Zero Punctuation: Devil May Cry 4

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Perhaps a transcript?

It would be very narrow-minded of me to say that all Japanese cartoons suck. That's like saying that all glam rockers are paedophiles. The fact is that there's bound to be at least one thing to your taste in all the different varieties of anime, whether you're into samurais, or giant robots, or serials about awkward young men very pointedly not having sex with a selection of eager women, but it would be fair to say that there are certain popular trends in anime that tend to set off my cynicism alert. I would list them, but thanks to Capcom, I don't have to. Now I can just point at Devil May Cry 4 and say, "Pretty much that."

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not some spectacle-adjusting model railroad enthusiast who cannot function without absolute realism at all times. Leaping eight times your own height, swinging swords the size of small cars around, and deflecting bullets with other bullets are all fine with me, as long as it's entertaining. I'll even accept that getting a seven-foot katana jammed through your torso is totally survivable, if a bit homoerotic. The game starts widdling on my chips, however, when it populates itself with smug, self-satisfied dick-spurts and starts neglecting gameplay because it's too busy letting them swagger invincibly about until I want to flatten their androgynous faces with a kayak paddle.

Allow me to expand. The abominably lengthy intro cinematic contained a total of three high-energy bombastic fight sequences, and my entire contribution to them was to sit on my arse taking a drink every time someone defied the laws of physics. There was no reason why these fights couldn't have been playable, but the game seemed afraid that I would cramp its style. It's like Devil May Cry 4 invited me out to a bar, then left me alone in the corner, nursing a Strongbow, while he busily tore up the dance floor with a giggling society girl. Eventually she was called away by her cackling friends, and he came back to our table with fresh drinks and apologies, but I won't forget this betrayal, oh no.

Capcom seemed to be pulling the Hideo Kojima gambit with this installment, wherein the beloved established character is supplanted for most of the game by a whinging pubescent successor whose motivation can best be summarized as, "pussy-whipped". It seems, however, that after all the hilarious fanboy rage that Metal Gear Solid 2 ate, that Capcom are trying to pull the wool over our eyes by making the new character, Nero, look, dress, behave, and speak exactly the same as the old character, Dante. If you're having trouble telling them apart, remember that Nero is a pussy, while Dante is more of a cunt. Anyway, if you want to know the story, Nero spends most of the game chasing his cardboard-cutout love interest, while Dante concentrates on wearing too many belts.

Devil May Cry 4 is a game that really makes me want to hate it, since everything about it is as aggressively juvenile as a 12-year-old on Pixy Stix, but there's really nothing wrong with the core combat gameplay; it's as obsessed with style as everything else, but building combos is fairly intuitive, and if you seriously don't find something entertaining about launching an enemy into the air, and keeping him afloat with a cushion of bullets, then it's time to reassess your standards. But the lone shiny gold star I stick on for the combat is almost immediately torn off for some truly obnoxious level design. Jumping puzzles, fine. Timed jumping puzzles, fair enough. Timed jumping puzzles with fixed cameras, now we've dropped into the ocean of shittiness. But then they hit us with a timed jumping puzzle with a fixed camera where enemies spawn in every time you fail, and now the ocean of shittiness has closed in over our heads with no rescue boat in sight.

Breathlessly intense punch-ups aside, Devil May Cry 4 strikes me as a rather lazy game. Several moments come across as artificially lengthened, like what my spam mail seems to think I should be. Take the recurring board game segment. There are certain rooms throughout the game which, for some demented reason, you're not allowed to leave until you've thrown a big spiky dice a sufficient amount of times to make a big representation of yourself move across a bunch of squares. There's only one path, so there's bugger-all strategy involved; it's just pointless delays, like a hallway full of balloons. After the first time it happened, I assumed it was just some idea that the lead designer's girlfriend had had, that he'd agreed to put in for the sake of his sex life, and we'd never see it again, but then for the entire last hour or so of gameplay, it came back, bigger and more of an embuggerance than ever. This led me to deduce that the developers genuinely thought that it wasn't terrible game design, and that, in turn, led me to deduce that the developers were all pillocks.

