After the absolute mess that was Devil May Cry 2, Hideaki Itsuno returned to the fray in 2005 with this absolute banger, righting the wrongs of his previous effort, returning protagonist Dante to his righteously cocky self and letting loose with a no-holds-barred, non-stop action thrill-ride that, to this day, is as good as the Devil May Cry series ever got.
Even in the wake of the release of the latest in the series on current consoles, going back and experiencing Devil May Cry 3 all over again reveals a combat system that hasn't aged a bit. Some of the puzzles may seem a bit archaic, the camera can be a pain from time to time and those pre-rendered cutscenes have aged pretty badly, but the heart and soul of this third entry in the series is as fresh as the day it was released. This is still very much one of the great action games.
From the moment things kick off here, you can sense this is a series that's got its mojo back. Dante, a heavily subdued grump in the second game, is immediately back to his wise-cracking, arrogant, half-naked self and the first three missions waste absolutely no time in putting players through their paces with a non-stop blast of intense close-quarters action against a heady mix of enemy types – and even a very early mini-boss – before you've really even had a chance to consider just what exactly is going on. It calms down just a little after this – temporarily, at least – and throws a puzzle or two in so you can get your bearings, but over the course of its roughly fifteen-hour running time, this one is 100% all about the high octane action, flashy combos and big, beautiful boss battles, with a pace that never really lets up over the course of the twenty missions that see you through to its end.
Set ten years before the first installment in the series, Devil May Cry 3's story sees a young Dante hot on the heels of his brother Vergil and the mysterious Arkham, both of whom are out to open a portal between the human and demonic worlds using Vergil's half of the brother's family heirloom. What follows is a breathless chase from the bottom to the top of the mysterious tower of Temen-Ni-Gru, several epic face-offs between the brothers, a brief sojourn in the guts of a pretty angry leviathan, the obligatory interdimensional hijinks and some truly excellent boss battles that will test your skills to the max.
The boss battles here really do deserve special praise. For the most part properly (but never insurmountably) challenging, these are the types of beautifully-designed face-offs that are a delight to engage with. At first overwhelming – especially on higher difficulties – they become a joy as you experiment with and observe each boss, eventually revealing some Achilles heel for Dante to take advantage of.
The Agni and Rudra fight, one of the earlier big tests in the game, is a perfect example. You can bash your head off these two big lads for ages if you go about things sheepishly and in a stand-off manner. Get up close and personal, though, and you'll soon discover they can be put away in surprisingly short order with a couple of well-timed dodges and a sword clash that sees them lose their footing temporarily. It's the same with Nevan, Beowulf, the Cerberus and every other big encounter in the game; the devilishly clever design always offers an easier path if you've been paying attention and have mastered your skills to that point in the proceedings.
Of course, the big news with Devil May Cry 3 was its revamped combat system that allowed Dante to utilise a total of six different combat techniques – two of which unlock quite late on in the game – to go about dispatching his foes. From the outset Trickster, Swordsman, Gunslinger and Royalguard allowed you to adapt your style and, whether you wanted to concentrate on quickly dodging attacks, focus on sexy swordplay, master gun techniques or play extra defensively, Dante could select one of these fighting styles before each mission started.
In this new Switch edition, Capcom has added a brand new Freestyle mode to the game which allows you to jump between all of these various combat styles on the fly using the D-pad. It's an amazing tweak that genuinely affects the core gameplay for the better, opening up all manner of new ways in which to approach your enemies and string together an absolute ton of combos whilst flipping between styles to hit those all-important SSS rankings.
If that wasn't enough (and it really would have been) this new release also adds in the ability to play the Blood Palace challenge rooms – unlocked after you complete the opening mission – in local co-op, with one player assuming the role of Dante whilst the other plays as Vergil. Both of these new additions really add to an already immensely entertaining and highly replayable original package and ensure that Switch players are getting the ultimate version of this all-time great action game.
Devil May Cry 3 may be some fifteen years old now (has it really been that long?), the camera may be a bit wayward here and there and there's definitely a little bit too much backtracking and bounding around the central stairwell of Temen-Ni-Gru at one point, but the most important aspect – that fast and furious combat – remains as fresh as ever. This is also the best Dante has ever been in terms of characterisation; it totally nails his overly cocky attitude and, from riding around on missiles to blasting enemies to bits with his electric guitar, he's never less than a whooping, smug, loud-mouthed joy to behold here. Voice-acting across the board – from Dante and Vergil, newcomer Mary and all of the bosses you square off against – is also top-notch stuff; totally OTT and in very much in keeping with the ludicrous Matrix-inspired cutscenes.
In terms of this Switch port, both docked and handheld modes – as might be expected of a game of this vintage – run absolutely flawlessly, and the whole thing (apart from those pre-rendered cutscenes) still looks surprisingly good for the most part, especially when playing it on that smaller handheld screen. The framerate never falters, loading times are almost instantaneous and it only takes up 5GB of space, so you can keep it tucked away on your Switch indefinitely.
Devil May Cry 3 remains one of the very best action games ever made. It has certainly aged in places, but that turbo-charged, combo-heavy action feels as fresh today as it did back in 2005. The new Freestyle mode – which lets players swap combat styles on the fly at any point during the action – is a genuinely excellent addition to the package, and the ability to play Bloody Palace in local co-op is the cherry on top of a Switch port that should appeal to anyone interested in sampling the devilish delights of this all-time classic.
Been playing for an hour. I'm in heaven. One of my favorite games ever. Gussied up, portable, and with some sweet add ons. $20 well spent.
This is one of those games that is definitely for the series fans. Personally I could never get into the DMC series but I know it used to be very popular.
