Who am I? I'm a guy who plays video games, talks way too much about comics and movies, likes Godzilla and Robocop, and lives up in Wisconsin. And yes. We get that much snow. Why should you read my blog? Because when I write I have fun, make up bullshit lists, and when I do get a little serious with some blogs I try to be insightful and use resources and facts to try and back up my opinion as much as I can. And if you don't follow my blog, I'll send you a picture of a sad kitten who wants some love.
Also, I tend to debate a lot and get up on a soapbox a bit from time to time. I like to debate for the sake of debating and I tend to find it fun to get other peoples perspectives on things, and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate a bit just for the sake of it. Basically, don't take me so serious sometimes even if it seems like I am being serious.
Since Destructoid is Devil May Crazy around here lately I thought I’d contribute with something of my own (besides my forthcoming review for DmC: Devil May Cry). Admittedly I got my idea to do this because IGN recently put up a list of their top 10 DMC bosses, and I thought they chose a couple of bullshit bosses. Since I’m always right and I know you, the glorious masses at Destructoid, all love me with all of your heart I decided to provide the real list of the best bosses in the history of the Devil May Cry franchise.
Destructoid’s Chris Carter and I share a similar opinion – the Devil May Cry franchise is the best action franchises in video games. One particular area that I think stands out are the bosses of the franchise. Devil May Cry bosses are generally pretty neat, unique, and a ton of fun to fight. There are some duds here and there along the way, a lot of DmC’s bosses are pretty forgettable and don’t even get me started on DMC2, but there are others that are absolutely fantastic.
Honorable Mention: Arkham Devil May Cry 3
The boss battle with Arkham is not good enough to find a spot on my top 10 list (honestly, it’s a fairly poor battle), however the boss fight itself does something that’s worth an honorable mention. Storyline wise Dante goes into the demon world in order to stop Arkham, who’s claimed the power of Sparda and wants to become a god. Dante realizes he can’t defeat Arkham alone when Vergil promptly shows up to save the day. Dante & Vergil promptly team up to take down Arkham, and the reason this makes the Arkham boss memorable is because if you have a buddy watching he or she can actually pick up a second controller and take control of Vergil, prompting an unexpected fun co-op romp (which also makes the boss substantially easier).
10- The Doppelganger Devil May Cry 3
The “fight your shadow” concept has been done a lot in video games (see: Legend of Zelda), but DMC3 puts a nice bit of flavor on it with the Doppelganger boss that appears late in the game. Doppelganger relies on shadows to survive so a key portion of this boss battle is to activate sources of light just as the Doppelganger is closing in on you, causing him to get stunned. Activate the light too soon and the boss will stay away (and promptly deactivate your light), so you have to wait until he’s dangerously close in order to launch your attack. The other trick is to attempt to activate all of the lights in the room which will cause the Doppelganger to be stunned for a longer amount of time (though this is riskier, as he will try to shut off lights while you activate others).
Doppelganger is a nice fight because it’s not entirely about just doing damage to the enemy and requires a bit more patience in order to safely attack. This boss is also one of the most ideal places to have the Quicksilver style equipped, which slows down time for Dante (which can double the length of time the Doppelganger gets stunned for).
9- Bob Bargas DmC: Devil May Cry
I personally think that DmC’s bosses are pretty uninspired and boring, Bob Bargas being the lone exception. While not the most challenging boss to figure out he’s one of the more unique bosses in the history of the Devil May Cry franchise. The floating digital head of totally-not-Bill-O’Reilly is fought in a pretty flashy almost Tron-like arena where he uses various large scale and sweeping attacks that, admittedly, are a bit reminiscent of Jester from DMC3. What makes the fight neat is that after you deal a bit of damage to Bargas himself he’ll throw Dante into a fight with basic-level enemies that ends up being portrayed from the perspective of a television news chopper. As mundane as DmC’s story and enemies get, Bob Bargas is one of the standouts.
8- Nevan Devil May Cry 3
Despite being a Devil May Cry boss, Nevan feels like a classic Mega Man robot master. Nevan jumps around to a few set points, has a shield you need to work your way through in order to attack her, has a fairly noticeable set pattern of attacks, and even has a specific weapon she’s weak to (the Cerberus nunchucks). Again, like a Mega Man boss if you adhere to her patterns and attack accordingly she can be a fairly tame fight but you get too aggressive or don’t play by her rules, Nevan will absolutely wreck you. Admittedly I’m a little biased towards Nevan naturally, because the scene that follows her defeat is one of the best things the franchise ever did and describes what Devil May Cry is supposed to be about in a nutshell.
7- Mundus Devil May Cry
The battle with Mundus at the end of the original Devil May Cry is a fun two-part battle that’s memorable on its own but is also good enough to quickly make you forget that you just watched the cringe inducing LIIIIIIIGHT sequence. Dante is super pissed at Mundus by this point in the game, so Mundus decides to get out of his goofy statue-shell-thing and promptly declare that it’s go time. Dante goes full demon-mode and engages Mundus in a Star Fox-like shooter sequence (!) before pounding Mundus back down to Earth to engage him in a more traditional fight. Mundus is appropriately challenging and in general was a pretty great boss to cap off the first game. The boss music for the first segment of this fight is also one of my personal favorite boss themes. Too bad his DmC version was an utter letdown.
6- Credo Devil May Cry 4
A trend I seem to notice in the DMC series is that the bigger a boss is the less threatening it actually is, such as the Gigapede from DMC3 or Mundus from DmC. Thus the boss fights against bosses that are more human sized tend to be harder and more fun. Credo fits right into this trend. Officially titled “Angelo Credo”, Credo is one of the higher ups in the Order of the Sword from DMC4 and proves to be quite a challenge to Nero regardless of difficulty. Credo is also one of the few bosses in DMC4 that Dante does not fight in the main story (which is unfortunate, that would have been fun) as he perishes before the Son of Sparda becomes a playable character.
5- Burial Devil May Cry 4
Burial is one of the few exceptions to DMC’s previously mentioned “big boss” trend. Burial is an absolutely huge demon who packs a pretty nice arsenal of maneuvers for both close and long distance combat. He can level a house with one swing of his sword and take away your health faster than Nero can scream “KYRIE!” plus on top of that Burial simply looks badass. While some will argue that Burial might be a glorified next-gen take on the Phantom from DMC1, I’d retort by saying that Burial is the badass that the Phantom should have been.
