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I have a penchant for diving head-first into things at the drop of a hat, getting all wrapped up and obsessive about it, and then losing interest just as fast. Devil May Cry has been, for me, an on-again, off-again romance of sorts. I love the first game, but had no interest in the second. Then the third game came out and, I won't lie, Dante's abs and his coatless costume really dragged me back. I think I matured at bit after that, because I didn't touch installment 4 until about mid-July, 2011, when I first saw the trailer for DmC: Devil May Cry. Then I remembered all the fun I had with 1 and 3, and decided, just then, that I had to play 4. I'm glad I gave in to that impulse.
As for the spark that re-ignited it all: I'm cautiously optimistic about DmC. Sure, Dante looks completely different, and at first I was in denial. The Dante I know is toned and bad-ass, while this one is lanky and dresses like an emo punk. I was just as willing as everyone else to accept the excuse that this was a "re-boot": some kind of alternate universe that didn't incorporate my Dante.
But then a thought occured to me, and it went something like this: Everyone's had their awkward tween and teen years, the ones you try desperately to hide the evidence of; why not Dante? He didn't just walk into the world a fully-formed man, he had to get that way. He had to go through the highs and lows of being different, to struggle with his innermost feelings of anger, loss, and abandonment before he could arrive at the self-assured jerk we all know and love. When you get right down to it, there's a lot of time between his family's separation when he was 8 to his starting the business in his mid- to late-teens: a black hole in his biography that everyone seems to be ignoring. In some ways, looking at Dante's middle years serves to humanize him. It takes him from being just a character, and makes him a person. I want this to be my Dante. I want to know his story, all of it, for better or worse.
So, after that rant, let me make some updates. I like the "new" new Dante look--the huskier build--better than the lanky "old" one. That's a good change. I'm glad they've kicked all footage of him smoking, though whether they've actually taken it out of the game is yet unknown. I do think aerial combos are nice. However, not every change has been for the better.
I'm NOT happy with the ret-con of Dante's lineage. If Dante is changed to be half-human and half-angel, then the ENTIRE world has to change with it. This is a perfect example of the butterfly effect. Demons and Angels were the same thing once, so if Dante is half angel now, then he's full demon, essentially: there's nothing human about him. Dante's human half has been his motivating force in the prequils of DMC3 and the manga. His mother died because she was human and unable to defend herself. If you alter what Eva is, then you alter the entire history. Not. My. Dante.