It’s one of the best games ever made, and made even better on Switch with this content. It’s insane how tight the controls are even this many years later. Anyone who is even considering this, go for it.
This is getting bought ASAP!
The new freestyle mode is genuinely worth the money on its own.
This game is incredible, but I have to disagree that it's the best game in the series. DMCV is absolutely the better game.
Got to do my part and support Capcom when they do the Switch right. They will get full price from me for this. Many other games can wait for a sale.
Playing it already. The hd graphic is awesome. And the switching of styles is a big bonus.
@Darlinfan agree - I don't know how someone who has never played the game in question can say that the game is for series fans when said person has never played it and is only just aware that it exists.
Nice!!!! I've had this preloaded since you were able to. Can't wait to fire it up tonight.
define flawlessly? 1080p 60fps?
I got the original DMC but am struggling with the controls and camera - do I need to play the first two before i go to DMC3? I know the second one is largely considered skippable but I'm not too sure about the first
It's been nearly 15 years since I last played the original.
I'm in love once more.
@kenyowa Third game is a prequel, Dante is a lot younger, so you don't really need to play the other two.
First game is totally worth playing if you're curious about how the series started, though. Still holds up.
@MARl0 The level design in 3 is much superior IMO. V is great (from what I've played so far) but its levels are basically hallways without much to see/do.
Never played a DMC--should I start with the first one and work up to 3? Would this be a good place to jump in?
@rushiosan I disagree. I've always found some of the level design in DMC3 to be more annoying than good.
I also feel that, since DMC3, the best part of the series has been its combat, and DMCV further improves that (on top of not letting the level design get in the way of that the way DMC3 does).
I like the contents on this but sad that Capcom refuse to make this one physical. I would had double dip for it again even though I had the DMC HD Collection on Steam already.
Still my favorite, potential most memorable PS2 game, I could not resist buying it again. Especially with Freestyle mode, which is a god send of an edition.
I loved DMCV as well as DmC (reboot). I'll give this a try
I enjoyed the first two, but DMC3 and 4 never really clicked with me. Haven’t tried DmC or DMC5 yet, but I own them both on Xbox and will definitely play them someday.
@Darlinfan I wouldn't expect you to understand because you clearly fall into the fan category, but DMC isn't exactly the type of thing that appeals to everyone. It's campy, but a lot of gamers like it. I don't see why every statement needs to be an endorsement, it's not like I was trying to slam the game or anything.
@Lordplops You are operating under the assumption that only people who are big fans of something are capable of having a valid option about it. Whenever I see this kind of attitude, especially when coupled with aggression, it is always coming from the kind of people who could be described as a fanboy. It's like just because you happen to be a massive fan of something and have nothing besides praise for it and how it appeals to you doesn't mean that everyone should have to feel the same way. What you are really pushing is blatant narcissism, you think your values and opinions are so important that nobody else should be allowed to say anything contrary because how dare they.
Well sorry to be the one to burst your bubble but I don't come here to play the sycophant role and placate based upon other people's interests. I simply give my two cents and move on, and you should learn how to deal with that. Media is full of mixed opinions and you are really going to struggle with communication if you expect everyone to feel the same way as you and express your values as their own.
Excellent game for Nintendo Switch! I highly recommend DMC 3 for the Nintendo Switch, even if you have the game for the other consoles! It’s a fantastic, and probably the Best, port for Nintendo Switch!
I entered through DMC4 and the more complex and vastly improved control style ruined me when I went to DMC3. Love DMC3, but it was clunky and lacked the quality of life features that DMC4 introduced that always had that steep barrier of entry for me and I'm sure other fans now entering through DMC5. The new freestyle mode fixes that for me and will make my future replays far smoother going from DMC4/DMC5 back to DMC3! Cannot wait to challenge Virgil with this new improved control!!
Supports Japanese language but does it have English subs anyone know?
Rather just play DMC5 again. Use the $20 for GamePass. This thing looks ancient!
Yeah I gonna double dip on this. Awesome game! Still not played DMC5 though. I am just not buying games for PS4 anymore as I find myself not playing them. Portability is what suits my gaming needs. Can't remember the last time I played a video game on my TV.
@JayJ I wasn't aggressive, that wall of text was though. I didn't read it all, still a better story than 'Twilight' though.
I am buying this right now!
One of my buddies from Culinary School used to play this all the time at his apartment. The little I played was pretty damn good. Pricing is a little ridiculous, as is now standard with Switch ports of Capcom games.
Might as well download this one; looks delightful. I only recall playing the first game and Devil Trigger very briefly.
So now that the entirety of the original trilogy is available on the Switch, any plans for a physical cart release of the Devil May Cry HD Collection like on other systems?
@Narrator1 The Devil May Cry: Triple Pack for Switch is already available at Play-Asia which is a collection of all three DMC games but will feature only the first DMC on cartridge whereas both DMC2 & 3 will be available through download code. You can get the whole collection for $50 at Play-Asia which if you add in the cost of shipping will be almost as much as if you bought all three on the eShop anyways.
@Lordplops Now you are simply being passive aggressive.
3 is not the magic number as it hasnt got a physical release
@JayJ better than being simple
Can anyone help this DMC NOOB? About the only thing I know about this game/series is that they say it inspired/plays like one of my all-time favorites--Bayonetta. True for DMC 3?
DMC 3 was the first game in the series that really defined what it means to be a DMC game as we know the series today.
So what you are saying is indeed true.
If you liked Bayonetta, there is a high chance you will also like at least DMC 3, 4 and 5.
@PhilKenSebben is this good to play on Switch. Good for beginners? And also to start with?
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