4- Agni & Rudra Devil May Cry 3
The pre-reboot Devil May Cry games are basically interactive Saturday morning cartoons, and the Agni & Rudra fight is that whole cartoony feel in a nutshell. This duo, whom are a talking pair of swords, guards a door in DMC3’s Temin-Ni-Gru tower and apparently haven’t had a visitor in ages. After Dante finally comes along, Agni & Rudra bicker about how they should entertain their guest before ultimately remembering that their job is to stop people from passing and promptly attack Dante. The Angi & Rudra boss fight is tricky because each character is a fairly formidable boss on their own, so fighting both of them simultaneously is a fairly hefty task (especially if it’s your first time playing through the game). Singling out one of the two is the knee-jerk reaction to fighting this boss, but it’s actually the least advisable tactic. Defeat either Agni or Rudra too early and the surviving member will pick up the sword of his brother and become an even tougher foe as a result. The key idea here is to keep both of them at relatively the same level of health, so that you can finish off the second one quickly before it can pick up the first one’s sword. It sounds easy on paper but can be pretty tough in execution, especially on the harder difficulties in DMC3. Upon defeating Angi & Rudra, they recognize that Dante worthy of wielding them due to Dante beating the crap out of them and beg Dante to take them along with. Dante agrees on one condition – they shut up.
3- Dante Devil May Cry 4
Yeah, you read that right. In Nero’s half of Devil May Cry 4’s story the Son of Sparda is a boss you fight twice. The first time you fight him he’s effectively the tutorial boss, the second time you fight him Dante stops holding back and shows you how it’s really done. Dante is an awesome boss fight because, while he’s still an AI and operates by patterns, he reacts and punishes your mistakes almost like a human would. For example, if you try to do Nero’s version of the stinger attack Dante will almost always teleport above you and hit you with a helm breaker attack for your hubris. Your gun is also useless against Dante as well because Dante responds to any firearms by blocking your bullets with more bullets – which is still the best way to block bullets, ever.
If you play DMC4 on any of the higher difficulties, Dante really takes the gloves off for your fights against him and the tutorial fight turns into a tutorial benefiting a game like Dark Souls instead. On the later difficulties Dante also uses his full arsenal of weapons that he gets in Devil May Cry 4, which puts Nero at a sizable disadvantage. Technically Nero isn’t alone in regards to being able to fight Dante. The final stage of DMC4’s Bloody Palace mode is Dante also, which means that if you can reach the final stage of Bloody Palace as Dante then you’ll end up fighting against yourself. Yep, it’s as chaotic as you imagine.
2- Nelo Angelo Devil May Cry
Nelo Angelo is one of the recurring bosses in the original Devil May Cry. All in all, he is basically a badass. He wears demonic black knight armor, carries what can be politely called a Buster Sword, and completely screams “bad guy” the moment you see him. He’s also not a villain who does the typical villainy monologue, in fact he’s pretty much mute in Devil May Cry. I kind of like that about him though because he simply doesn’t mess around. The first time you encounter Nelo Angelo he walks up to Dante opens up a door that leads outside, motions for Dante to get out there, and heads out there to wait for Dante. Any boss that walks up to a guy like Dante and promptly tells him “you versus me, right now” and ends it right there gets props from me.
Fighting with Nelo Angelo is a pretty hefty battle since he can cut up Dante’s health bar like it’s made of paper, and he once again plays to the rule of “the smaller the DMC boss, the harder he is”. To make matters worse, Nelo Angelo returns with even more abilities than he did the last time you fought him. He will utilize teleports, projectiles, and swing his sword faster than anybody with a sword that hefty should be able to. In terms of the storyline, Nelo Angelo is a servant of Mundus (obviously) and has an aversion for Dante’s medallion that he carries around. This is explained later in the game because it turns out that Nelo Angelo is actually someone from Dante’s past who’s had his memories suppressed, someone who goes by the name of…
1- Vergil Devil May Cry 3
The other Son of Sparda is Dante’s twin brother, but their similarities don’t extend far beyond that. Dante’s brother Vergil was a brainwashed lackey to Mundus known as Nelo Angelo in Devil May Cry but we get to see Vergil in his prime in Devil May Cry 3, a prequel to the original. Vergil & Dante are presented as two sides of the same coin, similar yet still opposite of each other. Dante is cocky and foolhardy while Vergil is focused and resolute. Vergil is also the only being that can truly put the cartoonish red coated Son of Sparda in his place.
Like his Nelo Angelo alter-ego does in Devil May Cry you fight Vergil three times over the course of Devil May Cry 3, and each time Vergil brings something new (and deadly) to the table. It doesn’t really need to be said, Vergil isn’t a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. Take everything you know about how hard DMC3 is and pretend it’s harder than even that – that’s how tough Vergil can be. The final showdown with Vergil at the end of DMC3 should be a visual book on how to do a final boss battle properly. Everything boils down to Dante versus Vergil in a final one-on-one showdown, no gimmicks attached, the fight is hard (but in a fair way), and the fight really pushes you to use everything you’ve learned in the game to its fullest.
The buildup to this fight is done pretty well, also. Devil May Cry has never been a bastion of fantastic storytelling, but DMC3 really did a great job of putting Dante and Vergil on an inevitable collision course towards their final battle and it all comes together fairly smooth and organically – something DmC’s Dante versus Vergil showdown unfortunately couldn’t recreate successfully.
Hopefully this blog inspires you to go back and play some of the older games and relive some of these pretty fun boss moments. If you haven’t played the classic Devil May Cry games, well then shame on you! Seriously, go pick up the Devil May Cry HD Collection and Devil May Cry 4. You can get both of them for probably under thirty bucks.
(And by people I mean an entire civilization where everyone thinks like me)
Since the calendar flipped to 2013 and we survived the apocalypse, most people are now doing their blogs about their personal favorite games of the year 2012. I was going to do these, and I had an interesting realization when I was trying to put this together – I haven’t really played that many new games this year. 2012 was primarily hold overs from 2011 for me, as well as trying to charge through a bit of my backlog (a quest that honestly will never be fulfilled).
I also skipped over a lot of popular titles from 2012. I avoided Borderlands 2 because I found the original Borderlands to be pretty dull and boring (except for Claptrap). I saw a little bit of The Walking Dead but it didn’t catch my appeal, same with Dishonored. I don’t really know why I skipped XCOM. I don’t really know what happened; maybe a lot of 2012’s games didn’t catch my eye, maybe I was just too busy doing other life stuff, maybe I spent too much time playing more Space Marine, Minecraft, and League of Legends.
However, I've definitely done enough gaming to warrant talking about my favorites from the year that was. So, without further adieu, let the awards commence!
