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My personal thoughts/review for the Devil May Cry 4 "Special" Edition

Sleepyzs September 1, 2015 User blog:Sleepyzs

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If Devil May Cry 5 (based on Capcom's antsy behavior, probably not happening) is anything like DMC4se, screw it, I can respect and enjoy Devil May Cry 1 and 3, while only acknowledge DMC4. The pathetic introduction of DLC into a series (not including DmC, cuz at this point its style doesn't match the Devil May Cry series, and the focus is questionably different than the former series) that respected its players to earn and develop their skills to get through the game, now gives handouts almost insultingly so. This is valid even till the original DMC4, considering it came out in the 7th gen where DLC was a thing; Capcom/developers still respected players. If you want to acknowledge DmC as part of the original series (no disrespect, I won't, look above for my reason), then chronologically you can blame this title for the introduction of DLC.

Personally I hate the concept of DLC, since from my perspective (and hopefully others will agree) it sends the message not only are we getting an incomplete game, but we are paying extra to "build" the "complete" game we originally paid for. Is that what's happening in DMC4se, no, but if this is any indication for the future, then this is shitty foreshadowing. In relation to DmC, the fact that bloody palace was delegated to DLC, regardless of being free, is shitty practice by Capcom to DmC players (especially for its fans). It gives the image that at a certain point Capcom was comfortable with making fans pay for a feature that, at that point, was a staple of games. Otherwise if not this, then again we run into the issue of Capcom/developers trying to push a title into a early release and rushing on the details. Either way it's bad.

In regards to the DLC that is being offered I'll address it one by one. Difficulty unlock: if people aren't even willing to play the game through to earn these extra difficulties, what incentive would they have to do so if they can simple buy it? It would seem more like a weak and pointless trophy for minimal effort. Do some people just want to play a particular difficulty, yeah maybe, but that would seem to insinuate that those people already have some level of skill to be able to play at that difficulty level, so at best they would literally be wasting money out of laziness (people can do whatever they want, just be aware of what you're doing). The orbs/souls: not only have the developers made that mechanic even easier to bypass, but you can also still farm (you're choice, you choose how much to farm). I'll be slightly flexible on the blue orbs but only for entirely new comers, beyond them it's a pathetic handout that people stupidly accept. As for skins, this is personal but, I honestly never understood the point of skins, or at least why they had to be DLC, it's purely aesthetic, beyond that only serves to offer personal gratification (if that's worth money to you, great have fun).

Consider this, you play through part of DMC# (tentative title) and you hit a wall where either your skills or the the skills acquired in game aren't enough and can't be reasonably (orb/soul farming) obtained, then you have only one option... pay for mandatory assistance (either by means of a mandatory MacGuffin or some other code debugger, yes this should be considered a bug). A simple example that Capcom could/would possibly employ: make gold/yellow orbs purchase only retries. For some/most of the DMC community this could be a none issue, but for those new to the series this action would seem like Capcom trying to set up a pay gate for unexperienced gamers/fans.

Now on to DMC4se...... Not only is the game the same exact product, though with the questionable inclusion of "new" content, but it's managed to become an even shorter experience. Not only do I not have an interest to play through the game as Nero/Dante, but being able to see and handle Lady and Trish's character models in bloody palace, the concept of playing through the game as any character other than Vergil is restrictive and borderline stupid. I don't mean to insult anyone (casual players/fans or hardcore players) who enjoys playing the game with those characters, but for those who are returning to DMC4 and experienced its flaws, nothing has changed and the only thing to really carry this "special" edition are certain mechanics for Vergil (though this could just be personal) and for some Lady and Trish. I won't lie the Concentration mechanic is an interesting idea in that it buffs the damage output for basic attacks/combs, while at the same time in conjunction to DT gating special moves, but it never moves beyond this. Why not include more gated combos at varying concentration levels, without DT requirements (unfortunate fate of Rising Sun) or maybe actually extend the concept of damage buffering (the visual quality) to Force Edge and Beowulf (besides phase 3 just releases), why not give them new concentration level gated moves? The mechanic is cool and fits Vergil's persona, but it was only used on a surface level, so its mediocre at best.