Not that there was any shortage of evidence to that effect. Virtually the entire midpoint onwards consists of revisiting all the previous levels in reverse order. This was a bad idea in Silent Hill 4, and time has not sweetened it. Considering how short the game is anyway, I can't help wondering if this is some kind of cry for help. "Please," go the Devil May Cry team, "please stop buying these games so we can do something else. We have totally run out of ideas. I spent the last six months rendering the glisten playing off the greasy exposed breasts of some athletic hip-cocking slut, and now I want to kill myself."

Let's face uncomfortable facts, shall we? No series on any form of media has ever still been good after being shaken down for sequels, with the possible exception of the Back to the Future movies. Devil May Cry 4 is the agonized grackle squawk of a series being put through the wringer, utterly submitted now to the fanboys and the weird girls who write erotic crossover fan fiction and smell like old meat. The combat is all I can recommend, but it's hardly worth buying for that. You could probably replicate it by putting a wasp next to a spider, playing some Slipknot in the background, and pouring red and green Gummi Bears on whoever wins.

What bothered me most about DMC4 is that every single time Dante spoke, he did this stupid flippant "Heh!" laugh that got old after the first time.

And also, the existence of Nero in general bugged the hell out of me.

- J

If there is one thing I cant stand, is people wailing on games they didnt actually play. So to the half of you on this board, shut up you have no right to poke at the game.

I however can since i have boughten, played and beaten it. Now I say its not terrible, but it wasnt worth my money. Though he had the right idea on all the faults, the only thing I would slightly disagree is the cheesy lines and cutscenes. They are like this because well thats how DMC is. Its like faulting Mario Kart for having karts in it. But overall this has to be one of his best reviews.

I also agree with his anime comment, there is a series for everyone really, you just have to look for it. Hmmm I wonder if he likes any anime series....

j-e-f-f-e-r-s & others:
Same, it's one of my favourite books, and definitely the best in the series.

I have a weird feeling like we were reading different books. 1. book was just magnificent and even the 2. one as enjoyable as the first one, but even his writing style seemed boring in the 3. The ending which should have been much shorter took like 100 pages where they basically cried and made some underage vision of love. I figure the author ran out of stuff to write about so he thought "hey, why not end it all in a REAL drama and use like half the book to really stump it into the reader and then call it a day". Like getting paid per word. Total disappointment.

Great review! I love the combat system which is heaps of fun to master, and I love the over-the-top cutscenes, although the story is nowhere near as good as DMC3, and is very jumbled because there's no exposition; characters and locations suddenly exist, you're not introduced to them, you're just thrown in and expected to believe everything you see.

The worst part is definitely the repetitive backtracking and torturous, punish-you-for-falling-into-a-bit level design (they didn't call it the torture room for nothing, did they?). This plagued DMC3 as well, but not to the same extent.

Jiki, are you German? I don't mean anything by that, but the way you put a period behind numbers instead of saying 1st, 2nd and 3rd is something German grammar also does.

And I agree with the cheesy lines and cutscenes. That's what makes DMC what it is, I guess. The way Nero stopped that fire demon's sword with the tip of his own sword was ridiculous, but awesome in a DMC way.

Aside from that, I didn't finish the game. I am now in control of Dante and for some reason I just can't make myself play this game anymore. Maybe after I finish Lost Odyssey...

Phillip Pullman NOOOOOOOO!

The Amber Spyglass wan't that bad was it? A little confusing....maybe.

The recent movie mucked up the Northern Lights though something firece.

Great laughs!

Fantastic review, I think I'll get this. Also:

conqueror Kenny:
...with ony portal and psyconaughts as accseptions its a good game if ...

Usually I just ignore spelling mistakes when I'm trawling through the comments, but I really couldn't let this one go. I swear, I actually registered just to point this out so here we go. What the hell! What age are you 4? Accseptions?? Where are you from, I want to write a letter to the education dept there.

