Hello everyone, and yes I say everyone as if anyone is reading this and gives a flying... car. Almost forgot I can't swear here:roll:. Anyway...
Yesterday, Ninja Theory released a new CGI trailer for DmC: Devil May Cry:
Before I comment on my opinions of the game, let me say this... why CGI? Personally, I do not like CGI trailers. I look at them and think, oh that's cool I guess. But if I buy the game, put the disc into my system, it will not look like that, so why even waste my time? I hate seeing CGI trailers, get rid of them. And while your at it, take live-action trailers out in the backyard and pop a few in their heads too. That being said, let's talk about DmC.
This game has incited rage amongst nearly all Devil May Cry fans when it was first announced and they showed off Dante's redesigned model smoking.
I'm pretty sure a couple of heads exploded when they saw this.
I'll admit, I raged a bit myself. I recently re-read a comment on me raging. I can't even put it up on this blog. But I was thinking... why? Why change the character model of Dante, one of the most iconic action game character ever? But the last Devil May Cry game to come out, Devil May Cry 4, came out a while ago, so I was starving for more Devil May Cry-like gameplay. As much as I disliked the new character model, I decided I'll give it a chance and wait for the gameplay to do the talking.
I learned that DmC is not just a prequel but a reboot to the entire franchise. I don't and still don't think that this series needed a reboot, however, like I said, I decided I'll give it a chance.
Then the Devil May Cry collection came out last year. Finally I could fulfill my cravings at least until this new game came out.
I played Devil May Cry 1.
A familiar face.
I never really played the first Devil May Cry because my brother played it. It was also the first violent video game I had seen and I was young when it came out, so I'll admit that was a bit scared to watch it.
I mean c'mon, this was a screwed up scene for a 10 year old to see.
I had fun playing the game, however since my most recent memory of DMC was playing #4, I struggled with the gameplay. This game had some highlights (such as different models when using a weapon during devil trigger), but it was certainly was removed from its peak. I felt as if i couldn't perform the cool combos found in the later entries in the series.
And the story.... well even though I've played it twice, its still an afterthought for me. I remember that Trish comes to Dante, asking for help to stop Mundus. You encounter Vergil and you are half Demon, half Human. (I could be wrong about some of this.) However it was never about the story for me. You could also play as Trish.
Then I played the infamous debacle that was Devil May Cry 2.
To be honest, I had fond memories of Devil May Cry 2. I remember having a lot of fun with the game. It wasn't until I started going on gaming websites did I discover that everyone hated the game. And when I replayed the game, I discovered I hated it too.
They changed Dante's personality, making him more reserved (although he wasn't really big on trash talk until the third game anyway). They also made the gameplay weaker and made every enemy a chore to defeat. They introduced another playable character, Lucia, although she was forgettable.
Story wise, Devil May Cry 2 was a bit strange and made you fight an array of odd enemies including tanks. It also occurs far ahead of 1, 3, or 4 leaving some questions as to what happened up until then. But again the story was forgettable and I found my self forcing myself to complete it.
Finally I had gotten to the crown jewel of the Devil May Cry series: #3.
Here is where the series peaked. Here is where the gameplay flourished. Here is where an interesting story was developed.
You had a wide array of weapons: Swords, triple nunchuks, even a guitar. The over the top action the series was known for really started here with that famous intro scene. I remember bringing in my PS2 in class and showing that scene off and everyone was blown away. The whole game oozed of style.My fond memories of Devil May Cry 3 were not only reinforced, but I liked the game even more so that before.
It also had an interesting story with a rivalry between Dante and Vergil as well as other fun boss fights. But even better was being able to play as Vergil when the game was re-released. Although the story was still an afterthought, I had some motivation through it in comparison to the other entries.
Then came Devil May Cry 4. The first entry of the series into the current generation.
A new challenger has appear!