Best HD Collection or Remake Devil May Cry HD Collection
The Devil May Cry HD Collection is my favorite thing of this category to come out this year. Why? Because Devil May Cry 3 is still the best action game ever made, and the original Devil May Cry holds up surprisingly well after 12 years. These two things alone completely negate the turd that was Devil May Cry 2. All three games got a very respectable HD treatment, yes the menu's are still technically 3:4 and DMC1's menu's still look low definition however those were things that were unavoidable.
Gotta give props to this collection for also updating the control scheme of the original Devil May Cry to fit more with the schemes the sequels used. The one thing that always held me back in regards to replaying the original game was its somewhat silly scheme (triangle for jump, in an action game, really?). The HD version fixes this issue and it's a little change that goes a long way.
Totally Sweetest Movie of 2012 The Avengers
What?! Did you think I, the guy who has movie related blogs sprinkled all over the place, wouldn't set aside an award for something unrelated to video games? How foolish of you. The Avengers was everything that superhero movies should be, delightfully fun escapism that has heroes doing hero things. Every actor in this movie feels like they're having a blast and they do fantastic jobs as their respective characters, the plot isn't unnecessarily thick, the special effects are fantastic, fucking everything about The Avengers is just great.
There were also a couple of times during this movie where I almost openly cheered, something I've never done at a movie before. The first being Hulk's “I'm always angry” scene with the awesome shot everyone circled together right after, the second being the scene where every hero teams up with another hero to do sweet ass hero stuff like reflect repulsor beams off Cap's shield. This movie could have fallen apart in several ways, it's a minor (awesome) miracle it worked out.
My Coolest Gaming Moment of 2012 Max Payne 3's airport shootout
Somewhat spoiler alerts go here, I guess. Near the end of Max Payne 3, Max finds himself in a shootout with bad guys in an airport while effectively on the precipice of catching the big bad guy. What you get for this segment is a long non stop gunfight down a long airport terminal while accompanied with some rather haunting music that fits in with Max Payne 3's over all theme. It tugs at your emotions in a way you wouldn't entirely suspect and ends up doing an amazing job in my opinion of making you feel some of the weight of what's happening around you while giving the chilling feeling that Max might actually find the death a part of him has been craving. It's quite possibly the best job a video game has ever done of making me feel like I'm literally within an action movie.
Overblown Controversy of the Year Mass Effect 3
This isn't the first time I've talked about the Mass Effect 3 brouhaha that erupted in regards to the ending of the game. Hopefully this will be the last I talk about it though.
It's really sad, in my opinion, that people let 10 final minutes ruin potentially hundreds of hours of great entertainment. People need to enjoy the journey as well, not just the final destination. I can understand being upset about certain creative decisions, but petitioning to have developers change the ending of their game to meet your demands is where I think things cross the line into “spoiled brat” territory. Demanding people change things after-the-fact also validates shit like what George Lucas did to the Star Wars original trilogy. Don't be that guy who validates George Lucas.
Game I Bought For All The Wrong Reasons Lollipop Chainsaw / Zone of the Enders HD
I'll admit, I bought Lollipop Chainsaw because I wanted a decent action game that had some nice looking jugs in it. What I ended up getting was a game that had a surprisingly decent story about objectification (and in a way you'd necessarily expect). To top that off, the actual game itself was a pleasant blast to play and, despite being on the short side, I don't regret spending sixty dollars on this title.
I got Zone of the Enders HD almost entirely for the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo. I'm still totally okay with this, because Rising looks like the sexiest game of 2013. I was sold after I did a sliding kick that sent three bad guys into the air simultaneously, went into Blade Mode, sliced all three of them into a million pieces, and then ripped out their Metal Gear Gatorade Electrolyte spines followed by promptly looking at the boss going “Now what!”.
Underrated Game of 2012 Darksiders 2
Darksiders 2 got pretty good reviews, however it didn't sell that well and when awards time came around for most gaming sites it seemed like Darksiders 2 didn't exist. This totally sucks, because Darksiders 2 was fun as hell. Darksiders 2 was a sequel that did a fantastic job of being different yet familiar to its predecessor. While the original Darksiders was a fairly linear Zelda/God of War mash-up, Darksiders 2 felt like a hybrid of Prince of Persia, Devil May Cry and a small bit of Dark Souls thrown in. While it wasn’t a perfect game (certain missions did drag on too long, and the ending was lame) I thought Darksiders 2 was still fun enough to warrant an award from me.
Game I Didn’t Play That I Wish I Did Asura’s Wrath
I remember everyones favorite Dtoider Occams calling Asura's Wrath “the best episode of Power Rangers ever” (paraphrasing). I was all on board the hype train for this game leading up to its release but was ultimately turned off when I found out the game was effectively “Quicktime Events: The Game”. Judging by its anime styled over-the-top nature, Asura's Wrath still looks like something I know I'd smile during. Given that it can apparently be found for cheap at used game stores I'll definitely need to pick this one up sometime in 2013.
Best Sequel of 2012 Halo 4
I’ll make no denials that I’m a fanboy of the Halo series. It was refreshing to finally be playing as Master Chief again after he had a bit of a vacation whilst the franchise produced ODST and Reach. My inner fanboy smiled when Cortana said “Wake up Chief, I need you”. In a way that line was reflective of my views of the Halo franchise leading up to 4, I thought Bungie reached their maximum potential with the franchise around Halo 3 and their subsequent contributions felt lacking and stale.
343 Industries took over control of the Halo franchise and, in my opinion, delivered the best game in the franchise since the original. Alien worlds felt alien again, the story had moved on from the (now played out) war against the Covenant & threat of the Halo Rings, The Flood were nowhere in sight, and the multiplayer finally took some steps in a new direction instead of feeling like a stale flavor of a familiar old doughnut.
Surprise Game of 2012 FTL: Faster Than Light
I love me some Star Trek, I remember having fun with Bridge Commander back in the day and also enjoying Star Trek Online for quite a while. I wasn't expecting too much out of FTL, what I got was a Star Trek-ish experience that I was craving. The game is appropriately old school in both its art style and its difficulty, seriously, this game will wreck you and wreck you fast if you're lackadaisical. FTL is a thrilling experience as well. There's quite a rush when you realize you have to seal a break in one room, fight a fire in another room, fight off a potential boarding party, and still fight the enemy ship simultaneously.
Game of the Year Max Payne 3
I wasn't really that into the Max Payne franchise going into Max Payne 3, but holy shit I loved everything about this game. Imagine if Bruce Willis and Zack Snyder made a movie, but instead of a movie it was a completely sexy game. In fact, if you want, just consider Max Payne 3 to be the ultimate Bruce Willis simulator. Graphically Max Payne 3 is gorgeous and was worth the hefty install on my hard drive (all hail the master race). Gameplay is like if Die Hard and The Matrix both had sweet games made out of them and those two games then made sweet midnight love and had a baby.
