Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tokyo Game Show 2010 - 'DmC'

This is a reposting of Tumblr comments I've been making throughout the day regarding the recently announced Devil May Cry being developed by Ninja Theory & Capcom.


Er, okay. This the new Dante. I’m intrigued and willing to see how it turns out, but seriously? There’s an almost insane fervor already amongst the audience. As always, it’s split into two sides; it’s either “OMG ITS HORRIBLE” or the people who say “Be Calm, & Stop Your Bitching”.

I’ll have to side with the former in this case, as the latter is consistently putting way too much faith in Ninja Theory (and this is coming from someone who prefers Heavenly Sword to God of War). Ninja Theory has not earned my trust and this new skinning of the series will have to strive to attain just that. Until then, I’m bitching my ass off.

First of all, if you’re using ‘the trailer looked cool’ logic to validate any transgressions done here, remember that this is Ninja Theory, whose game(s) have been consistently well-presented. Making a resolute judgement from that alone is idiotic no matter what side of the fence you’re on (i.e. hopeful & vitriolic). This is ignoring the fact that a single trailer will not give much ammunition to make such opinions last with any game.

Next, let’s take a look at Dante’s appearance, the most controversial of this bit. If you’re simply ignoring the change he’s taken out of some misplaced need to ‘give it a chance without criticism’, you’re being a moron. The games have alwaysbeen highly sexualized (through the use of their males) and highly reliant upon their aesthetic flair. Such a drastic change should healthily spark this type of response. This black hair, skinnier frame, and audaciously brooding appearance make this something completely different. This leaves to question, why even bother calling it Devil May Cry? It just smells fishy.

That is of course, the million dollar question as Capcom tries to make this series appeal to Western audiences more. There’s definitely some worthwhile European flavor in this (e.g. take a good look at that left sleeve), but it’s still a bit of a hard sell to Americans. I suppose the silver lining is that this presents a brand new opportunity for such a male figure to be sexualized, but I’m not hopeful (at least beyond what the game will accomplish for itself by merely existing). An effeminate male is not necessarily a bad thing on paper, but using a recent cheap blow, Other M sounded great on paper too. Even now, the knee-jerk reaction seems to be calling this Dante ‘gay’; as far as upsetting the natural order of prepubescent and insecure males, this redesign is doing something good in that regard.

Again, the logic that ‘change is good for change’s sake’ falls flat on its ass with this game. By using the defense that “Well Devil May Cry has always been ludicrous!”, there shouldn’t (and didn’t) exist the first game’s appeal to begin with (making it an insular argument mostly from ignorance). If you haven’t played Devil May Cry (or even Heavenly Sword for that matter), why even bother grinding your axe here to begin with? This holds true for people who didn’t like the series before this change either, as this just gives them the reservation that “well maybe I’ll like it now!”. No, you can’t have that cake, eat it, and then try to lecture people on the methodology of eating cake. I just won’t fucking allow it.

‘Western Appeal’ could essentially mean anything people. Most of us that have played Heavenly Sword are worried about this for a number of reasons, here’s two:

1. The Japanese are convinced we Americans just don’t like hard games (and to be fair, most of us don’t, we’re just whiny and effete that way). Devil May Cry has always been a game with an embedded difficulty curve that nigh alludes back to old side-scrolling beat-em-ups (it’s probably a better Castlevania incarnation than that series’ actual 3D successors as well).

2. You can give Ninja Theory a vote of confidence, but granting them a ‘fuck yeah following’ is again—-idiotic at this point. Their track record—-well it doesn’t really exist. Enslaved isn’t even out yet and we’re already being hit with this? Come on, you have don’t need to be a mathematician figure out that equation. Something just doesn’t add up here. If this is a simple reboot, then DMC fans are officially out in the cold to watch from a distance as ‘their series’ burns in their eyes. If it’s Capcom throwing the series to the wolves out of some last-ditch plea (masquerading as an experiment) to see if the series can be milked in other ways, then things are about to get very ugly—-fast.

So, did this series need a reboot? Only time will tell as this game becomes more exposed to us. My guess however, is that it needed a revamping, not a reboot. This is a key point most will ignore in favor of shouting at each other from opposing sides of threaded opinions. Giving DMC a more Western flavor was a concept I was honestly open to intially, but now I’m more than willing to viciously question this. One implies evolution, the other implies a lazy impulse to destroy and start over because some creative barrier has been reached and the developers don’t have the time and/or patience to deal with it.

For those expressing sarcastic confusedness towards people caring about the story or characterization of the series up until this point; you’re just are being insipid and hypocritical. The ‘quality’ of the series’ narrative is almost completely irrelevant, as the reaction here isn’t that DMC has ever had some awe-inspiring story, but that it generated an insane amount of style through its use of ludicrous camp. Of course it’s silly to suggest definitively that all of that has been lost with this single trailer, but I don’t blame people for their worry. I also say ‘almost’ because a good deal of the following that the series has accumulated has been due to the overblown and silly (nobody is arguing against that here) characterization of Dante. He was the Hideki Kamiya’s take on ‘cool’. Some of us swallowed that pill and rather enjoyed it. If you’re going to be a dick about that, at least stick it in the right hole.

