Before we go any
further, let me give you a little rundown of the plot -- and with it, the
“plan” of our “heroes”. In this game,
Dante is a self-serving slacker who’s no stranger to beer and strippers on a
nightly basis. However, his life gets
flip-turned upside down when Kat appears at the doorstep of his trailer -- and
after a close encounter with some demons in Limbo, Dante agrees to go with her
and join The Order, an Anonymous-style rebel group spearheaded by the
Vergil explains the
truth to Dante: that the two of them are brothers -- nephilim, born to a demon
father and an angel mother -- and the only ones who can defeat Mundus, the
demon king that killed said mother and banished said father. But that’s not all; Mundus -- while posing as
Lex Luthor a human banker -- is leading a secret operation against the
human race, using Virility to placate them (probably), the media to scare them,
and the power of debt to strangle the president and the world alike. So -- as is the standard -- it’s up to the
rebels to take down the establishment and give the people freedom.
The plan, as such, is a
simple one. Mundus is effectively
immortal and invincible as long as he’s in his ridiculously-ornate HQ, because
it ALSO contains a Hell Gate that feeds him power -- more specifically, it’s in
his office. So going for a direct attack
will do Dante and Vergil no good; they have to lure him out of his HQ so they
can deal the finishing blow. So like
good little rebels, they opt for subterfuge; they’ll target the Virility
factory, Raptor News (a Fox News pastiche spearheaded by fellow demon Bob
Barbas), and hope that it’ll get Mundus riled up enough to make an appearance.
Now, if you’re anything
like me you’re probably wondering “So what, does Mundus never leave his
office? How does he meet people? What happens if he has a meeting abroad, or
just wants to go out and eat dinner?”
But trust me, that’s the least of this story’s problems.
You might want to grab
a snack, guys. (I recommend a nice honey bun.)
WARNING: There are going to be a LOT of
spoilers in this post, likely enough to ruin the entire game for you. If you have any intention of experiencing
this game’s story for yourself with a clear mind and no influence, you should
NOT read this post. You have been
Before we begin, I want
to make one thing clear: DmC is not a
game you should get angry about.
right. I’ll say it again, just to make
sure I’m getting my point across. In
spite of everything I’m about to say, and in spite of all the discussion and
dissent, DmCis not a game you should get angry about. Ignoring the fact that it’s just a game (and
there are plenty of other things worth raging about in this big blue world of
ours), it’s a game that’s already been released. It’s finished. The damage has been done, and lines have been
drawn. Eventually, we’re all going to
have to get over this thing and move onto something else; it’ll leave scars, no
doubt, but even then it’s destined to become something remembered with groans and
eye rolls instead of death threats and Metacritic bombings.
But even with that in
mind -- even if the game is justifiably deserving of its hatred (because it’s a
ramshackle mess, IMO) -- it’s still not something you can stay mad at for
long. If at all. Why’s that?
Well, I’ll explain in full before this post is done. But that’s a ways away.
We have a lot of things to discuss. A whole lot.
WARNING: Spoilers to follow. And because this is the internet, I’m
required by law to awkwardly cram in a reference to “filling your dark soul
with light” somewhere into this post. So
let’s put it here and be done with it.
Also, let’s keep the comparisons to the Devil May Cry games to a minimum.
In fact, let’s just not mention them at all unless absolutely necessary.
“Look, I don’t see what
you’re so mad about. Coyote-boy gave us
an out, and we got it. So how about you
give the raging a rest? You’re gonna
give yourself wrinkles -- and I don’t think you can afford to look any worse
than you already do.”
Beat drove a foot
through the virtual platform, digging up a splash of pixels and numbers. “Well, yeah, but -- wait, what was that about
“What? I didn’t say a word…” Tony glanced aside, his usual scowl
tightening even further. “Lousy sasquatch
wife,” he muttered.
