Review

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition Review

  • First Released Feb 5, 2008
    released
  • PS4
  • PC
  • XONE

The devil you know.

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Devil May Cry 4 is excessive by design, from the mammoth swords to the boss battles rooted in elegant mayhem. The action can feel like a firework show that spurns a nuanced routine for a non-stop, thirty-minute finale, and there's a certain charm to this bravado. But the excessiveness takes away just as much as it gives. The structure of the extended campaign works against its own momentum, forcing you to retread recently explored locations and battle all-too-familiar enemies over and over again. While this Special Edition provides slight combat tweaks and additional characters to toy with, there's just not enough mechanical or architectural variation to justify the fluff. As a result, the endless combat rooms and recycled scenarios can be exhausting.

The re-progression is thematically justified by a character swap, giving you at least some reason to remain engaged during this slog. You spend the majority of Devil May Cry 4 with Nero, a silver-haired, sardonic punk whose emotions swing from caustic rage to lovesick sweetness at the drop of a sword. He's a suitable protagonist for the series, with enough emotional intrigue to carry the early portions of the story, but the eventual shift to Dante is welcomed. Collecting new weapons and experimenting with his unique combat stances spices up the action, and his comically blasé attitude toward towering demons hurling fire, ice, and everything in between adds an additional layer of absurdity to this ballet of angels and demons. It's just a shame that Dante is left with so little meat to pick off the bone, being relegated to retracing Nero's steps.

The Devil Bringer can transform even the toughest of foes into pretty blue explosions of light.
The Devil Bringer can transform even the toughest of foes into pretty blue explosions of light.

The most significant change introduced by the Special Edition is the inclusion of three additional characters: Lady, Trish, and Vergil. The fresh cast is playable from the start, and thankfully, each member provides a much-needed layer of combat variation absent from the original release. Lady’s proclivity for projectiles punches up your offense at range, allowing you to more easily dust airborne foes and wipe out large groups with a single, charged missile. Trish and Vergil aren’t as unorthodox in their play styles, but both benefit from swift hypersonic attacks that help you smoothly transition from demon to demon. Vergil, especially, can quickly jump from place to place and easily build upon a string of combos without having to waste time walking to a new target.

Devil May Cry 4 is deeply flawed, but the new 1080p, 60 frames-per-second wrapping provided by the Special Edition does well to modernize the aesthetic while maintaining the series' blistering speed. The action rarely skips a beat--even when a sea of enemies floods the screen--and while you might not mistake it for a brand-new 2015 release, the characters and environments just look cleaner. The uproariously extravagant cutscenes, where you'll find Dante and Nero elegantly sliding under deadly projectiles or bouncing away from massive demons with aplomb, benefit the most from the improved visual fidelity.

No Caption Provided
Nero is like a younger, moodier version of Dante.
Nero is like a younger, moodier version of Dante.

But like a stubborn wine stain, the repetition so deeply rooted in Devil May Cry 4's fabric can't be easily washed out. The additional characters replace Nero and Dante in the same scenarios, so you're still playing through identical missions you're likely already tired of. Starting the game over with a different character only highlights the lack of unique locations, so once the initial wonder of Vergil's lightning-quick technique and Lady's devastating grenade launcher wears off, there's not much left to enjoy. You can avoid replaying the main missions by instead testing out each character’s abilities in the Bloody Palace, which is a series of combat challenges where the deeper you descend, the more difficult the enemies become. However, Devil May Cry 4 can already feel like a combat gauntlet, so stripping out the story, puzzles, and exploration doesn't do it any favors. It’s nice to have more options, but the Special Edition's prevailing new features are hampered by the nature of its main adventure.

The series of events is both interesting and challenging the first time around, at least--even if they're weighed down by too many back-to-back combat sequences. Nero's combo-driven sword-play is bolstered by his pistols and wonderfully versatile Devil Bringer--a demonic arm that acts as both a quick means of transportation and a powerful melee option. Beyond its practical use, the Devil Bringer gives you greater opportunity to increase your style gauge and extend combos to great lengths. By diversifying your attacks, you can earn more points and, most importantly, complete a combat scenario in the most surgical, exciting ways possible.

Like a stubborn wine stain, the repetition so deeply rooted in Devil May Cry 4's fabric can't be easily washed out.

