Friend of the Devil – A Letter to the [New] Devil May Cry Haters
[Devil may Cry Spoilers!]
We are 6 days away from the release of DmC. For those of you who don’t know, this is the reboot of the beloved Devil May Cry franchise. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, lemme explain. No…there is too much, let me sum up. Devil May Cry is a series of four hack and slash games in a dark fantasy genre set in modern times. It mixes the elements of heaven and hell with that of swordplay all set in the current century. The hero of the games is Dante. Dante is a half human/half demon who loves pizza, strawberry sundaes, rock-n-roll and killing demons. Yes, while he is half demon, he is no lover of that kind and even sets up a shop called “Devil May Cry” in order to take requests from customers unable to deal with the demonic…for a price.
Over the course of the 4 established games, you meet a host of interesting characters. Trish, the demon created ally of Dante, Lady the human bounty hunter, Nero the playable hero of DMC4, and Vergil. Vergil is Dante’s twin brother. Both are sons of the legendary demonic lord Sparda, who betrayed his demon kind in favor of humanity two millennia before the first game. Sparda falls in love with Eva, a human woman, and she gives birth to Vergil and Dante. Vergil doesn’t share his brother’s love of parties, pizza, and being nonchalant about everything not involving demon slaying. Vergil is the bad seed. He lusts for power. This ultimately leads to his tragic downfall.
The games have millions of fans world-wide and rightfully so. They are brilliant. Now, they aren’t for everyone. Devil May Cry represents a time when games were by default more challenging and it took patience and dedication to complete them. But the rewards, oh the rewards of finally beating it made you feel like a god. Getting its start on the Playstation 2, the DMC games also come from a time when game characters were a different breed. I mean, look at Dante…He’s clad in an ankle-length red trench coat with white hair, no shirt in the 3rd game, giant broad sword on his back, and says such corny lines as “Let’s rock!!”. By today’s standards, he’s a little out of date. So naturally, in fitting with today’s market, Capcom, creator of the series, set out to reboot the franchise. Yes, the original Japanese design of Dante is now being replaced with a more Western look. But is this really such a problem for Western gamers?
Reboots are always a shot in the dark. They stand a 50/50 chance of being respected and beloved by gamers of the originals, or they will be trashed, bashed, and hated for all time. I’ve been a gamer all my life. I’ve seen many a series come and go. Before the internet, I used to go to the local game shop in the mall and chat with the workers there about the newest games and what we thought when we played them. If someone had something negative to say about a game, it was expected that that person had at least tried it.
I remember when games were hard by default and there were no casual gamers out there. To think that someone in the old game store would have bashed a game before it came out with such hate and venom as the DmC reboot haters have done was just unthinkable. It simply did not compute, nor would it make any sense. Why rip apart a game you haven’t even played yet? I bet you complained a lot as a child about having to eat food you’d never tried before. These haters clearly aren’t comic book fans either because nothing gets redesigned faster than a comic book character.
Never in my life have I seen such rampant stupidity as I’ve seen on various forums, message boards, and article comment sections as I’ve seen for DmC. I understand where they are coming from. I really do. I’ve played every one of the original games and I own the anime on Bluray. I’m a fan of all things Devil May Cry and Dante. You know what? The haters are correct. This is NOT the Dante we have known since 2001. This Dante is darker, more edgy, brooding; younger and not as party time 90’s butt-rocker as the original. But you know what else? That’s the point! It’s a reboot. Stop stating the obvious about Dante being different. As I said, the old Dante doesn’t fit with today’s times.
Try dressing like the original Dante and walking into a bar. They would laugh your ass right out the door. He doesn’t fit in today’s world. He needs to be rebooted in order to stay relevant with today’s gamers. We’re not talking about Dante’s fashion sense either; we’re talking about needing a new Dante from the ground up. What haters fail to realize is that because they are starting early in his life, they have room to develop him into something similar to the devil you know; albeit, without the cheese. Yes yes, I know, I know. That’s what’s so endearing about the old Dante. I get it. I loved all the cheesy moments too, but it needs to evolve with the times.
Today’s gamers are used to easy hand-holding games that offer very little in the way of personal satisfaction and reward upon completion. Sure there are games out there that still challenge us. But it’s obvious that a lot of developers have catered very heavily to the casual market. Ninja Theory, creators of the new DmC, have not sold out to casuals though. Have you played the demo? Yes, on normal it’s very easy. However, beat it and unlock Son of Sparda. Oh, I bet you aren’t bitching now are you? It’s hard. Anyone who scoffs and says it’s not, I want to see a Youtube video of you playing it, taking no damage, and earning SSS ranks. Yeah, that won’t happen will it? The best part is that’s not even the hardest difficulty the game will have upon release.
