After noticing that the local second hand game shops seemed to have an abundance of the first Devil May Cry I decided to pick it up and show my dusty, old PS 2 some love.
Shortly after popping the mildly scratched disc into the disc tray, I am informed that my memory card does not have enough space. After promptly deleting all of my Singstar files (an old shame) we’re in business and we cut to the attract loop. Being totally new to the franchise I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect other than a great deal of gun-toting badassery (which is totally not a bad thing in my books).
I am greeted by flaming silhouettes, energetically bouncing around the screen. My ‘trying-too-hard-gland’ twitches uncomfortably. I quickly select ‘New Game’.
“Let’s Rock, Baby!” "Devil May Cry~"
Flames engulf the screen once more as a more traditional looking silhouette clad in demonic armour begins to spar alone. A text crawl scrolls up the screen telling us that many years ago (in a galaxy not too far away) a man named Sparda saved our world from the ‘other, under world’. Sounds like a pretty cool guy to me.
After that a woman seemingly descends from the moon before casually walking towards a neon sign saying ‘Devil May Cry’ (without showing the slightest sign of injury despite the great height she appears to have fallen from). We cut to what is probably the inside of the building she is walking towards where a male voice unceremoniously fobs off someone on the phone. The same woman from before then crashes through the wall on a motor bike (where did she get THAT?). The other occupant of the room, a white-haired pretty boy clad in red, is surprisingly unfazed. This troper couldn’t help but wonder what the repair costs would be for that newly demolished wall…
A medium sized exposition dump reveals that the white-haired pretty boy is called Dante, that he lost a mother and a brother to ‘evil’ twenty years ago and that he is the son of the Sparda we heard so much about in the opening text crawl. Dante explains to the woman, at sword-point, that he became a demon hunter in order to aid his quest for vengeance.
“In that case, you should be used to this sort of thing.”
The woman then electrocutes, round house kicks, scissor kicks and then stabs Dante (WITH HIS OWN SWORD). She chuckles mockingly.
“Are you really the son of the legendary dark knight Sparda? Didn‘t your daddy teach you how to use a sword?”
She then picks up the motorcycle she rode in on and hurls it at Dante. It is somewhere during this altercation that my awesomeness gauge breaks and my previously mentioned ‘trying-too-hard-gland‘ fails. For some reason, even after the motorcycle has been thrown, Dante has enough time to make a quip of his own (Badassery induced time dilation field, perhaps?).
“The sword? Ha ha! Time to go to work guys.”
And for some reason bullets are enough to repel the motorcycle back at the woman who threw it (Okay, I‘ll just go with it…). Dante strides over, sword still protruding from his chest, explaining his half-demon heritage and the powers that apparently bestows upon him. Dante points his gun at the woman.
“You were the first one to know about my vengeance. Looks like I’m getting closer.”
The woman rises and claims that she’s not Dante’s enemy (despite attacking him with his own sword and hurling a motor cycle at him).
“My name is Trish. I came here to seek your help…to put an end to the underworld…”
Trish takes off her sun glasses. Dante looks shocked. We then see a picture frame with smashed glass containing an illustration of what is presumably Dante’s mother whom Trish bears a striking resemblance to (Mummy issues ahoy!). Another exposition dump follows and we’re told that the emperor of the underworld (whose name I couldn’t quite make out due to someone messing about on an organ in the background of the scene) that was sealed away by Sparda is now back and wants to take over the human world. Implied bad times ahead if Dante and Trish don’t do something about that then. So it’s off to 'Malaya' island in order to stop the big bad.
With this troper expecting most of the game to be a long hard slog to the surprisingly comical sounding Mallet island (as the manual corrects me), followed by a show down with the emperor of the under world there, Dante casually busts the door open with his sword (HEY WAIT GAME! YOU’RE PLAYING WITHOUT ME!). Trish leaves and I wonder how she’s gone this far in the game without a single wardrobe malfunction wearing that top. The white-haired, half-demon hybrid, gun-toting, insufferable bad ass, pretty boy is left alone. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is your player character.
FINALLY taking control, I mess about with the options before entering the castle. The game immediately requires that I collect a whole lot of red orbs in order to open a door that is ominously glowing red. Woo, busy work…It is during this opening section that I discover Dante has the ability to jump (and double jump) like freaking Superman. It is also during this time that I recollect my dislike of games that utilise pre-rendered camera angles whilst also reliving the inertia in the controls that occasionally creates.
Upon opening the red door and wondering over to the other side of the room behind it I am presented with a closed, important looking gate. I hit ‘x’ to examine and Dante informs me that it is a closed, important looking gate. World class observational skills right there Dante! I save and carry on through the door next to the gate.