If you're a fan of more classic action movies then Max Payne 3 is probably up your alley too as the plot is about a down and out ex-cop who ends up in a situation where seemingly the entire world is after him (and of course the only solution is bullets). While the story isn't told in the classic comic book styled format anymore, like the previous two Max Payne titles, it's all presented in a style that honors the original format. Along with that, I personally think the voice acting is pretty suburb in MP3 although it's slightly less hokey than Max Paynes of the past.
I've already noted the stellar airport shootout earlier in this blog, but I'll note that this game features plenty of other pretty fantastic action moments as well. Overall, Max Payne 3 was pretty handily my most satisfying gaming experience start to finish in all of 2012.
Honestly, I kind of felt like 2012 was a bit of a down year. However that's not to say that some quality games didn't come out. If you haven't played any of the games I've mentioned above, go fucking play them! They're awesome! Video games, people! Now let's welcome 2013 with open arms.
It's New Year's Eve ladies and gentlemen! Right now I'm sitting here doing two things; one, I'm preparing my liver for the insatiable amount of booze I'm probably going to consume tonight with my friends for our traditional New Years festivities. My friends and I do some pretty fun stuff for New Years, it all pretty much revolves around drinking booze while watching really old episodes of Sesame Street (which are fantastic when drunk), horrible 90's television commercials, and destroying furniture on beat to “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. Besides liver preparations, I'm also thinking about the upcoming 2013 year in video gaming. This has prompted me to put together a quick New Years cblog where I'm going to predict five things that will happen in the following year.
You know what's so fantastic about blogs like these? If I'm wrong I can just laugh it off as simple predictions, but if I'm right I can totally wave these around in your face like its a fourteen inch long penis.
1- The Vita will finally turn itself around
At some point in 2013, Sony is finally going to do something that will spark up some sales for the struggling PlayStation Vita. Ultimately, as we all know, the thing that will truly sell Vita's is a solid library of games (which may or may not already exist, depending on who you ask). However, the more immediate way to get Vita's off the shelves is to negate some of the hefty cost that comes with purchasing the system. The system itself is a tad pricey and with hefty overpriced memory cards being a hidden cost on top of the system people are probably more prone to wait a little longer and pick up a next-gen console for a little extra coin. Like the Nintendo realized with the 3DS, Sony needs to face reality and accept the fact that the Vita simply costs too much money.
2- DmC in the end will be a mild flop
DmC has probably been the consistently most controversial game around since its debut back in 2009. Despite all of the commotion and free advertising the game has benefited from due to its controversial factor, the reboot nobody really was asking for will ultimately be a relative fart in the wind. This is ground I'm recovering from a previous blog of mine, but the fact is that hack-and-slash games simply don't sell that much overall. Given that, the fact that the calendar around DmC's release is loaded with other games, Ninja Theory's brief history of making games that don't sell very well, and the recent demo of the game that didn't exactly silence many doubters, all of the pieces are in place for DmC to ultimately be a let down for Capcom.
3- Call of Duty will finally stumble
Hey, it has to happen eventually right? At some point even the most die hard fans of Call of Duty will start to get a little tired of paying $60 dollars a year for a slightly patched up version of the game they paid $60 dollars for last year. I received Black Ops 2 for Christmas and even though I'm mildly enjoying it the game as a whole feels as stale as a three month old doughnut, and I'm still one of the people who's more tolerant of the yearly releases. We aren't going to see any significant drop-off in CoD sales this year, that would be a completely stupid prediction. I'm predicting that the next entry in this franchise will still fly off shelves, but not at the pace set by previous entries.
4- We'll see both the PlayStation 4 and Nextbox by Christmas
I know what some of you are thinking already, “but the PS4 and Nextbox haven't even been announced yet!”. Whatever. There have been reported dev kits floating around for a while now already and I think most people who follow gaming have simply assumed that the next gen systems exist, revealing them is just a mere formality at this point. This is why I don't think it's a completely out-of-left-field idea that we'll see both the PS4 and Nextbox revealed and released in 2013. The logic is fairly simple; Sony's already overdue on their traditional new-console release schedule, Microsoft probably wants a fresh crack at releasing a stable new system, and neither Sony or Microsoft are going to let Nintendo have a two-holiday head start on them.
5- Tomb Raider will be completely forgotten by May
This is a pretty to the point prediction. Like DmC, Tomb Raider has been another fairly controversial reboot. Like DmC, I'm predicting this reboot will ultimately be a soft fart in the wind as well. Now, unlike DmC, this isn't really going to be due to it being in a genre that is relatively niche or due to it being surrounded by other more desirable titles. I think Tomb Raider is going to be ultimately forgotten because, well, it honestly doesn't look like anything memorable. Yeah I'm basing this prediction purely off my own opinion, but the amount of “meh” I see coming off of Tomb Raider alone is worth me mentioning. Tomb Raider looks like it's forgoing a lot of what made Tomb Raider a known title in an attempt to be Uncharted With Tits. Yeah, I know some of you will scroll down to the comments and immediately go “blah blah Tomb Raider is older than Uncharted blah blah”. But c'mon, it's not hard to see that there's a substantial Uncharted influence going on with this game. In the big picture, I have a feeling that if someone wants an Uncharted game they'll lean more for Uncharted instead of a mammary gland counterpart.
Have a happy New Year everybody! If you drink, be responsible about it and either arrange for a ride home or find a place to crash for the night. Don't be one of those dumbasses on the road, nobody likes that guy so don't be that guy.
It's been a while since I've done one of these blogs, in a moment of boredom I decided it was a good time to dust this recurring blog of mine and have a little bit of fun. You guys should know the drill by now, I'm gonna talk about characters that should get some kind of video game made about them and why.
5- The Shredder From: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Not enough video games have you playing from the villains perspective. This is probably because a good deal of villains in video games more or less sit on their ass the entire time until the hero shows up to dish out the pain.
If I could play from any bad guys perspective I’d probably want to be Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For one, Shredder is a ninja – everybody loves ninjas (besides pirates). Secondly, Shredder is a fucking badass. Need an example of his badassery? How about in the finale of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, where he fights all four of the turtles at the same time and wins decisively.
