Thursday, November 3, 2011

Devil May Cry 4

What do you get when you cross an effeminate lead character, cheesy rock music and giant monsters trying to kill the human race? A decent action game, apparently.

One game that’s making a pretty big stir in the video game community nowadays is the reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise, the infamous DmC. Now, while I’m not sure how good or bad the actual game will be since it’s pretty early to properly judge anything, I can safely say that the game doesn’t look as appealing or just plain good as the ludicrous, surreal stylish bonanza that the last 2 games were.

That said, while we wait for this sure to be financial train wreck to come out so we can finally give a proper opinion, why don’t I give my opinion about the last game of the series?

Since i’m a pretty big fan of 3D action games in general, this franchise holds a soft spot for me (Meaning that I’ll get somewhat personal here) so before I get into the actual game, I’ll let you know on a special person that helped making what Devil May Cry 4 is today. A person that hyped this game to hell and back in interviews and claimed it was going to be the second coming of Christ of the action genre.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the producer of DMC 4.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who in this review, shall be referred to the more appropriate name "Producer Prickface" from this point on.

Now that Producer Prickface was properly introduced, it should be noted that being charged of producing the game made him held a big responsibility in his hands, which was a bad sign since he obviously couldn’t handle the pressure, which made him take a reinvigorating decision. He thought that it was time to implement a method into Devil May cry that Capcom often used in other of its most successful franchises to make them still look "fresh and new", which is, in a nutshell, to create a new protagonist. Characters like Apollo Justice in Phoenix Wright, Yagyuu Juyuubei in Onimusha and Resident Evil most of all which as an entire cast of protagonists throughout its huge line of games.

This concept, however, is inherently flawed from the very beginning. Simply because most of the fans in a long running game franchise are not going to want to enjoy playing with a brand new character after the shit load of hours that the player has invested with the previous main character. They are already attached to him be it because of looks, personality or pure gameplay reasons. It doesn’t help that these new main characters, more often than not, never appeared in the universe before and were forced into the game as this fuck-awesome-guy –that-you-never-previously-heard-of which is plain bullshit.

Plus there’s fact that Capcom, in a last sadistic move to fuck over loyal, long time fans of said franchise, they make the previous main character much cooler than he ever was during his run as the main guy. Phoenix Wright being a good example of this.

Now, Producer Prickface, in his infinite wisdom, instead of making a new character with a distinct look and personality, decided to make Nero. A guy that looks exactly like Dante only not fun, entertaining and with a one dimensional personality combined with "Final Fantasy character wannabe" syndrome. Not even the fact that his sword works like a fucking motorbike that explodes on impact makes him passable. This guy is easily one of the laziest characters Capcom ever made.
Now Kyrie, another new character and the obvious romantic interest of Nero, is an annoying perfect Mary Sue that is so shallow and bland in personality that she makes Princess Peach look like a deep and compelling character by comparison.
They actually make a good couple.

With that out of the way, let’s go back to the actual game I’m supposed to be reviewing:

Look at him. Doesn’t he look like a huge tool so dreamy?

A plot, in a Devil May Cry game, you say?

It’s true, they do have those between each seemingly row of endless rooms upon rooms filled with repetitive enemies. And Devil May Cry always tried to provide some backstory to justify all the bullshit that keeps going on with *and* still expect to be taken seriously.

Funny as that may be, I actually think that Devil May Cry 3 did a fairly good job at telling a basic action story about brotherly rivalry, godhood ambitions and doomsdays events.

Devil May Cry 4 on the other hand, thought that shit was totally gay. Who the fuck wants to see 2 brothers kicking the ever living shit out of each other in an epic demon duel as they climb a tower that holds the portal to hell when you can see Kirye´s face pucker up and smile each time Nero spews more of his Twilight-esque speeches of how she is so precious to him and how that’s the only fucking thing that matters in the entire fucking universe.

Sanctus: Haha, the power of Sparda is mine!

Nero: You know when you really pissed me off old man? It wasn't when you lied to me and used me to complete your evil plan, it wasn't when you killed Credo, who was like a father figure for me and died trying to save me and it even wasn't when you summoned hell itself and killed dozens of people to jerk off to your God complex. No, it was when you MESSED UP THE HAIR OF MY LOVE INTEREST! RARGAGRAAAARGAGRAH!!

Kyrie: Am I saved yet?

Sanctus: Oh woe is me! Why is the concept of a hostage too complicated for me making me not actually threaten to kill this bitch right from the start!

Kyrie: Well, everything I knew was a lie, my home city is destroyed and my brother is dead. But everything is just peachy because my boyfriend is totally dreamy! Tee hee! Let's look at those pigeons fly!

Dante: I’m kicking ass like nobody's business, treating this seemingly epic event as a cakewalk while killing gigantic demonic overlords and singing about how awesome I am at pleasuring women in bed. Too bad you´ll barely see me around in this game. How do sequels work again?

