Devil May Cry: If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Released in 2001 for PlayStation2, Devil May Cry was an amazing advancement in 3D console gaming, combining stylish characters with even more stylish moves. Advancing through a technologically advanced setting with strings of demons running rampant, the player controls a half-human, half-demon demon hunter named Dante. His past is a bit of a mystery when we first meet the cocky, good-natured devil slayer, but almost immediately he is plunged into a plot much bigger than things he has seen yet- or so we are led to believe.
Through a series of cutscenes describing the story, including encounters with the even more mysterious Nelo Angelo, whom he fights a total of three times in the game, we are slowly told Dante's story and his legacy as one of the sons of Sparda, a great and powerful demon. With little help from Trish, the woman who hired Dante for the job he intends to do in the game, the player fights through mobs of demons in wonderfully rendered, beautiful hack-and-slash fashion.
It is eventually revealed that Nelo Angelo is Vergil, Dante's twin brother and the antagonist of the eventual third release of this wonderful series. In the end, he is presumed dead as Dante goes to face Mundus, the King of the Demon World and Sparda's greatest enemy. It was he who was responsible for the death of Eva, Dante and Vergil's mother, and who created Trish in the image of Eva in order to endear her to Dante.
In the end, when the inevitable battle with Mundus begins, Trish appears on Dante's side, despite her treachery earlier in the game, and even gives her life to protect Dante. The cutscene that follows is one where Dante cradles the dying Trish in his arms, telling her that tears are the gift that humans have- that devils cannot cry. Eventually, we are still not entirely clear about Dante's entire past, but we have been uncontrollably pulled into a great game and the start of a great series.
While the graphics for Devil May Cry are certainly not the best; the game and story still rank up there in the top HNS and action games of all time. Despite its relatively corny, yet oddly sweet, ending, the romantic deep inside my outer gamer absolutely adored the love story that was so obvious at the ending. Once again, corny, but oddly sweet, and the game was wrapped up wonderfully.
At the start of the second game, which I admittedly never finished, a new ally, a new nemesis, and a new story appear within a similar fast-paced, stylish format. Unfortunately, due to how incredibly annoying the second game was, I could barely get through an hour or so of playtime without wanting to chuck my controller across the room. To me, DMC2 is non-existant, so without further ado, we shall jump right ahead on into the third game in this otherwise beautiful series.
Now, the third game in this action series was released in 2005; I did not play this series until 2007. I remember distinctly because I went to buy it (I had spent almost an entire school semester hearing about this game from a friend of mine), and so DMC3 was the first purchase I was ever carded for. Ironically, I also played this game prior to any of the other DMCs out there. I literally went back in time- but chronologicaly, I played through in the correct order.
DMC3: Dante's Awakening became my all time favorite game- the title which held this spot until this point was Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. I fell in love with this game the moment I loaded it and saw the beautifully (for 2005/07 graphics; PoP:T2T was a much better-designed game, despite coming out the same year) rendered video game and the handsome devil-slaying half-demon Dante at work. In his typical bad-ass fashion, Dante fights through Missions, as per usual from the first two games.
In this game, we are introduced to Vergil, Dante's antagonist twin brother, who was Nelo Angelo in the first game (I, of course, had no knowledge of this when I began playing the game). Again, the player as Dante encounters Vergil thrice as a boss. He also makes the acquaintance of Lady, a young female devil hunter who kicks just as much ass as Dante does, but without the humor attached.
What I loved most about the Special Edition was the fact that the player can go and replay the game as Vergil. That was pretty awesome fighting yourself!
This game was epic. The trailer hardly does justice.
Perhaps I am biased, but I grew to love this franchise so much that I was near obsessed with it. At one point I believe I begged my mother to let me cut and style my hair like Dante's; this, of course was a phase I eventually grew out of, even if my love for the game never lessened. Perhaps the saddest moment of my life was when I realized that my PS2 was shot, and my PS3 was not backwards compatable- but that is a rant for another day. Damn Sony, why did you only make one fully backwards compatable version PS3? Anyways, I do digress.
In an opposite fashion to Trish or perhaps a similar one; Lady begins as a semi-antagonist, a sort of third party in this extensive storyline, who comes in as an ally in the end, just as the real antagonist of the game, Vergil, does when Dante faces Arkham, Lady's father and the one pulling all the strings. Arkham, a mere human, aspires to be a demon; although Dante believes his mission to be to stop Vergil, in the end Vergil is the one betrayed and the two brothers link up briefly, unleashing their signature "Jackpot!" and ending Arkham for good.
This is not the end, however, for Vergil and Dante have one more go. Just as in the first Devil May Cry, Dante faces his brother three times throughout the game- this is the third, and final battle.
Since DMC3 is technically the prequel to the first game- apparently there are many questions from DMC2 that were left unanswered- and in DMC4, they were still hanging there, though simply dismissed as unimportant. The questions in DMC3 are answered because the game itself does that- which brings us back around to the end of DMC2. Finally, with DMC4, answers will be revealed! The second game will come to a close!
Devil May Cry 4: Still No Answers
Or will they??
Devil May Cry 4 does not give us resolution- instead it creates a new storyline. While it was generally ill-recieved by die-hard fans (myself, at first, included) it is the culmination of the Devil May Cry franchise.
