A somewhat disturbing trend in the current Xbox One/PS4 Console Generation has been the glut of prettied up re-releases of Xbox360/PS3 Games. There have been a ton of these already (Borderlands, Last of Us, Halo 3 and 4), and there are more on the way (PS4 Ultra Street Fighter 4, Dark Souls II, Devil May Cry 4), most of them boasting little more than including all the games’ DLC and bumping the framerate up to 60 fps, which the developers could’ve most likely achieved on previous gen consoles if they had more time to work on these things before having to boot them out the door, which is another story altogether. Today’s subject bucks the trend somewhat, but only by being truly great and unjustly rejected by its fanbase upon initial release.
The internet collectively shat its pajamas when Capcom announced they were handing the reins of the Devil May Cry series to Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory, and those pajamas only got heavier as more details of the game emerged leading up to its release in January of 2013. This would be a complete reboot, starring a young upstart Dante, scrawny with short black hair, in no way connected to the established character. The game also sort of went overboard with trying to work “real world” events into the game’s plot. Dante’s brother Vergil was now the leader of an Anonymous-esque cell of terrorist freedom fighters, battling a shadowy demon using Energy Drinks and Fox News style political propaganda to corrupt society.
Despite these warning signs the game actually turned out great, sure new Dante was annoying, but old Dante kinda was too. Okay new Dante was a lot more annoying, obviously based on Jesse from Breaking Bad, saying Bitch a lot and looking about 3 feet tall. But the game itself was a showstopper, ranking highly amongst character action classics like Tecmo’s vanilla Xbox Ninja Gaiden and original Devil May Cry developer Platinum’s Bayonetta. Gameplay was the star of the show, combining the best elements of DMC 3 and 4 into a whirling ballet of blood and destruction. Graphics were amazing, even though they only ran at 30fps it was solid and consistent as buildings crumbled around Dante and the earth revealed its’ hellish true form. The music was great too, featuring a kick ass soundtrack from industrial metal vets Combichrist.
And gamers avoided it like the plague, basically still mad that Dante’s hair was short and black instead of long and white. The game sold even less than the somewhat critically reviled Devil May Cry 4, which was basically just a glorified tech demo for the then brand new Xbox 360. They missed out on one of the best action experiences of the 360/PS3 era, which is good for them, because here it is again! DMC Definitive Edition comes to us in (you guessed it) 1080p, 60fps, and toting all the original games’ DLC. Brand new features include a Hardcore Mode featuring a host of Street Fighter type gameplay tweaks, Charater Skins, harder difficulty levels for the truly masochistic, and the Survival-esque Bloody Palace mode for Vergil.
Is it enough for those who gave the game a chance initially though? I’d say only just. The beefed up graphics (though word around the ol’ internet says the original PC version still looks better) and $40 price tag make this a hard pass. The skins do look a little weird though, like New Dante’s playing dress up, and Vergil’s Downfall was enough of a slog the first time around. This release isn’t really for us early adopters though, this is for the people who folded their arms and shook their heads like children being fed broccoli at the sight of a skinny, short haired Dante. Open your arms and let this annoying little prick into your heart, you have one hell of an action thrill ride waiting for you.