Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: June 25, 2019


Switch Review - 'Devil May Cry'

by Cody Medellin on Oct. 21, 2019 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Set against a contemporary backdrop, DmC depicts a duplicitous world where nothing is ever as it seems and the line between good and evil is constantly blurred. Spurred into action by the promises of a trusted relation, Dante bursts into this world intent on revenge at any cost.

Buy Devil May Cry

One of the benefits of the success of the Nintendo Switch is that many franchises are finally making their way to die-hard Nintendo players. Case in point: the Devil May Cry series. While the PC, PlayStation and Xbox systems have seen every incarnation, a main series entry or spin-off of Dante's adventures had yet to grace a Nintendo platform. That changes with the first entry.

In Devil May Cry, you play the role of Dante, son of the demon Sparda that protected humans a thousand years ago from the forces of evil. One night, you find yourself receiving a visit from Trish, a mysterious woman who tests your powers before informing you that Mundus, a powerful demon, is returning to the human world via a castle on a remote island. Upon hearing the name, Dante takes on the case, as he feels that Mundus is responsible for the deaths of his brother and mother.

At first glance, this seems very Resident Evil in nature. That shouldn't come as a surprise, since this game was originally supposed to be part of that series before it split off and Resident Evil 4 came to fruition. Most of the game takes place in the castle, with a few stops on the small island. Camera angles are mostly fixed, so even though this isn't meant to be a horror game, you'll get some shots of going into hallways or blindly turning corners. There are also plenty of puzzles to deal with throughout the many chapters, something that might throw people off if they started the series later on.

The rest of the game is where the series gets defined. For starters, Dante automatically runs and with full analog control from the offset, so making him move around feels natural. That's important with the game beefing up the action with swordplay and gunplay. Although you aren't facing off hordes of enemies at a time, you're going to bust out plenty of sword combos with some gunfire peppered in to keep the combos going. Where the action shines is in the boss fights, where you're given plenty of room to run around and pull off extraordinary moves that both look good and deliver damage. In keeping with the action theme, you pick up orbs that can be used for currency, and you encounter a few new weapons and powers as you progress.

Coming back to this title many years later, it's evident that the biggest hurdle is the camera angles. The game is usually pretty good about this during combat situations, but every so often, you'll reach a part of the screen where the angles change dramatically, and you'll have to readjust your controls so it makes sense in your brain. It happens more often during the exploration sequences, and you might already be used to it if you have a classic survival-horror mentality, but if you're jumping into this one with more traditional third-person experiences, expect to run into a learning curve for the first few minutes and fights.

As one may have guessed, this is a straightforward port of the Xbox 360 and PS3 version of the game. That means the only extras you're getting is in the form of an image gallery, and most of those photos are already unlocked for you. Curiously, there's a list of achievements here, even though the Switch doesn't have a built-in system for it. It's a nice carryover for those who want to challenge themselves, but few will invest the time since there's no reward for completing them.

Since this is a direct port, the graphical presentation is decidedly mixed. The game uses plenty of movies for everything, from item pickups and menus to character cut scenes. Those movies were never remastered to take advantage of modern widescreen displays, so your average gameplay session will have many instances of jumping between 16:9 and 4:3. It isn't bad, since the game doesn't pause to switch between these screen ratios, but it is jarring if you aren't aware of it to begin with. Elsewhere, the character models have being upgraded in terms of resolution and fidelity, while the environments sport some lower-resolution textures. Like the Resident Evil Switch ports, it looks better on the system's own screen than it does docked. The good news is that the load times are fine, and the frame rate is locked to 60fps at all times, so the actual gameplay isn't hindered at all.

The good news is that the sound portion of the presentation is more solid. The voice acting appears to have made it intact and without any strange reverb. The music does lean more gothic when compared to the more action-oriented stuff of the later games, but it works fine here. The effects also come off strong, so everything has more of an impact to it. In short, there's nothing to worry about in the presentation.

Like many ports of some of the big games from the past two console generations, the appeal of Devil May Cry is that it's now available in portable form. There's nothing new here to tempt older fans otherwise, but what they'll find here is familiar. The switching of aspect ratios is odd, and the fixed camera angles and more puzzle-oriented focus will throw off some people, but for everyone who hasn't done so before, this is still a solid action game that's worth checking out.

Score: 8.0/10

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