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January 21, 2013

DmC: A Pre-Discussion


DmC: Devil May Cry is automatically inferior to the other Devil May Cry games, and here’s why: in 2005’s highly-acclaimed, highly-beloved Devil May Cry 3, after defeating a vampiric demoness Dante takes her power as his own, unlocking the Nevan for combat.  Said weapon is a demonic electric guitar that shoots vampire bats and lightning, creates explosive shockwaves with power chords, summons columns of sparks and bats with a fleet-fingered solo, and can shift into a scythe for rapid-swinging combos.  To say nothing of the fact that this is what happens when you first get it.


My brother swears up and down that the Nevan is the worst weapon in the game, but damn it if it’s not the most stylish and crazy -- and in a sense, captures the essence of both DMC3 and the series in general.  The 2013 reboot, DmC, does not.  It doesn’t have that stylish crazy action.  It doesn’t have the trappings of the series, both good and bad.  It doesn’t have the spirit, choosing to substitute its own.

Does that make it inherently bad?  No.  If the game can offer something substantial to latch on to, it doesn’t matter as much (if at all) if it’s something of a sideways evolution; that is, rather than continuing upwards from a certain path, it takes a step to the right and becomes something different.  Potentially, something better.  Something that can prove its merits as a reboot and that the end product has been in competent hands this whole time.  And given reviews, that seems to be the case.  High marks abound across the board; the lowest score I’ve seen is a three out of five. 

So if you’re here expecting me to say “This game is terrible!” then you’re out of luck.  I can’t say it.  I won’t say it.  Saying that means that DmC is objectively awful -- a broken mess of a game that has the risk of melting consoles with incompetence and general badness.  It means that every reviewer who likes the game is wrong.  So no, I won’t say that the game is terrible.

What I can say, however, is that I think the game is terrible.

Well, “terrible” might be a bit too strong of a word.  Maybe “weak” or “disappointing” or “dull” or “pointless” -- hard to say for sure, but I don’t know if I can find a positive word to describe it.  In the same sense that reviewers gave Halo 4 and Borderlands 2 high scores and I think of them both as whirling abysses of chronological parasites, I personally believe that DmC misses the mark.  If this is the end result of the sideways evolution I mentioned earlier, then I would prefer for it do de-evolve.

But don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t a game I dislike because it’s not Devil May Cry (no matter what the wall scroll of DMC3 Dante I have hanging up at this very moment suggests). This is a game I dislike because the very merits it uses to establish itself are the same that make it…well, kind of bad. 


Now, let’s be real here.  I’m trying to contain my rage here, and I’m trying to be as straightforward and focused and controlled as I can be.  Just like with Halo 4, I’m not here to yell and scream and cry.  I could, and I might before all this is over, but I just want you all to know that I gave the game a fair shake.  I want you all to know that I’m maybe a little over halfway through the game, and in one more sitting or so I’ll be done with it.  Will I play it again?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Maybe not; it seems like perfect fodder for a trade-in.  It depends on what happens at the end of the proper Let’s Discuss post --  maybe by the end of it, I’ll find a light of redemption.

But that’s still a few days away.  And in the meantime, I want you all to understand something.  I want you, fair readers, to know where I come from when it comes to Devil May Cry.  I want this post to give you everything you need to know, because I don’t want the Let’s Discuss post to just be wall-to-wall ramblings like “Hey, remember when the old Dante would…?” or “But in the old games, there was…”  No.  I don’t want to do that, at least not frequently, or unless it’s absolutely necessary.  And I don't want to keep harping on points made here or elsewhere -- so you can consider this "a summation of grievances", so to speak.  So let’s get ALL THE BILE out of the way now.  If you want to rage, rage in the comments section below.  If you want to say “hey, I like DmC!” then say so.  But either way, let’s dwell on the past now so we won’t have to get weighed down by it later, all right?  Are we cool? 

Get it?  Got it?  Good.  Okay, now…take a deep breath…and…let’s begin.