But I'm getting a bit off topic, an excellent review (when are they not?) and I'm already waiting for next week's one

K

Fantastic review, will avoid that game. Beowulf is kind of fun though :)

lol highly amusing review this week. Either he really loaths this game or he woke up with a hang over and realized he still had work to do. Even though everyone seems to be agreeing that DMC4 was horrible I can't help but feel compelled to buy it. I own all the other games and I feel the need to finish the story, reguardless if it is good or bad. Perhaps I'm just weird like that. I think that capcom went with more puzzle type levels because so many females play it. I've noticed, as a female gamer myself, that females are more drawn to games that require you to think your way through the game, not just dodge your way through with guns blazing. Though I enjoy a head shot as much as the next person in line.

^_^

Caer:

Dectilon:
Personally I'm currently playing DMC 3, never having played a DMC game before. The gameplay is okay, but the camera is making me nuts. I dislike the idea of a game being hard because I can't see when an enemy is about to bolt at me so I have to jump constantly to be safe

Just a tip: most enemies won't start attacks if they are outside of the screen, meaning you don't have to worry much about those you can't see. Also, every attack in the game is preceded by som kind of audio clip (a growl or suchlike). Once you get used to that you can dodge pretty much everything by jumping or rolling when you hear the sound.

More on topic, I love DMC4 but the dice game is stupid as hell. Still, love how Dante just cuts it in half and keeps on walking when he gets to it. It's just what you would have liked to do the first time around. =)

Most of the hits I take are from enemies rushing in from outside the screen (especially those red mofos). I know about the sound trick, but it still annoys me. Would it be so bloody hard to let the player pan out the camera at will? ~~ This especially annoyed me against those two sword guys, because the room is so small and I can't see them, can't see where I have room to dodge to and I still have to time those counter hits. The most fun I've had in this game so far was the Jester boss. Throughout that fight you had a clear view of the entire battlefield and it became all about skill : P

"I've noticed, as a female gamer myself, that females are more drawn to games that require you to think your way through the game, not just dodge your way through with guns blazing. Though I enjoy a head shot as much as the next person in line."

In that case, if you like jrpgs as well allow me to give a retro-tip: Lufia 2. Half the game is about fighting, and the other half about solving puzzles. It's awesome ^^

I like how it seems 80% of the people posting around these parts agree entirely with Yahtzee because they're suck-up brown nosers.

I don't know about anyone else, but Yahtzee's thrashings he gives games have an opposite effect. I actually want to play them more after the fact just to see if they're deserving of the criticism they get. The only one I hadn't played before hand I can remember without going back over all his past reviews was The Witcher, which really was quite as boring as he made it out to be. I wish he'd have said something about the retarded day/night cycle in that game though. Wandering around the countryside waiting for night to fall so I can stick pointy metal into foul beasts is annoying as all hell.

ok, so I've discovered that yahtzee and I are on a different page. DMC4 is one of the games I'm going to buy on my next salary, unlike the orange box witch is a monstrous pile of shit (I finished Ep0, Ep1 and Portal) The only thing nice in it is PORTAL that was just NICE not GREAT. As for Psychonauts...IT SUCKED BALLZ, I was never more bored in my life, and some of my favorite games include the monkey island series, silent hill 2, broken sword 1 and 2, and so on. Psychonauts was not an adventure game, it was more of a crappy platformed game with a very cliche and retarded storyline. HL2 was just plane stupid, I hated EP1 and EP0. The only good stories I've seen so far are in Anime (except for VERY few British and American TV series and movies) and the only real good games are Japanese with very few old games as exceptions, but other than that, almost every new game that is not Japaneses turns out to be not lame but just plane SHITTY!

Esure:
there is nothing uncool about Dante

Except that he's a carbon copy of the same bog-standard transexual emo protagonist that's used in every single god damn japanese comic, cartoon and game. Ever.