The series once again made a change by introducing a new hero: Nero. The developers played it safe on his character model. He still has white hair similar to Dante as well as a large sword and a gun. Although, they did give him the Devil Bringer. Nero's right arm is a powerful weapon during combat and brought some fresh gameplay to the series. It allowed him to pull off some more brutal moves more akin to a God of War game. The best part was being able to use it on bosses and pull off devastating moves.
I enjoyed Devil May Cry 4 nearly as much as I enjoyed #3. You could play as Dante for about half of the story as well, but I disliked the fact that they made him go just go through the same maps but backwards. This was a design that shouldn't have been used. Plus I enjoyed played as Nero and in this game, I actually had more fun playing as him than Dante.
I will say that fighting against Dante was fun.
Storywise, again it was an afterthought, however it does start off with a "bang." Dante flies in, shooting the head of Nero's order in the face. The plot was interesting but it focused on Nero more so than Dante. I didn't mind, but one things for certain, the series changes with each entry. So after reflecting on these games, I decided I'll give this "new" Dante a chance.
That time finally came when they released the demo.
Finally, I got the chance to take this new Dante for a spin, and I'd have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was worried about the gameplay. Ninja theory isn't known for making the best action games, however, what they done a good job at keeping some of the original gameplay intact while bringing something new. The Demon and Angel weapons allow you to pull off some cool combos on the fly. Each weapon has it advantages and disadvantages. The Angel scythe is quick and has a wide range, but it doesn't inflict much damage. Landing successive hits charges it up, however, increasing the damage output. The Demon Axe is very slow and on smaller enemies, the standard combo knocks them back with the first hit so you'll need to switch up your moves to get to them. It does a ton of damage though. Each of them also have pause combos.
There are some subtle improvements, for instance, when you do a pause combo, your sword flashes when you are able to pull it off. Its only a visual thing and doesn't affect your ability to pull them off or their feeling of fluidity, however, you can then switch to another weapon. For instance, two quick swipes with your sword and pause, then press R2/RT and you'll switch to the Axe and perform its pause combo. If you had done it by pausing when you did two Axe swipes, it would've taken longer.
Parrying is also there and makes more sense now. Before I would parry on pure chance on the other Devil May Cry games, but now its a risk that i can learn to take. For instance there are these small enemies that shoot at you from the air. There is a warning whenever an enemy attacks like in past DMC games but here the visual cue is more obvious. I learn that by using hte Pop shredder angel scythe move, if I aim it at the correct angle I can reflect the attack on the enemy.
There are also a lot of hidden combos including the Stinger, Rainstorm, Angel/Demon dodges, and more. Every move has a variant for the demon axe and angel scythe. The combat is just as good as ever and the demo gives you a ton of moves to learn.
There were some issues however: There's no lock-on. This made it weird to play at first and takes some getting used to. Because of this, you perform the stinger by pressing forward twice and then pressing triangle. You also do high rise by press circle instead of pulling back on the analog stick. I could get used to this, but there were times when I would stinger into a wall. Another thing is that it was running at 30 frames per second. It was a bit disappointing. Especially since NT was using the Unreal Engine 3. I personally think this engine looks ugly (at least on PS3), however developers have worked to make it look better throughout this generation and DmC is a good looking game. It just doesn't look good enough for them to not have it run at 60 frames per second. But its not game ruining for me and I'll get over it. This is smaller, but... no taunt? I was disappointed I couldn't taunt after I learned to dominate the enemy. Also it was easier than before to increase your Style meter, although I've never had a problem increasing my meter in past games, gaining an SSS rank was a bit too easy.
On the normal difficulty, it was easy. However there was a properly level of challenge when I raised the difficulty. NT has done a good job of making the enemies more difficult, without making it feel cheap. This increased difficulty introduces new enemies who are more resilient to your attacks. There are also enemies which must be attacked by only angel or demon attacks. Reminding my of the PSN game Outland when had you shifting to attack enemies. These enemies forced me to fully learn how to utilize my angel and demon abilities.
The demo is split into two parts, the first shows off normal gameplay. I really like the fact that the environment shifts and moves at certain parts. With the environments, NT has done something better than past DMC games, which had environments which were pretty much dead.