It might be safest to say right now that Bayonetta was/is the DMC5 that fans should take interest in now, ignore this incarnation entirely, and let the dissenters-turned-hopeful-fuckasses have their two seconds in the sun. As it stands, the people making that argument are using a dangerous form of subjective rampancy to justify this change. In essence, they can have it if they so desire it. The fans have already gotten four games already that they can enjoy. Let them pretend this is something they can get behind for the time being.

Quotes From GAF & reddit

How many threads do we have where half the people say they like the art direction/character design in western game X and then you have the other half say they prefer Japanese aesthetics and character design for game Y over game X? 

Both games may have cheesy, cliche designs, or may not be the height of originality but that’s irrelevant. It’s about fundamental differences in each group of developer’s backgrounds that will become evident in the game, starting with the way Dante looks.


I’ll liken it to a description I read on the proper way to write something like Hiragana or Kanji. You have a certain order you do each stroke in. If it’s not written properly a native will likely be able to tell. It may look like whatever character you were trying to write, but it’ll still seem off. Like if one were to write an eight by just drawing two circles one on top of the other or if you write an ‘a’ reversed starting with the tail.


I’ve yet to see the final product so hopefully this game won’t seem “off”, but going by the tone of the trailer and Dante’s design, I have a hard time being optimistic about the way this will turn out.
I’ve said it once before, this looks like it’d be a nice entry as a new IP by a western developer. The next entry in the DMC series… not so much.”
-Dali

“I’m calling foul, you can’t use the game name, the character name, revamp the appearance, farm it out to another dev, and then go ‘well no see, this was just an experiment’


Ultimately, the elements that make DMC an awesome game are the combat, the combat, and the atmosphere. For me personally, the character isn’t as big of a deal, only insofar as he contributes to the atmosphere.


I don’t trust NT in any way shape or form in regards to the combat, and I don’t know about the atmosphere (the city looked cool enough in the trailer), but they sure aren’t winning any points with the character design.


You know what’s really bizarre about this is that it’s happened twice before - Raiden and Nero had immediate backlash, you’d think they would have learned by now.


More, they already had one screwup with Bionic Commando in 3d, and now they’re giving one of their biger franchises to a dev that has already proven they _can’t_ make the type of game the fans love? How much sense does that make?”
-Victrix

“The only hope I have is that this isn’t Dante and is in fact some insane dude(maybe another half-demon) who is masquerading as Dante. I know it’s a 0.01% chance but most of that trailer focused on people asking him his name which I found interesting.”
-Kusagari

1. i kinda loved heavenly sword
2. but i haven’t seen anything from ninja theory that suggests they can make an action game worthy of the dmc lineage
3. visually this looks rad imo, and if they were going to outsource to a western dev, i’m glad they didn’t even attempt a pseudojapanese visual style
4. animu nerdlingers don’t really have much business sneering at hipsters or even twilight mall goths — you are below everyone on the coolness scale, as your continued virginity attests


let bayonetta be the new dmc, let this be — i dunno — whatever it is. hope it turns out well, will give it a shot”
-drohne

“I am speechless. I am without speech.”
-Pureauthor

“Why not just leave Dante like… uhm…. Dante?!?”
“Because it would make sense.”
-Jocchan & Tryckser

“So why not make a new series and IP? Changing Dante for the fifth game in the series, this drastically is fucking insane.”
-Suzzopher

“Well, at least they’ve found their target audience. People who don’t like DMC, don’t like Dante, and have no idea how awesome Ninja Theory are.”
-Victrix

“Perhaps I should get to playing Bayonetta…”
-Bankoiia

“Two things:
1. Devil May Cry does not NEED a reboot
2. This so-called Dante in the trailer is a abomination
It’s good to hear that people who worked on Devil May Cry before are involved. The trailer, however, doesn’t leave a good first impression.”
-Barakov

“I dont know if the game is gonna suck but the trailer sure does.”
-apana

“Capcom’s not making it, just publishing, so you’ve got bigger things to worry about.”
-LoompaOompa

Now of course we all could just simply relent at the fact that this is the trailer for a game that’s most likely at least a year from releasing. You know—-reserve all judgement just to play it safe, but what good does that really do? Save you from being wrong? If you do happen to like this change-up, then say so. If you don’t, please cry your ass off; most importantly, say why you’re taking either position. I’d rather hear these things than people appeasing each other like a bunch of of fucking whores. Don’t bring skewed righteous cowardice into such a topic, as you’re just contributing the equivalent of dogshit.