In fact, the only reason the Turtles survive this fight is because Splinter shows up and bails them out with his apparent Superman tier reflexes. In the original movie the Turtles never defeat or kill Shredder either, technically Casey Jones is the one who (seemingly) offs Shredder. Yeah, Shredder shows up in the sequel, but even in a rematch the Turtles still technically never defeat Shredder. How many other superhero/comic movies do you remember where the main villain makes it through two movies without the titular heroes ever really scoring a win?
If you want to make a good Shredder-centric game, I’d make it something along the lines of a “Rise & Fall of The Shredder” story. Start off with pre-Shredder & pre-Foot Clan Oroku Saki and chronicle his rise in Japan including his confrontation with Hamato Yoshi (Splinter’s original owner) and creation of the foot clan. Then you could jump to Shredder coming to America and doing his more traditional villainy here including battling the turtles or perhaps having confrontations with some of the other TMNT enemies (since not everybody is a lackey to the Foot Clan). Gameplay wise I’d say follow the Arkham City model, it seems like the best ninja combat system for me.
4- Johnny “Akiba” Sazaki From: Metal Gear Solid 4
I’m actually surprised I haven’t included this guy in one of my lists sooner. For those of you who haven’t played Metal Gear Solid 4, let me give you a quick semi-spoilerish description of Akiba. He’s a member of Meryl’s team in MGS4 and his character trademarks are being goofy and constantly shiting his pants. Later in on the game you find out that he’s also the unconscious naked security guard from Metal Gear Solid 1. So, why am I proposing a game focused entirely around a joke character from the Metal Gear universe?
Because he becomes fucking awesome
With most joke characters when shit gets real in the plot, the joke character either reverts to complete uselessness or somewhat rises to the occasion to become somewhat serviceable to the heroes. Akiba not only rises to the occasion, he fucks the occasion like it’s the prom queen and then tells it to get out of his apartment.
A ways into MGS4 you find out Akiba has a huge thing for Meryl (who doesn’t). Further on near the end of the game all sorts of shit gets real when Akiba & Meryl find themselves cornered against a ton of FROGS, super nano-machine special soldier dudes in MGS4, Not only does Akiba fight off the FROGS to defend the girl he cares for, he effectively slaughters them. Akiba summons his inner John Woo and starts dusting FROGS dual-weapon style while simultaneously putting the moves on Meryl and winning her over. Oh, and it turns out he does all of this without any nanomachine assistance. This is an important thing to note because all of that nanomachine crap is what gives basically every fucking other character in MGS4 their crazy abilities and what makes Solid Snake such a badass (this also explains why he constantly shits himself).
So not only does Akiba transform into a badass womanizing death machine, he’s a badass womanizing death machine that doesn’t rely on the same badass enabling devices that even the main badass character requires. A game featuring this character is solid Kojima-stamped gold waiting to happen. Akiba himself provides natural comic relief, the gameplay can go back to somewhat more old-school Metal Gear styled, and the guy even looks like a really young Snake.
3- The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers From: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
If you were a kid you probably liked Mighty Morphin Power Rangers at some point. What wasn't to like about it? It was about a bunch of teens who turned into colorful superheros who struck dramatic karate poses as shit spontaneously exploded behind them for dramatic effect.
Yeah, the Power Rangers have had a few games featuring them before (more than a few for the entire franchise). But I’m talking specifically the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers era, aka the era of this show that all of you reading this blog gave a crap about, because fuck all of that newer Super Samurai Dino Ninja Turbo Thunder Force bullshit.
The last MMPR centric game was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition for the Super Nintendo. Fighting Edition was a 2D fighter that featured a roster consisting of various giant monsters and multiple Megazords from the show (oddly enough the original Megazord isn’t on the roster). It’s been 17 years since the last video game featuring the original era of Rangers came out, doesn’t that suddenly make you feel old? A new video game featuring the original Power Rangers would be nothing more than a nostalgia cash in, but face it you all know the inner 10 year old in you would cheer a little hearing the original MMPR theme jamming during the opening menu of a game again.
How would the actual game go? Well, think about what made up your traditional Power Rangers episode; Rita Repulsa/Lord Zedd unleash another evil plan to take over Angel Grove and the Power Rangers fight their way through a small army of putties and end up fighting some pretty outlandish monster, which usually results in them fighting said outlandish monster again in a Godzilla styled large-scale monster battle. The video game practically writes itself!
The game could be played single player or co-operatively. Co-op could work X-Men Arcade style and support up to six players, because we’re including the Green Ranger (aka the best ranger, White Ranger was for sissies) in this game too. How would the large scale Zord fights work for co-op? Well, we’ll figure that out when we get there!
2- Redline From: Redline
Obviously, Redline isn’t a character but rather a movie. I’m just throwing the entire concept of Redline into a spot on this list because the whole damn universe this movie happens in is ripe for video game shenanigans. For those of you unfamiliar; Redline is an anime film about going as fast as you fucking can, so fast that missiles shot from your car struggle to keep up with you because you’re just too damn fast. It’s the wet dream of Sonic the Hedgehog’s wet dream. Some would argue that F-Zero fills this requirement already, but I say no sir – Redline does it better. Redline’s characters alone put F-Zero’s to shame, seriously just check out some of these toons.
Sweet JP – A man with the most epic pompadour in history who becomes a high-speed racer to pursue a chick he has a crush on (that’s dedication, by the way). Oh, and he drives a Trans-Am amongst a field of futuristic alien-cars.
There are others I haven’t even bothered to mention, but doesn’t this small sample size sound like something that fits right in place with a lot of the other outrageous shit you see in video games? The universe this is set in doesn’t really take itself that seriously either. For example, you know how in movies it seems like the main character’s car always has some magical extra 5th or 6th gear that they shoot the car up to in order to go faster when desperately needed? Yeah, somehow every character in this movie has and uses that cliché hidden gear. Come on developers, make a game about going all of the fast. Oh, and I didn’t even really mention the awesome soundtrack possibilities.
1- Vash the Stampede From: Trigun
Game wise, imagine Red Dead Redemption with a shot of sci-fi and less donkey lady. You’d kind of have an idea from what I’d expect from a video game set in the Trigun universe.
Vash the Stampede is the main character from a manga & anime known as Trigun, you probably heard of it thanks to its run on Cartoon Network. Trigun also has one of the cooler intro themes this side of Power Rangers. The world Trigun takes place on has a mix of spaghetti western and science fiction tropes (probably more of the former than the latter). Vash has arguably the worst luck in the world as any place he goes tends to get wrecked by or due to him, almost always unintentionally. This earns him the nickname “the humanoid typhoon”, gets an unrealistically high bounty placed on his head, and is classified as a walking natural disaster. He’s like Godzilla if Godzilla was clumsy and wore a pretty cool red duster.
