Devil May QQ: Why The Argument Is Pointless
By now, you’ve probably heard about DmC, the spiritual successor of Capcom’s Devil May Cry series, and I’m willing to bet that you’ve probably heard about it because of the reaction of the game’s fans rather than the quality of the game itself.
I’ve played Devil May Cry 1, 3 and 4, and for the sake of those who haven’t, I’ll elaborate a little on why people seem to be upset.
Devil May Cry originally featured a gun-toting, sword-wielding demon hunter called Dante. His trademark was the white hair, red trenchcoat combo. The series was as Japanese as you might expect: father is a demon, brother wants to kill you, random women show up with generous cleavage. People liked it mainly because of Dante’s attitude and Dante’s gameplay. It was badass pornography.
Throughout the games in the series, Dante’s attitude changed a little, but by number 4, he was an adult with a playful streak. Compared with Devil May Cry 4’s main protagonist – Nero – who was more than a little upset at just about anything that moved, Dante was as cool as ice.
With the advent of DmC, Dante has apparently stopped bleaching his hair and looks a bit like one of the kids smoking weed outside your local college. The playfulness has gone, replaced with a far more rebellious streak; something that seems to colour the whole game’s message, particularly against the Raptor News Network (lolol Faux News).
The game has had a very polarising effect on the gaming community. People generally fall into one of two camps, which is to do with how DmC‘s developers, Ninja Theory, have remade the series:
- DmC Sucks: The new Dante looks like an anorexic emo, has a stupid haircut and is little more than a punk. The controls aren’t as fluid as Capcom’s. Oh my God, what have they done to Vergil?
- DmC Looks Good: Hey, change is good, guys! Let’s see what the gameplay is like before we hate on the game. Okay, it’s different, but…
When I first checked out the reveal trailer, I was quite perplexed. I’m known for my hatred of anything remotely hipster, so this was like waving a red rag at a bull. I quite liked Devil May Cry 4‘s Dante. He was mature, and surprisingly witty.
This guy, by comparison, looked stupid.
Then again, we all know how misleading reveal trailers can be. Oh, hello Dead Island, didn’t see you there!
As more and more trailers – gameplay and otherwise – seeped through the cracks, I began to warm up to the idea. The church chase scene was pretty damn intelligent, and the characters have a personality that is reminiscent of other creations by Ninja Theory. DmC isn’t merely trying to copy the original series. It’s trying to create something completely new out of it. What’s the point of a remake, otherwise?
Let’s be frank, here. Dante, Vergil, Trish and the gang are all heavily inspired by the Italian epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Dante Alighieri didn’t go around busting demons up in the nine circles of Hell with his poet buddies, but they provided inspiration nonetheless. Can you compare it to the Devil May Cry series? Well, not really. Let’s not pretend that Devil May Cry‘s plot is anywhere near as successful or original as Alighieri’s work. Like I said, it is badass pornography.
In a similar vein, I don’t think Devil May Cry and DmC can be easily compared, for better or for worse.
What is the point? They are differing storylines, made by a different developer in a different world. To me, the similarities end with the use of the title. Ninja Theory and Capcom are companies with very different methods of production. I’d rather wait and see what becomes of this than instantly praise it as the best remake ever, or conversely, shoot it down in a hail of verbose hipster hating.
Capcom haven’t given up on their design, either. The original designs of Vergil and Dante exist in the latest Marvel Vs. Capcom game.
Why can’t there be enough room for more than one interpretation of a concept? It’s worked for Doctor Who, for example, and that’s been added to endlessly. It really annoys me when people bawl about how the old Dante is dead, or when other people gush about how this revolutionizes the story. They are different. The whole argument about which Dante is better is as pointlessly irrelevant as the console war debate.
Update: Check this out. Originally, Ninja Theory kept true to the original design. Capcom wanted the change. To appeal to a younger demographic? To stir up the hornet’s nest? Who knows, but the collective rage, discussion and subsequent appeal has probably played right into the PR people’s hands.
Original Source: IGN.com: Capcom: Dante Needed to be ‘Completely Different’
Image Link: FHM.com