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Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: M

If you’re a fan of character action games, then I suppose there’s a good chance you’ve played through Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition on one platform or another. Originally released in 2005 for the PS2, and then subsequently ported to later platforms by way of “HD” releases, it’s one of the most well-regarded games in the genre, and for good reason. The combat system is a blast, the boss battles are tough but fair, and the story/cutscenes are some of the best in the series. Despite its age, this Nintendo Switch release for Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition proves that the game can still stand the test of time, and makes for a pretty darn good portable game to boot.

This version of the game comes with all the bells and whistles that the Special Edition already had. Namely, an unlockable, playable version of Vergil, the challenging Bloody Palace mode, a reworked difficulty, the less tedious “Gold” option for more lenient checkpoints/continues, and turbo mode to increase the overall speed of the game. However, the Switch version has a couple of new additions as well, the most notable of which is “Freestyle Mode”. This mode will allow Dante to easily switch between styles and weapons at any point, instead of waiting for the mission select screen or finding a Divinity Statue in a stage. This really, really opens up your combat options quite a bit, and brings Devil May Cry 3 SE into a more modern age, making the combat system even more comparable to modern entries like Devil May Cry 5.

The other bonus feature here is also cool, even if it’s not something that I made much use of, which is a local co-op option for the Bloody Palace mode. Now you can join up with a buddy and take this mode on with both Dante and Vergil, which is something that I know fans have been clamoring to do for a while.

As far as how the game runs on the Switch, I had zero performance issues when docked, in handheld mode, or on the Switch Lite. I honestly wasn’t sure how much I’d dig playing the game in handheld mode, considering it does require you to be a bit more on the ball with the controls than other games. But ultimately it ended up being my preferred way to play the game, and I found that the shorter mission structure of the game actually made it pretty ideal for portable play.

You could certainly argue that not every aspect of Devil May Cry 3 SE has aged well. The camera can get a bit wonky, using a fixed camera angle that switches positions relative to Dante’s location on the screen. It’s certainly not insurmountable and doesn’t get in the way of the combat too much, but can be a little frustrating when trying to land a precarious jump or two. Also, the enemy placement doesn’t always lend itself well to the combo system in the game. Part of this might just be me being rusty, but trying to maintain a high style level can be a little tough in different rooms, tougher than I remember, just because the enemies are either sparse and spread out, or require you to wait/trigger a weakness to occur. I feel like the later games in the Devil May Cry series actually handle regular enemy encounters a bit better, but all of the boss fights are still excellent here.


But really, both of those complaints are relatively minor overall, and Devil May Cry 3 SE on Switch is another excellent release of a classic title for the platform. If you’ve ever been curious about the game, or you’re already a big fan, then I’d highly suggest checking out this fantastic port.

Note: Capcom provided us with a Devil May Cry 3 SE Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-