Because of his astronomical bounty he generally has a reputation of being some super badass outlaw (which kind of parallels real life old west reputations of outlaws who had reputations that far exceeded their actual accolades). Thus when most people meet the actual Vash the Stampede, they don’t believe it’s actually him since the real Vash is a goofy character who tends to fawn over the first pretty girl he sees (which ads a nice comedic effect to everything).
Vash isn’t exactly human (not at all technically, but that potentially goes into spoilers). He has an evil twin brother named Knives, who is apathetic towards humans (oh my, a handgun toting main character in a red coat who has an evil twin brother? I wonder where Devil May Cry got that idea from). Knives forms a group called the Gung-Ho Guns who effectively act on his will, this group consists of essentially super-awesome bounty hunters that totally wouldn’t be the bosses of a potential Trigun video game. Notable characters here include Legato Bluesummers, a character who’s objective is specifically to make Vash’s life a living hell (the anime version of this character is substantially cooler than his manga counterpart), or Midvalley the Hornfreak – a character who uses a baritone saxophone as a weapon (really).
Sorry Trigun fans, I know I’m skipping a lot of other potentially important or noteworthy information but I don’t want to tread on this too much. I’ll just say that the universe of Trigun and pretty crazy characters that exist in it would make for some potentially fun video game shenanigans.
You’re all on Destructoid, I’m not going to pretend you didn’t read the article Jim posted about the #1ReasonWhy thing on Twitter. If you really need a short tl;dr I’ll sum it up with “sexism is bad”. I had a few things I wanted to talk about in regards to the whole thing and I didn’t really feel like wasting it all in the comments section of the article, so I broke it out into a blog.
Let me preface everything by saying that I’m fully aware that sexism occurs way too much in the video gaming world, and it does trouble me a great deal. There’s a lot of hot topic views on this issue as a whole that I’m going to avoid talking about though, because that’s just a burning fire I don’t want to get close to right now. There are a few side things regarding it all that I wanted to share my opinions on though.
The most ‘hot topic’ thing I’m probably going to talk about is in regards to objectified women within video games. Does it bother me if a woman in a video game dresses in a blatantly sexual fashion? To be perfectly honest, not a single bit. I’m a guy, I like hot girls, sue me. I also know plenty of women it doesn’t bother either, to be perfectly honest. And hey, thousands upon thousands of women wouldn’t spend their own time and money to cosplay as questionably dressed characters if they were offended by said characters. I know cosplayers don’t represent all females; I’m just using it as part of my point.
Honestly, I do think the issue of objectified women characters in video games is a tad overblown. The reason I think it’s such a big deal is because there’s a lack of more relate-able decent female characters to balance out all of the hyper-sexualized stuff you see out there. In other words the issue isn’t that there’s so much of one thing, but it’s more that there’s a lack of another thing. There's too much peanut butter on the sandwich, not enough delicious grape jelly. If there was a stronger stable of good video game heroines in the industry I don’t think people would have as much of an issue with some of the more ‘questionable’ stuff that’s already out there, because different strokes for different folks.
Can I play devil’s advocate for a moment and suggest a potential reason for why we don’t see more good female heroes out there that doesn’t involve blatant sexism? When you, for example, look at all of these studios that are closing shop after a game doesn’t live up to sales expectations, look at some of the losses Sony or Nintendo are putting up, or look at how physical media sales have been declining recently, perhaps studios/publishers are a bit more concerned about maintaining their current male dominated audiences instead of expanding outward? Is it a likely reason or excuse, probably not, and you could probably make a counterpoint to my question by saying that via appealing to more female audiences you could potentially have them replace other customers you have lost. I’m just throwing it out there for the sake of discussion.
Moving over to the topic of women working within the game industry, it seems like there’s a lot of discussion about why there aren’t more women in the industry in general. Again for the sake of discussion, has anybody suggested that maybe a reason more women don’t work in the industry is simply due to the possibility that women just have less desire to work in the gaming industry than men?
If you aren’t following me, allow me to make a comparison to a sports issue. Major League Baseball has had a steady decline in the number of African-American baseball players in the league for several years now. Nobody is suggesting that there’s a racist agenda to remove African-Americans from the game of baseball, they just acknowledge that as a whole the African-American demographic just doesn’t care as much about playing baseball at a professional level compared to football or basketball. It’s a similar train of thought for why Americans as a whole don’t care much for soccer (international football) despite the fact that it’s crazy popular all over the rest of the world, it’s just not our thing.
This is a quote from a project director at Obsidian Entertainment. And this is the ratio before applicants are filtered out based on job qualifications.
(Props to Trev for pointing this tweet out to me)
Maybe that’s a reason why we don’t see more females working in the industry, perhaps a large portion of women out there just don’t have the desire to work in this industry and are pursuing other avenues that entice them more.
Now I’m not trying to deny that there’s a sexism hurdle that’s hampering women’s chances of getting into the video game industry or anything like that, please don’t think otherwise. I just think we need to take a look at all of the factors that go into why more women aren’t involved, not just discuss selective issues that make things look worse than they may or may not be. The irony of #1ReasonWhy is that there really is no one real reason why there aren’t more women in video games.
I also think the issues of lacking numbers in good female protagonists and the small percentage of women working in game design are linked. It’s really kind of a common sense thing the more I think about it. A good deal of people who currently work in the industry do so because they were fans of video games when they were younger. More decent female characters means more women playing video games, more women playing video games means more women get interested in the process of making video games, and I’m assuming you can bridge the rest out from there.
The final thing I want to comment about is the whole issue of people saying sexist & offensive things in comments for articles or things such as Hey Ash Whatcha Playin? To be perfectly honest this felt like a weak attempt to cherry pick things in order to gain some sympathy. Anybody who has any sort of presence on the internet at all has had bad things said about them at some point, and is aware that you’ll never be able to make everybody happy. This is an issue that really has nothing to do with sexism but rather is a “people are dickheads on the internet in general” issue.
It’s really just “Internet 101”; when someone gets to stand on the anonymous soapbox of the internet they lose any sense of accountability for their words and thus all of their personal or moral filters go out the window. Some of you might be thinking “but that means they’re speaking straight from their mind/heart, doesn’t that mean deep down they’re actually a racist/sexist/horrible person?” No and I don’t buy that a bit. Those mental filters a person has are a huge part of that person’s personality and who they are, thus why nobody has the exact same moral filters. Someone talking on the internet is similar to talking to a drunk person, it’s usually loaded with a bunch of stupid crap that a person would never actually say and you shouldn’t take what they say to heart (unless it’s positive, because optimism is good).
