Well finished playing Devil May Cry 4. Here's a summary of what I thought.
Fun solid combat
Fun over the top stylistic movies
Doesn't use the environment - None of the environment makes any impact on your fighting. You can't for example, pick up things to throw at enemies, or toss them into fire or water. It would have been cool to impale enemies on spikes or maybe boost off the wall similar to Price of Persia. You do get to double jump against the wall but it's not particularly useful in combat, double jumping is more for getting to secret areas.
Movies could have been mini-games or tutorials instead to teach you new abilities and weapons - Like in the Zero punctuation review, I agree that the game is too in love with cut scenes as opposed to gameplay. A lot of the time you'll be sitting there watching the game perform all these cool moves wondering when you'll get a chance to play. A number of cool sequences could have easily been adapted to form a tutorial or sorts or a mini-game to break up the monotony of combat.
Nero's gameplay is bland compared to Dante's gameplay - This is my first Devil May Cry game and I thought DMC4 was pretty fun until I got to control Dante. I then realised althoguh the previous five or six hours with Nero was fun, but it was nothing compared to the possibilities with Dante. Dante has a way larger variety of attack modes and weapons.
Here's what Nero has:
Devil Bringer - A demonic hand that can grab enemies from afar and bring it closer. Also doubles as a heavy attack.
A power-up mode
Some dodging moves
Here's what Dante has:
5 different modes of fighting with a special ability for each mode
3 different guns - This includes a weapon that can transform into several different modes when specific button sequences are pressed
3 different close range weapons
A power-up mode
Dodging moves including the Trickster mode which is all about dodging
Everything that Nero has except for the Devil bringer
I find it very strange that they have so few levels for Dante compared to Nero when Dante is clearly the more fun character to use with way more options available to you. It's even more of a shame they have you fighting in the same levels but in the reverse order.
Way too few levels and repetition of levels and bosses! - DMC 4's few bosses are fun but having to fight through the same levels but in reverse order for Dante painful because they could have done something more intersting. Maybe show an alternate story showing Dante's progress while Nero goes about his business to provide a more complete picture of what else is happening. Considering Dante's versatility it feels as if they had planned something bigger but had to cut back because of budget cuts.
Gun's are useless in the game - This is pretty much a given in the series but I was surprised just how useless they were until they were fully powered up where they then actually became fairly useful.
Lack of variety in music with only one real combat track - There could have at least been 3 or 4 different battle themes considering how much time you spend in combat. Most games have 1 for normal enemies, 1 fast track and 1 boss track.
Lack of game modes - The Bloody palace chalenge and the secret missions are interestingly but that's it really. For AAA title, I expected more. This only compounds the short level issue above. Also why can't you replay secret missions from the main menu instead of having to travel inside the game? That is, once you find them they should be unlocked for you to access in the main menu rather than you having to trudge through a level to refind it.
My final recommendation
Despite my complaints, I did have fun. But don't pay full price, try renting it or picking it up in the bargain bin. I bought it for around NZ$17. I'd say its worth around $15. Just don't be fooled into thinking its great.