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Devil May Cry 3 Switch’s New Features Connect It to Its Contemporaries

devil may cry 3 nintendo switch playtest feature

When it comes to “character action,” you can’t argue against Devil May Cry as the genre’s big cheese. Born from Resident Evil and director Hideki Kamiya’s interest in arcade games and making game controllers bend to his will, DMC was the start of something new. Then, after a major sequel misstep, Hideaki Itsuno took over to clean that mess up and spearhead the third entry. Devil May Cry 3 turned out so well, it can still be considered the best in the series and arguably even the genre by some people to this day. In hindsight though, DMC 3 feels incomplete, and I don’t think it’s just me who feels that way. When Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition landed on the Nintendo Switch, it came with features baked in that effectively retcon Dante’s combat abilities.

This retcon, I figure, is in service to what now feels like a trilogy. It’s a wobbly sort of trilogy, since technically all five Devil May Cry titles are linearly connected. But holistically speaking, Itsuno’s watch over the series feels like a complete vision, both in terms of the story and especially what DMC’s core game philosophy feels like. The only hitch there is that DMC 3 and 4 were both pretty experimental, and it wasn’t until DMC 5 that we got the most polished version of what Itsuno and his teams were creating. So it isn’t a perfect transition, but the effort here is notable and a lot of fun in practice.

devil may cry 3 switch

So what exactly are we talking about here? Throughout the series, Dante has been a jack of several trades, using red orbs and player ingenuity to make stylish combos with swords and guns. Like any good video game hero, his arsenal expands over time, and DMC’s biggest work-in-progress was figuring out how best to manage that. Turns out, the answer was “dump everything out like a giant toybox.” Dante evolved from choosing a loadout, to choosing a style, to just having real-time access to everything. And if you look at DMC 5 combo videos, you’ll understand how important the kitchen sink approach is for Uncle Dante. Nero is the bruiser, Vergil is the nerd, and Dante is the trickster.

So for the Devil May 3 Switch version, Capcom’s team retrofit Dante’s cuhrayzee origin story with the contemporary system. Before, it was the debut of the style systems, but you had to pick one and just have that for the duration of a stage. Now, with a few taps, you can swap styles, swords, and guns in the middle of the action. This gives Dante access to everything he can do (sans red orb purchases), providing a consistency and continuity to Dante as a character.

devil may cry 3 switch

Devil May Cry 3 Switch also introduces a dope co-op feature for the Bloody Palace mode, but that’s more of a nice cherry on top of a classic sundae. The real justification for this release is the swapping mechanics from the more recent games, added in a seamless fashion. The control explanation screen even looks like the PlayStation 2 screens from the original game. It feels like these options were there all along, and after where the series headed to date, that’s the way it should be.

Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is available now for Nintendo Switch.

Lucas White
Lucas writes about video games a lot. Sometimes he plays them. Every now and then he enjoys one. To get on his good side, say nice things about Dragon Quest and Musou. Never mention the Devil May Cry reboot in his presence. Backed Bloodstained on Kickstarter but all his opinions on it are correct regardless.