Now I hated this concept in its initial trailer reveal and I still hate it now. WHY IS AIR TRICK GATED BY SUMMON SWORDS?!!!! This move by the developers baffled me. Why would you remove or decrease moveset complexity in a game where another character is the pinnacle of the concept? I stand by my view, using summon swords should have only increased the accuracy of air trick (for long range movement) not act as the initiator for air trick. Not only is it a step back from DMC3se Vergil, but its an awkward mechanic in a game where moves and combos should be instant. DMC3 had this down, why did DMC4se have to default to this? This is a stupid concept introduced through DmC. For DmC fans, I would ask please play through DMC3se as Vergil and compare air trick there and then again in DmC. Being able to press a single button to get closer to an enemy is much better than having to press two or more (R2/L2 + Square) to do the same, especially in games where fast and effective gameplay is championed. I understand using summon swords to initiate angel/demon pulls is cool/needed, but DMC4se doesn't use these mechanics so this concept is a waste in this game.

I'll admit the borrowed rapid slash from DmC was a nice addition to DMC3se Vergil since it allowed for more fluid combo strings. Some might argue DmC should get acknowledgement for the visual styling of Judgement Cut and its just variant, however I would argue the visual styling was already established in DMC4 Darkslayer Slash Dimension F/C, while the just system was also established in DMC4 through Gilgamesh's just mechanic. I might even argue DmC borrowed from DMC4 (not a bad idea, Ninja Theory was new to DMC so it was only inevitable to do so).

But now we begin to deconstruct Vergil move by move or comb by comb. Aerial Rave A (DmC), Aerial Rave B (at start DmC then DMC4 by way of Nero roulette-spin), Rising Star (DmC), Yamato A combo (DMC3se), Yamato B combo (DmC), Yamato C combo (DMC3se by way of DMC3 Dante million slash), Upper Slash (DMC3se), Upper Slash 2 (DmC), Force Edge Combo B (DMC3 by way of jet stream ending with revolver), Stinger 1/2 (DMC1), Air Stinger (DMC4se by way of DMC4 Nero calibur), Helm Breaker (DMC1), Million Stab (DMC3 by way of Dante million stab), Drive and Over Drive (DMC3 and DMC4 by Dante drive and over drive respectively), Round Trip (DMC1), Lunar Phase 1/2 (DMC3se), Rising Dragon (DMC3), Dragon Breaker (DMC4se), Beowulf A combo (DMC3se), Beowulf B combo (DMC4 by way of Dante gilgamesh B combo), Beast Uppercut (DMC3), Starfall 1/2 (DMC3se), Kick 13 (DMC4), Flush (DMC4), Rising Sun (DMC3se).

Now I have no problems with adding some moves from DmC, which actually worked fairly well, but the unbelievable copying from Dante's DMC4 character model is annoying. This is the same fate of Lady and Trish, but that's later. I won't lie, I really enjoyed playing as Vergil despite the questionable moves and crappy move grafting (though this might just be me missing and hoping for more from Vergil, it's not like Capcom can't bring him back into canon. Come on this is Devil May Cry, story progression and believability was never an all important thing).

Finally for Vergil, the two CG clips. Besides a partly stylish intro, you basically get nothing in way of plot just some random glance from a woman fans can only guess at a link between and some stupid and pointless self dialogue at the end. Basically if you had any hopes for any kind of confirmation, forget it.

Now to the pandering offered in DMC4se, Trish and Lady or basically swordmaster and gunslinger, respectively though nerfed. I'm not going to go through their individual movesets, but basically if you're a fan of the series you'll be able to list out the carbon copies just by sight. What you've done is basically made two style versions of DMC3 Dante with skins of key characters from the series. If you managed to play DMC2 twice (haha I respect you, how do you stand the boredom) and play as Trish, well give her the same progression as Dante had from DMC3 to DMC4 and basically you have DMC4se Trish. In Lady's case basically watch all the DMC3 video clips and have Dante wear a Lady costume and you have DMC4se Lady. Play wise I could say Trish is more enjoyable than Lady, but honestly however that isn't saying much when you consider the fact that you must play through as Lady first. I hated this aspect with Nero/Dante as well, however, that was the set by the initial design of Devil May Cry 4 and as such had in game context for such a choice. Lady and Trish however have no such context, if anything we have context to the fact we should have been playing as Trish by herself based on the plot of the game. Also there is no reason that Capcom couldn't have built in a grappling mechanic for Trish based on her electrical abilities and Sparda mechanic.

