Published on February 10th, 2013 | by Craig Forshey1
Devil May Cry 4 Video Review
Capcom’s Devil May Cry series has been wowing fans on consoles for years with its stylish moves and over the top action sequences. Absurd amounts of carnage are mixed with an equal amount of finesse and attitude to make one of the most iconic video game franchises ever created. With the arrival of the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, Capcom needed an action powerhouse for the new generation of consoles, and Devil May Cry 4 was its answer.
Devil May Cry 4 switches the main character from the iconic Dante to newcomer Nero, though the change is largely cosmetic as Dante and Nero play very similar to each other, not to mention Dante becomes a playable character towards the end of the game. Nero is a citizen of the city-island of Fortuna, which worships the legendary demon knight Sparda as a god. Nero is an ordinary young man with a hidden secret, he has the arm of a demon, the Devil-Bringer which gives him supernatural ass kicking powers. This allows Nero to swing opponents around like a rag doll and to reach far away places. Capcom liked this mechanic so much that they incorporated the grab/pull ability into the new Devil May Cry remake, DMC.
Like Dante, Nero has a legendary sword he uses to smite demons, the Red Queen. This sword has an interesting game play element whereby it can be revved up like a motorcycle to greatly increase the damage of attacks. Throw the revolver Blue Rose into the mix and Nero is one demon you don’t want to mess with. After an initial encounter with Dante and an invasion of demons, Nero sets out to find the cause of the demon attacks and what Dante’s role is in them.
Devil May Cry 4 Refrain is the long awaited Android version of the seminal series. Released exclusively for the Xperia Play in Japan on the Gree app store, Devil May Cry 4 Refrain is easily one of the best games available for the Play. Nearly every element of its console counterpart has made the transition, and with a few caveats, Devil May Cry 4 Refrain succeeds in bringing the DMC game play to Android.
Incredibly, the control scheme from the console versions has been almost perfectly recreated, giving the game an authentic feel to the action. While a simpler control scheme is available, those that want the full experience will want to use the full setup. Nero can jump, shoot, attack, and use the Devil Bringer just like in the original version. A feature we hadn’t expected to be included, the exceed gauge, is fully present here and like the other controls, works exactly as it should. Also returning is the style meter, which awards more points based on how cool and varied your attacks are. These points can then be spent on upgrades to increase your demon slaying repertoire. It is impressive how close the game play comes to the console version. Combos and enemies work very close to how they originally did, with only slight changes to mechanics and animations. Juggling enemies and performing areal combos are still the best way to build your style meter and dispatch enemies.
A few sacrifices were made in the journey to the Xperia Play, detracting from but not ruining the experience. Level design has changed significantly to accommodate mobile devices. Each stage is split up into different rooms, similar to the layout of a dungeon from the NES Legend Of Zelda. While most of these rooms closely mimic the console levels, the modular design also diminishes the large areas of the original game somewhat. The boss encounters however, are designed exactly like their next gen cousins. The Berial and Bael encounters are definite highlights. Capcom nailed the game play with this port and gave Xperia Play owners the full console experience.
Graphics in Devil May Cry 4 Refrain are a mixed bag. Lower-res textures provide a reasonable facsimile of Nero and his enemies, but they also detract from the flair this game is known for. Environments, characters, and weapon animations are recognizable enough, but give the feeling of playing a PS3 game on a PS2. The biggest complaint we have about the graphics is the aspect ratio, Devil May Cry 4 Refrain looks great but does not take up the full screen. Game play area covers about 80% of the display. While not amazing looking, the graphics are enough to recreate the original game in a faithful fashion.
The most untouched part of the original game, the sound is spot on. All of the rocking soundtrack plus Nero’s and Dante’s catch phrases are present, though the lack of voice acting during cut scenes was disappointing.
Devil May Cry 4 Refrain is one of the absolute best action adventures games on Android and is a must buy if you are an Xperia Play owner. Capcom put obvious care into this title, as an entire PS3 game has been faithfully recreated on Android. A few concessions were made to fit this game onto a mobile device, but are completely understandable and forgivable.
Summary: Devil May Cry 4 Refrain does a good job of recreating the original game although the graphics are so-so and a few elements of the game didn't survive the trip over from consoles.