A person saying mean things on the internet is something that these people are just going to have to suck up and deal with. It’s something every public persona has to deal with at some point in time. There’s effectively no way to fully police internet jerkiness without tearing down the barrier of anonymity that the internet provides, which would also take away a lot of what makes the internet a unique and amazing place. If you ask me the best way to create more female-friendly characters and get more women into playing video games is by getting more women into the industry. This isn't some Jackie Robinson type barrier where women aren't allowed into a boys only club, women already work in the industry and the door has been opened, more women just need walk through the door. This is completely my opinion but external pressure on the industry isn't going to change anything at all and change has to happen from within, both from women and men alike.
The demo for the redundantly named DmC: Devil May Cry finally popped up on Xbox Live and PSN this week. If you’re a long time follower of my blog you’ll remember that I’ve said that I won’t make any concrete assessments of DmC until I can physically play the game myself. Considering the need for a hands-on was something I wanted over two years ago, it’s pretty easy to say that Ninja Theory sure wasn’t in any sort of rush to try and quell the complaints of skeptics. Because of said skeptics the DmC demo has turned into one of the most anticipated demo releases I can think of in recent memory, both for the fact that optimists want to see it excel and skeptics want to see if it falls flat on its face.
So, does DmC’s demo indicate a potential instant-classic or an incoming flop? Truth be told, it’s somewhere in-between.
Let me take a moment to say that I’m probably going to sound like a negative Nancy while writing up this impressions piece. The Devil May Cry franchise is one of my personal favorite franchises and I tend to be the harshest on the franchises I care about the most, especially when such a dramatic overhaul happens such as in the case of DmC. Allow me to preface everything next by saying that after I was done playing this demo a part of me really wanted to enjoy DmC, however bits from my time definitely held me back from actually doing that.
Change for the sake of change
I’m okay with changes if it makes that particular thing better because of said changes. For example, the Iron Man movies were instantly made better by skipping the whole “Iron Man is Tony Stark’s bodyguard” angle because it was a nice chunk of common sense thinking plus everybody important already knew Stark was Iron Man anyway. However, change simply for the sake of saying “we’ve changed it” is something I’m not exactly cool with.
Let me get some of the ancillary stuff out of the way first. Visually, the game itself doesn’t look bad at all. In fact it looks quite good in the graphics department. It’s definitely colorful and there’s plenty of detail to everything around. I was particularly fond of how the transition from the “normal world” to Limbo looked visually and it was in fact probably the most visually striking part of the demo to me.
The whole “60 FPS versus 30 FPS” debate is something I was never fully into, and to be honest DmC felt “smooth enough” for me. In these regards I had no problems with DmC and would mark it as a plus. Though if you personally asked me I’d probably still take Devil May Cry 4’s overall visual style, its not a slam on the new game but it’s just a personal preference thing.
The DmC demo also gives us a small taste of the dynamic environments that Ninja Theory and Capcom were talking about, which was supposedly the justification for switching from the MT Framework engine over to the Unreal engine (which sparked the whole frames-per-second issue). To be perfectly honest only the final church segment really impressed me in terms of these dynamic environments, and even that was just a slightly new spin on a rather old trick. Everything else in the demo consists of either a floor falling out from under you or walls closing in on you, things we’ve all seen before. I’m imagining Ninja Theory is saving their best tricks for the full game, obviously, but it’s hard to get excited for that when all they show off are fancy versions of old tricks.
To echo things I’ve said in the past, I’m still not especially fond of Dante’s revamped look. It’s not that I dislike it because it’s different than his previous looks, but rather I dislike it because it’s a pretty bland and boring design in general. New Dante still looking like a giant Mary Sue for Ninja Theory's own Tameem Antoniades doesn't help either. It’s the same reason I’m not especially fond of the looks of characters like Nathan Drake, Commander Shepard, or original Infamous 2 Cole. Maybe it’s just me, but characters that are supposed to look more like ‘everyday real people’ just don’t click with me – especially if they exist in a world that’s full of outlandish concepts, or is half-demon/half-angel.
Continuing with some side bits of the demo, I need to take a moment to talk about the voice acting I heard. This was something that particularly surprised me considering Ninja Theory’s history with game presentation; the voice acting (at least in the demo) was mostly awful and the lines the characters are delivering aren’t anything great either. The best way I can describe it is by saying it was like watching one of those bad episodes of The X-Files where Mulder and Scully sit around talking for most of the episode. Almost all of the voice acting in DmC’s demo was super monotone and had little to no emotion behind it, Kat’s voice actress the lone exception.
I know it’s just a demo and you can’t extrapolate too much from it, but Dante was simply boring in this demo – like “I’m going to compare him to Devil May Cry 2 Dante” level boring. And it wasn’t necessarily just Dante, Vergil and some of the side characters the demo previews also had the same “sounds like they’re reading their lines for the first time” sound in their voices. This caught me a bit off guard considering this was all coming from the studio that presented the awesomeness of Heavenly Sword’s King Bohan. I was talking about this to fellow Dtoider/FNF Supreme Overloard Trev and we both kind of agreed that if this demo is set early in the game there’s a chance that the Dante we see in this demo simply hasn’t been emotionally ramped up yet. This might explain why Dante and company’s voice acting was as boring as a cardboard sandwich.
Part of the reason the dialogue itself seems surprisingly below my expectations might be a result of DmC being the first game that’s script was written in-house by Ninja Theory. I did a little bit of digging before writing this and apparently the scripts for Heavenly Sword and Enslaved were both outsourced by Ninja Theory, meaning the credit for some of that nice dialogue I guess should be going to other people. It doesn’t necessarily mean that DmCs story and script will be bad, but it just kind of shifts my frame of reference a bit in regards to what I expect from the studio since apparently some of their best work wasn't actually done by them.
The gameplay in DmC’s demo is the area that triggered the most mixed emotion from me. The gameplay does look plenty flashy and with practice you can definitely learn to chain some good combos, however I feel as if the controls themselves are rather counter-intuitive and are a slight step backwards from previous Devil May Cry games. The primary issue I had, and this is what ultimately made me decide in the end I didn't care that much for the demo, was that I was struggling due to trying to play DmC like it was a Devil May Cry game.
If you want to take that previous sentence as a red flag, so be it, it’s just my opinion on it.
