Saturday, March 8, 2014

Back Seat Gamer: DMC Review

This is not directly writing related, it's more an exercise for me to keep me writing during a huge and hectic schedule of sewing and getting ready for conventions.  So I've decided that I'm going to post video game reviews as we play games.  They're going to probably be few and far between, but what the heck, I need practicing writing reviews.

So, I'm going to call it...

Back Seat Gamer

For those who don't know me, I'm not a huge gamer, but I live in a world of video games with a partner who used to work at a video game store and now writes reviews and articles.  She collects games and has had them all her life - so some of it has rubbed off on me more or less.  I do play video games, but I more prefer to watch her play them because she's much better then me and does crazy things like try and get all the coins and max out the trophies.  All in all it balances out and games are a lot of fun to watch and occasionally play. 

Now, for reference sake, I have played the other, older Devil May Cry games to a degree and have loved them, so I was eager to see how this different 'take' turned out.

DMC - Devil May Cry

A reboot of the original Devil May Cry series, DMC retells the story of Dante and Virgil as the twin children of a power demon and an angel.  Dante, who has just learned of his interesting past, decides to help his newly found brother take down a powerful demon lord whose been controlling their entire city.  Hack'n'slash delight style.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I have a special place in my heart for the type of cheese that this series has.  I love the corniness and the complete acceptance that this is not a serious game.  It's about beating your way through levels, button mashing enemies into oblivion and accidentally learning the moves along the way.  The game doesn't take a huge amount of skill, but you can make it harder if you want and in the meantime the ride that the story provides is hella enjoyable and keeps you laughing because - yes - they did just do that. 

I know, originally, there was a lot of complaints because the series was being rebooted and Dante was given a more 'emo' look and wah wah.  After playing the game, I'm happy with it.  This Dante is younger and less experienced with demons.  He looks how I would expect him to given the story and world we're presented with; in this world the white hair, buffer frame and stark red jacket would have just stood out too much.  To give them credit, the studio that made the game was specifically told to change his look and they did think about it and in turn did a great job creating a cohesive world.  That and just because he wears black and has short black hair doesn't mean he's 'emo'.  He didn't act emo, he wasn't emo.  He was just a different version of Dante who - I think - could stand on his own next to the original and the two of them would be awesome drinking buddies. 

Cat.  This game introduced a female character who plays the part of telling you how to do things and leading you to the main plot of the game.  She's interesting and I found myself genuinely caring about her in spite of a lack of 'use' in the game.  Unfortunately she only interacts with Dante in a limited fashion and it's kept contained to leading you to Virgil and occasionally being the trigger to get you out of situations.  Sadly her back story is only explained and doesn't play a huge or key part in the overall plot and she was kind of replaceable - which made me feel like they could have done so much more with her.  I wanted to play a game as her and have her plot more developed and maybe tied into the overall game rather then just someone Virgil saved who devotes her life to him.  I mean the idea of a child who spent her life hiding in limbo - the demon world or between world in this game - and her ability to do magic with her awesome ass spray paint seemed kind of like wasted potential.  But for all intents and purposes the game did a good job of making you care about her when Dante did and therefore the ending (which I won't spoil) hit all the right notes. 

The art style in this game was awesome and while the demons fit the overall mood I did find myself missing the harlequin style of demons from the original game.  But that was honestly just a minor thing - the art direction here pretty much made up for it.  Just a different style, which I'm ok with. 

Overall, I loved the game and I really hope they make more in this universe with the same team.  I would honestly have to say that this is one of my favorite types of games and I was not disappointed.

How much I played:
I played about halfway through the game.  When I got to the NOT-Bill-O'Reilly boss battle my partner was trying it and I told her she could keep going, because I recognized it was not the type of boss battle I'd be good at, even at the lowest/easiest setting :P

Grade:  Awesome and favorite!

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