Since I didn’t have a PS2 until well into its lifespan (rest in peace), I never got to play the original Devil May Cry outside of a quick demo.  Still, my brother held it in high regard because he’d played the game more thoroughly at a friend’s house.  I remember him explaining to me how you used both a sword and guns to fight demons, and how awesome it looked…of course, given that he spoke in an awed, hushed, and uncharacteristically-optimistic tone (the same kind he would go on to use for Resident Evil 6), I didn’t believe him.  So I didn’t put much stock into the series.  But he did.  Something about that game spoke to him in ways I hadn’t seen before.  In fact, I’d argue he’s more of a fan of the old Dante -- and the games themselves -- than I am.  He loves putting Dante on all his teams in Marvel vs. Capcom 3…though that’s probably because he’s a good fit on plenty of teams, as I understand it.

In any case, he ordered an old copy Devil May Cry 2, and that was my first experience with the series.  Not exactly a good jumping-in point, given that it’s the unloved black sheep of the franchise…but for what it’s worth, I don’t have any major problems with it.  I wouldn’t say it’s a good game -- at all -- but you could do a hell of a lot worse.  Of course, that’s probably because I barely remember a damn thing about it besides unlockable Diesel-brand costumes, spending ten minutes on a boss because I could only circle-strafe and shoot, abusing Dante’s super devil trigger, and the hero riding off into hell at the end of the day.  Acting as an apologist, my brother was quick to note that DMC1 Dante was much funnier, and the original game was definitely a step-up.

You’ll forgive me, then, if I was less-than-excited for DMC3.  My brother, of course, couldn’t stop talking about it (in the same sense that I couldn’t stop talking about Kingdom Hearts 2 once upon a time).  He was convinced that it would be awesome, and while I can’t say his enthusiasm made its way into me by osmosis, I won’t deny that some of the pre-release trailers and cutscenes looked kind of cool, if a little foreign to my pre-stylish crazy indoctrination.  But once the game got into our hands…well, it was good.  Great, even.  It was cool.  It was funny.  It had some surprising emotional depth to it.  But most of all, it had the Nevan.  The game made a fan out of me, to put it simply; hell, for years after its release I would boot up the game just to play through the Vergil fights.  I even wrote a poem about playing the game once, full of references to the Rebellion and its classic move, the Stinger.

So I didn’t mind at all when DMC4 came creeping up -- and even less when I got to try it out.  Now, I know it’s gotten a lot of flak over the years, but…honestly?  I don’t see the issue.  Is it on par with DMC3?  That’s arguable, but even if it isn’t it’s not a bad game.  Is there backtracking?  Yeah.  Not enough bosses?  Yeah, I suppose.  Weaker story, in a game with a supposedly-weak story in general?  It’s been a long time since I’ve touched it, but I can see the issue; Dante gets shelved for an uncomfortable amount of time so newcomer Nero can live out an episode of Bleach.  But it’s fine -- and several YouTube clips suggest that there’s more to latch onto than most people give the game AND the series credit for.  But even with that in mind, what’s important is the gameplay -- and the gameplay, in my eyes, is fantastic.  As good as DMC3; good enough for beginners and combo-lovers alike, with enough time and focus.

So that’s my history with Devil May Cry.  I went from a non-believer to someone who not only respected the franchise, but has mild adoration of it.  It’s not exactly Shakespearian, and it’s not exactly an all-inclusive club, but I don’t think it was ever doing so poorly that it needed a reboot -- especially with so many plot threads, possibilities, and future evolutions that could have come from a direct sequel in DMC5 (though whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate, given Capcom’s current…uh, let’s call it “status”.)


So what’s wrong with DmC?  Is it worthy of the rage it’s garnered?  Well, yes and no.  This is not a game I can recommend in good faith to anyone, and I have to disagree with reviewers on several points.  That said, I think that this game can find an audience and fans (even if I’d disagree with them too), and I don’t think it’s the world-ending awfulness some people would suggest.  It just goes without saying that its biggest failing is that it’s not a real Devil May Cry game.  Not even close.  And sadly, these look like things us gamers will just have to get over; I’m going to go ahead and assume the worst-case scenario, in that DmC will meet its sales goals -- by virtue of publicity, brand recognition, and more than a few coins thrown in its direction -- and Devil May Cry’s sideways evolution will become the only path Capcom wants to pursue.  If that’s the case, then it means that the most important elements we as gamers so value will be lost.  Such as…

1) The awesomeness.
There’s no denying that most of the awe-inspiring moments in the franchise come from the cutscenes -- something that can be seen as a flaw if you’re the type who’s turned off by all the best action happening out of your control.  But for what it’s worth, there are at least a dozen cutscenes that are extremely memorable just because of how bonkers they are.  The Nevan cutscene from the start of this post?  Just one of several examples in that game alone.  And DMC4 takes it up several thousand notches.