The second part features a boss fight with the "Secret Ingredient."
There wasn't too much unique about the boss fight and it was pretty easy. Enough for a demo to show off. The most notable thing about the boss fight is how much swearing is prevalent in their opening exchange. I'm not sure how I felt about it. Part me thought it was a bit much to have Dante swearing. But if the boss is swearing about me I definitely don't want Dante to call her a "poopyhead" or some soft ish like that. Honestly I always kind of wanted Dante to swear so hearing him swear isn't bad, its just a bit too frequent. Although the boss is very, very vulgar. Who knows, this could be the only boss Dante swears this much to.
It was challenging enough and after you think you've defeated her, upon your escape, you discover that she still very much alive. Unfortunately there the demo stops so you'll have to find out when the game is released.
You get some hints at the story, however. This new DmC revolves around a conspiracy. It mirror subjects that Assassin's Creed and V for Vendetta. It's a bit odd for a DmC game but the last thing I'm worried about is the story. If NT is good at anything its character development and storytelling. Here's where the new character model could work. If NT makes it so that this "new" Dante develops into the Dante we all know and love, they could make for a compelling story. I really hope they go for this route due to the fact that when you activate Devil Trigger, he looks just like the old Dante, Red Jacket and White hair and all. So who knows?
Some of his origins has changed. For instance, Dante is a Nephilim, Half Angel (mother) and Half Demon (father). He doesn't know his family. His mother was killed and his father is currently imprisoned instead of being the legendary hero who stopped Mundus several millenia ago. He is now working with Vergil to get rid the world of the demons. (I believe)
(Side note: Why change the pronunciation of Mundus from Moondus to its phonetic spelling? Its unnecessary and only irritates fans of the series such as myself. This is minor but it reminds me of M. Night Shymalan's Avatar. Didn't even see the movie after I heard the way the pronunciation Aang.)
I don't want to go into details because well...., I don't know them that well but I learned a bit about the story from the dialogue. In the first part of the demo Dante smacks a can of soda from some overweight man's hand. This also played out in the above CGI trailer. Later he refers to the boss as the "Secret Ingredient." During the fight Dante seems to be disconnecting her from something, hinting that she is the source of the drink. This instantly reminded me of that Futurama episode in which Fry learns of the source of the popular drink, Slurm.
So I believe Vergil is making you kill demons which are controlling the population. Assassin's Creed 3 had a video (unlocked during multiplayer) which kind of touched on the same subject. So who knows, this could make for a very interesting story. Or it could fail miserably. But then again its DMC so I don't play for the story, I play for the gameplay. And the gameplay in DmC has succeeded for me.
I feel bad for Ninja Theory, no matter how good this game is, they'll never get a decent reception from fans. And its not their fault. Its not as if they woke up one day and were like, "Hey, you know what we should do? Piss off an entire fan base by changing the character they love." Actually I've read plenty of articles about DmC's development and how Capcom approach them and wanted a radical redesign. Source:http://www.examiner.com/article/ninja-theory-capcom-wanted-a-crazier-dante
At least its far removed from this initial design.
They started with a slight redesign and (although this article doesn't have the quote) they were frankly told: "If we wanted to make a DMC5 we would've made it ourselves." Essentially telling them try again or GTFO. So vent your anger towards Capcom. I've also read plenty of articles stating that there is a reason Dante doesn't look like himself. If you look at Vergil for instance, he has white hair.
I might be a bit more excited to play as Vergil than Dante.
All in all, I had fun with the demo and I've replayed it numerous times so yes, when January 15th comes around (10 days as of writing) I will be picking it up. I have it pre-ordered so I can get Vergil's DLC as well.
All I have to say is give DmC a chance, who knows, you might actually like it. If you do, tell someone who is sending NT death threats to CTFO. If you don't that's fine, you don't have to like it. But unless your criticisms are valid (i.e. more than just about his redesign)...
LEAVE DmC ALONE!!!!!