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Devil May Cry - PlayStation 2
the reason this genre term even exists, when it came out it was so different from every other action adventure game that it started an industry term! still holds up surprisingly well, though it feels a lot stiffer than it's older brother 3.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening - PlayStation 2
if you even have a passing interest in this genre, PLAY THIS GAME. DMC3 is one of the best games ever made, let alone just for this niche genre. the special edition is easier and has playable vergil.
Devil May Cry 4 - Xbox 360
Oh, the wasted potential. while it has the most fluid combat of any DMC, the budget being cut halfway through hurt it tremendously. short, light, fairly easy (with nero anyway), a good casual DMC game with depth if you want it.
DMC: Devil May Cry - PlayStation 3
if you like DMC already, don't bother with this. plays closer to god of war than it's namesake series. avoid if you dislike dubstep and bad one liners. get if you like either of those things!
Ninja Gaiden Black - Xbox
the first game, but better. and the first game was awesome. this is the only game that most people consider on par with DMC3. and for good reason.
Ninja Gaiden II - Xbox 360
not as good as black, but it's still great. awkward camera issues abound, so be wary of that.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma - PlayStation 3
Ninja gaiden but easier, has some added content. if you only have a ps3 you'll have to get this anyway.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 - PlayStation 3
see above, but apply to 2
Lollipop Chainsaw - Xbox 360
admittedly, the combat is a little shallow, but the over-the-top silliness and arcade feel definitely make this worth playing. won't last long unless you want to unlock it all.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Xbox 360
like god of war. VERY like god of war. it's better in some places and worse in others, so just consider this a GOW alternative.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - Xbox 360
God of War - PlayStation 2
the biggest character action series in the west. plays slower than a lot of japanese games, with an increased emphasis on puzzle solving. pretty good, but not something you play solely for the fighting.
God of War II - PlayStation 2
see above. best looking PS2 game.
God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation Portable
it's god of war that fits in your pocket.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation Portable
same as above, this one is so graphically intensive that it actually drains your psp battery faster than any other game.
God of War III - PlayStation 3
once again, god of war. it's a very samey series, in all honesty. not that it's a bad thing.
God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3
the most recent entry in the series. I really don't know how many more they can make.
Heavenly Sword - PlayStation 3
god of war clone that's a little jank because ninja theory made it. greatest writing NT have ever done. if DmC's story was on par with this, it wouldn't have been made fun of nearly as much.
Killer is Dead - Xbox 360
combat's shallow, and the game is very dark, visually. gigolo mode's creepy and also kind of boring. still fun to play, since the few moves you have all feel really good.
The Wonderful 101 - Nintendo Wii U
do you like super sentai? now what about character action? want to put them both together with a tiny bit of pikmin mixed in for good measure? then buy this game, already!
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every half decent character action game to come out since the first DMC. in order for a game to qualify, there has to be special moves and/or combo lists, only one playable character, and the main character uses weaponry.
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