This is an element that, in several hours of DmC’s time, has been almost completely missing.  There’s that cringe-inducing sequence where a nude Dante gets dressed in slow-motion -- and while it’s not exactly ideal, it DOES show creativity and willingness to go all out in terms of presentation.  But that’s it.  That’s the most I’ve gotten out of the game, and six months from now will be the cutscene I remember most…well, barring the opening, but I’ll get to that.  What’s important is that in exchange for random acts of madness like karate-chopping a malfunctioning jukebox or holding a rose between his teeth, the most New Dante does in cutscenes is run around, jump, or fall off of things.  It’s not exactly exciting stuff.

I’ll get into this a bit later, but for now let’s talk about…

2) The levity.
I have a confession to make.  I didn’t play as much of DMC4 as I could have, because I preferred playing as Dante instead of Nero.  That was probably because I played on my bro’s file, and he had a weird button configuration to maximize Nero’s damage potential and combo ability, but I just liked Dante more than Nero.  It certainly helped that between the two, Dante was the more exciting -- and funnier -- character.

This is probably the clincher -- both for Old Dante, and for the New.  See if you can spot the difference.



I won’t deny that the original Devil May Cry games were silly -- but then again, that was the point.  That was a part of the charm.  More often than not, they were intentionally hilarious; Dante was a guy who loved to have fun, and that shone through in the cutscenes AND the gameplay. He was having a blast, and he invited the players to do the same.

DmC Dante, on the other hand…well, I’ll just say this.  That’s probably the funniest cutscene in the entire game, but I’m laughing for all the wrong reasons.  I don’t think I’ve even cracked a smile since then -- except when pointing out obvious plot holes and idiocy, but I’ll get to that.  Let’s move on to…

3) The emotion.
People are always eager to point out how awesome the old games were (“Remember that time Dante used a motorcycle like a pair of nunchucks?!” they might say).  But if there’s one thing that DmC has drudged up, it’s the presence of thematic merit and pathos that the series pulled off with surprising regularity.  And after looking at a few YouTube clips, I’m inclined to agree.  There are some simple, yet powerful moments in there, and a depth that most people might overlook on a first or even second glance.  Looking back at DMC4’s opening, there’s almost a haunting beauty to the proceedings.  Am I just being manipulated by the music into thinking it’s affecting?  Likely.  Am I just looking back fondly on it because of nostalgia, loyalty, and disillusionment with DmC and the industry as a whole?  Possible.  But you know how to judge for yourself?  Watch this.


What does DmC have?  I can tell you right now that it starts with another cringe-worthy cutscene (which I wouldn’t recommend watching if there’s anyone around...though in retrospect the same applies for that other video I linked).  But I can also tell you that -- in my eyes -- the love angle falls flat, the themes are skewered, and the characters are arguably less believable than their “too Japanese-y” counterparts.  It would have been all right if they were going for that, or if the developers were winking at the audience the whole time.  But they’re not.  DmC is supposed to be taken seriously, and defenders will argue that “Devil May Cry never had a good story to compensate.”  That may very well be true, but here’s the thing: if you’re doing a reboot of a much-loved franchise with the intent of making it a serious, praise-worthy story, then you’d damn well better make a good story.  And that’s all I’m going to say on that.  Let’s switch to talking about…

4) The challenge.
In terms of skill level, I’m in a weird place when it comes to games.  You would think that I’m an unbeatable god of destruction in the digital realm, but I’m not.  I’m really not.  I’ve got fingers like lead; I’m slow, I panic easily, and I’m surprisingly slapdash in my practices.  And don’t expect me to do anything useful in a shooter.

