I’m not sure if this affects everyone, but have you ever had a friendship that was so amazing that you felt that it was destined to happen? It’s as if you guys were meant to be friends forever, like Double Dragon status. Then all things change. Whether it’s the times, priorities, or distance, the friendship isn’t what it used to be or it just flat-out ends. That’s what I feel about the new DmC.
I’ll say it: I am biased in regards to the new game. I hate his new look with that stupid “hitler-youth” haircut and his cigarette-smoking, British punk attitude that uses “fuck you!” as a response to everything. It irks me, but it’s not just because I am a hardcore fan of the series, which I am, but my investment into Dante and the Devil May Cry series is a bit deeper than the usual fan.
Let me give you guys a little background on who I am when I’m not working on this awesome site. Besides being a part-time superhero, I also am a stuntman. During the Playstation 2 glory days, Capcom used to work with a particular Japanese stunt team called U’Den Flameworks and since I do most of my stunt work overseas in Japan, I was blessed enough to be able to help out and work with them for a certain amount of time.
So right there was the Capcom action stunt dream team that have worked on the Onimusha series, God Hand, and of course Devil May Cry. Right next to me in that photo is the guy who is pretty much is Samanosuke in the opening of Onimusha 3, and others that have mocapped for various monsters in Onimusha, Vergil and Lady from DMC3, andof course Dante (sans Reuben Langdon though). These guys were my colleagues and friends and their effort and passion for the work they did made me love the series much more. So it’s only fair to say that I personally feel betrayed with the new Dante and what Capcom did.
First off, they passed off production of the game to Ninja Theory. I have only played Heavenly Sword from them and to be honest, I hated that game. It was boring, tedious, and ultimately not fun. The story itself was lackluster and very forgettable, and because of the game, I opted to pass up Enslaved. I wasn’t impressed with the company, their story telling, or how they try to merge western fantasy with eastern motifs.
Now they took over the creation, then rebooted, and created this….. kid. I don’t even know what to really make of him. I understand that a lot of people made fun of old Dante’s looks and personality because he was incredibly cheesy, but that was the appeal of it all. Even though that he was an epitome of manliness in the Japanese’s viewpoint, he was also a parody of it all. You mix the idea of Bruce Lee and Mad Max with the cinematic flair of Jackie Chan, Kamen Rider, and various mangas, and you get a cheesy, badass, pizza eating, strawberry sundae loving demon with a strong sense of justice with his over-acting artistry. It’s a character that is impossible to be shown in a negative light, eventually pulling you into their light hearted persona. The new Dante, however, stems from Ninja Theory’s view of being cool I assume; which seems to be dark, brooding, and dirty. He’s pretty much a Twilight film by himself.
Anyways, I hated how he looked, hated Ninja Theory, and completely decided to just hate the game. There was no way in hell that I would bring myself to give any slack to this new game, else be branded as a bad friend and traitor. A few weeks ago, the demo for the game came out and I immediately rebuffed it. It was only when I saw a friend playing the demo that it piqued my curiosity. My friend was a veteran Devil May Cry player, and he was doing things in the demo that was very reminiscent of old DMC combo videos. I finally asked him, “so…how is it?” “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.”
It really wasn’t and I hate myself for saying that. The combat is still there, streamlined and combo-friendly. Having a dedicated “special” button for launcher/helm breaker (and assuming for every other weapon’s specialty), it’s easier to do jump cancels without having to unlock particular techniques like Enemy Rebound and Air Jump or style specific timing differences like Rebellion in Swordmaster or Trickster mode. It is, quintessentially, DMC combat. They just made it so you would only have to master the timing without having the technical button inputs that vary from weapon to weapon, and style to style to go along with it.
So here I am two weeks later, still playing the crap out of the demo. I achieved in two weeks what took me months for DMC 3 and 4, and honestly, it’s not that bad. I’m a bit older now and I really don’t have the time to master game-specific mechanics to my heart’s content anymore. Much like any one that dedicates their time into their craft (or game), I have much pride in acquiring techniques and abilities that only time and practice can bring; but mastering a new set of skills for every new game that comes out is quite a feat to do nowadays.
Much like I said before, the analogy stands of a friendship that eventually reached an age of change. I played the DMC series to the bone; every enemy pattern, weapon frame data, mastered every weapon. I also loved the character, everything from the cheesy one liners to the badass, kung-fu inspired moves. Most of all, I will always miss and appreciate the experience I had from playing the games as well as helping and working with U’Den Flameworks with the game during gym meets and brainstorm sessions.
So, new Dante will never replace the old Dante to me and to a lot of fans. But just like how the old DMCs affected so much of us, hopefully this young douchey-looking Dante can be that “friend” for a new younger audience. I’ll put aside all the biased views and give this kid a chance.
For now, I’ll just get myself a strawberry sundae and a box of pizza in memory of an old friend.