get to play as Dante, the previous protagonist from the Devil May Cry games. With this being my first DMC game, I had no previous relationship with Dante as a character so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. Dante turned out to be, like Nero, very cocky, but much surer of what he was doing, he sounded like he had a plan from the start. Both were very full of themselves, but when it came time to fight, they’re both supremely able to deal with the situation at hand.

I thought the combat was fun, and as it progressively got more complex, I progressively got better. Even as I replay the game now I am still noticing an improvement. The action centers around looking good as you defeat enemies. As I battled it out with the various demons and bosses, I built up my combo meter. By mixing up combos and weapons I was able to increase the combo meter and use these points to unlock new skills and abilities.

Both Dante and Nero have swords and guns at their disposal, but unique to Nero is the Devil Bringer. Nero’s right arm can extend to grab enemies, which creates quicker, more frantic combat; this ability also comes into play for platforming and puzzles.

Most of the bosses were much, much larger than either Nero or Dante. This one specifically was absolutely incredible.

For an action title, there is quite a lot of platforming and puzzles. My initial response to these breaks in the action was to keep them out and let the game be solely action, but thinking about it more, the puzzles added a nice break, something different, and the right amount of different. It’s not like there are tons of puzzles, just a few, and the platforming goes along with the level progression. This diversity makes Devil May Cry 4 a more rounded experience; there is however, sometimes too little action, namely in levels which you play as Dante.

You begin playing as Dante because something happens to Nero, and Dante backtracks through the levels that Nero went through. As a result there isn’t much to do, you’re just passing by. There could’ve been way more enemy encounters in these levels, as they stand, they’re filler. Also somewhat annoying, you fight the main bosses three times. I remember when Devil May Cry 4originally came out and everybody cried about that, and while by the third time I was burned out, I didn’t think it was too bad. I felt I did better against them with each encounter, much like I did with the rest of the game when replaying it.

DMC4 is no technical slouch. This game looks phenomenal, be it cutscenes or actual gameplay.

Having this character change is jarring though. Here I have spent a few hours learning Nero, figuring out techniques and combos that I like, and all of sudden I begin controlling a character who plays quite differently. The beginning levels and most of them for that matter, with Dante are a breeze and this gave me ample time to figure Dante out, having played previous Devil May Cry games probably would’ve assisted as well. But, the game throws you back into the shoes of Nero towards the end, and while this is again jarring, it doesn’t take long to get back into Nero.

Since Devil May Cry 4 isn’t too long, replaying it is a fair proposal. All the points, orbs and items that were earned previously stayed with me, giving me a large advantage starting over on a harder difficulty. The combat system progressively gets more complex and my skills and techniques have consistently gotten better.

While it may have been complicated at first, now that I know the combat system, it’s really fun. I look forward to enemy encounters and after each, I feel like I did a good job at managing attacks and crowds. I’ve also noticed that I’ve improved from earlier attempts; at the end of each level you are graded and with each new attempt, I usually fare better than before, of course I do have more tricks up my sleeve, but it’s still one of the best times I’ve had replaying a game.

While it’s not necessary, it’s usually good to think why we play video games and why we play the ones we do. In the case of Devil May Cry 4, it frees me from this, sometimes dull, reality and allows me to experience something I’ll never experience in this life. DMC4 has an unrealistic story and over-the-top action, but it’s an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed, and will continue to do so on multiple playthroughs.

DMC4 has a story that I started to care less about it, but it was exciting and fun to watch the cutscenes. The action in DMC4 was over-the-top, complex, and ultimately, fun; I feel like I’m consistently getting better at the game, and it continues getting fun. While I don’t know what I’m missing having never played another Devil May Cry game, I found Devil May Cry 4 to be an over-the-top and outlandish action game.

In Between Posts, July 4, 2011

Actually threw a lot of posts up last week. Got my Vanquish review up along with two DLC reviews relating to Mass Effect 2. One of those DLC reviews I had written and forgotten to edit and post earlier in the year, but better late then never, eh? With those done I only have two more packs of DLC for Mass Effect 2, but I don’t anticipate playing them too soon.