Trish's control scheme is basically jump, guns, Gilgameshless/Beowulfless punch kick button, Sparda button, and devil trigger. Lady's control scheme jump, gun button, special gun button, and Kalina Ann blade button. Out of the two Lady is just a bore, I would say keep her a video character not a playable character. I understand and wholeheartedly agree this is how Lady should play in the world of DMC, considering she's human, and as a result in the face of Dante, Nero, Trish, and Vergil she is completely outclassed and ineffective. If you enjoy gunslinger, then great you might love this character model, but remember playing as gunslinger through a whole playthrough. She's great crowd control and heavy hitting charge damage, but against bulky enemies you're pretty much keeping your distance, which is in a way in direct opposition to the nature of Devil May Cry. Trish on the other hand, might be a good intro for entirely new comers (assuming they enjoy playing as Lady for the first 11 missions or playing as Trish strictly in bloody palace), but honestly her control scheme is weird as hell (when you're expecting for separate buttons to do separate commands) or at least pointless since certain punch/kick combos will flow into sword moves with the same button. To sum up Lady and Trish just think of it as mandatory DLC forced down our throats in an otherwise not so special "special" edition. Oh wait what's that I hear, there are more skins DLC for Trish and Lady, well Capcom why don't I just throw my money at your feet (you wish). I'll say it this way, go look at DMC3/se and that basically gave the same sort stuff (obviously DLC wasn't a thing during the PS2 era, just a comparison of content in terms of skins) in spades.

Also on a side note, Trish is a electricity based demon, so why the hell can't she attack Blitz head on?!! This might be oversight or a deliberate move by Capcom/developers, regardless it was a stupid move.

Either way I see it, this game was a cash grab simply put. I understand Capcom is company and money is its life force, but honestly could you be anymore blatant other than saying in big red letters give us money now? Considering this "special" edition is almost 7/8 years separated from it's original release, this release only exists to recoup losses that befell Capcom through DmC. It's not like the special edition couldn't have worked on the 7th gen consoles; so what if you loose some of the pretty particle effects (not sure about Legendary Dark Knight, but if they were assured to make more money I bet you they could've made it work); it's not like DMC4 was ugly on the 7th gen consoles. Arguably it was one of the more stunning titles released for the amount and quality of detail put in. I think it'd be reasonable to say, had Capcom released this game 1-2 years after the the initial release (and physically you money grubbing thieves) they would've made way more profit than they are right now. Out of all the DMC titles, DMC4 sold the best (for obvious reasons at the time), while DmC managed to sell worse, to the point where Capcom had to keep dropping its expectations to make it seem profitable. So this all points to Capcom having to damage control and pander to the original fan base, in ways DmC only managed to alienate them away (on a superficial level yes the "hair", image, and personality, but on a serious note game focus, shitty marketing, developer-gamer interaction, and shitty press coverage/ reviewer-gamer interaction) , to keep yet another money franchise alive.

I would end by saying, if DLC is a thing from now on (in the way I was foreshadowing), adios Devil May Cry, you managed to alienate not only me but also other fans (hopefully many more). So if this is Capcom trying to suck up dollars from fans, well the joke would be on you cuz we'll just leave (hopefully others will do so as well). Also if there is a future in Devil May Cry left (assuming Capcom isn't playing dumb with fans and starts actually listening to its gamer base) TAKE YOUR TIME FOR DMC5 (and if DmC even has a possibility of having a future) AND DmC 2!!!!!!!!! If either of those games end up like DMC4 in its original release (littered with backtracking and static mission design; consequently the game was pushed into a premature release in it's original run through) never touching the tentative series again, unless Kamiya makes a spiritual successor to the greatness that was DMC1 and DMC3.

Note: I tried to make this as objective as possible, apart from the portions where I acknowledge as potential bias. My comments/views are not meant to insight disrespect/conflict among anyone. My overt mentioning of DmC is not for the sake of bashing/insulting, but as a more direct comparison to DMC4 since this is the closest title in terms of mechanics and general awareness. Also please excuse the shitty typos/gammer mistakes, that always gets me, hopefully you guys can get the gist of my thoughts.