You can grab, pull, and pound enemies into the dirt through Nero's glowing grip, but the manner by which this arm translates to platforming and puzzle solving is more frustrating than fun. Devil May Cry 4 provides very limited camera control, and shifting perspectives often obfuscate your view as you use your arm to grapple from point to point. It can be difficult to determine your position, let alone time a jump or push certain objects to unlock doors with such a restrictive, jarring point of view.

If you're a seasoned demon hunter, the Special Edition does provide a new, punishing difficulty called Legendary Dark Knight Mode. Here, a greater number and variety of enemies spawn at any given time--creating more opportunities to string together stylish combos, but a higher probability of becoming overwhelmed. Thankfully, the points and skills accrued over time carry over, so some of the difficulty's edge can be dulled by tackling this hellish challenge on a second playthrough. However, no matter how skilled you become, the boss battles here can be ruthless, so even fully decked-out characters can fall after a few mistimed dodges.

The boss battles are beautiful, but sadly, you’ll have to see each of them three times.
The boss battles are beautiful, but sadly, you’ll have to see each of them three times.

The visual improvements and additional characters layered atop the Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition can't conceal its bloated structure. This is, without a doubt, the best this stylish action romp has looked and felt, but just because you can gussy up an old game, doesn't always mean that you should. If you're dying to see how Vergil fares against the Order of the Sword or feel the need to test the extreme difficulty, take the leap. Just be warned that some aspects of the game would have been better left in the past.

Back To Top
The Good
Impressive visual improvements modernize the look
New characters provide plenty of interesting weapons and skills
The Bad
Backtracking recycles environments and kills momentum
Platforming is hampered by imprecise camera
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Devil May Cry 4

About the Author

Josiah Renaudin has spent his fair share of time slicing and dicing demons as Dante. For the purposes of this review, he completed the campaign, tested each difficulty, and experimented with each additional characters’ special abilities.
312 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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GunEye

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Edited By GunEye

B.S Review. If you check the Steam Reviews they are nearly entirely positive. Everyone are happy about visuals, the performance, gameplay and new characters. No reason in hell why DMC4 SE will get lower review than DMC4 itself.

For all those that think DMC4 aged poorly, you are sourly mistaken. Gamers play this game today (DMC4 original) and still enjoy its visuals and outstanding DX10 performance of 120fps.
The game was mind-blowing at the time, ran silky smooth even at modest hardware, and easily looked better than every single AAA game. Even in today's standards it still looks better than many 2014-15 games. Visually a lot more appealing than DmC.

I think they writer just doesn't like or understand Devil May Cry at all.

The only real bug right now in DMC is framecap resetting to 60fps, but that can be easily remedied by toggling refresh rate and allowing up to 120FPS unlocked - Take that Batman Arkham kNOT!

Nero haters gonna hate. From what I read and hear this is an excellent day-1 release. PC Optimized, sleek graphics, 3 new characters. This party's getting crazy, let's rock!

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vvulturas

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@GunEye: The great thing about reviews, is that their based on the reviewer's opinion. All in all, 6 is not a terrible score.

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Bagshot

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Edited By Bagshot

@GunEye: 120fps? Does anyone really give a hoot? Hey, why not 300fps or, I know, lets make it 1000fps for the sheer hell of it. Only then will I enjoy this game!

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Stebsis

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@Bagshot: People with monitors with refresh rate higher than 60 care, if it's capped to 60fps it can cause tearing which is not good and vsync isn't always a good thing to use.

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GunEye

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Edited By GunEye

@Bagshot: Ignorant.

First off, 120 fps does matter, a lot.

I can personally vouch that the differences between 30fps, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 120, 144fps are very noticeable and apparent to the naked eye, especially while playing fast pace games like Devil May Cry.

Playing DmC at 144fps with a 144hz monitor - is downright magical, playing DMC4 at 120fps is super fantastic as well.

Even the difference between steady 60 and steady 70 is very significant. I experienced it a lot myself. Google it, study this if you still think fps doesn't affect gameplay. Sure it's not the only thing that matters - but for high end hardcore gamers that investing a lot of their hard earned cash - allowing the user to play at 120fps or 144fps is very important.

Even if it was locked at 60fps - it would still be better than Batman AK, that's locked to 30 (even if you remove the fps cap, a 980 SLI would have 20-30 fps drops).