White greasy, spikey hair. Check.
Ridiculous sword. Check.
Looks like a pre-pubescent girl. Check.
Body covered in belts for no reason. Check.
etc.

myopiczeal:
Perhaps a transcript?

Much obliged.

Also, great review, Yahtzee. I feel you've even upped the standard in these last few ones. Although it made me google "yaoi", which I could have done without. :/

Excellent review - and the final bit about Audiosurf in the credits made me happy. I thought I was the only person in the world who actually plays that game. :P

Bravo

mykayel:
ok, so I've discovered that yahtzee and I are on a different page. DMC4 is one of the games I'm going to buy on my next salary, unlike the orange box witch is a monstrous pile of shit (I finished Ep0, Ep1 and Portal) The only thing nice in it is PORTAL that was just NICE not GREAT. As for Psychonauts...IT SUCKED BALLZ, I was never more bored in my life, and some of my favorite games include the monkey island series, silent hill 2, broken sword 1 and 2, and so on. Psychonauts was not an adventure game, it was more of a crappy platformed game with a very cliche and retarded storyline. HL2 was just plane stupid, I hated EP1 and EP0. The only good stories I've seen so far are in Anime (except for VERY few British and American TV series and movies) and the only real good games are Japanese with very few old games as exceptions, but other than that, almost every new game that is not Japaneses turns out to be not lame but just plane SHITTY!

No offense man, but you are wrong and a fool. The Orange box is pure win, and psychonauts is one of the most inspired pieces of western gaming since Grim Fandango. You sound like an elitist who is determined to find fault with everything that doesn't originate from Japan. And dude, learn to spell.

After the last couple reviews I thought ol' Yahtzee had lost it but this one was so good that I'm convinced otherwise. I guess all you have to do is to make him go into rage-modus to make him real funny.

Aw, no QuickTime events in this one. Oh well.

Usually this is where I'd insert some insightful critism, but Yahtzee is so above all that that I'm not even going to bother: Instead I'm going to plug my thread, which I am not ready to see die yet. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.55103?page=1

I am restrained by a certain, shall we say, "ethic" to give a proper response to this video. One thing, though: Yahtzee, cut scenes can be skipped by pressing START. Do that and the game is all combat, and thus all good.

That's, you know, common knowledge ever since the storyline of the original. But I guess a review needs to show all the angles of a game :).

It's weird how these reviews tend to point out something that had occurred to me while playing the game just the night before. I thought it was pretty amusing that Chris Redfield in The Umbrella Chronicles, while staring at a huge spider, wonders where all the webs in this basement might come from. The day after I had noticed this, the review pointed out the same. Last night I was playing Devil May Cry 4 and shut the damn thing off after about five attempts at the ridiculous timed jumping puzzle with respawning enemies. This is also pointed out in today's review. Don't get me wrong, I like DMC4 (and a fair number of other games Yahtzee slams), partly because Capcom seems to take their franchise much less seriously than their fans do, as the action, sex appeal, etc. are all taken to such absurd extremes it's practically self-parody, which I'll choose to interpret it as since it would be depressing if Dante or, God help us, Nero count as "cool." But when I play a game, I want to relax and be entertained, not "fight with every fiber of my being" to get anywhere, as someone stated above. Challenging is good. Annoying is not. From what I've played of it, DMC4 is mostly fun, but there are a few odd design choices that don't exactly contribute to it.

And of course it has to be said that I don't agree with him on Amber Spyglass either.

mykayel:
ok, so I've discovered that yahtzee and I are on a different page. DMC4 is one of the games I'm going to buy on my next salary, unlike the orange box witch is a monstrous pile of shit (I finished Ep0, Ep1 and Portal) The only thing nice in it is PORTAL that was just NICE not GREAT. As for Psychonauts...IT SUCKED BALLZ, I was never more bored in my life, and some of my favorite games include the monkey island series, silent hill 2, broken sword 1 and 2, and so on. Psychonauts was not an adventure game, it was more of a crappy platformed game with a very cliche and retarded storyline. HL2 was just plane stupid, I hated EP1 and EP0. The only good stories I've seen so far are in Anime (except for VERY few British and American TV series and movies) and the only real good games are Japanese with very few old games as exceptions, but other than that, almost every new game that is not Japaneses turns out to be not lame but just plane SHITTY!