On a personal level, for the most part I should be like anyone else here, I've played all the games in the series. Heck, DMC1 was the very first ps2 game I ever got/played when I was six. I even used to enjoy DMC2, of course this is back before I knew/understood proper/complex gaming mechanics/design, and beat it three times over. I got my ass handed to me by DMC3 (the original) and eventually got a lot better. And then came DMC4.... Honestly my first time around I actually really liked the game. Nero was okay, though this might be me kinda accepting Bosch since he was on his rising end of his voice acting career. Dante..., oh god Dante, playing with his character model and being able to switch styles on the fly was such a shock and at the same time debilitating that even now I kinda struggle to find my proper control layout so I can use him effectively. Now DMC4 "se", as I'm pretty sure you guys can tell this title was a let down for me. In some ways this is how I feel about DMC3se now, in that nothing really changed, besides some technical changes (turbo mode and gold/yellow). In both cases the selling point, at least in my eyes, was Vergil. In DMC3se he continued the trend set by DMC2 with Lucia, in that he wasn't entirely fleshed out, besides the key features laid out by plot. Really all you got from DMC3se Vergil was 10+ combos/move, though to be fair we were just happy we got to play as Vergil. In DMC4se again ignoring copies and hashes, we only got 2 new moves: Judgement Cut End and Air Stinger and even these a questionably new. What DMC3 made up with an involved plot for Vergil, DMC4se gave us nothing beyond the prospect of using Vergil again with copied and grafted moves. I still enjoyed it and in a way I'm kinda pissed because this has now become the actualized Vergil and trying to play and justify DMC3 Vergil is such a let down. And this seriously screws with the timeline/consistency of DMC3 considering this "Vergil", this fully or near fully actualized Vergil, went to Fortuna before raising Temen-ni-gru and become undoubtedly weaker. Though then again his CG videos only shows him using Yamato, so really it's fair play... :P

As for DmC, I'll be straight forward I was kinda interested from the original gameplay and eventually pissed for what had happened to Dante, and with the release of the game Vergil as well.... But again my gaming interest and thinking style has become more analytical so I accept DmC for what it is now, neither good nor bad. Gameplay wise, it probably matches up to DMC3 (slightly less) for its depth. Inherent difficulty not so much. In terms of focus, it definitely doesn't play as a DMC game, with its social commentary focus. As a fan of the series is it needed, no, but that's the developer's choice so whatever, but they definitely could have toned it down or at least try to be more clever about it. It managed to make strides in platforming, something that was for the most part a none issue/focus in the series. In terms of art/aesthetics, I wouldn't have given it to devil may cry title, but besides that it was interesting, though I would've preferably toned down the hot oranges and reds. I would never imagine any devil may cry title using social media or those concepts in the series.

To counter act my original negative views of DmC, I will say, it definitely got the better re-release. Yeah the content is still the same but at least here the devs managed to acknowledge and fix their mistakes in regards to the gameplay, though honestly everyone was hounding them to do from the get go. Is it on par with DMC4 gameplay mechanics? No, but it finally boasts a respectable image compared to it's original in the hack 'n slash genre. This title should be making more money than it is currently, while DMC4se should be much lower than it already is.

But DMC4se....(as you can tell from my review) , honestly like I said about Trish and Lady, it was all just pandering to blind the DMC/DmC community, and for the most part it worked. Not only was the content the same but nothing was attempted to fix the glaring issues of the original version; speeding up SPEED and kicking up the orb/soul handout don't count. At the very least they could have changed up the enemy encounter order, didn't do it. Again this re-release is 7-8 yrs separated from its original release and they managed to ignore all the glaring issues. Story still sucks/lacks detail and the overall mission scenarios suffer for it, repetition is alive and strong, and enemy variety is lacking, including bosses. Do you know how stupid/ game breaking it feels to play as Lady or Vergil and face off against Dante!!!??? Capcom likes to sell us skins, at the very least they could have tried to trick us and put a Order skin on Dante!!! When I first heard Capcom forced the game into a premature release before devs could properly flesh it out, I completely sided with the devs. But now who do I believe or even care to blame. Again simply put this game is a cash grab in the guise of pandering.

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