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Thanatos2k

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@GunEye: "First off, 120 fps does matter, a lot."

lol, no it doesn't. Anything higher than 60 is neglible.

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GunEye

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Edited By GunEye

@Thanatos2k: lol you are so wrong it's funny!!

You actually still believe this nonesense, dont you? 60 fps is awesome, but play at 120 and 144 and your experience will be amazing!

Even 70 and 80s will make you never wanting to go back to good old 60s.

Do your research before you say such ignorant things.

I can tell you first hand that playing hours with a g-sync 144hz monitor: higher than 60 = greatness. 100 and higher is pure magic.

I play DmC at 144 and it's smoking hot and super reponsive.

I can play Bloodborne at 30 and enjoy it, Metal Gear at 60, The Witcher 3 on 70-80 and DAI on 144 fps. Each is playable, but with proper hardware higher IS better, simple as that.

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Thanatos2k

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@GunEye: "You actually still believe this nonesense, dont you? 60 fps is awesome, but play at 120 and 144 and your experience will be amazing!

Even 70 and 80s will make you never wanting to go back to good old 60s"

It's crazy you actually believe this.

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GunEye

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@Thanatos2k:
lol, ok I give up. Not going to try and convince you further, ye of little faith.
You will just have to see it to believe it, or not, you call.

Either that.. or you are just trolling bad. ;)

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Bagshot

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Edited By Bagshot

@GunEye: Ignorant? No, not really. Well, maybe. A little. FPS is important to me as well, you know. But I don't really care about it that much. 60fps is perfectly fine for me. In fact, I'm happy with 30fps as long as it's locked. There's nothing worse than fluctuating frame rates.

But you can be in danger of chasing that ever higher frame rate. To a point where it becomes an obsession. Higher and higher, that's all that matters. I think sometimes it's wise to just step back and appreciate the game for it is, not because of it's insanely high refresh rate.

But yeah, whatever floats your boat. It's your choice.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@GunEye: How's the pay over there at Capcom?

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GunEye

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Edited By GunEye

@Mogan: A lot. Millions really. Just replying you I received a truck load of cash.

Are you serious?

It's a great game with faults, just like any other game, it deserves much higher a rating.

Devil May Cry 4 was one of the most memorable, fun games I have ever played. I cherished every moment of it. Still waiting since 2008 for DMC 5 to continue were Nero's story left out.

I think 25$ is decent, but I would have priced it at 20$ with a discounted offer for original owners of DMC4 in Steam. They didn't because they are Capcom, and they are known to be money hogs (SEE: DRAGONS DOGMA HORRIBLE DLC/EXPANSION PRICING).

The cons remain the same: repeating levels and bosses. Not long enough.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@GunEye: "It's a great game with faults, just like any other game"

Or it's a mediocre game with faults, just like any other mediocre game.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@GunEye said: Are you serious?

Are YOU? You're flipping out because a reviewer didn't think your very favorite game was as good as you do.

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s2i2p2i2o

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@GunEye: I love how negative is "repeating levels and bosses" and yet the game is STILL to short according to you :P

I know what you mean, but it still sound funny. I thought the repetition of levels ruined the game for me, and the third time you fought the bosses it just felt like suuuuch shit. Which is sad, becase it's SUCH a good game in all other aspects!

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TxuZai

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Sucked when it came out years ago and sucks even more today.

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Ripper_TV

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Edited By Ripper_TV

Should be a 2/10 really. NOTHING new, no option to upgrade for previous buyers and on top of that freaking DLCs. Punish Capcom.

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simonbelmont2

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DMC4 got a 7/10 from Eurogamer when it came out eight years ago, IGN's review of this remaster is a 7.5/10. Gamespot's 6/10 score isn't as outlandish or surprising as it seems imo.

All the reviews I mentioned talk about the same flaws with the game including the backtracking.

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deactivated-5c9cbf62c19be

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7 to save face gamespot!

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hoyholyhoy

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> Is technically better in every way from the original

> Gets lower score

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RSM-HQ

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@hoyholyhoy: Bayonetta happened.

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stage4saiyan

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@hoyholyhoy: >7 year old game that aged poorly deserves a good score

FFX HD got a good score because it aged well, and Square actually added new shit worth a damn. Capcom just copy-pasted DmC Vergil and called it a day.

