Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Devil May Cry 4

(The above image is a screenshot.)

I've just pre-ordered my copy of DMC 4 yesterday! I had to get the Special Edition since I'm a sucker for "Making-Of" featurettes.

Now let's talk games!...

So we've been doing this "Next-Gen" thing for a bit amount of time now, and everyone seems to be pushing to make things more "real", more cinematic. This is all fine, but we should never forget one thing: in a game, game-play should always come first.

What I love about the Devil May Cry series (and Capcom for that matter) is that they're not afraid to push the "over-the-top"-ness of things to ludicrous levels. Not only will you have to suspend disbelief, you'll have to throw it out the door. Everything, from combat moves and poses to audio and VFX, is cranked up. Characters are idealized, beyond just "realistic". Heck, everyone in the game battles Demons while dressed to impress! And everyone seems to have the best hair-stylist in town. Sure things could get cheesy. And some of the moves are outright ridiculous. But that's what makes it cool! It's a game! It's supposed to be fun, first and foremost.

Now I'm not saying that a cinematic presentation, a good story, and a cast of characters that you care about aren't important. I'm not saying that at all. As long as they're icing. Just as long as they don't sacrifice any game mechanics. Also, don't always worry if things in the game world would never work in the real world. In the end, if it comes down to it, I believe gamers are more likely to remember and appreciate a fun game than a good-looking one.

I know we all know this, but in our quest to create beautiful and believable gameworlds, we sometimes forget.

With all that said, if a game has both, then I'd definitely sacrifice sleep to play it!!

Here's an example of some of that awesome cheese and over-the top action I'm talking about. Make sure you at least get to the cut-scene about half way through.

Now if you like what you see, here's part 2 of the showdown!

And in case you can't get enough...


Saul Ruiz said...

Damn this looks pretty cool. Im not the biggest gamer but i do appreciate the level of detail they have put into the game. Not pixel and resolution detail but staging and game play detail is a plus for me. Great looking cut scenes very cinematic.
Thanks for the post!

jeff said...

There's a reason every game designer I've ever worked for says "make it look like DMC"

I've always been a big fan of how they know when to keep the movement style in the realm of realism, and when to really punch it up and stylize the hell out of it.

well said man! ok, back to my DMC style 3 hit combo :)

Ali said...

This game was awesome up until you take control of Dante. It then became a mess in backtracking and I was starting to get really pissed towards the end when it made you fight the same bosses like 3-4 times in a row which is just terrible game design. :(

Still loved it though. :)

TJ Phan said...

Haha--those things didn't bother me too much, but I definitley hear what you're saying. In the end, I think I'd give the game ~ 8.5, tho I was hoping for a 9+. Remember tho, I'm an action junkie, so I'm a bit more forgiving if the moves are cool! And you have to admit, those combat moves got some super-sick poses!! Ahh...the Devil Bringer and the Gilgamesh!

Michael Richard said...

TJ I'm sure you've played this, but my most influential game was Mark of Kri... just amazing animations (done by Disney animators, I've heard).

TJ Phan said...

I never played through the whole game, but yes, Mark of Kri had some great, Disney-esque animation. I rented the sequel, Rise of the Kasai. Again, great animation, but I thought they might have gone too far--meaning it came at the price of responsive controls. I dug the art style of both games though.

Michael Richard said...

yeah, I bought the second one as well, but it just didn't hold up to the first one as much... maybe just the same-ol stuff?

But yep, I dig what you're saying about the responsiveness of the controls on attacking.

I think what struck me was a conference that I saw with Mark of Kri. They were showing off the anims, and at one point in slow motion there was a HUGE anticipation into a forward cut w/ the sword. The animators pushed the pose so much that the sword actually penetrated through the back and was visible through his chest. Of course playing at full speed it wasn't noticeable, but the huge anti led awesomely into the huge chop.

TJ Phan said...

I think the responsiveness of the navigation was what actually got me. Things like waiting for a long (though nice looking) recovery after climbing a ladder instead of blending straight into a run, or waiting for a turn-180 to finish playing. These things made it feel a bit sticky for me.

But, you definitely intrigued me to give it another run and check out the combat a little closer!

Of course after I finish MetalGear 4! And even though I'm not a huge stealth guy, I think this one has finally gotten me into it.