I can't disagree with you more...except for silent hill 2)

Anyways, Japanese games are not necessarily excellent or good, take the Sonic the Hedgehog series for example (the first 2 games for the DC were excellent and the rest were crap).

Now, I've played Psychonauts and it is one of the greatest platformers I've ever played, and I have the Orange Box and I think that it is pure win, plain and simple. If you hated the Orange box then why did you bought it anyway, you know there's a thing called demo...
If you buy a game without looking at it first strikes me as a terrible idea. Learn how to internet next time...

You sound like those etilist guys who likes a game developed by Japanese and nothing else and a person who also will not buy anything but jap games, for the last attack and insult the games that are made from other countries.

haha the ad that annoyingly pops up every time i watch these was for devil may cry 4, oooh the irony!

(_ )

Loved the review, also love how every time you say "You can recreate the experiance by..." you say something hilarious and that I always get what your saying. Also, no crack how Pandora's Box, Dante's new weapon, can become eight billione (I don't care how many it real becomes) different weapons? Loved the review though!

P.S.
Why was LuXe banned for saying "Great Review!"? It's not like he said "o i got here first!!! P8NED!!!" or anything anoying like that?

Yahtzee, you carismatic stallion, why are you talking so slow? Half the fun is trying to listen to you while you talk so fast it seems like you have a game of Silent Hill 2 ready for you when your done.

4mf:
Except that he's a carbon copy of the same bog-standard transexual emo protagonist that's used in every single god damn japanese comic, cartoon and game. Ever.

White greasy, spikey hair. Check.
Ridiculous sword. Check.
Looks like a pre-pubescent girl. Check.
Body covered in belts for no reason. Check.
etc.

Whoops, looks like you're ignorant. Sorry about that, try harder in the future. Maybe you might be able to come off as knowing what you're talking about.

mykayel:
ok, so I've discovered that yahtzee and I are on a different page. DMC4 is one of the games I'm going to buy on my next salary, unlike the orange box witch is a monstrous pile of shit (I finished Ep0, Ep1 and Portal) The only thing nice in it is PORTAL that was just NICE not GREAT. As for Psychonauts...IT SUCKED BALLZ, I was never more bored in my life, and some of my favorite games include the monkey island series, silent hill 2, broken sword 1 and 2, and so on. Psychonauts was not an adventure game, it was more of a crappy platformed game with a very cliche and retarded storyline. HL2 was just plane stupid, I hated EP1 and EP0. The only good stories I've seen so far are in Anime (except for VERY few British and American TV series and movies) and the only real good games are Japanese with very few old games as exceptions, but other than that, almost every new game that is not Japaneses turns out to be not lame but just plane SHITTY!

Oh the joy, we have anouther sterotypical japanese loving anime person. Your comment had so must justification to it that i now.. officially hate HL 2... -_-, by a matter of interest if you hated it so much why did you play the game and its episodes? Why not waste your time doing something constructive instead, like i don't no... play hide and seek with a can of tuna?

In terms of the review, i cannot personally comment as i hate every DMC ever made and stopped playing after 10 minutes of the first, thats my opinion. However very enjoyable review!

X nosgoth X:
Someone should explain this Advent Children reference to me. I've watched the movie several times and all I can think of when he mentions the motorbike is the fact that Nero can rev up the handle of his sword.

Don't forget that he can also impale an emeny and ride the corpse around the room by revving said handle! In cutscenes anyway.