I guess I do all right, all things considered; you could argue I do better than most, particularly in Smash Bros. or PlayStation All-Stars.  (Or Tekken 5.)  But if you expect me to be some kind of Devil May Cry lord, I’m not; frankly, I don’t know how I even cleared a level, given that there are players who can effectively FLY by manipulating the game mechanics.  Enviable stuff, to be sure, to the point where there are “True Style Tournament” videos all over YouTube.  Even with that in mind, and even with the high difficulty the series is known for, I will argue to hell and back that Devi May Cry has never been a game that locked out newbies.  It’s possible to die, and quickly -- Dante’s always had a glass jaw, up to and including Marvel vs. Capcom 3 -- but as long as you keep your wits about you, use your tool set effectively, and use the occasional item, there’s no reason why you can’t clear the game on the standard difficulty.  So in that respect, I don’t understand why people say “This game is too hard.” 


The difficulty doesn’t come from the game itself -- at least not as much as one would think.  The difficulty comes from cranking up the difficulty -- and with it, mastering all the nuances needed to become a true Son of Sparda.  You don’t need to know anything about Jump Cancels or Just Inputs to play through or enjoy the other Devil May Cry games; they’re just things that (phenomenally) enhance the length and fun of each installment...well, barring DMC2, but I’ve heard there are videos out there for it.  And even if you don’t know or can’t use all those nuances, you can still do reasonably well if you give it a shot.  With time, you can even do this:


The same applies to DmC, but on a far lesser scale.  Is it hard?  Well, there have been times when my HP hit low levels, but I wouldn’t say it’s because the game is difficult at all (at least not on the highest-level difficulty unlocked at the start).  The general consensus is that the boss fights are a letdown compared to previous games, and I agree with that.  I’d also like to suggest that most enemies don’t pose as much of a “threat” as they do “annoyance”, which is also something I’ll get to later.  But for now I’d like to say this: the mechanics -- the devil chains chief among them -- are far easier to grasp than they’ve ever been.  The problem is that they’re also far easier to exploit, to the point where I feel like if I wanted to (and if my slow brain would allow it), I could hit most of the enemies with infinite combos.  It was while I had an enemy in an airborne attack loop, an unending string of sword slashes and grapples, when I thought to myself: Wait a minute.  It shouldn’t be this easy for me to make such long combos.  I can barely do a combo in Street Fighter IV; how am I doing so well here?

The combat, I think, is problematic -- and I have yet to fully explain why.  But the biggest problem with DmC, the one element that it absolutely had to nail yet remains missing throughout, is a simple one.

5) The style.
You know, I feel like I’m being a little redundant here.  I know I shouldn’t have to say things like “In my opinion” or “In my eyes” or “I think” every time I say something, but I feel compelled to.  It should be implied that all this is my opinion, but I always imagine there’s going to be the one guy who finds this blog, pops his knuckles, and starts writing scathing comments if I so much as dare to express myself.  But for a moment, I’ll drop the pleasantries.  And for a moment, I’ll gladly welcome your scorn, you hypothetical hater you.


Devil May Cry -- the third installment especially -- defined the “stylish crazy action” genre.  Is it silly at times?  Yes.  Is it nigh-incomprehensible at times?  Sure.  Is it full of absurdity that wouldn’t be out of place in one of Otacon’s greatest fantasies?  No doubt.  But Devil May Cry had style.  The games were unapologetic in the trade of ass-kickings.  It kicked your ass if you weren’t careful.  You kicked its ass by taking the tools given to you and spinning around your ice-spewing nunchucks, or hitting enemies with a string of German suplexes.  And even if you kicked its ass, the game kicked your ass right back with cutscenes implying some level of mania in all parties involved. 

We may have games like God of War or Ninja Gaiden that aspire to be like Dante’s Ass Kicking Jamboree, but let’s be honest: they’ll never hit the mark.  (It took several years to even come close via Bayonetta, and that was spearheaded by the creator of Devil May Cry.)  Dante was this wild and crazy, walking natural disaster who loved to make wise, eat pizza, and have fun with his fights and his life.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a scowling, increasingly-unappealing mass murderer like Kratos or a blank slate surrounded by anti-gravitic mounds of fatty tissue like Ryu Hayabusa.  I want to keep having games that take lessons from Devil May Cry.  I want games that aren’t afraid to go all out with their style.  That’s why we love games: because of their style.


