Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The New Dante Still Looks Like A Hipster Crackhead Who Just Left The Loony Bin

I may or may not have mentioned in my first post that I love Devil May Cry.

In case I didn't, well, I love Devil May Cry. I mean, except 2 of course, but still I enjoyed the design of that one. Maybe not so much angsty personality.

Yes, this post is going to be about that.

Everyone who knows me is going to be extremely unsurprised at my loathe for the new Dante design. I've seen a few forumgoers say, 'Wait, all this uproar because his hair ISN'T WHITE?'

Actually.. technically, it is white. In the middle.
Point number one. Point number two: The hair is just the most obvious, the first you notice of a million different changes. Not just the hair colour, but the rolled-out-of-bed-2-minutes-ago hairstyle, the build of a crack addict, and everything else that makes this guy not Dante. And don't get me started on the smoking. It's not cool anymore, guys, and that last scene would have made for a GREAT final trailer scene without it.

Oh yeah, trailer. In case you live under a rock, a recap: Capcom showed at TGS that they wanted to reboot the DMC franchise. Cue two-minute-long 'DmC' trailer featuring what looks like a Sid Vicious & Rihanna bastard child shooting and going after Generic Capcom Demons in Generic Big City. There's a slow, deliberate voice-over repeatedly asking for a name and oh shit, it seems like our 80s punk reject really is Dante!

So, why the sudden, drastic change? Why a reboot? DMC4 is only two years old! I've read countless articles on the game (if I did this kind of research on my actual university papers, my grades would be ballin'...), and it sounds like Capcom isn't thrilled with DMC's sales outside of Japan (4 has sold 2.7 million overall) and wanted to give it a more 'western' appeal, so what do they do? Hire European developer Ninja Theory, responsible for Heavenly Sword and apparently um, Enslaved, to do the trick.

Or did they? The reaction is some amusement, a few 'I like it's, but mostly anger. And yet still more pointing out the eerie similarities (left) between the new Dante and the creative director of NT, Tameem Antoniades.

A bunch of interviews later, it sounds like Capcom wanted Ninja Theory to make the change drastic, even daring them to 'try and make us angry' and to give the fans an initial shock. That they did, and it's sure one way to generate buzz - but the best way? Hmm. All the negative attention is going to be quite something to overcome.

Which is too bad, because the trailer itself is quite decent. Still, we have no inkling one way or another how much of the DMC series will remain intact. Let's have a quick review on how well-brushed-up these news guys are on DMC lore.

"It's about Dante being cool and making you feel cool when you're playing it, and so the combat and the style system and everything is integral to that."

We, the fans prefer the term badass. It was a part of Dante's demeanor. But, to say the games revolved around that? Oh fuck no. Dante himself was ALSO about the cheesy one liners and being the only character who wasn't an angsty fucktard. Unless you interrupted his pizza dinner. But even then, he was still amusing. As for the overall games, they weren't about feeling cool or badass or whatever. I saw a remark recently that this may even go the way of God of War. And people know I love Kratos. But DMC has always been more about style than about blood and QTEs, ever so loosely ripping off Homer and Greek mythology at the same time.

"But, you know, what was cool 12 years ago, I think that was when the first game came out, isn't cool anymore."

Wait, really? This is the new director? He can't even get the series' age right?

"If Dante, dressed as he was, walked into any bar outside of Tokyo, he'd get laughed out."

I'm sorry, I missed the part where Devil May Cry was based on reality. Guess I was too busy fighting off wraiths and the six other hells while making sure Cerberus doesn't chomp me to bits. If the new Dante walks into a bar as-is, he'll either get IDed or beat the hell up! Irrelevant? Yes, but you get the point.

Oh but someone else weighed in!

Kamiya replied to a 'I miss the Dante you made' tweet with, "I miss him, too..." and later said, "I've been sad since Dante left me."

When asked by a Twitter follower "DmC by Ninja Theory? Do you think they will evolve the action game from your Bayonetta standard?", Kayima replies, "whatever."

I read his Twitter last week and man, it must be like watching someone else raise one of your kids. I realize how dramatic that sounds but I have no better way to phrase it. It'll sound to some like Hideki Kamiya (the guy who created DMC) is bitter, but wouldn't you be? I'm sure he is but if Bayonetta's any indication, the guy's still super talented.

Point is, and I know Capcom originally set out to seriously redesign the series and give it something new, appeal to new fans, blah blah blah. But this? A developer who, as good as Heavenly Sword may or may not have been (the jury's still out because I never did buy it...), doesn't seem to 'get' this series, what it's really about, and it's not just white hair. And people wonder why fans are so angry. Initially I thought, well why not just do a whole new game series instead? But at the end of the day it's all about numbers, and a new series just wouldn't sell as well as something with 'DMC' - I'm sorry, 'DmC' tacked on.

(Not that I think 2.7 million is terrible, but apparently Capcom does. It's way more than half of Bayonetta, and I'm having super difficulty finding current sales numbers for God of War III, but I think it's very similar to DMC4. Considering the former is only six months old, maybe Capcom sees a reason for wanting more DMC sales in Western markets? Just a thought.)

The good in all this is, for how out of touch Ninja Theory seems to be with the existing series, Capcom America and Capcom Japan are both still involved in the new DmC title. They keep promising that a lot of things about the series will remain intact, blah blah blah. That and the fact that we have yet to see any actual gameplay, which for all we know, could be the best part. I realize that a huge change could still mean the series remains awesome. Could. But if this turns out terrible and Dante really does turn out to be an emo Justin Bieber, well, Capcom loses some fans. But gameplay was after all, my favorite part of the previous games.

Well, that and the cheesy one liners.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really need to go find a pizza with extra cheese.

1 comment:

  1. I think someone should submit NewDante to !

    I'm not opposed to a reboot in general. Tomb Raider needed it desperately after Eidos attempted to destroy what should have been a great franchise. They told Core to fuck off, went to Crystal Dynamics and the series improved drastically.

    The question then, is why reboot something that wasn't broken? It's not as if the other games - to my knowledge - were ever a failure, DMC2 aside. Hell, I'm sure even DMC2 sold more than it should, because people like me bought it assuming it would be good.

    I guess more than anything I want to know how 'DmC' is going to be more 'Western,' given that I never felt the series was overly Japanese to begin with. It's over-the-top stylish violence. American gamers like violence. It's why God of War and Assassin's Creed have such a following, and nobody can deny those games and countless others wouldn't exist if Devil May Cry hadn't reinvented the 3D action game.

    So where am I going with all of this… I dunno. Fuck this game. There. :P