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Dante’s Inferno – PSP

Dante's InfernoPlatform:  PlayStation Portable

Release Date (NA):  March 1st, 2010

Developer:  Visceral Games

Genre:  Action-Adventure / Hack and Slash

Rating:  5.5 out of 10

 

An updated version of run and gun games from the mid-90’s, Dante’s Inferno is a better than average entry in the hack and slash category.  Following on the heels of the God of War franchise, gameplay is virtually identical.  Hordes of demons, spectres, creatures, monsters, the undead, and fallen gods attempt to thwart our titular character’s descent into Hell in order to locate his deceased lover.  Along the way he meets strange entities such as his mother (who subsequently transforms into some manner of beast and attacks), and other characters loosely interpreted from the actual piece of literature The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.  Virgil even appears in a prominent secondary role as Dante’s ghostly but identifiably angelic guide through the abyss.

Dante's Inferno

Graphically, Dante’s Inferno is mostly impressive, especially the wonderfully detailed background pieces.  Some of Dante’s more menial foes could use more inspiration, but the tougher enemies including bosses and sub bosses are very well done.  Even with all of the movement happening onscreen at times, the PSP handles the game smoothly.  There are a number of dark caverns, firey corridors, chasms of some putrid substance, and bleak expanses to admire, but a couple of my favorites are the walls inlaid with human skeletons and Dante’s imposing scythe, also skeletal in appearance.

Often times multiple enemies will be attacking simultaneously, but the magic instilled in the controls of these hack and slash games is such that one only needs to push buttons within a certain proximity of a foe and the enemy is sent back to Hell…again.  Jumping is handled without too much fuss.  I’m not too certain how well it would translate into a jumping intensive game, but fortunately the majority of Dante’s jumps are perfunctory actions.  Special power moves are available with the energy needed coming from fallen foes and broken objects, also the source of replenishment of Dante himself.  These work well in the context of the game and are almost required against larger adversaries.

Dante's InfernoBoss fights in Dante’s Inferno are generally monumental events with creatures likely to be hundreds of times the size of Dante.  For the most part these battles aren’t based on brute strength alone although there is usually a steady stream of more mediocre revenants to negotiate.  Sometimes the fights require nothing more than good timing of correct button presses, but as the game progresses there is usually a set strategy in place for defeating these massive minions of Hell.  Hardly any of these situations are all that difficult, but they can be tedious and time consuming.

Dante's Inferno

 

Dante's InfernoMonotony can become a semi-serious issue when playing.  The gameplay of Dante’s Inferno, while simple, doesn’t exactly evolve over the course of the game resulting in level after level, enemy after enemy being defeated in the same manner.  Aside from a little bit of wall climbing, ceiling swinging, and maybe 1 or 2 additional tactics it’s the same ol’ swinging of the scythe to take down Hell one ghoul at a time.  A creeping boredom can settle in after too much play.  Dante’s Inferno is likely to fade into the past without fanfare, destined to slip away and land in junky bins at the end of the isle.  It at least deserves a little more respect, if nothing else due to the fantastic artistry within.  This title will be forever eclipsed by God of War, who did it earlier, did it longer, and did it just a little bit better.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist


Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

Email me anytime, about anything: thecubist@nerdbacon.com

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