Devil May Cry 4 refrain Review
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
Age Rating: 12+
CAPCOM crammed most of the highlights from the fourth console iteration of the Devil May Cry series into this tiny — but very functional — iOS edition. Playing as Nero, the game follows DMC4’s storyline through ten levels. Though the moveset you can play with is truncated, the developers kept DMC’s trademark combo-centric feel by auto-unlocking new moves when enough souls are acquired — up to three of which can be equipped per weapon. Coupled with the streamlined controls, Devil May Cry 4 Refrain’s quality is more on par with the iOS’s Street Fighter IV than Dead Rising Mobile, and playing this one made me want to dust off the console version again.
Given the generally complex nature of Devil May Cry’s design, I found it pretty surprising that DMC4R works as well as it does on the iPhone. My biggest fear was the controls, but they’re generally very responsive — I particularly like the way the developers handled powering up Nero’s sword and switching between playstyles with Dante — and racking up combos is still fun in spite of necessary compromises. The engine also runs well, particularly when it come to character animations.
However, even with its streamlined controls, some moves are tough to pull off in the heat of combat, and the wide touch radius on the joystick can sometimes lead to running or aiming in the wrong direction. Navigating the map can also be a little annoying, because the camera is constantly rotating, which can lead to some spatial confusion in conjunction to the already somewhat-obtuse map. Also, while I understand the edits, it’s still a letdown that the boss battles are sadly not up to snuff compared to their ridiculous console counterparts.
A seasoned vet of the series will be able to plow through DMC4R in a few hours or less, but you can also play as Dante through a free update, and there are a number of unlockable and collectible items to obtain. CAPCOM has also said that they plan to add additional game modes in the future.
Is it worth the price of admission? For iOS-packing fans of the series, probably. It’s quite a feat that CAPCOM was able to put together a competent version of DMC4 — let alone one that’s entertaining — without sacrificing either 3D or the right feel, and if you’re a fan of the game there’s a lot of extra goodies to be had. It’s not quite Mirror’s Edge or Dead Space, but if you like DMC, pick it up.