DmC will challenge you. Count on that. Oh and those out there complaining that the red coat and white hair are gone? Do well at the new DmC and earn enough devil trigger energy. Then unleash it. Red coat and white hair…check! Also, could this be foreshadowing a more permanent and vintage look to come once the new Dante has unlocked his full demonic potential? Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t it also render more than half of the haters’ arguments invalid? Because let’s face it, most people bashing the new DmC are beginning every argument and every Youtube post filled rage with why they hate the way the new Dante looks.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say this: If the DmC reboot would have featured the same younger Dante, with the same new back-story, same attitude, and would have had white hair and the red trench coat from the start, 95% of the hate would not have existed. Yes, I will stand by that statement. People are complaining mostly about aesthetics. Less than half are disliking the newer gameplay elements, like having every weapon and style at your disposal instead of having to only equip two Devil Arms and two guns at a time and change styles before you play. I call this trimming the fat. It was needed. Just as Mass Effect 2 trimmed a lot of the fat of the first Mass Effect and had better gameplay because of it. The new DmC has taken its cues from an entire series of 4 games before it and has distilled the best parts into its new self.
This reboot may have a different look, a different Dante, and a different back-story. But it’s certainly wearing its influence on its sleeve. It doesn’t need to prove itself to anyone anymore. The core of what made Devil May Cry great is still very much there. Never have I played a demo and been so engaged. It made me want to replay the originals and for the last few weeks I’ve been working my way through the HD collection on PS3 and DMC4 on PC.
This coming reboot has rekindled my love of the franchise and I’m excited to see where the series will go. I will not join the haters with their smear campaign. Why? Because reboots are a good thing. Look at Batman. How many reboots and revamps has he gone through? Are you crying that the Christian Bale Batman isn’t valid because he’s not the original from the 60’s TV show? Think about that for a moment. The haters out there sound just as ridiculous as someone crying on the Internet about Adam West being the ONLY real Batman and this new darker Christian Bale brooding Batman not being worth your time. Give me a break.
What’s even worse is that the developers over at Ninja Theory have received death threats about the DmC reboot. Yes, someone has threatened their lives. This makes me sick. Gamers who feel so entitled to a property they didn’t create are wanting to end the lives of the people creating a game meant to entertain and bring joy to their lives. I realize not ever hater on the Internet would go that far. Only a very sick person needing professional help would do that. But what is the big deal? It’s a video game. It’s not going to affect any important part of your life unless you allow it. The sun will rise tomorrow, you will have to pay taxes, and you still need to find a way to live beyond the games you enjoy.
The haters have attempted to ruin every single PR campaign I’ve seen Capcom and Ninja Theory release. Every single gaming publication who releases an article or a new Youtube video gets the same hate crap in their comment sections. Why? Why waste your time trying to dissuade new gamers unfamiliar with the original Devil May Cry games from it? (Or anyone for that matter) New comers are very unlikely to play the old games. They are old games.
While older gamers such as myself may appreciate them like a vintage wine, younger generations may not. It makes perfect sense to me to reboot this series and offer gamers a chance to really dig deep into solid and exciting gameplay, a great story, and a Dante we can relate to. And who knows? Maybe it will have the positive effect of creating excitement for the old games again in a younger generation and Capcom will see sales of its Devil May Cry HD collection boost.
As a veteran of the original DMC games, this DmC reboot looks and feels fantastic. I was instantly transported back to the amazing combat (now without crappy camera controls!) and the joy of seeing that combo rank climb with every creative swing and plummet with every fail. After finishing the demo, I felt like I had come home. Do you know what the best part was? I still own copies of the originals and can play them as often as I’d like. I realized that the leaders of the smear campaign are no doubt fans of the old games.
Even if someone was 18 in 2001 when the original came out, they would be 30 now! I’m sorry to tell you this, as a 34 year old myself; we aren’t the majority of gamers out there today who deserve to see this new DmC. We are a bit of a minority being from an older generation. I suspect most of the haters are closer to my age or older. So why then are they acting like spoiled teenagers who didn’t get their allowance for the week?
I keep hearing people call the new Dante, “Emo Dante”. Every time someone calls him that, they lower the IQ of the entire planet, so please stop. Google search the word emo, then alt-tab between the images you find and a picture of the new Dante. They’re not the same. Emo Dante would have sat at home cutting his arms with his sword Rebellion, listening to crappy music, and giving up and allowing the demons to kill him because it’s just not worth it. This Dante is a bad ass. He may look different and have a slightly altered history from the original. But make no mistake; he is all about f’ing demons up and he doesn’t take sh*t from them. If being a young white male with dark hair, rugged clothes, twin pistols, and a bad ass sword makes you emo, then I’m a Chinese jet pilot.
Stop the hate. Haters have all said their piece and don’t really need to repeat themselves on every single new article or video published. Believe me, there are more gamers out there eagerly anticipating the release of DmC on January 15th than there are morons trying to ruin people’s excitement. Every new article I read, every new video I watch, and every time I replay the demo on Son of Sparda, I am excited. I cannot wait to meet the new Dante, the new Vergil, and once again cut demons down with smoking sick style combos and ultimately drive Mundus back to the hell from whence he came.