Oh yeah, Nero is Vergil’s son and no one really gives a shit about it. Go figure.

(By the way, the pope is the bad guy. Spoiler alert)

Gameplay: The only reason why people even care about Devil May Cry. Nero actually plays pretty differently from Dante going with a play style that greatly emphasizes on timing. The revving system (The motorcycle sword thing I mentioned earlier) revolves around pressing a button shortly after you perform a normal attack; with the right timing you can pretty much kill everything in a storm of fire since it increases the damage by almost retarded levels. With a decent enough movelist and a combination of the Blue Rose, his firearm which can be charged for extra damage, Nero has enough depth to make you waste plenty of hours of playtime.

And of course, there’s the Devil Bringer a.k.a “I win mode”, which frankly, is pretty limited in what it can do, you can pull enemies to chain and increase combos and also damage them by grabbing and that’s pretty much it. With all the hype that Producer Prickface gave this thing in interviews, I was pretty disappointed with it. It felt unfinished.

By the way, Nero only has one sword, one gun and the Devil arm. So unfinished is a word that usually crosses my mind when it think about this guy.

Dante, on the other hand, despite also having limited weapons, is much more fun when you play him, he pretty much works like the Dante of the previous game but now he can switch styles in real time which means that he can deliver different kind of attacks and evasion moves on the fly. When you fully unlock his movelist, there’s plenty variety to go around, although it will take some time to get the entire arsenal fully memorized since it can be kinda confusing switching so much shit from styles, weapons and firearms.

Thing is, Dante’s move list really took up the ass, probably to not overwhelm the poor new fans that this game is supposedly desperately trying to pull. We wouldn’t want them to be lost while the old fans have only 3 weapons to choose from, 4 of which already appeared in other games and only 2 are new.

What’s that?, Producer Prickface? You said in interviews that Devil May Cry 4 would have more weapons than all of the previous games combined?

Wow, what a crock of overhyped shit. Oh, Producer Prickface, how I love thee.

Concerning the bosses, most of them are pretty fun and don’t sink into the QTE mania that’s staining fast paced action these days. It’s just a shame that the game has fewer bosses than the third installment and the only boss that’s not repeated throughout the course of the game is the best one.

I wouldn’t put past Dante to carry confetti in his pockets just to put on a show when he kills the generals of hell.

Graphics: They look pretty damn good for a multiplatform game, although all the graphics in the world don’t really do much when the scenery looks pretty bland. Cruising through a generic city, forest and an underground laboratory aren’t really the best backgrounds when you’re killing demonic creatures. While there’s nothing really wrong with the art direction per se, they should’ve just focused on gothic scenery and magical environments.

And the bosses look ridiculous for the most part, that angelic theme going on for them didn’t really worked when they stick it into a giant bug and in a…whatever the fuck the guy below turned into.

A final Fantasy boss reject fights an androgynous pretty boy. Truly a duel of the ages.

Conclusion: Well, I may have nitpicked the ever living shit out of this game but truth be told, I quite liked it, mostly because of its solid combat engine open to experimentation and variety which enhances the game’s replayability by shitloads.

Thing is, when Capcom made itself the shit sandwich that was Devil May Cry 2, they tried really fucking hard to clean the name of the franchise when they made Devil May Cry 3, it had more than 10 bosses, shit load of weapons, 2 playable characters and it was filled with small extra bullshit. There was palpable effort there.
With Devil May Cry 4 it seems that the drive behind the game’s development was “smooth sailing through calm seas”, the game practically sells itself just by name so let’s just pop up some next gen graphics, stick another guy in there and voilĂ , successful sequel.

The weird thing is that the game actually sold more than all of the previous games. Apparently reducing DMC 4 to a romantic, one dimensional love story really reached for lowest common denominator in the video game community. I can already taste the Kingdom Heart crossfics.

By the way, if this review seemed “I’m gonna say this game is good by saying it’s a piece of shit” to you, you’re kinda right, then again, I’m not that hard to please.
So, conclusion, right?

If you’re an action game fan, give this game a go, you’ll probably enjoy it in some way or another, which is going to be the gameplay of course. If not, either rent it or skip it altogether.


  1. The new DMC will suck. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

    Awesome review. Love the humor :)

  2. Oh god I'm such a fan.... can't wait to get it :)

  3. I'm replaying DMC4 again. It's still great fun juggling enemies performing massively cool combos.

  4. this game was so much fun, loved it

  5. I think I'll pass on this one. It's more my brother's kind of game with the stupid storyline and what not.

  6. Wow, I can't believe I haven't checked this out yet! Great review! :)

  7. I've been annoyed with devil may cry ever since they decided to throw dante in the rerelease of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocture. >:|