Evening, Destructoid! Been a good long while since last time I went 'round these parts, but a surplus of free time means I’ve decided to sneak back in here as I have something to talk about. Something that will soon be relevant to my interests as I will get DmC as a birthday gift, and so I've spent December and January playing the demo and finally getting around to completing DMC4. All in all I've come out with some... insights, into the franchises current state.
Let's quickly recap my thoughts on the demo however, and the hour or so of gameplay I saw LP'd recently. Also, note: I haven't read reviews yet. I'm trying to go into this with eyes untouched by anything by my own biases.
-The weapon switching system. Not all the weapons seem like they’ll be very useful, but I do like the general idea of shoulder button ”style” switching, felt like it handled better here than in Heavenly Sword.
-The red glow on your weapon telling you when you can "branch out" with a new combo. I don't know if this came from Capcom or NT, but I like how it helps newcomers open up their eyes to the possibilities in the system. One minor flaw was that the Angel and Devil weapons had so much lightning effects on them that I didn’t notice they HAD a shine until it was explicitly pointed out in a video I watched, but maybe that’s fixed in the full game.
-Dante’s attitude and general character. Don’t think I need to explain why at this point, others have done it so well.
-The difficulty. High scores felt too easy to come by and most fights were far too simple and slow. Dunno if that's the frame rate thing or just generally unaggressive enemies. Can’t say I care much for piddly guns, getting Ikaruga in my DMC or the PS3's way of putting weird lines on everyones faces either.
-The story. It can go so many ways, but I wish, hope and pray that even if Dante has turned into yet another ”angsty and broody dude who doesn’t care about anything but learns to open up and yet never grows a sense of humor”, and Mundus has become so petty as to say ”You don’t fuck with a god” and other stylistic choices that makes me groan, I still hold out hope for Vergil. Something about the way he's presented in trailers and other material makes me feel like he'll be really sympathetic, perhaps even the break-out star of the game, and I do hope that when Vergil falls, which he will, it won’t be because he was manipulating everyone all along because he was brought up as a rich kid and the rich people are like always looking to screw over the little guy! FIGHT THE POWER! So, yes. I'm pinning all my hopes on a possible villain.
-The graphics. I think I’ll come to appreciate them in the end, but I felt all the colors were so vibrant they just blend into each other and make it really difficult to SEE what's going on and pick up visual cues like the shine on the weapons. The city-scape was not as impressive as in DMC4 and none of the environments I’ve seen so far have really grabbed me so far.
And now that I’ve gone through the stuff y’all have already discussed to death, what DO I have to bring to the conversation? With so much insecurity, why do I still think this’ll be a net gain for the franchise? Simply put- because effing Capcom, guys. Effing Capcom.
Capcom seems to be run by howler monkeys these days. The treatment of the Megaman franchise (slowly getting ”better” though), their inability to understand what its costumers wants (which hopefully the survey will change), the numerous PR-fiascos and what happened to RE6 (yeah, not a big fan) have not earned them much good will. Capcom’s strength may lie in pumping out sequels, but quality control of said sequels… not so much. See, I don’t really think Capcom knows what to do with DMC- having recently cleared DMC4 in preparation for this one I was struck by just how BAD the story there was, even if Nero was surprisingly enjoyable for someone I could swear would be a Poochy without equal.
Apparently he IS supposed to be Vergils son, yet for reasons unknown this was shunted from this game and left to be revealed in later games. Games that never materialized. Why? What sense did it make to introduce this new character and then never give him a satisfying explanation and solid background? There was also the blatant reuse of assets to save time and money, whether due to laziness or low budget: even if the stages were gorgeous and felt more varied than DMC3’s often barren cave and fortress environments, going through them twice was not a lot of fun.
Not much I can say about the gameplay either- instant style changing for Dante was neat but I can see why they cut it to simplify stuff for newcomers, and farming orbs to upgrade styles was a real drag later on. I liked Nero’s Devil Arm but Exceed felt pretty darn tacked on, and Dante’s weapons were either reruns or polishing other characters weapons (Lucifer was everything Vergil’s Summoned Swords should have been). I give Pandora a pass, but just barely.
But at the end of the day DMC4 was a decent game. A 6 or 7 probably, which I think is where DmC will end up as well for anyone not blinded by hate or hype. So if both are about equall okay, why do I think NT was a good choice? Because say what you will about Tameem and Ninja Theory’s less than stellar way of paying proper respects to the franchise, I do believe they have far higher ambitions and ability to maintain a consistent world and keep a story going than Capcom do. I feel like it’s safer to have Capcom create new franchises and then farm them out to other developers who can actually DEVELOP those worlds. This isn’t a very nice conclusion and it does make me a Gloomy Gus Doomsayer re: Capcom’s capacities, but my gut says what it says and Capcom hasn’t done much to disprove it as of late. For all the things this game does that makes me groan as a fan of the fun, devil may care attitude of Devil May Cry, I simply believe they can be better stewards of the franchise than Capcom.
In summary, Nu!Dante will not be the anti-Christ that dooms the franchise… just the anti-Charisma.
Okay yes, this whole thing was pretty much written solely because I needed a justification to post that pun, which I came up with after watching the Let's Play. I may be heinously late to the party with these opinions but dammit- I believe that it is NEVER too late for a good pun. The world which disagrees with me is one I for one will have no part of.
So, with that said, until I get around to posting a review of DmC (and maybe DMC4 if I feel like it), I feel like I've had my fill of controversialities and debates on radical alterations to a franchises spirit and respecting history without shutting doors to the future. I'm just gonna relax and turn my attention elsewhere, talk about something else...
So how about that Reveangeance trailer/demo out now/soon :D ?