“I’m just gonna pretend
I didn’t hear anything, because that’s the only way your head won’t get smacked
right off your neck.” She folded her
arms and groaned, standing her ground in a most-unladylike stance. “It’s just that that guy -- FX or whatever --
he just pisses me off so much!”
“Unicorns and rainbows. Obviously.” Beat looked around a bit, taking note of the orange-rimmed
platforms and tessellated cubes drifting through the air around them. “So what’re we supposed to do now?”
“Hell if I know. The way I see it, though, coyote-boy gave us
an out so we could go do something.”
“So what, you’re saying
that he’s on our side after all?”
“Maybe. More on our side than blob-boy back there.”
“So he pretty much
sacrificed himself to save us? And with
his dying breath, he wants us to put together the pieces to beat that sack of
black pixelly gooey bits and save the world, right?”
“Probably…but I’m about
ready to blow him off.”
“Wow! You’re a terrible
Tony looked back at her
over his shoulder. “Good. You know how I work.” He went back to his business, crouching low
to the ground and running his hands about.
“Crap. I bet I know how this
works; we don’t get to leave until we do something…” His beady eyes rolled around in his
head. “Heroic. God, why me? I just wanted my vacation…”
“What? Can’t you hear me lamenting my life?”
Beat scratched at her
temple. “Is it just me, or does
“Yeah, it does. Now gimme a hand here; if we have to dig our
way out, it’d be good to have an extra set of hands.”
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
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
Okay. Now let’s talk about character design for a
In my own writing
adventures, I’ve found that I prefer to describe characters as thoroughly as I
can instead of leaving it up to interpretation.
The downside is that I run the risk of grinding the pace to a halt --
and indeed, I’ll have to learn how to strike a balance -- but the upside is
that it gives the reader just the image they need. As someone who’s deeply entrenched in visual
mediums -- and someone who has good old common sense, like many others -- I
know how important it is to have good character design. A lot of information, implicit and explicit,
is conveyed by visuals. Think carefully
about a book or movie or comic or game or show you’ve seen, and what a
character’s appearance said about them.
What does Barney Stinson’s love of suits say about him? How about Ryu wearing the same general outfit
since his inception more than twenty years ago?
What can you say about Superman’s suit in comparison to Batman’s suit?
Even if I’m removing
the audience’s ability to use their imaginations, character design is something
that I hold in high esteem -- and as the mastermind of more than a few stories,
it’s my job to deliver thoroughly and fiercely on all accounts. A good character design can draw in an
audience -- or if they’re already in deep with a story, they’ll be justly
rewarded each time they come across a well-crafted character. Maybe they’ll be affected by visuals
alone. Maybe I can have their
expectations defied. Maybe they’ll just
be eager to make their own characters.
Whatever the case, the idea is to create a positive reaction through
visuals; much as we all hate to admit it, appearances count for a lot.
Is this gonna be a
thing? Really? Eh, all right. I’ll allow it.
Okay, let’s back up a
little bit. If you’ve been following my
blog for a little while -- or just stuck around on the net long enough for me
to leave comments here and there -- you’ll know that it’s my aim to put forth a
story starring “a Godzilla-sized wrestling mama.” That’s still a drive I have to this day, and
a recent prototype has proven that it’s a concept that I can pull off with a
bit of work. Even so, I’d feel a lot
better if I had something to fall back on.
Inspiration, or resources, or what have you. The problem, as I suspect, is that there are
very few good resources -- least of all the infamous Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.
To be fair, I’m willing
to assume that H.G. Wells’ The Food of
the Gods may give me something closer to what I’m looking for: a story that
investigates the physical, mental, and emotional effects of being really
friggin’ huge. And I’d assume some
fantasy stories have done it as well -- though I’d prefer to examine the
transformation from human to giant, rather than just starting out as an earth-shaking
colossus. Even so, I can’t help but
think back to that movie…or those movies, I should say.
Why, I can’t imagine --
because they’re all kind of crap.
