Devil May Cry 3 review

GamesMaster catches up with Dante and his punishing sequel.

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This is it! The game that rights all DMC2's wrongs!

And what were those wrongs? Well, it was tentative when it had to be intense and generally limp compared to the springy original. And Capcom's cure for these ills? Making a game that's more challenging than brain surgery. Wearing mittens. In a strong wind.

Devil May Cry 3 is a very cruel mistress indeed. This is a game of awkward camera angles, unforgiving restart points and boss battles that'll make you weep. And if those quirks sap the morale, the unrelenting demon smashing will fatigue the thumbs.

But if you persevere, if you grow as a game player and as a person, there's a world of magic and wonder bubbling beneath the prickly exterior.

DMC3 is a prequel featuring a younger Dante, and his youthful swagger dominates the game. He refers to everything as a 'party', he eats pizza and this teenage-ninja attitude flows into the action as he uses demons as skateboards and smacks up people with a magic guitar.

When DMC3 builds up momentum, it's incredible - Dante's range of movement has been embellished with four fighting style choices and weapons that can be switched during battle.

When it peaks, when you're bouncing off walls and dispensing 360 degrees of death, DMC3 even goes so far as to surpass the original. And perhaps more importantly, it replaces the punch that was so sorely lacking from the second game.

So it's a really big shame that only gamers with more patience than Alder Hey or a love of self-punishment will ever get to see it. It's a very special game, it's just that it's so very hard as well.

Devil May Cry 3 is out for PS2 on 24 March

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Alternative names"DMC","Devil May Cry Three"