Spittin’ Game

Devil May Cry 4
Playstation 3

Slicing and shooting Satan’s scarecrow spawn has never been more beautiful or kick-ass, mostly, but DMC4 has a few issues you’ll have to overlook. The camera sucks, of course, and the difficulty level — even on the easiest setting — is guaranteed to infect you with temporary Tourette’s. Both are to be expected from fans of the series, but those same fans will be sad inside when they realize they only get to play as main character Dante for seven of the 20 levels. And the literally crazy storyline (I’m pretty sure that at one point the Pope transforms into a flying demon-robot) and horrible dialogue illustrate just how big the culture gap between us and the Japanese really is. The devil may cry like a bitch, but he could probably come up with better trash-talking lines than “Get lost!” and “Slam dunk!”

Lost Odyssey
Xbox 360

Lost Odyssey, latest from Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, casts you as Kaim, a 1,000-year-old, midriff-baring immortal dude with a penchant for antique jewelry. Take that however you want, I suppose, because the secret behind Kaim’s fabulous fashion sense is never revealed, even after four discs of gaming. That’s right, four discs. Despite the abundance of DVDs, Lost Odyssey is really no longer than a standard RPG these days — about 40 or so gameplay hours. The extra space is needed for approximately five kajillion gorgeous but completely nonsensical cut scenes. Hey, Kaim’s been through a lot in his half millennium on earth, and you get to see (or, in some cases, read about) all of them in what occasionally seems like real time. Fans of classic role-playing games will find plenty to geek out over, including the near infinite strategic possibilities made achievable by an extremely innovative inventory-management/skill-acquisition system, but there’s not much here to convert those opposed to menu-driven, turn-based combat (you know who you are).

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