One year of blogging,
huh? I’ve gotta say, I didn’t think I’d
make it this far. I’ve made some crazy
attempts at projects before -- there was this one time when I tried to make my
own toys with Play-Doh, paperclips, and drawn-on sheets of paper. It didn’t pan out, and it was just another
reminder that I’m really, really bad at arts and crafts. (Though I did make an almost-acceptable
dreamcatcher in art class this one time.)
But at the very least,
I know where my competency lies. I’m a
writer. I write stuff. I like to write. And as far as I know, people seem to enjoy
what I write. So I figure, “Hey, why not
keep writing?” And “Hey, why not put my
stuff out there?” So here I am,
writing. Hopefully improving my skills,
and hopefully reaching out to people. If
nothing else, I’m really friggin’ good at typing now. So in a nutshell, I’m glad I started this
blog, and I hope I can keep it going. I
know I can do better, and I intend to -- because as a writer, it’s my duty to
put smiles on people’s faces with the stuff I produce. It’s the only way I’ll ever become truly
worthy of being a writing hero.
And that’s about all
there is to it…assuming that you want the short version. Because now I think it’s time to go all in
and do what needs to be done: blow two thousand words nitpicking my own blog!
I’ve made it no secret
that I have some deep respect for anime and manga. I won’t say that either medium is perfect
(especially from story to story), and my passion for it has cooled off since I
first got into it, but I think that just like any other medium, the stories
therein aren’t to be ignored; they have just as much -- and maybe more --
affecting power and merit as anything else out there, provided the story is
Competently -- or
adroitly, if you prefer. That’s the key
element. And I’m sure you know where I’m
going to go next with this, but let’s play this game for now; I promise this’ll
all make sense before the post is over.
Trixie could only stare
blankly at the two Hoigleheimers. JP,
with hands crammed in his front pockets, rapped a toe against the sidewalk; he
locked eyes with her a few times, but more often than not looked up at his dad
with a nasty scowl. Not that Patton
noticed; he just stood in front of the rec center’s door with arms folded, as
if acting as its bouncer (though incidentally, those that tried to exit the Z
couldn’t, and just scurried away at the sight of him).
And all the while, Mrs.
Overdose stared at the lot of them, gnawing on her reed. “What the hell are we supposed to be doin’?”
“Well, I was hopin’ for
some answers, but…” Trixie rubbed the
back of her neck. “The way things’re
lookin’, I’m startin’ to think maybe I shouldn’t have asked.”
JP looked up at the
sky. “Makes no difference to me. If you want to know, then I’ll --”
“No. Not yet, son.” Patton held a forearm that could stop a tiger
in front of JP. “It’s not time yet. We have to wait till the time is right.”
“Fine.” He tapped his heel against the concrete, and
rustled his hands through his jacket’s pockets.
“So Lloyd --”
JP groaned and glared
at a few shrubs. Trixie hummed a bit, as
if she wanted to start talking -- but instead she just sniffled a bit and
coughed. Mrs. Overdose looked about
ready to deck the next person that walked by.
“…Okay, that’s enough
dramatic tension. Now you can talk.”
So here we are again,
with another set of heroes revealed. How
fitting is it that the New Year would start off with a pair of characters who
are just barely qualified to be
heroes? Oh well; in their universe,
they’re the best the world has got.
Though you could pretty much apply that to every character introduced so
far, but that’s neither here nor there.
In any case, I’ll hold
off on posting a summarizing video, mostly because the “full set” hasn’t been
revealed yet. It’ll come next time, but
for now you can either read the posts for Alice, Raze, and Tony/Beat -- or you
could do the more natural thing and wait for the highly-condensed version in
about a month.
The reason, obviously,
is that I promised ten characters -- and that’s precisely what you’ll get. So I’d rather not make a video now (which
with my limited tool set takes much longer than I’d prefer), only to make
another video for one character. It
seems wasteful, is all I’m saying. But
in addition, there’s also the story arc that I’ve been developing for quite a
while -- the one in which I (or at least my virtual stand-in) actually die.
