Guild's Dante's Inferno PSP Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Guild McCommunist, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    AHAHAHAHA I MADE A PUN. Anyway, time for my first ever PSP game review, Dante's Inferno! All categories and structure will be similar to my other game reviews, so don't panic. I was gonna put another "hell" pun here, but I couldn't find one.


    Before saying "OH JOLLY GEE THAT GAME LOOKS GREAT FOR THE PSP", lemme say the screenie is actually and early screenshot of the game in development for the PS3/360. Sorry. Anyway, Dante's Inferno loosely follows the epic poem Dante's Inferno, which features Dante (not to be confused with Devil May Cry's Dante) as he goes through the rings of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, avarice, wrath, heresy, violence, fraud, and betrayal) to save his beloved wife, Beatrice, from the devil. Let me say off the bat the PSP version is identical, outside of graphics and DLC, to its PS3 and 360 versions. No segments are cut, no gimmicks, etc. It even shares the same cutscenes, just compressed for the PSP. I think it's a great choice since the game runs very well and feels just like a full console game. Anyway, one of my favorite aspects of Dante's Inferno is just its atmosphere. It's simply amazing. It depicts hell in such a devilish (pardon the pun) way, full of grotesqueness and horror, but all the while still being engrossing. The game also features a great side of its main character, Dante, as even though his quest is noble and selfless, you'll learn that Dante is far from innocent. He'll be haunted by his past as a crusader, all his atrocities and wrongs, that ended up getting himself and Beatrice in this horrible place. It's a great story that's presented terrifically, through animated movie cutscenes and animated "cartoon-ish" cutscenes, both of which are great and dynamic. If you dig the medieval, Crusades-period history and atmosphere, you'll more than dig Dante's Inferno.

    Gameplay wise, I actually prefer this game over Chains of Olympus, its comparable God of War PSP counterpart. Many critics have labeled Inferno as a "God of War clone" and they're pretty true with that. It's still a combat-heavy game with jerk-reflexes finishing moves and some platforming and puzzle solving. Still, God of War in itself is an amazing series and having a good clone of it isn't a bad thing. And while it works and feels like God of War, it has its differences, namely involving a whole "good and bad" system. Since one of the main themes in Inferno is good and evil, its been worked into the game by a system of unholy and holy things. For starters, upgrades are divided into two categories: Unholy and Holy. Unholy levels and powers increase your melee damage and teach you new melee and damage-based attacks. Holy levels and powers increase mainly your more passive combat abilities as well as the power of your sole ranged weapon, Beatrice's Cross (which you'll get very early in the game). I'm not sure if it was just me, but I feel like this lacked a real "balance" between the two, which is kinda a downer. Think about Star Wars: KOTOR and its "light and dark side" system. Depending on your actions, you'll sway your allegiance towards to the Light or Dark side of the Force. You can't get an equal balance of the two that really works. It's one or the the other. Here, you can do both, punishing or absolving whenever you feel like it. Still, it's a nice way to branch out upgrades. The other change is the "Punish or Absolve" system of finishing moves. Most enemies can be finished in the brutal, God of War styled finishing moves, which require quick button pressing actions. However, you can choose to other punish them or absolve them. Punishing them increases Unholy power, absolving increases holy power. Each are different from another. You can also punish or absolve some souls found in hell. It's a nice system that works well and makes it a little different. As for the non-unique aspects, it pulls it off very well. Combat is fluent, controls are responsive, and it's as brutal as ever. I also found that there's more platforming and puzzle solving here than Chains of Olympus, but that's just me. The one big annoyance I had though was the overuse of rapid button pressing commands. They're used, a lot. Want to finish a bad guy? Press O rapidly! Want to open a door? Press O rapidly! Want to get goods from a statue (the game's substitute for chests)? Press O rapidly! Again and again and again! Ugh. There's also quite a bit or repetition. A lot of the enemies are recycled from level to level, and area exclusive (like monsters that only exist in the Lust area or whatever) are few. It's also still the "hack and slash, platform a bit, puzzle a bit, repeat" formula. While it may be a "clone", it still works incredibly well.

    Graphics and audio wise, both are strong for this game. The graphics are, yes, dumbed down from its original version, but its original version looked great and was on HD consoles. For a port to a non-HD, and relatively limited (when compared to the original system) console, it's a good job. It runs are consistent, high framerate and it still features a lot of good effects, animations, models, and environments. It also keeps the original cutscenes from the game, just compresses them (and those look fine). It's one of the better looking PSP games, although I wouldn't say it goes up with the cream of the crop (aka God of War and Assassin's Creed). The game's soundtrack I found absolutely perfect for the setting. It's suspenseful, encompassing, dark, and incredibly satisfying for the hell of Dante's Inferno. It also features great sound effects and a strong voice cast. Definitely big pluses.

    Overall, Dante's Inferno isn't a game to be missed. You may pawn it off as a God of War clone, which it is, but it's still a great clone that makes up for its unoriginality with a spectacular atmosphere and setting. Fans of action and brutal combat should look no further.

    Presentation: While it lacks originality in the gameplay, it gets a great atmosphere through rich interpretations of hell, a strong, dark, anti-hero-type character, and a thoroughly absorbing world. 9.5/10

    Graphics: It's a very good port, graphics wise, from its console big bros. Consistent, high framerate complimented by strong environments and models. Cutscenes from the original console versions are kept as well and still look good. 8.5/10

    Audio: A perfect soundtrack. A nice, grand orchestra brings the dark world of hell to life in your ears. Great sound effects and a good voice cast also help. 9/10

    Gameplay: It's a God of War clone, but that's not a bad thing. Silky smooth, brutal combat meets great controls. However, constant rapid button pressing commands and repetitive nature of the game are quite the drag. 8/10

    Lasting Appeal: Multiple difficulties and some collectible items give reason to come back. The main quest is of decent length, but nothing hugely expansive and time-consuming. 8/10

    Overall: 8.8/10
  2. DeltaBurnt

    DeltaBurnt I'm bored

    Feb 21, 2009
    United States
    Where intellect matters
    I played the demo on my PS3, it instantly reminded me of God of War.
  3. triassic911

    triassic911 Burst Mode

    May 9, 2007
    United States
    NYC, USA
    I like how your reviews are mad short and simple, but to the point. I read what I must to get info on it.

    Good job.
  4. Raika

    Raika uguu

    Sep 15, 2008
    Nice review, after reading this I might actually try this game (I shrugged it off at first for no apparent reason).
  5. Forstride

    Forstride The rudder moves when I turn the wheel

    May 6, 2008
    United States
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I still need to get this game for my 360. The demo was just amazing.

    Back on topic...Nice review as usual, and of course, it's non-biased.
  6. Lubbo

    Lubbo GBAtemp Veteran Resurgence

    Oct 16, 2008
    played the demo on PS3 and was bitterly dissapointed... doubt ill try this out
  7. Overlord Nadrian

    Overlord Nadrian Banned

    Jul 28, 2008
    Why? It seems like a great game to me, what didn't you like about it?
  8. Langin

    Langin HI! ^O^

    Jul 29, 2008
    The Hague
    I remember the 360 version that one whas great!
  9. justinwright

    justinwright Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    United States
    thanks for the review, i wanted to know if i should buy this,

    well now i know =)