Once again Yahtzee brings up very real flaws in the game, mocks the hell out of them and I enjoy myself - despite the fact I also enjoyed playing the game in question. Yes, the opening credits video was really far too long but I do recall (after watching the third or so cutscene in a row) turning to my fiancee who was watching in rapt attentiveness her first DMC game ever and advising her "We're ten minutes in, I haven't done anything yet, and I don't care". She agreed.

She is also, incidentally, far better at the bloody game than I am.

About time I signed up methinks...

Right, to everyone saying "Yes, me agree, it stinks, me love you longtime", stop shoving your nose up Yahtzee's ass. You can blatantly tell who has or hasn't played the game from the majority of the comments, so you're not impressing anyone, much less him. Frankly, it's sad you'd want to try, and ironic you'd try and impress someone who sees through bullshit by spouting it yourself.

I hadn't played any other game in the DMC series before I played this, and I really did like it. I used to be a fan of anime, but then I grew up a bit, and now merely enjoy it if it happens to float along. You don't have to like anime to like this game. Nero is an over-emotional angst-ridden prick, I'll give you that. But he also has a massive demon-crushing arm-thing, which makes him cool if you ignore the "Kryieeeee!" bits. Which are pretty often.

Dante is a stereotype, yeah, but... on purpose. That's what you didn't mention in your review, he is deliberately over-the-top, and therefore inkeeping with the rest of the game. Also: if you fought in the opening cinematic, it wouldn't have been as cool, thus the tutorial interspersing it. You get to fight Dante properly later on, you know that if you've played the game. Also it's not as if this is the only game with an opening cinematic. This is a particularly well-animated and choreographed one, if anything it deserves praise rather than scorn.

I'm not a fanboy, but I dislike things being insulted when they don't deserve it. Yahtzee is perfectly capable of insulting things that are genuine faults and being hilarious, but I felt this review to be a little laboured, and parts just untrue (i.e. the end dice game lasting an hour. Plus there is a shortcut for it anyway...). So yeah Yahtzee... naughty boy. You picked an easy target... amongst a lot of gamers, DMC is the quiet kid in the corner of the playground, where you are one of the popular kids. It doesn't take much to point and say "He stinks!" to get everyone to agree with you, even if they've never so much as laid eyes on him.

But yes: Some of the platforming segments can drink a big vat of shit. Also, camera angles suddenly changing in the middle of a jump, thus you changing direction and falling, were also eye-gougingly annoying. But they don't ruin the whole game, the combat more than over-rides the relatively small niggles. That's my two cents anyway.

Another great review... I've played all the DMC's other than 4 well...I started 2, But it's shittness had me trade it in for 3 within a day...*EB shops are good for that*

I'll most likely hit DMC 4 one day...If only to see what it's like, Then I'll trade it in for something better..^_^;

I agree wholeheartedly. DMC 4 suffers from what I call "God of War" Syndrome. Trying to make repetitive combat fun by fighting larger enemies, with bigger weapons and impossible tasks. But then again Kratos is the God of fricken War and if he can tear the head off Cerberus then he can do whatever the heck he wants so long as he doesn't fall into the same pitfalls as every other game with a sequel (Excluding Half-Life). If a game is good, I mean really good, you make a sequel. If that sequel is good you make one more then stop. Apparently Capcom was out to lunch when this memo was sent because they've already strangled MGS and DMC to death. Why wont they learn that if the initial game was crap, the other ones will be crappier.

TheFitcher:
and parts just untrue (i.e. the end dice game lasting an hour. Plus there is a shortcut for it anyway

Please advise of shortcut. I've watched my fiancee play the final boss-run dice game twice. The first time took 15 minutes because she got lucky. The first time took over an hour because she didn't. The difficulty of each was inconsequential - it just took longer. Donig the same thing over and over, taking four times as long as it should simply because of game-generated luck.

SWEET!

what can I say? Another great review!

Funny review as always. I see you got Audiosurf as well.

lol I was laughing at the Slipknot bit.

Great review, I always thought the DMC series had its head stuck too far up its arse.

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