So for the sake of providing a refresher, I'll give you a quick summary.
Lloyd pulled back a few
inches, suddenly treating Trixie like a swarm of bees. “Eh wha?!
Y-you’re going to try and teach me how to swim?”
“Not try. Teach.”
“Ah. Er…well, I wish you the best of luck, because
I’m certain you’ll need it.” He pressed
a hand to his chin. “I seem to recall
that the last time I came across a large body of water, I tried to moonwalk my
way through it. The end result was not
exactly something worthy of acclaim or footage for a music video.”
“Well forget all that,
‘cause when I’m done with ya you’ll be a lean, mean, swimmin’ machine!” She patted a hand against Lloyd’s
shoulder. “Just leave it all to me, and
I’ll be sure to make a real man outta ya.
‘Cause when ya get down to it, ya just ain’t all the way there if ya
can’t swim.” Almost as soon as the words
came out of her mouth, Trixie got a bad feeling -- like a phantom pain, or gas
from a poorly-cooked burrito. And she
could immediately guess why.
“So you’re saying that
I’m not a man?” Patton asked. “Because I
can’t swim, either.”
I’m reminded of the
words of fellow blogger Chihuahua Zero (whose blog you should be reading) on a post I made a while back:
“That’s a part of being a critic: loving something and then taking it
down.” And it’s true. I love video games. I love the worlds they make. I love the skill and creativity that goes
into them -- the writing, coding-wise or story-wise, that makes them amazing.
But my love only goes
so far. It stops very abruptly right
here. Right now.
“Heh HA! And another round of ho ho hos for good
measure! The time has finally arrived!”
Lloyd made his way out
of the kitchen with a smile -- or at least an attempt at one. It looked like a fusion between a grin and a
grimace, with his muscles and veins pulsing as he dragged himself forward. But as promised, he didn’t venture out alone;
he carried with him (or at least towed) a burlap sack almost as big as him, and
twice as wide -- and inexplicably plastered with a pink and fuchsia heart. “Ready your souls and your faces, my
comrades! For before the light of dawn
tickles your chilled skins, I intend to bless you with smiles as heavenly as
Trixie’s clear revulsion) brought the sack to a stop at its destination: two
inches away from where he’d first appeared.
“Now then. Who’s ready for a
Chet ran a comb through
his curled ducktail one last time, making sure his blonde locks were in the
proper order. He could count on them to
keep up their sheen without his tending touch -- the perfect complement to his
glimmering teeth. He’d seen some of the
staff try to use his smile as a mirror; as they bustled around off-set past
cameras and wires, he made sure to grace them with his famous smirk. It had the same effect as always; a young
intern caught a glimpse, and then scurried away with a shake of the head and a
low noise. She was so overwhelmed, she had to escape my rugged charms, he
thought as he straightened his tie. It’s a wonder they let a man as dangerous as
me on TV.
“All right, Chet. You’re on in five,” said the crewman, with
the camera’s lights blinking and the machine moving into position. “And try not to do that smirk of yours. It makes you look insincere and…kinda like a
Looks like duty calls again, Chet thought, ignoring everything
after the word “Chet”. He sat at attention
in his desk, and just as he always had, he spoke in his heart-meltingly suave
voice. “Good evening, ladies and gents;
this is Chet Levitin, welcoming you to KPGL News at Nine, and wishing all of you --” He pointed at the camera and
winked, ignorant of the groans on the sidelines. “Happy holidays, indeed. And let me be the first to welcome all of you to the new year. Tonight’s top story: jingle bell, jingle
bell, jingle bell doom. The mishap at
the community rec center earlier today has -- according to new reports -- left
a family of three, an elderly woman, and some random southern girl nobody cares
about missing and presumed dead. But
first, here’s our weather report. And
before that, here are my teeth.” He
flashed a (presumably) sultry grin.
I can’t believe thisis the
highest-rated news segment in Porbeagle, the cameraman thought. What is
this guy, some kind of hypnotist?