The new game introduces Nero- an obvious Dante look-alike who is just as powerful, and just as cocky as our beloved devil hunter. He comes packed with his own inner demons and his own struggle as he is a human plagued by a demon hand in a world where, ironically, demons and devils are looked upon with scorn and hatred; all the while the society worships Sparda as a god. Fortunately the lack of a good female lead role is made up by the fact that you get to replay the game as Dante (who has to clean up Nero's shoddy mess) and go through and collect all the kick-ass weaponry from the bosses. Fortunately both Trish and Lady make up for Kyrie's old "damsell in distress" routine that makes me want to, in a manner similar to the second game, throw my game controller across the room. Kyrie really pissed me off just because of how useless she was; I enjoy a good love story like any girl, gamer or no, but she really, really was useless, except to provide Nero with the rage and drive needed to actually be good.
Please do not get me wrong, I loved DMC4 as much as any of the other games worth mentioning, and I absolutely loved Nero. Dante was still better, by a long shot, but Nero's cockiness exceeded even the older hunter in some places. After all, Dante's older, more powerful, wiser? Maybe a little. Nero's the same young punk Dante was in DMC3- except more single-minded and dead set on that weakling little Kyrie.
The run-down of the basic plotline is simple: You begin as Nero fighting to cleanse Fortuna and rescue Kyrie, believing Dante is the antagonist because he killed His Holiness, Sanctus. Of course, any true Dante fan would know this was not the case, but nevertheless Dante is one of the first bosses you fight as Nero. So the player goes through the entire game as Nero, defeating bosses and essentially getting his ass handed to him in the end, which is when Dante comes along, cleaning up after Nero and defeating the bosses once and for all- and getting some handy new weaponry along the way.
Then, in the end, Nero comes back and of course defeats Sanctus, taking all the credit for the work Dante's done the entire game. Stay classy my friend! But in the end this leaves the players and fanbase with more questions- Who exactly is Nero? What is his relation to Dante and Sparda? How did he get his demon arm, since he seems more human than Dante, but still has the ability to Devil Trigger?
With this in mind- I really would not have cared if DMC5 was another prequel of some sort, if it explained Nero's past. Perfect title right there, too: Devil May Cry 5: The Origin of Nero or something to the like. We know about Dante and Vergil- nothing more can be said except that which concerns Nero. So, when I first heard the tricklings of this new, awesome DMC! It was going to be awesome, right?
Like some practical joke being played on a kid, like, "Please, just try on this dress and I promise I'll take you to Game Stop on the way home!" concept art and teaser art was released on the new DmC game.
The issues I have with this game do not even compare to the minor issues I had with DMC2. In fact, the issues I had with the second game are like a tiny little mosquito bite compared to the amputated leg that is DmC. Despite the fact that I played the games chronologically, and I did not even finish the second one due to previously ranted reasons, I know how Capcom is: they make a game, pose questions, and then fail to answer said questions in a follow-up game. In reality, I should have expected such betrayal. We did NOT need another reboot of this game. For those of you who happen to be unfamiliar with the latest DmC, though I doubt it likely, here is the trailer:
Before readers and fans and so-called optimists come in and tell me the meaning of the word "reboot," I know what it means to reboot a game. This new "Devil May Cry" is set in an alternate universe where Dante is not the son of the great Demon Sparda and a human, but the offspring apparently of a Demon and an Angel. Okay, good storyline. I can see why they wanted to reboot an already good game because, well, they probably could not think of anything else original. A game based on a character born of a demon and angel would not possibly raise any connections to Dante, right? So what do they do? They take our beloved silver-haired devil hunter and make him into an emo street thug.
Do not misunderstand; I was emo for much of my time in highschool. I know what it is to be emo or goth, I simply grew out of it and I have no issues with those who identify with this fashion. I simply am not one of them and neither is Dante.
Upon watching the extended play trailer, I will admit something, however. I have a strong hatred for what this game represents- but I will not deny the potential that it may have as a completely separate, stand alone game. If I buy it, and it turns out to be good, I may even forgive Capcom for ruining my precious Dante and his entire storyline that has been three good games in the making. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay looks solid, and it sticks to the old HNS/action style that I grew to absolutely adore.
I do not agree with Capcom allowing Ninja Theory to screw up the franchise. I do not agree with giving this new character a similar fighting style to Dante- without the twin handguns Ebony and Ivory he so loves to use, nor the sword Rebellion which he never leaves home without. No, this game will never be Devil May Cry to me, nor will this be Dante. Devil May Cry did NOT need a reboot- it needed a continuation, and so long as they do not provide this, I will likely not purchase anything titled DmC or otherwise until it proves to be better than the originals, which is a rarity indeed. The one point of consistency in this chaos that is DmC is the fact that Capcom has released a bundle: the first three Devil May Cry video games for the PS3. While many things from the original games were not fixable for the next-gen console, the fact that I will now be able to play all three of these games on my new system makes me quite happy- I don't care how the graphics look on the console, I am just pleased that they are releasing them for the price that they are.
I just want my old Devil May Cry back! Is that too much to ask?