Very few video games studios love to rerelease titles from their catalog quite like Capcom. They’ve found success with remasters and remakes of their various series such as Resident Evil and Mega Man to name a few. Now they’ve shifted their focus onto one of their other immensely popular action franchises: Devil May Cry. Following the rereleases of the first two installments in the franchise onto the Nintendo Switch over the last few months, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition joins the fray with easily the best and most stylish version of the game to date.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition serves as a prequel to the series, telling the early days of Dante and his devil hunting adventures. The player joins him as he hacks, slashes, and shoots his way through hordes of demons while also coming into conflict with his twin brother Vergil who pretty much wants to unleash hell on earth. Along the way, he comes across a few very memorable characters. Most notable is series-mainstay, Lady, who is given a very strong motivation to cross paths with the ever-feuding half demon-half human siblings. The story itself is fun and over the top and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought, but that’s part of the charm of Devil May Cry and has been the case since the series launched back in 2001.
If you played Devil May Cry 3 back in 2005 or in one of the handful of collections of the series, then you know what you’re getting for the most part. The action is as intense as ever and runs beautifully on the Switch whether you’re playing in docked or handheld mode. The only noticeable gripe for me with the Switch port would be that given the nature of the fast-paced and often frenetic combat, playing in handheld mode or with a single Joy-Con puts a lot of stress on the joints. After a particularly intense boss fight, I needed to take a break to regain some dexterity in my hands. The game definitely shines best with the use of a Pro Controller or a Joy-Con Comfort Grip. Of course, your mileage may vary on this issue.
There is one addition to this incarnation of Devil May Cry 3 that really makes it worthwhile and that is the inclusion of on-the-fly style switching. During combat, you’ve always had the option to switch between the different combat techniques to vary the skills Dante has at his disposal. This has always been the key to getting high score ratings at the end of each mission. To make this function more seamless and intuitive, at the start of your game you can decide to use the classic method of style switching through pausing and accessing the status menu or the new method for this version of Devil May Cry 3 called Free Style which allows you to style switch at the press of a button without ever having to open a menu. More recent games in the series have adopted this feature and it’s a welcome inclusion and makes the combat feel even more immersive. Free Style mode makes this the quintessential version of Devil May Cry 3 and a must-play if you’re a veteran. Free Style mode also allows newcomers to the series an excellent way to experience the Devil May Cry series if you’re trying to get into the devil hunting business for the first time.
This iteration also sees the return of Devil May Cry 3’s fan-favorite mode Bloody Palace, a wave-based mode where you battle on increasingly difficult floors numbered from 0 to 9999. You’ll find yourself fighting everything from early level grunts that aren’t much of a threat to bosses that you also encountered throughout the story mode. What really sets it apart on the Switch is the inclusion of local cooperative play where one player plays as Dante and the other plays as Vergil. As fun as this mode is, it does have some control issues. The camera can be a bit unruly with two players moving in opposite directions on screen. This may leave you wondering if it would have been better served as an online component as opposed to local. That being said, it is still a fun addition to Devil May Cry 3 and can easily add a handful of extra hours of gameplay.
With Devil May Cry 3 finally making it to the Nintendo Switch, it brings with it the best version we’ve seen of it to date. Capcom kept the best parts of the original release and made improvements and additions that make Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition the must-play version. The handheld and Joy-Con controls may not be ideal for prolonged periods of play or players with difficulty mashing buttons, but you’ll still be treated to one of the best and most stylish action games currently available on the Switch. Whatever your method or style, Devil May Cry 3 is a must-play if you’re already a fan of Capcom’s combo-based action series or if you’re new to the genre.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is available now on Nintendo Switch.
Devil May Cry 3
- Rating - 9/109/10
Devil May Cry 3 is a must-play if you’re already a fan of Capcom’s combo-based action series or if you’re new to the genre. The handheld and Joy-Con controls may not be ideal for prolonged periods of play or players with difficulty mashing buttons, but you’ll still be treated to one of the best and most stylish action games currently available on the Switch.