>>>/v/

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gokartmozart89

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@hoyholyhoy: The original would get a lower score by today's standards too. Our expectations and standards for action games have changed since 2008. They had the chance to rework some of the issues from the original, but they didn't. Adding new characters doesn't fix the issues that were already present. The game mechanics simply haven't aged all that well.

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AndreasRufus

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Edited By AndreasRufus

@gokartmozart89: I'd like to hear something like that at other reviews. For example the bad ones from Resident Evil Remastered...

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Seven7Swords

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See man when I first played this game on Xbox 360 I was like "WTF? I played this game twice before the credits rolled?" See I was really hoping they would re designed some of the boss fights for Dante. I would have thought with this HD remaster they could adjust the scenarios Dante encounters when meeting some of the bosses. For example making the plant boss suspended by vines in the air during his encounter or something. But nope, its still Back Track may Cry 4. First thing I did when I beat this game was hop on PS2 and play DMC3. I played as Trish and Virgil in other games. I can justify a purchase just for Lady. Maybe when it's $10. They should of remasted DMC 1 or 3 instead of this.

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unknown-racer

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Games like this with high price tag get bad score saying the price doesn't justify the 59.99 price should be lower and it'll be a great game. But when a game like this come out with low price of 24.99 they still complain all kinds of excuses to get it a bad score. I feel sorry for this game which I think is a great buy I love the legendary Dark Knight mode.

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Gen007

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@unknown-racer: Having a lower price point doesn't make the game any better and honestly you can get the original DMC4 for a few buks at most so $25 is actually steep for a mediocre game that came out in 2008 and hasn't really changed since.

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simonbelmont2

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@unknown-racer: To be fair I don't think the reviewer even mentioned the price, he didn't seem to consider it a problem.

The game is kind of a relic and a bit outdated in some ways, a few reviewers picked up on this when the game first came out. By today's standards it seems even more date compared to more modern hack n' slash titles.

This remaster adds new characters but doesn't fix any of the old problems.

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CougarTwelve

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@unknown-racer: This is GameSpot you are talking about.

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HarlemStruggle

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Edited By HarlemStruggle

more like Fans May Cry. bunch of babies.

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RSM-HQ

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@harlemstruggle: I'm a huge DMC fan and don't care what-so-ever. Part 4 wasn't ever the pinnacle of the series.

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zeca04

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Let's be honest. That backtracking in dmc 4 is horrendous. I liked the game, beated in dante must die even. But it is a pain to face the bosses over and over and over again.

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simonbelmont2

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Edited By simonbelmont2

@zeca04: I agree.

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Suikogaiden

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Seems like there is more 360 games on X1 than X1 games.

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Jumpchump

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@Suikogaiden: +1 I noticed this as well.

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TarkatanWarrior

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Edited By TarkatanWarrior

I don't understand the shade being thrown at the review.

It's a re-release that doesn't give you NEARLY enough new content to warrant a re-release.

DMC 4 was already tied for worst of the four originals (I refuse to say it was better than 2) so if you're going to re-release it it better have some damn worthwhile updates.

This version didn't. So 6 is completely reasonable.

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Gen007

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@TarkatanWarrior: lol no way dmc4 is tied with 2. 2 is so bad it's like it dosen't even exist to most dmc fans. DMC4 is is heavily flawed like the review mentioned but the combat was actually fun and the first half odfthe game is quite good but once that backtracking kicks in it just ruins everything. DMC2 on the other hand has no redeeming qualities though.

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TarkatanWarrior

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@Dawg9000: The fact that you got so emotional over someone's thoughts on a video game proves to me that you're a lame person.

Enjoy your ban QT.

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Dawg9000

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@TarkatanWarrior Did you really post on my wall? Haha, I'm definitely pissed off that you're retarded enough to think DMC 2 is comparable to any other DMC game. "TarkatanWarrior rated Call of Duty: Ghosts a score of 10."

Yea, your wall definitely shows proof of your retardation. Have a nice day fellow MK fan.

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TarkatanWarrior

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@Dawg9000: Why would anyone's opinion on a video game make you pissed? lmfaoooooo what a mark.

DMC 4 is trash. Sorry if you like back-tracking, sloppy-at-best character design, and a forgettable story.

looool Ghosts was garbage, nice try.

Seriously though you ADMITTED to getting mad about someone's opinion of an aging video game on the internet. That's a loss on your part. Take your L. You're dismissed little guy.

