I was browsing amazon a while ago and saw the Devil May Cry HD Collection on the PS3 going for $16. It seemed like a really good price for any video game, let alone a collection of three games - two of which are apparently quite good! When it arrived I let the PS3 suck in that game disc and made an odd decision on the spot.
I have heard the same joke time and time again from my friends and from the internet about how there are only three DMC games - DMC, DMC3, and DMC4. Everyone likes to joke around that the second doesn't exist and on the rare occasion someone acknowledges it I just get an ear full of how they took all that was good about the original and mangled it until nothing that even resembled was left over. Naturally this intrigued me.
So on the game select screen I move my cursor down and see two choices for DMC2, simply asking if I want to play as Dante or Lucia. I have no idea who Lucia is so I chose our favorite white haired half demon. The game loads up and I'm in some city that for some reason really feels half designed. I was really taken back by how bland and lifeless every single thing felt.
Eventually some skeleton things pop up and I get to taste some of the fabled DMC action. I rush in and start attacking. My style ranking is only popping up to Come On before it falls back down. I quickly discover some cool sword combos and annihilate the baddies with a rank of ARE YOU READY? It seems like its fun. I'm fighting these skeleton things across town learning more about the combos, survivng the dreadfully bland surroundings.
DMC2 isn't a broken game. It works. You can beat it. It's just not very fun. The joy of fighting enemies is really broken I think in part to the low overall difficulty. Slash Slash Pause Slash Slash got old after a while along with swinging them up in the air and then moving on to another enemy with the stinger ability. The game doesn't seem to have anything else going for it, however. Certainly not the story. I watched the cutscenes, I really did, and I JUST beat it a few days ago but if you ask me what the story is about I wouldn't have a clue what to tell you. I remember segments, like fighting the President of some business and fighting demon tanks which lets be honest here, demons tanks are quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever seen in a video game made past the year 2000 but its record was quickly usurped with the demon attack helicoptor - or wait... was it a fighter plane? I really don't recall.
After taking down some life sized fairy with the Devil Trigger guns the credits rolled. I was psyched. The game saved, told me to try out Lucia, opened up the mission select. All of this sounded good but I had no interest in it. Maybe one day I'll go back and get some more trophies but honestly it'll be a while.
DMC2 is probably one of the most forgettable experiences I have ever played. It's not infuriatingly bad because if it were I sure as hell would have been able to remember more of it and it's not amazingly good. It just sits there in the middle leaving no real impression.
I come back to the HD collection the next day to try out DMC1. Boot it up. I play on Normal because really I think I know how to play these games by now. I just beat DMC2 for crying out loud! How much harder could it be?
The opening cutscene took me by surprise. There is so much info being dumped at you right away in the most dramatic fashion. Pipe organs are playing while a mysterious demon is practicing their form with a sword as a voice is telling me of the legendary Sparda. The scene changes. A woman falls down from the sky and lands in front of what I assumed was a bar. It shifts again to the inside. Dante is chilling behind his desk showing more personality in one sentence than he did in the entirity of DMC2. This lady burst in, explains the current situation of the underworld, and stabs Dante in the chest. Despite the info dump this piques my interest. She proceeds to throw her motorcycle at Dante as he is laying on the ground stabbed through the chest and he pulls out his guns and shoots the vehicle that is currently flying right at him away.
All is well and good, Dante isn't injured, and the lady Trish insists she's not a villain. We go to a mysterious island together and the game begins. Instantly the tone is completely different. I think DMC1 is a freaky game all because of its atmosphere. It's so very unsettling and that angry, menacing piano tune that plays as you explore through the castle adds so much. It was easy to spot right away how this would have been at one time a Resident Evil game with the fixed camera angles and the gothic castle and the keys and the (light) puzzle solving.
I grab some item and these marionettes come to life. They're pretty easy enemies to deal with but one threw a projectile at me and my life bar shattered. Only bosses did that much damage in DMC2. I was completely thrown offguard. I wasn't able to perform any of the combos that I had done so easily in the sequel. Later I learned I had to buy those skills to unlock the combo which seems to me makes a lot more sense. It gives the player something to look forward to instead of having it all unlocked right from the get go like DMC2 had it.
Cut ahead an hour and I'm proceededly made a joke by Phantom, a giant mixture of a spider and a scorpion. The game offers me to switch to easy automatic but my pride won't allow that to happen. I keep battling, keep dodging, I'm learning its attacks and I'm reacting to patterns. I'm getting better with every try. I was so pumped when I beat Phantom. I felt like I could do anything. (Until the next mission where you're introduced to good ol Nelo)
The game is challenging but fair. It's one of those classic cases where you can never be justified in blaming the game for you losing that battle. The only thing to blame is yourself. The only solution is to try again and get better.
I've made my way through Devil May Cry 1, beating it only a few hours ago. The story is really weak with the characters besides Dante barley having anything going on for them and the heavy amounts of info dumping in the first cutscene makes me laugh. I think its a great game bursting with personality and the difficulty is right there at the perfect spot for me. I haven't tried DMC3 yet. I'll get on that later. From everything I've heard it sounds like I'm in for a treat.