The hard lock-on system that the previous titles used appears to be gone and in its place is a soft lock on system. While the soft-lock system works decently for the most part, I already lament the loss of the old fashioned Legend of Zelda styled z-lock system. During my time with the demo I had a few occasions where Dante would break away from the target I was intending to attack in order to start swinging & shooting at a target that managed to jump between myself and my intended enemy (this was especially an issue when aerial enemies came into play). While these issues of mine weren’t overly frequent, the fact that the soft-lock system was unreliable with only small amounts of enemies nearby makes me worry about how troublesome the soft-lock system could get if the full game throws larger groups at you. Unfortunately the demo mostly throws grunt-level enemies at you as well, so it’s kind of hard to gauge how well the soft-lock system works when it comes to prioritizing important/larger enemies.
Beyond guaranteeing that Dante would attack whom I want him to attack, the hard-lock system was also a good form of camera control that I missed on a few occasions during the demo. Locking onto enemies would traditionally center that enemy on your screen, which was something that was nice to have for spotting enemies that were previously off-camera.
I know it sounds like I’m complaining because something is gone from the old games, but for me during the demo I did have occasions where I had trouble pin-pointing enemies that were off screen, this happened primarily when the camera would get a little too close to the action and would severely limit my knowledge of my surroundings. I’m complaining about the lack of a solid lock-on system not because it’s a change from the old games, it’s a change that can impede the flow of the gameplay.
Activating your demon or angel weapons is done by holding down either LT or RT (I demoed on 360, just for reference), and you have to maintain holding the button down for the duration of how long you wish to use that weapon. Why this couldn’t have been something you could toggle on/off similar to how switching weapons in previous games worked is beyond me. This setup caused my fingers to be full of unhappy thoughts when I started to attempt even slightly more complicated maneuvers. For example; if I want to use my angel weapon on an opponent I have to hold LT while hitting melee to use that weapon. Then if I want to quickly fly over to a different enemy I have to let go of LT and then hit RT+X to fling the next enemy my way, then hit LT again to return to angel weapon devastation. It felt like my index fingers were doing more work than they should have to for something that could be done fairly simple in, for example, Devil May Cry 4. I can see how this setup could potentially be viewed as a more versatile system than stuff we've seen in the past since all weapons are slightly more accessible, however I don’t see it providing enough of an improvement over the previous setup to justify the over complication of the controls.
Some other formerly basic functions seem to have been changed up a little too. The remnants of what was known as “Trickster Style” have been broken up into a couple of separate functions that span across a couple of buttons now. The ground based evade is now performed by hitting RB, which can now be performed in the air now too apparently. The former “Sky Star” horizontal air-dash is now performed by holding LT and hitting the A button. Again I’m going to nitpick a bit, but I fail to see a logical reason why these had to be broken up into separate button combos when they could have just been all mapped to one context sensitive button. Obviously there’s differences between Dante’s air-evade and his full horizontal air-dash, however odds are that players will never use the latter when in combat and will take the air-evade as a more combat ready option. It seems slightly more efficient to just have RB perform an air-evade when in combat and the air-dash when out of combat. Like I said, its nitpicky, but this is something that was another simple one-button-press that had to get a little overdone for no solid reason outside of being able to say ‘it’s different’.
Launching enemies airborne in previous DMC games required you holding back on the left joystick while hitting the melee button and being locked onto an enemy (it sounds more complicated than it actually is). Partially because there is no hard lock-on system in this game, that obviously had to get redone a bit and now Dante’s launch ability is mapped to the B button (circle, for PS3). I’m not entirely sure if I’m a fan of one glorified melee attack being its own button, but again for the sake of the lack of a lock-on system and the higher emphasis on air combat I’m okay with it and it works. Plus considering the demo’s seeming penchant of making you press at least two buttons for simple actions I’m happy I didn’t have to press at least two buttons to do it. Tapping B launches enemies into the air, holding B launches enemies into the air and Dante follows them up into the air with them (just like in the classic games), hitting B while in mid-air has Dante perform his helm-breaker maneuver.
Now is where I get to the difficulty of the demo. Demos usually seem scaled down a bit in terms of difficulty, probably just to hook people in a tad easier, so I’m applying a similar logic here. However, considering the game sports multiple difficulties I’m also going to make an assumption that Ninja Theory wants us to have at least some kind of approximation of what the difficulty of the final game will be. It's either that or they're just planning a big bait and switch, which you can't rule out since Capcom is involved too.
On my first play through of the demo I did think the game felt a tad easy for a Devil May Cry game. It wasn’t offensively easy or anything that would cause me to be alarmed, but the demo did feel a tad lax to me. My second play through of the demo, however, did make me feel a tad concerned about the difficulty of the game. I pretty much ran through the first level of the demo on Son of Sparda difficulty and the only times I ever took damage were when I was fighting against the games controls itself. And even when I did fumble with some of the game mechanics it would take a small bit of time before I was actually in any sort of danger since the enemies you face are pretty passive and telegraph their attacks a solid second or two before they actually attack.
There is a second level to the demo as well and it consists of fighting some weird larvae woman who curses every three words and looks kind of like one of the brain bugs from Starship Troopers. It wasn't a bad battle at all but it wasn't anything remarkable, it was effectively a “beat the shit out of it until it dies” boss and while there was a very basic pattern to the boss it didn't feel on the same tier as some of the bosses from DMCs past. Perhaps I was a bit jaded by this point because I was already fairly turned off by the demo.
Oh and while I complained about the dialogue being bland and the voice acting being wooden earlier in this blog, I feel like I should make a point to talk about the dialogue that pops up for the boss battle segment of the demo because it's particularly awful. I'm not going to go quote for quote on this, but the exchange between Dante and Brain Bug Lady is effectively a bunch of Jerry Springer curse word salvos tossed back and forth and there isn't a single glimmer of witty well written dialogue. Even with the intentionally cheesy dialogue from previous DMC games in my mind, the dialogue in the DmC demo is pathetically juvenile and tries so hard to be edgy and cool that it comes off as a desperate plea of “look at us and how edgy we are”.
In summary (since I know must of you probably scrolled down by now, losers)
DmC is a game that I really do want to like. Sure there were a few other facepalm moments here and there, Voldo-styled bondage Sparda was extremely laugh out loud worthy in its awfulness, but I honestly like a lot of the ideas that are going into the game. I just think the decision making and execution of those ideas are a bit off. Based off the demo (which obviously leaves a bit of wiggle room since its not a full game) DmC feels decent to good, but not what I would call great.
And as a little extra...
Trev sent me this video whilst we were discussing DmC. It's about the new version of Dante and the flaws he has as a character and in terms of the character he's effectively replacing. Whether or not you agree is up to you, I thought I'd just mention it because it does a pretty decent job of putting together a respectable list of issues with the new take on the character, and it should shut up some of the people who still think people don't like him just because his hair is black.