No, scratch that.  We love games because of style, yes -- but more often than not, it’s thanks to their creativityThe style that Devil May Cry exudes is a result of that creativity.  Vision.  A will to push players’ minds as well as fingers to places they never thought possible.  And it wasn’t just a motion handled in cutscenes or weapon variety (though there WAS that); players got to experiment to their hearts’ content, getting as much or as little out of the mechanics as they wanted.  The games were like an ocean; you can play around on the beach, building sandcastles and splashing around in the waves.  Or you could go all in and swim or dive as far as your body and mind would allow.  Whatever the case, there was always something to look forward to.  The next cutscene.  The next fight.  The next boss.  The next stage.  You were always looking forward with childish glee.

With DmC, that creativity is in serious jeopardy, if not gone already.  Say what you will about Devil May Cry’s story -- any of them, 2’s included -- but I would, and likely WILL argue, that the story never got in the way of enjoying the game.  Not in the way DmC’s story does.  The combat is there, but there are some major concessions that I can’t overlook.  The spirit is gone, replaced by a great heaping load of nothing.  And Dante?


…I know you can’t see me right now, but as soon as I thought about it I just dropped my forehead into my palm and shook my head.

So.  Now you know where I stand.  And now you know what to expect when the proper discussion begins.  Look forward to it sometime in the next week or so.  Also, part 3 of the Majora’s Mask discussion should (hopefully) be up sometime tomorrow.

So that’ll do it for now.  See you guys around.  I, uh…I need to go stare at some clouds or something.  Maybe that’ll cheer me up.

But before I forget…no, Dante.  “Dante the Demon Killer” DOESN’T have a nice ring to it.

15 comments:

  1. Well said Voltech. I was thinking of giving some thoughts as well as to how the series has gone, but I've mostly decided against it, especially after the most fitting title I could think of was "Devil May Cry: A Eulogy for the Departed".

    I'll have to admit that those long months ago, when the new Dante first hit the scene, that I was among those whose reaction was immediate and visceral. I didn't speak up about it, but every fibre of my being told me that "this is wrong". Then I got past that, and I even got past the fact that Tameem seemed to be content to shove his foot into his mouth and seemingly infuriate fans at every opportunity.

    Once the demo came out, and then after the game itself was released, I realized something. It all just looks, well, boring. This Dante doesn't seem like an interesting character. The story seems to be a mishmash of angst and scenes so bad that they're hilariously awful minus the hilarious.

    I can't say that I've agreed with any of the extremely positive reviews, but strangely enough I do think that in his review Jim Sterling nailed something that I'd been trying to put into words for quite some time:

    "Those looking for hardcore action in the same vein of the previous four titles will be disappointed. DmC: Devil May Cry is easier. It's simpler. Chaining combos and gaining S ranks are not challenging at all, at least on the normal difficulty setting. It doesn't run at 60 frames-per-second on consoles. For some, the alteration of these elements will have killed the very essence of Devil May Cry, and to those people, I can only sympathize, because this game simply is not for them."


    Basically, whatever this is, whether it's the future or not, one thing is clear: it's not my Devil May Cry. Not anymore. And depending on how successful this game is, it may never be my Devil May Cry again. At least I can say that it was good while it lasted.

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  2. Action games are pretty dissimilar to FPSes, at least from my perspective. Generally speaking, the skills and control schemes from one FPS carry over to another; that's rarely the case with action games like Devil May Cry, DmC, God of War, Ninja Gaiden, Bayonetta, Onimusha, and plenty more.


    Case in point: a lot of people were worried about DmC because they thought that the gameplay of Devil May Cry would get turned into a God of War copycat. I can't say I've had enough experience with GoW to say anything major about it (though I can say that story-wise, the franchise could and SHOULD have ended after the first game), but from what I gather, Kratos' wide-ranged, whirligig-style combos are a looooooooong way from Devil May Cry's focus on single-target damage and varied abilities. It's worth noting that Kratos has had a grab attack since his creation, while it wasn't until DMC4 that the concept made its way in. So in general, there are certain strategies and concepts unique to each game.


