Video game history is rife with poorly conceived spin-off characters. Kingdom Hearts has Roxas. The Zelda series has Tingle. And Metal Gear Solid, well... can anyone really wipe away the scar which came from taking control of Raiden for the very first time?
Hope for future spin-offs comes in the form of Nero thanks to the fine and talented group at Capcom. Their Devil May Cry 4 is an imperfect masterpiece, with fresh new gameplay mechanics, challenging boss fights and jaw-dropping cutscene choreography standing in counterpoint to the game's overall "more of the same" mentality and soul-crushing repetition. The (most likely intended) side effect of these seemingly at-odds elements is one of the most accessible Devil May Cry efforts to date. If not for that previously mentioned story-serving focus on repetition - in environments, enemies and even bosses - the new game could even be seen as approaching "perfect." Alas, it is not to be; in Devil May Cry 4 we are instead stuck with a great game which falls just short of realizing its full potential.
Review by Adam Rosenberg.