We brought you a thorough preview of the first hands-on with Ninja Theory's DMC not too long ago, but we were able to take it for another spin in a newly revealed boss battle that proved to be so difficult that I'm sure no one in attendance at the press event was able to beat it. I was openly cussing at this as*hole, much to the amusement of onlookers.
Don't get the wrong idea, though. Despite dying too many times, this bastard was fun. I actually had to force myself to stop playing and move onto other work.
DmC (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
[Sorry, We have none of the screens that would show this boss.]
In the "Secret Ingredient" boss battle, Dante enters a large under-city sewer cavern through a drain pipe to find a massive, nasty cocoon-like creature writhing while hanging from what looked to be power cables, swinging from the room's ceiling. Dante moves in for a closer look, almost as if he had been looking for this thing.
The fight begins as this creature pulls itself from its hanging state so that its head and tentacle-like claw arms are resting on the side of a platform. It grabs, slaps and pokes at Dante while he has to run around the platform, trying to attack it without being beat to death in the process. This thing is huge, though. I wasted a lot of time trying to jump up at its face to attack it, and found out the long and hard way that its arms were more susceptible to damage. It's life bar, by the way, was nearly as long as the entire length of the screen.
Just after I gathered that I could hit its arms to effectively damage it, it showed me its barf attack, which had its yellow-green chunks covering the entire play field, with Dante taking damage while standing in it. Jumping around and air combo-ing helped a bit, but it wasn't enough to keep me off the floor, and I kept dying.
A Capcom rep that had been watching me hinted that I should try Dante's grappling hook. It turns out that the stage had multiple platforms to stand on, and that using Dante's grappling hook let me grab onto a ledge and swing to another barf-free platform. The stage featured four of these platforms, which, put together, circled the hanging beast.
I developed a pattern where I could slash at the bastard until it looked like he might barf, and then move onto the next platform while he continues to purge, which had me waiting and ready for him by the time he made it around to me. This seemed to work well enough, but the problem was that its damned life bar was way bigger than mine, and I could never survive long enough to take it down. This had me wondering about my weapon choices (sword or axe) and my attack accuracy. It turned out the answer was a technique that I had failed to tap into.
Dante's attacks fill up a meter that lets him use demon powers, and in this case I should have been using a technique that recovered a bit of life with a full meter's use. So I implemented that in my strategy, which had me bashing at him with short combos, swinging away via grappling right before he barfed, healing up while waiting for it to come toward me, and then bashing away again. Wash, rinse repeat. And this felt good. After honing in my attacks and being as efficient with this strategy as possible, I was able to get his life bar down really low. Not enough to kill him, though.
And then I did it. Or so I thought. I kept with the slashing, hopping and healing, and I finally took that last bit of its health bar to finish it off. But instead of falling over dead, a short cutscene played out, and he took on an angrier form with a brand new long-ass health bar!
After a few tries I gave up, knowing that I had more work to do. I never got past that second tier. I walked around to watch others play and saw that someone did get past that second tier … to bring him into a third one. He was chaining attacks better than I had, but it wasn't enough.
I'll be back, barfy cocoon.
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