    I can think of a few more examples off the top of my head -- based on observation, since, like I said, I've got a slow brain.


    Bayonetta: emphasizes dodging. Doing so rewards players with damage bonuses and energy for instant-kill attacks to be used with good judgment.


    Ninja Gaiden: emphasizes mobility and positioning. If you stand around for three seconds, you're bound to get your ass chomped in two; you have to be constantly in motion and taking advantage of enemies to land your combos and get in some of your stronger techniques.


    Onimusha: emphasizes enemy abuse. Thinking back, that series had players taking advantage of enemy weaknesses as well as enemy states; each character has tools that allow them bo "bully" enemies and put themselves in the perfect position to hammer them, so it's a matter of learning each character's (and enemies') strengths and weaknesses and going to town on them.


    Even though I can't say I like DmC, I can say that I see the differences between it and Devil May Cry; there's a bigger emphasis on aerial combat, and that changes the metagame considerably. Whether or not that's a good thing, though...well, that remains to be seen.

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  3. "I'll have to admit that those long months ago, when the new Dante first hit the scene, that I was among those whose reaction was immediate and visceral."

    I was pretty much the same way. I remember how that voice in the trailer went "What is your name?" and I kept saying to myself, "Please don't say Dante, please don't say Dante, PLEASE don't say Dante..." And then this new guy reveals that his name is Dante, and I just go..."Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh."

    I'll admit that I have a grudge against reboots and prequels, but I think that part of that is because of DmC. As hundreds of other comments online will tell you, Devil May Cry never needed a reboot. All Capcom had to do was fix the problems with DMC4 and move onward and upward from there. All they had to do was continue the story and tie up its plot threads, and keep evolving the gameplay with new weapons and tricks. That's all. DmC didn't need to happen; I suspected as much from the outset, and the game only helped confirm that. If they -- Capcom and Ninja Theory alike -- were aiming for a revolution, then they missed the mark by a long shot.

    "Basically, whatever this is, whether it's the future or not, one thing is clear: it's not my Devil May Cry. Not anymore. And depending on how successful this game is, it may never be my Devil May Cry again. At least I can say that it was good while it lasted."



    I hear that. And now, suddenly, I have the urge to cry.

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  4. Dammit! Once I get really excited for and am interested in a new game, the internet implodes on itself and drags everyone down with it. Dang it. At least Devil May Cry hasn't become Resident Evil... yet. And this is why I am too paranoid to give even a dirty, 100-year-old penny to Capcom. :/ But then, I'm a cynic.

    Anywho.

    The response to DmC is so bipolar, it's hard to tell whether it's worth even one try. Heck, even a simple watch of a playthrough on Youtube. This is all I got out of the (few) reviews I found that did not drip with hateful bile that even Sonic 06 never got:

    - The gameplay is decent, but the newly interpreted mythos and plot are laughable.
    - The difficulty bar was greatly lowered, though enough to *theoretically* please old fans and welcome new players.
    - The characters were downgraded.
    - Dante's hair + brown jacket + naked sequence = *squick!*

    Maybe the point of the reboot was to get people like me, who did not have the chance to try a Devil May Cry game without getting lost, to buy it. (Except the HD Collection is available at half the price...) That clip with the boss fight in DmC that you showed? I sat there and thought of all the possible stupid but snarky remarks to make the scene a bit more bearable. Anything other than a verbal "Fuck you!" pingpong contest.

    With the state of novels, music, movies, and video games, I won't be shocked if we're in a writing crisis. The over-saturated heaps of bad writing, storytelling, lyrics, etc. is almost criminal. This game is not the root of the problem, but it's a symptom that is not helping.

    ... Or it's just a conspiracy theory. Anyway, I'm interested to see where you take this. Between this, Majora's Mask, and FF13-2, don't go overboard. o_O

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  5. "Hey, fuck you!"


    "Fuck YOU!"


