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Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition is a hack and slash game developed and published by Capcom, released in 2020 for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a prequel to the original Devil May Cry, featuring a younger Dante. Set a decade before the events of the first Devil May Cry in an enchanted tower, Temen-ni-gru, the story centers on the dysfunctional relationship between Dante and his brother Vergil. The Switch introduces a Style Switch which lets the player switch their fighting style on the fly. There is a physical compilation of the first 3 games called the Devil May Cry Triple Pack that was only released in Japan.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Devil May Cry 3 consists of levels in which players battle enemies, carry out platforming tasks and solve puzzles to progress through the story. The player's performance in each mission is graded from D through C, B and A, with top marks of S and SS. Grades are based on time taken to complete a mission, the number of red orbs (currency obtained from defeated enemies) gathered, "stylish" combat, item usage and damage received. The games tracks stylish combat by an on-screen gauge, which is the performance of a series of attacks while avoiding damage. The longer a player attacks without repetition and evades damage, the higher the score. The gauge registers "Dope" after a few attacks, progressing through "Crazy", "Blast", "Alright", "Sweet", "SShowtime" to peak at "SSStylish". If Dante receives damage, the style rating falls; if the gauge is "Crazy" or below, it will reset. Devil May Cry 3's battle system allows a player to link attacks, with each weapon having a set number of attacks.

Devil Trigger is a mechanic which enables the player's character to assume a demonic form. This alters the character's appearance, increases attack and defense, restores health and enables special attacks. This is a departure from the previous titles, where Dante draws power from weapons and items he procures throughout the game. The Devil Trigger state lasts as long as there is energy in the Devil Trigger gauge; the gauge rises by attacking (or taunting) enemies in normal mode, and falls when using the Devil Trigger transformation or other abilities using Devil Trigger power (such as the Quicksilver and Doppelganger styles). The Devil Trigger mode is not available to Dante until one-third of the way through the game, while Vergil has the ability at the outset.

The other major difference from previous Devil May Cry games is Devil May Cry 3's combat system, which allows a player to choose one of Dante's four combat styles; each style has a different focus and techniques. Dante can switch between all four currently equipped weapons (two guns, two melees) on the fly, allowing for far greater combat freedom and variety than in previous Devil May Cry games. Style selection is available at checkpoints and at the beginning of each level. The styles are Trickster, for dodging and agility; Swordmaster, with abilities for swords and other weapons; Gunslinger, with firearms techniques; and Royal Guard, which allows a player to repel attacks with a button press (storing energy for retaliation). Later in the game, two additional styles become unlocked: Quicksilver, slowing enemies, while the character attacks at normal speed; and Doppelgänger, which creates a shadow double who fights alongside Dante. A second player may control the shadow double by pressing "Start" on a second controller. A two-player mode, similar to the Doppelgänger style, is accessible while Dante and Vergil battle Arkham. Vergil has another style, Dark Slayer, which is similar to Trickster.

Plot

Devil May Cry 3 – which takes place before the first game – starts with Dante's yet-unnamed shop in an American metropolis. A mysterious man, Arkham, arrives with an invitation from Dante's brother Vergil in the guise of a demonic attack. After Dante defeats a group of demons, a huge tower erupts from the ground nearby, eclipsing the sprawling city surrounding it. Sensing that Vergil is on top of the structure, Dante interprets this as a challenge. He begins fighting more demons during his journey, some of which become his weapons once defeated. Dante is attacked by a woman on a motorcycle who turns out to be Mary, Arkham's daughter, who wants revenge on her father for causing her mother's death. It's revealed that Arkham works for Vergil; they plan to take Dante's half of their mother's amulet and use its power on the tower to connect the human and demonic worlds.

After a number of battles and an encounter with a being named Jester, Dante reaches the tower's summit and battles Vergil. Vergil defeats Dante by stabbing him with his own sword, Rebellion, steals his amulet and leaves. Dante's blood releases a seal on Rebellion, causing Dante's dormant demonic powers emerge, and he sets out in pursuit. He catches Vergil in a control room in the tower's basement, where Vergil cannot reactivate the tower. The brothers fight again, until they are interrupted by Mary and Jester. Jester reveals himself to be Arkham, who has manipulated them all to reactivate the tower in order to reach the demonic world. There he plans to steal the Force Edge, the dormant form of Sparda's sword with his power, using it to rule a demon-infested Earth. The tower transforms as the spell is broken; Arkham is carried to the summit, and Vergil disappears in the confusion.

Dante battles his way back up the tower, fighting Mary for the right to pursue Arkham. He is victorious, and Mary lends him her most powerful weapon. Reaching the summit, Dante crosses to the demonic world and catches Arkham, who has by now assumed Sparda's demonic form. Overwhelmed by power, Arkham transforms into a blob-like creature and attacks Dante. During their fight, Vergil reappears, and the brothers work together to expel Arkham from the demonic world. Weakened, Arkham lands on the tower where Mary finds him. She renounces her name and calls herself Lady, a nickname given to her by Dante because she refused to tell him her name, before killing him. In the demonic world, Dante and Vergil fight for ownership of the Force Edge and the amulet halves. After Vergil's defeat, he remains as the portal closes, vanishing into the darkness with his half of the amulet.

Dante meets Mary outside the tower. They become friends and begin a partnership as demon-slayers; Dante ends up naming his shop "Devil May Cry". A scene after the credits shows Vergil in the demonic world, weak but determined, as he charges into battle against his father's old foe Mundus.

Reception

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