After completing Vanquish (twice!) I’ve turned my attention to Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am for the PlayStation 2. I imagine it won’t take me too long; it seems pretty short as I’m already a third of the way through it! I have also been playing Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP for iOS. It’s a point-and-click adventure game, but the developers have emphasized the art style and audio design more than the gameplay. It’s pretty cool.

I have finally checked out the contents of the Devil May Cry 4 collector’s edition fully which means… a review of both the game and the collector’s edition will be posted this week! Expect those Tuesday and Wednesday. The last productive thing I did last week was play through the demo for El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron on the PlayStation 3. It’s an action game, but like S:S&SEP, it focuses more on the art style than the gameplay. They’re both competent games, but not the best in terms of their gameplay.

So expect two posts attributed to Devil May Cry 4 and my thoughts on the demo for El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron this week for sure, and maybe something else.

In Between Posts, May 23, 2011

Unfortunately I didn’t complete three games from two decades ago as I did last week, but this week will be interesting nonetheless. Why do I say that? Well I’m onto new things as I’m finished with the two games that have been the status quo for so long.

I paid off the final portion of my debt in Animal Crossing: City Folk and will quit playing as much as I have, and perhaps won’t play the game at all soon. I have written a review of sorts for it (it basically outlines what my routine was) and I expect that to go up Tuesday morning.

I have also given up on Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. I have reached a point in it where it is too frustrating to continue. And that’s a shame too because I enjoyed the game a fair amount, I mean I stuck around for twenty-nine hours. I’m disappointed that I won’t be finishing it, and in all honesty I’d like to reattempt it, but not for a long time.

On the brighter side, I’ll be able to play other games. I believe I’ll focus on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link next, although Grandia Xtreme is beckoning me as well. I also have a few smaller things I’ll check out, such as Star Soldier. And I still, still have to check out the extras included with Devil May Cry 4. But then again, perhaps I’ll push all these to the side and purchase L.A. Noire.

So expect a review for Animal Crossing: City Folk Tuesday morning and a review of Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber at some point this week.

In Between Posts, May 2, 2011

Posted my review of Truth or Lies, I’m glad that’s done with. I actually played a long round of that with a friend this past week so he could earn some achievements in it; when we were done he had about 600/1000. Well besides playing a round of Truth or Lies, I’ve played other games this past week. And again, they’re pretty much the status quo of Animal Crossing: City Folk and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber.

I still need to plant trees in my town, my town’s environment isn’t where it needs to be yet, even after planting so many orange trees last week. I got the golden shovel this week, don’t know what that’ll do in Animal Crossing: City Folk. I’m still making my way through Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, nothing special to report concerning it.

My friend and I also played through Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and The Last Bounty Hunter which means, that I’ve finished the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack on the Wii. I’d like to have a review of that up this week, but I’m going into finals week in school so no promises. I haven’t done anything with the collector’s edition of Devil May Cry 4 so that would be next week at the earliest.

Oh, and I’ve been playing Super Street Fighter IV after playing some Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at a coworkers’ house. MvC3 was hectic, there was a lot happening on screen and the game felt as though I could button mash and succeed, but I enjoyed it.

In Between Posts, April 18, 2011

So, posted the review over Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure after composing it about two years ago. Which made me remember, I also wrote a review for Devil May Cry 4 and never posted it. But I’m not about to post that yet. I’d also like to talk about what comes in the collector’s edition of that game, so I need to compose that as well.

This past week hasn’t seen me veering from my normal games. I have played Animal Crossing: City Folk as per usual, a little each day, and Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber when time permits. I’ve finally gotten to a point in Ogre Battle where I’m not just rolling over the enemies, I’ll have to start thinking more, and hopefully not up and quit the game. I love tactical/strategy role-playing games in concept, but I get to a point in them where they get difficult and eventually take too much trial and error. But I plan to keep on with it for now.

I’ll post a short article talking about the goods that come with the collector’s edition of Final Fantasy XII this week, as well as possible reviews of either The Legend of Zelda, or Truth or Lies.