    "No, FUCK YOUOUOU" *projectile vomiting*


    DMC4 had no shakespearean soliloquy, but goDAMN, was the bar set too goddamn low on this one. Also, the new Dante looks like a Facebook tough guy and I just want to punch his stupid fucking face til it caves in.

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  6. I get what you mean. To be honest, in this case I'd rather take an anime-esque video game character than a realistic one. All that really matters is how likable, relevant, or fun a character is, no matter how stereotypical, realistic, or ridiculous. If someone thinks a character is saved by his/her snarky dry humor, then that's great. If a character is memorable for their engaging story arc, then that is a success.


    Out of context, the old Dante looks like a hilariously insane lunatic in a just as whacky setting. As long as the games are fun and you care about what's happening, that's great. From my outsider's perspective, the old Dante seems far more entertaining and charming than this dull-looking jerk. Sheesh, even the default appearance for Shepard does not piss me off as much as this.




    P.S. I downloaded the free demo last night just to give it a brief 20 minute try.


    ...


    *sigh*


    Other than the gameplay being something to get used to... ARGH. I'm not the best at hack-and-slash action games, but the gameplay was NOT the problem. There was no... "exciting hook", no "charm" to ANYTHING. Dante felt like some random dude at school you just don't care exists, not a funny, cocky, pizza-loving guy that catches your attention for even a second.


    ... I give up.

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  7. The DMC4 prologue theme is called "Out of Darkness", in case you haven't found it yet.


    Anyway, if I had to defend DmC, it would be that it actually manages to AVOID being brown and gray all the time. In the real-world segments where the cutscenes take place, yeah, it looks like it's using the same color palette as Gears of War or something. But once you go to Limbo where the action takes place, there's some variance in color...which is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing for the obvious reason (THE COLORS!), but DmC can take it way too far in some cases, to the point where the levels actually hurt your eyes. And they're pretty busy at times, to boot. Not exactly ideal for focusing on an enemy ramming a sword through your gut, to be sure.


    That aside, I'd say that you don't need to have played the other Devil May Cry games to know "how Dante's supposed to act." The consensus is overwhelmingly positive from one gamer to the next, so for all the goofiness of the original games, you can ask plenty of other people to see that there was noting inherently wrong with Old Dante. But here's the thing: DmC offered the perfect chance to prove its character was special and worthy of praise beyond just cribbing off the name "Dante", and they didn't. Ninja Theory and Capcom had to offer something new and special, and they failed triumphantly.


    Simply put, if this game wasn't named DmC and didn't share any naming conventions with the original games, it wouldn't just be a failure in the Devil May Cry series. It would be a failure in its own right.

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  8. I never noticed Dreamworks face, mostly because the rest of the movie wasn't shit, especially the dialogues. But this? Oh God, I wish this had been anything other than the Facebook generation douchebag with an attitude and shameless topical refrences for the sake of controversy.

    I also wish that the writing staff of this AMERICAN goddamn company could get better results out of the English language (dialogue-wise) than the Japanese man who writes nonsensical one-liners while going:

    "Hai, white peopuru talku thato way"

    Jesus Christ I only watched 3 trailers and 3 minutes of footage and one preview article on this blog and already this game pisses me the fuck off. And I'm not even a huge DMC nerd!

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  9. That Random Game BloggerJanuary 26, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    To be honest, I'm actually looking forward to this game.


    I'm just a passing fan of the old series, yes I liked the combat but I felt that everything about it was too over the top and goofy for me, I really couldn't get into the characters or plot, though, as I said, I liked the combat.



    I haven't played DmC yet, but I'm interested in trying its different take on the series.

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  10. Fair enough. I must warn you, though: DmC's goofy in its own right, and for all the wrong reasons. You'll see what I mean soon enough...

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  11. The only thing I can say about Devil May Cry is that the first game is ok. Either than that, DmC and other games like it(like God of War) are just Onimusha games with different skins and new mini game boss battles. I never saw the appeal of these games. They remind me of FPS games in which they are virtually the same games but just look different.

