Devil May Cry 4 Refrain Review
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Devil May Cry 4 Refrain Review

Our Review by Chris Hall on February 16th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: VERY NICE
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As good as the console Devil May Cry games are, I was really hoping for a small screen rock star. Needless to say, Refrain didn't quite make it to 11.

Developer: CAPCOM
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01.00

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

It's very hard to play a game like Devil May Cry 4 Refrain and not want to compare it to its console brethren. Never once did I hope that the iPhone version would match the consoles depth or quality, but I definitely went in hoping for some small screen magic. What I really wanted was a solid but unspectacular story, a bunch of cool moves and combos to work with, and graphics that would put others to shame. If anything, I went in hoping most for a graphics experience that would rival Infinity Blade. Sure, it was a lot to ask, but this is Devil May Cry.

What I got was definitely a Devil May Cry experience, but it was definitely not the disruptive experience that I was hoping for. The story, for anyone who follows Devil May Cry, follows Nero on a slightly confusing quest plopped onto an even more confusing backstory. If you haven't played any of the Devil May Cry stories in the past you'll have absolutely no idea what is going on, and CAPCOM really doesn't bother to fill in the pieces for the mobile crowd.

Aside from the story, the graphics are really what will suck in most gamers. Like the console version, Devil May Cry Refrain give you a 3D isometric view, and a control system that is based on a simple joystick with a few bottons on the side. I'm not sure whether it's the view or the progressive nature of the movement, but the textures and depth don't even come close to matching the jaw dropping nature of Infinity Blade. Again, Infinity Blade represents the very best of what the iPhone can do graphically, but I have to imagine that the CAPCOM operating budget could support a AAA iPhone title. To be clear, the graphics are good by anyone's standards, but they aren't magical.

The best part of the game, as far as I can tell, is the combat system. As stated earlier, the joystick/button system works extremely well here. The buttons are all large enough to pull off intricate combos, and the joystick is as easy to use as any of the Gameloft adventure greats. Related to the combat system but not directly related to the controls, the attack system itself is a bit repetitive and forces you to lean towards the same 2-3 attack moves throughout most of the game. I would've like to see more gun/sword moves available early on, but as a whole, and for a mobile game, the attack system works well.

In the end, Devil May Cry 4 Refrain falls more into the good to very good category and less into the holy $#!& realm. The graphics, sound (especially the repetitive hard rock battle track), and controls are all nice, but not unlike the majority of what you see come out the majority of Gameloft's adventure titles. Fans of the Devil May Cry series will definitely be excited to see their favorite characters on the small screen, but others will be confused by the story and underwhelmed by the lack of total awesomeness. CAPCOM obviously bought an amp that didn't go to 11.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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