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Blog Hop: Bring Back That Loving Feeling

(At least once a year, I participate in a blog hop with several talented authors.  This time we focused on a series that we loved in the beginning, then disappointed us, but then redeemed itself in our eyes.  Sorry, no writing excercises this time)

When I was told the theme of this year's blog hop, there was no hesitation on what subject I wanted to pull the trigger on.  Back in the early 2000s, the Playstation 2 was a must have for anyone who was all about the button mashing.  After buying one, I encountered a game unlike any other that eventually become a benchmark and influential power for video games for years.  This game was Devil May Cry.

In the game, you played a silver haired demon hunter named Dante who's soul purpose was to eviscerate and obliterate demonic enemies in highly stylish ways.  It was a highly kinetic action game that was a complete overload of everything a hormone and anxiety riddled teenage boy imbibed for spiritual sustenance.  But I can't fully capture the authentic feelings of  15 year old me when I'm a 31 year old man who's constantly worried about how awful everything can make me feel (food, physical activity, life, memes, etc.)  So I did some research, bought a time travel kit off amazon, and went back to the early 2000's and interviewed my 15 year old self. 

Current Me: Hey, thanks for meeting me.
15 Year Old Me:  Well, I'm a little busy, so let's make this quick.
C. Me: Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.  Staying up till midnight playing Pokemon and watching Dragon Ball Z is DEFINITELY tedious and time consuming....
*Suddenly remembers how awesome all of that was and stops*
*Clears throat*
Anyways, do you remember the first time you played Devil May Cray.
15 Me:  Hell to the yeah, I just got it a couple of days ago!
C. Me: Oh god, I forgot I used to say that.
*Suddenly remembers that he still, to this day, says that*
15 Me:  It was so sweet how you could switch between guns and swords on the fly.  Oh!  It was also kind of rad how you could juggle enemies in the air.
C. Me:  Sweet?  Rad? Jesus....  Okay, those WERE cool aspects of the game, I agree.  But what about the overall presentation?  The Gothic setting, the intricate, demonic designs of the enemies, the visual flair being applied to everything down to even the most minute details?
15 Me:  Um...Yeah, those were all okay, I guess.  Holy crap, do you remember when you got those gautlents and you could punch and kick guys like you were on steroids.
C. Me: ....I hate you.
*Presses button as quickly as humanly possible*
 *Disappears into a blinding, pulsing kaleidoscope wave of colors and shapes*

A couple of years later, Devil May Cry 2 was brought into this world.  However....wait, let me get someone more suited to explain it.

18 Year Old Me:  Sup!
Current Me:  *Glares*
18 Me:  Um....so yeah, I was super excited about DMC 2.  I got a demo disc from Electronic Gaming Monthly that contained gameplay video of it.  I made all of my friends watch it.
C. Me: I remember that. Just trying to spread the good word, am I right?
18 Me:  Totes!
C. Me:  *Glares again*
So what happened when you bought the game.
18 Me:  Well, I just bought it a week ago.  Mom had to buy some groceries at Walmart, so I bought the game and read the instruction manual while waiting for her in the breezeway.
C. Me:  And that's when you noticed something was off, right?
18 Me:  Oh yeah.  I noticed right away that were fewer options when it came to combat moves.  Same with weapons.  There wasn't as much variety like there was in the first one.
C. Me:  Were you still excited to play it?
18 Me:  *Nods rapidly*
I had built it up so much in my mind that I thought there was not way it could fail.  As for what I read in the manual, I convinced myself there was more in the game and the manual was just an appetizer.
C. Me:  But it turned out to be a complete 100% reveal of the game.
18 Me:  Not only that, but combat had been hampered down to crawl, the AI would go minutes without attacking you, and the 2nd playable character, Lucia, felt like she belonged in a different game, and not a good one at that.
C. Me:  What about Dante himself?
18 Me:  They totally turned him into a douche-bag.  The cool factor was completely gone.  He was very stiff in the game play and disinterested ni the events unfolding in the story.   The cut scenes painted him as a heartless dick who would flip a coin to determine whether or not he would save people.
C. Me:  Yeah, it felt like they really lobatimized the series at the point.
18 Me:  Word!
C. Me:  *Glares, but with more intensity.  For an hour*

Devil May Cry 2 went on to be a critical flop and only garnered minor commercial success because it rode on the coattails of the superior original.  People were convinced it killed the franchise, and I had begrudgingly accepted it.  That is, until Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening hit the streets like a third act Deus Ex Machina sent to save us all.  Let's check in with early college, 20 year old me.

20 Year Old Me:  I almost didn't buy it when it came out a couple of weeks ago.  My heart was all a flutter for God of War.  That game had EVERYTHING.  Brutal combat, a vibrant and colorful setting, and visceral action that I missed in Devil May Cry 2.
Current Me:  So what changed?
20 Me:  I rented it on a whim.  After an hour of playing it, I went out and bought it while I still had the rented copy at home.  It was a perfect addition to my Ka-Tet.
C. Me:  Ka-Tet?  Oh, that's right, I forgot I was on a Dark Tower kick.
20 Me:  I heard that were making a movie based off of it.  Did it ever get made?  How did it turn out?
C. Me:  *Takes off glasses and peers off into the distance, ruminating with somber thoughts over what could have been*
Um... That's not important right now
*Wipes tear*
Why did DMC 3 bring you back to the series?
20 Me:  Because it felt more like a proper sequel than the original sequel did.  What I mean is it took the foundations introduced in the original, then refined them all and cranked the insanity meter till the knob broke off.  As for Dante, his personality reverted back to its original state: A cocky, brash, but altruistic bad ass.  Even the cut-scenes themselves were ballistic eye candy that glued your eyeballs to the screen rather than acting as the "bathroom break" sections that a lot of games treat as such.  In movies and books, the audience more often than not what's to see familiar characters pushed into new and exciting directions.  When it comes to video games, however, we want the same mechanics but everything brighter, more polished, louder, and maybe just a couple of additions as long as the core game play is retained.
C. Me:  Well put, past me.
20 Me:  Thanks, future me.  So, be real with me.  How many books have we published so far?  5?  10?
C. Me: Um...
20 Me:  What about that video game blog I started a month ago, where's that at?  Have you published any articles yet?
C. Me:  Well.. I do have a blog.  The thing is OHMYGOD WHAT'S BEHIND YOU! 
20 Me:  *Turns around, fists at the ready*
C. Me: *Puts 20 Year Old Me in a headlock from behind and smothers his face with a chlorfoam rich hankerchief*
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
20 Me: *Slumps to the ground unconscious*
C. Me:  *Runs far, far away while crying hysterically*

- M. Cain

For the next blog hop, Kerrie takes on the love that came back to her tomorrow (08/27/2017) at https://theolifeblog.wordpress.com/
  

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for being a part of this blog hop! I never would have thought about video games, but after I read this I realized it's the perfect medium for this because there are so many iterations, and they come out relatively quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, Aaron! I'd love to hear the old you say "totes."

    ReplyDelete

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