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  12. Too late for me to start worrying about going overboard, I'm afraid...though in my defense, I DID just manage to wrap up my stuff for Majora's Mask. (Don't ask how long it took; I don't like the answer, and neither will you.)


    In any case, I hear you on the whole "bipolar" opinion of DmC. Like I said, I can't recommend it...but I know deep down that part of the reason for that is because I have a deeper bond to the other Devil May Cry games than I ever will for DmC. But I know that there are people who think Old Dante was a joke -- and a bad one at that -- and the reboot and all its trappings are a saving grace from the (and I can't stress how much emphasis I'm putting on these quotation marks) "too Japanese-y anime cliche garbage." In a way, you could almost consider DmC as a litmus test, or even a way to judge someone's character; most of all, it looks like this is going to be a divisive subject for months, maybe years to come. Technically it already has been, but now more than ever, considering that THIS is the end result.


    But in general, the points you made are exactly right. I have to applaud Ninja Theory for trying to aim higher, but they've stumbled so triumphantly on even basic storytelling principles that I just end up shaking my head and sighing. The gameplay is problematic, too, but not nearly as much as the characters. Special mention has to go to the new character, Kat; people immediately assumed that she'd just become a token love interest and motivation for Dante, and lo and behold...


    But that's a topic for another day. I'll get to it eventually, but for now I'll just say this: the best judge of whether a game is good or not isn't going to be some reviewer, some YouTube commenter, some gaming forum, or even me. In the end, you may end up having to decide for yourself by playing through the game (or just watching all of it on YouTube). In a way, even if I tear apart the game -- which is growing increasingly likely the more I sleep on it -- I'd almost recommend buying/watching it anyway.


    ...Almost.

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  13. Yeah, so, uh... I don't really have a lot to add. Having never played a DmC game in my life, I've got nothing to say for the gameplay, overarching story, how Dante's supposed to act, etc.

    What I CAN offer, though, is my take on the general artistic styles of the games, from what I've seen. I understand the appeal of the over-the-top stylish flashy fighting that Dante seems to have in the older games. That's what I liked about the God of War games (disregarding the terrible characterizations), the fact that I get to beat up enemies in such ridiculous fashion is pretty awesome. Dante seems to have a more operatic take on this, making prose on the fly and upping his coolness factor by any means necessary. I understand that. It's not my personal cup of tea, mind you, but I get it. (I'm playing through Metal Gear Solid 3 right now; while I absolutely love the sneaking and proper planning and all that, the cutscenes just go on foreeeeeever and many times come off as too wacky for what I experience in gameplay, but whatever.)

    This new guy, though... yeah he's pretty boring. I think Capcom wanted to make him see more street-cred and in with the punk-ass kids nowadays, but it just falls flat for me. This isn't Epic Rap Battles of History or anything like that, it's just him screaming "Fuck you!" over and over. And don't even get me started on the stupid "realistic" color scheme. The grey-brown plague is spreading!

    As a footnote, I really liked that intro to DmC4. I thought it had a nice nuance to it, that it was able to convey the reason Nero is fighting for, to go and be with the girl he cares about. Also, lovely music, I'm seeing if I can find it anywhere on iTunes.

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  14. You're not the only one, I'm afraid. New Dante -- or Donte, as some have started calling him -- has got quite a few naysayers. Now more than ever, since there's real justification for the hatred.

    There's also this weird quirk in the game that gets REALLY irritating after a while. Whenever you clear an arena of enemies, there's always (or almost always) this quick close-up of Dante doing this cocky smirk. I guess it's supposed to make him look badass, but every time he does it, I can't help but think "Dreamworks face!" I even shouted it out at one point, because it was an absolutely perfect rendition of it.

    So yeah. Imagine looking at something like this over and over and over again. WHAT FUN!

    http://cdn.fd.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/dreamworks-cartoon.jpg

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  15. Well, from what I've heard, the end of DmC teases a sequel -- and even though I haven't finished the game yet, there are already plot points that have yet to be answered. So I guess they're saving the good story elements, the better gameplay, and characters that are actually likable for the sequel.


    Then again, I hear that this game isn't doing particularly well in terms of sales (though figures are hard to nail down at the moment). So...yeah, take that how you will.

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