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Dawg9000

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@TarkatanWarrior: Learn sarcasm friend. It'll help you not look as retarded as you really are. Ghosts IS garbage, by the way. All I'm saying is the truth, DMC4 is better than DMC2. Go back to playing Call of Duty buddy.

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Fandango_Letho

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Let's get the guy who doesn't like DMC to review it. You know, the one who calls it an already deeply flawed game. I mean, I'm totally positive he is the targeted audience, right?

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deactivated-5b19214ec908b

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@Fandango_Letho: So only people who like a game should be allowed to review it?

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Fandango_Letho

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@toast_burner said:

@Fandango_Letho: So only people who like a game should be allowed to review it?

On a gaming website, you usually try to write review designed to a target audience. GameSpot almost feels like a personal blog nowadays, with reviewers just spouting out their opinions without any objective facts.

'' Meh I don't like this because whatever. It's not fun. '' 7 out of 10.

I mean, how do you judge the fun level of something and brand it as a fact?

Why isn't it more like :

'' Although the feature is present and should please most of the series' fans, I didn't really enjoy that aspect because of this and that ''.

See the difference?

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simonbelmont2

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@Fandango_Letho:

I think most of the criticisms mentioned in the review are valid: reviewers mentioned the same flaws back when the game first came out, some players also acknowledged those flaws.

The reviewer didn't say anything about his opinion being fact, he takes it for granted that the reader is savvy enough to understand that it's just one reviewers opinion.

The review is tailored towards anyone who may be interested in the game, it is important to point out how dated the game is in some ways: hardcore fans may overlook those flaws but newcomers should be aware of them.

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AsKo25

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@Fandango_Letho:
"If you're dying to see how Vergil fares against the Order of the Sword or feel the need to test the extreme difficulty, take the leap. Just be warned that some aspects of the game would have been better left in the past."

He says you should BUY it if you're already a fan! Sure, he doesn't like it, but he acknowledges that it's the best version of the game. i'd say this is a pretty fair judgment of the rerelease.

I'll probably end up getting this, I really enjoyed the combat in DMC4 and it'll be fun to play it with new characters.

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JustPlainLucas

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@Fandango_Letho said:
@toast_burner said:

@Fandango_Letho: So only people who like a game should be allowed to review it?

On a gaming website, you usually try to write review designed to a target audience. GameSpot almost feels like a personal blog nowadays, with reviewers just spouting out their opinions without any objective facts.

'' Meh I don't like this because whatever. It's not fun. '' 7 out of 10.

I mean, how do you judge the fun level of something and brand it as a fact?

Why isn't it more like :

'' Although the feature is present and should please most of the series' fans, I didn't really enjoy that aspect because of this and that ''.

See the difference?

Whoa there... your first mistake is thinking that anyone passes a review off as fact. You do understand that a review is subjective in nature, right?

Secondly you're equating a 7 out of 10 as not fun. No, just because a game gets a 7 - or even a 6 - doesn't mean the game is trash. It means it's a good game (or in the case of a 6 above average). People like you really need to stop jumping down reviewers' throats. They don't write to appease you, nor should they ever, because that's not what's it about. Reviews are reviews, not promotional material or every damn game would be given 8s, 9s and 10s because only people who really like the game(s) would be reviewing them.

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@Fandango_Letho said:
@toast_burner said:

@Fandango_Letho: So only people who like a game should be allowed to review it?

On a gaming website, you usually try to write review designed to a target audience. GameSpot almost feels like a personal blog nowadays, with reviewers just spouting out their opinions without any objective facts.

'' Meh I don't like this because whatever. It's not fun. '' 7 out of 10.

I mean, how do you judge the fun level of something and brand it as a fact?

Why isn't it more like :

'' Although the feature is present and should please most of the series' fans, I didn't really enjoy that aspect because of this and that ''.

See the difference?

You're missing my point. Even shit still has fans. So why should a review always be targeted towards those who already know they like the game? If you know you like the game why are you even reading a review for it?

Devil May Cry 4 More Info

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  • First Released Feb 5, 2008
    released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • + 3 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Devil May Cry 4 is the fourth installment in Capcom's demon-hunting series, but this time it stars a new character, Nero, and his powerful demonic arm.
    8.6
    Average Rating16867 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Capcom
    Genre(s):
    Action, Adventure
    Theme(s):
    Fantasy
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence