Being critical is such an immediate retort for me that it has become something of an anthology. I’m often crass in my expressive dialogue, quick to dispute singular conjecture if my own insolent view contradicts their own, with even the most theoretical of inquiries provoking aggressive stance of defiance and sarcastic retaliations, despite the placid intention of the inquest. Becoming a fan of a game places you in such a vulnerable position, merely because such a confined affinity is often greeted by convening mediation by refluent assailants, simply due to the subjective terms of applied endearment. Whereas a disparate congregation would consolidate existing enmity, in empathetic unity to admonish what they would consider, a poorly executed game. Now nutritionists are concerned about the escalating obesity and cholesterol of children, with their diminutive size afflicted by the extravagant level of glucose consumed by their stunted configuration. I however fear the measurable fallow of analytical deduction, the expansion of ignorance of our collective nations and the overall collaborative deficiency of gamers mental comprehension.
It’s fascinating how nimble us gamers are at revoking previously admirable resolve for a series. We regularly demonstrate conflicting views on what constitutes as good, that it’s often impossible to accurately gauge what is deemed appropriate for all concerned. Some request an elevation to the game-play, to be more immediate and intuitive, others conversely may require a more advanced progression in the narrative, or complete aberration of the established characters. Independently gamers are capable of soliciting insightful, constructive observations, expressed with succinct mediation or rationalised opinions. As an amalgamation however, its difficult to differentiate between the permissive expressions of some amid the convulsive splutter’s of venom, dismissive flippancy and infuriated aggressors that implore with vehemence that their favourite character has been tarnished because of his follicles, darkened tone.
You may recall a humorous incident a couple of years ago concerning an alteration to one enduring, demon slaying Nephilim more generally recognised as Dante. DmC’s preliminary footage negated any tangible assertions to the overarching narrative or progression–or perhaps declination–of this popular vagrant, whose remedial riposte to any situation was to unsheathe rebellion (sword) and condense everyone in the immediate vicinity into aqueous coagulation. But despite the sparsity of its allurements and an impressive demonstration of its combat system, the video caused salivating heresy, simply because of Dante’s auburn locks. Well perhaps that’s not the primary pretext, but certainly the punctuation for much of fan discourse, which certainly exemplifies the displaced prerogatives of what gamers value. One man’s continuity, is another’s repetition I guess. Gamers, when suitably prompted can criticise anything; the artistry of a games cover, the superfluous ambiance of a settlement, frame rates, the pigmentation of a characters eyes or the latent personification of a females cleavage. And there’s nothing inherently erroneous in proclaiming a games falsity. It’s the type of extroverts that participate in orchestrated pacts with other vindictive hypocrites to pervade the casual observer, that galvanise their farcical postulation’s by allocating 1/10 scores on IMDB with multiple accounts making any fair, reflective assessment of a game rendered virtually mute by the excessive manipulation of its aggregation. Now imagine if that kind of puerile commitment could be harnessed and utilised for more receptive progression, rather than dismissive revile?
Now anyone who knows me, or has had the misfortune of conversing with me will testify to my flippant gestures and dismissive policies. I can conclude that your mumbling with audited progression something of a rebuke that motions towards kettles and darkened cavity. And yes the credibility of my own humility in this instance is vacuous, considering the scolding pronouncements recited with an audible tone of condescension that often frequents much of my appraisals. But despite my contradictions, I’d like to believe that any animosity that, if not retentive is conveyed with judicious, agnostic pragmatism. Well, unless we are referencing Call of Duty. Which reminds me. I need to visit IMDB.
Do gamers expect too much? Or should we accept nothing less than perfection? Let me know your thoughts.
I’ve always held a strong affinity for the captivation and overall seduction of simulated music in computer games. The way music captures a defining moment with fluid synchronicity and encapsulates it with just the simplest of orchestral tones, that remain permanently ingrained in your memory, long after you’ve forgotten the initial game that it featured in. I’m constantly humming some ominous but distinctly recognisable tune, plucked randomly from somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind, that illuminates an instinctive smile of tranquillity but still difficult to competently differentiate exactly where its origins lie. It’s like a momentary act of providence of domesticated comfort, somehow encapsulating those moments with an accentuated melody. Illustrative memories are almost secondary in comparison, with auditory sounds emphasising your whimsical recollections. Familiarised music is comforting, with nostalgic implications that remind you of simpler times, and I bet that if I was to hypothetically ask you about any game-new or old-that apart from sporadic interludes of hazy illustrations formulating cognitive reactions, that you could vividly, without little pause, comfortably recite a theme, sound or any form of musical interlude with almost perfect clarity.
The auditory percussions are just as important as the visual stimulants and graphical superiority to such an extent, that you may not even realise what an influence a piece of music can be. There can be a strange absurdity associated with particular pieces of music, compelling but also motivation to persevere even when all conceivable hope has dissipated. For instance, almost everyone can recite, hum or vocalise any musical accompaniment to Sonic the Hedgehog; the intro music, a particular boss battle or jovially recall of themes with involuntary foot tapping, to the composition of the Green Hill zone or Chemical Plant. Me, the drowning music featured in Sonic still haunts my dreams, as I continue to search for those illusive, ascending bubbles to restore oxygenated order and grant a desperate reprieve from asphyxiation. As the countdown descends-5-and the music accelerates-4-to reiterate the growing urgency-3-for Sonic to breath, as you become more agitated-2-consumed by the impending predicament that you know-1-is unavoidable and then-0-the struggle is over, and your responsible.
Resident Evil 2 featured the disconcerting ambiance that amplified the terrible sense of isolation, which was created, not by the percussing concertos or booming gravitas associated with an orchestra, but through the subtle influences of minimal interludes of disconcerting bells, the slow foreboding creaking of the doors and constant ticking of a distorted clock which all culminate in deterring you from functioning on an emotional level. Subverting rational deliberation and leave you (me) cowering in the corner, evaluating the minimum ammunition at my disposal and devising either an appropriate plan, as well as motivating courage to open the door to the adjacent room, or merely adopting the fetal position for another hour (of course the latter is an exaggeration that I never considered) cough. Where would games like DMC be if not for the highly influential, accelerated break beats that inspire the generous slaughtering of a plenitude of emotionally crippled, demonic spawns? The kinetic hostility is proportionately more evocative with the appropriate musical accompaniment. With an audible depiction of a physical retaliation, any subjected combative situation is heightened by musical stimulants.
But as usual, I digress too furtively and have strayed far from my initial point; that the sounds, music, no matter how genial, generic or inconsequential are important. Whether a conductor brandishing that musical stick to illicit beautifully crafted crescendos, or created via a synthesiser by one man, copious amounts of coffee and patience, iconic music will live forever in your auditory portion of your psyche. Or in my case, an unrelenting nightmare. Forgive Me Sonic!!
What video game music will you never forget? Let me know your most memorable musical pieces.
They say every day is a school day, and that life permeates with a suggestive series of obstacles, specifically designed to increase ones knowledge and further advancing our intellectual capabilities, sadly these unavoidable events don’t always culminate in denser wisdom, with the intended results seemingly lost in translation. When you’re young your almost purely driven by instinct, stupidity and sugar; you learn very quickly that dogs bite, cats scratch, licking a battery initiates periodic, facial spasms. Sitting on a skateboard whilst accelerating down a steep hill is thrilling, but slowing down when you’ve reached the required destination is painful, and that you should never aggravate your Aunt, because she will pursue you round the garden in a comical fashion befitting of any Benny Hill sketch, attempting to impale you with her knitting needle, which still contains the twisted remnants of a repulsive scarf, which will likely make a miraculous recuperation, and unwanted gift for you over the Christmas period.
We learn through the variety of mistakes we make, and that it’s beneficial to attain these lessons young to maintain greater significance when we get older. It’s rather satisfying to still harbour the desire to expand on knowledge already accumulated and more importantly, that games are a beneficial tutor from which to acquire information. I’m not suggesting that the entire education system should be reshaped around the unique teachings of video games (cool as it sounds), but it’s more the delicate influence’s that certain games proclaim. For instance, after surviving Drakes escapades in Uncharted, I became strangely curious about the many historical figures and places documented in the games- Marco Polo, Sir Francis Drake, El Dorado, Shangri-La, if only history was this absorbing in school, I might have achieved more than a D in my GCSE’s!
The transition from the virtual world to the research books is seamless, which never feels like a forced proposition, and the notion of attaining further historical attainment after your efforts, although not directly instigated by the game, does have a profound affect. I recall watching some generic game show where a contestant was asked “In Greek mythology, Cerberus is said to have been a three-headed what?. And without hesitation I instantly bellowed “DOG!” to the absolute terror of one fearful friend, surprise of the others, and I would like to believe the delight of the collective group. Upon being asked how I knew the answer to this seemingly incomprehensible question, I smugly replied “Devil May Cry”. This led to the looks of suspicion and obligatory glares of bewilderment. But I just sat back, swirling my beer like a self-satisfied entrepreneur, basking in the enlightening glory that a game taught me this. It was a moral victory for myself, the game and the credibility and general integrity of an industry often blamed for encouraging impressionable, and apparently moronic kids; as well as instigating the war in Iraq, financing terrorist organisations across the globe, the financial crisis, cancer, talent shows and dyslexia. But now I can finally stick one honourable middle finger, up at the ignorant fools who collectively scoff at us, and affirm proudly, that they are wrong very! Wait, what?
Let me know what games have taught you?
Never has hair initiated so much controversial animosity in the gaming industry as it has with DMC, and any self-respecting Devil May Cry fan has probably already spent countless hours, drearily unearthing every available information regarding the new installment to the increasingly altered series, in an attempt to eradicate the acrid memory left by the subdued unveiling of the re-branded Dante. It’s fair to suggest then, that despite very few detail’s, as well as gameplay being divulged by the developers at Ninja Theory, that we are all accepting the seemingly inevitable outcome, that DMC is a misguided attempt at rebooting a series beloved by fans, that all categorically agree that there was no need for any such reinvention. We appear to collectively expect failure.
You get the sense from the people’s very bitter, vocal resentment towards Ninja Theory’s direction to a series, that we don’t want it to become tainted and altered beyond all recognition, which is fair enough, just as long as the criticisms leveled are constructive, rather than ill-informed, destructive exasperation. You have to bear in mind that the original Devil May Cry was released over a decade ago, and it’s likely that many of this generations gamers, weren’t fortunate enough to experience these intellectual games composing of innovative, battling techniques, that required spontaneous thought processes to overcome legions of highly acute demon spawns, *ssh! They didn’t play it, they don’t know?* At least not until the HD collection is released in April anyway.
The problem is that were just a little too susceptible to any change to a series that we are all very protective of, perhaps over protective. It’s akin to sending your child off to school on their first day, watching them grow, develop and expand their horizons, (not instantly obviously), but over the course of many years. You worry about them, scrapping knees, taking tests, flipping the bird to the science teacher, (she deserved it!), or in this instance, dispersing zillions of bullets from your twin guns Ebony & Ivory, before systematically slaying demons that culminates in making hell more heavily populated, than a London tube train. Just let it go.
It’s too soon to formulate any kind of substantial predicament on DMC, forget about speculating for the time being, keep the faith, but simultaneously prepare yourself for the worst. And if DMC doesn’t meet expectations, reserve your antagonism for Ninja Theory who dared to try something so radical, but rather vent your frustrations in Capcoms rather arrogant direction, who apart from their total lack of empathy for their fans, also maintain an apparent reluctance to continue the series themselves.
Are you looking forward to DMC? Or is it destined to fail? Let me know your thoughts.
It’s easy to forget how essential music is in modern-day video games to their narrative’s, and your overall experience, sometimes heightening titles beyond their rivals. I’m ashamed to admit that during my recent play through of Skyrim, I only just finally began to realise how important game soundtracks are to your journey, and the fact that I hadn’t really responded to the musics influence during my time is testament to the care and attention that Bethesda have taken, so the game has time to flow and isn’t overshadowed by its admittedly incredible musical score or by the detail of its wonderfully constructed world, the balance is perfect. The immersive experience you undergo as you traverse the wide and varied landscapes of Skyrim, are already so engrossing that the entire game could be on mute, and it could still challenge the more stereo driven titles to claim the game of the year plaudits. But with the exquisite score that accompanies you as you plunder derelict tombs, battle enraged dragons and generally, bask in the decadence of the world around you, the music effortlessly encapsulates whatever situations you find yourself involved with.
The epic concertos, beautifully mirror the extensive lands of Skyrim, from every gruesome battle to every sombre death, your senses are noticeably heightened by the renditions. It’s not just the more traditional type of music that has this effect either. Games such as Devil May Cry and Dead Rising are also equally harmonic, although for a more alternative reason. The Heavy metal and break beat inspired sounds, give each of these games a huge sense of grandeur, and when your continually battling demonic demons from the depths of hell, and shuffling cannibals from, well, there probably relations, or possibly neighbours, is an important factor when attempting to accentuate the importance of any given situation. But this is a case of perception and what kind of musical score’s inspire you, personal preference is paramount. It’s apparently clear though, that music in any form, is a key element in gaming, whether it’s the epic scale of Uncharted or FIFA’s more popular, mainstream approach. Hearing is as integral to your experience, as what you see.
What games do you believe are heightened by musical scores? Let me know your opinions.
It’s been 10 years since the original hacked, slashed and literally punctured its way into the hearts of thousands of unsuspecting PS2 gamers and in the process, introduced a new gaming icon for the new millennium, Dante. The concept was simple, you adopt the role of Dante, a witty but arrogant devil hunter who possesses unique sword welding abilities, as well as being accompanied by his trusty Dual pistols, Ebony & Ivory, as he begins he’s new enterprising business as, well, a devil hunter (duh), and it’s not long before our rugged rocker acquires his first customer in the form of a mysterious blonde haired beauty known only as Trish. But this seemingly docile lady (yeah right) hides some pretty interesting skills, from her wide range of exquisite acrobatic skills, her tendencies for launching motorcycle’s at unsuspecting shopkeepers and to her incredibly huge…um…assets? Not to mention the fact that she bares a striking resemblance to Dante’s mother, which is admittedly, a little weird. After Dante proves himself worthy in the eyes of this rather unconventional individual and presumably, charging her for her rather unnecessary demolition of his establishment, he sets off to the nefarious Mallet Island, where he encounters legions of demons who are eagerly prepared to skewer our white-haired hero.
Ok, so the concept wasn’t as entirely simple as I previously stated, but who cares really? Devil May Cry was prominently about eccentric enemies you could pierce countless times, accelerated action so fast it makes F1 seem pedestrian. It was about head banging your way past foes due to the immense Heavy Metal soundtrack that reverberated whenever battles ensued, before you ruthlessly chop down another giant devil that made you feel immensely superior. Devil May Cry was just exhilarating fun, so where did it all go so wrong? How did one the PlayStation’s newest stars end up playing second fiddle to the likes of Kratos?
The original was, and in many a fans opinion, is the strongest in the series. It introduced a world of hellish creatures and rather contorted enemies that you could subdue, just by repeatedly hammering 2 buttons. But the gratification you felt from this very simplistic approach was strangely overwhelming, and it was this same sense of self-satisfaction that alluded it’s less than impressive sequel, DMC 2. Was it as bad as we all remembered? Or was it that we as fans, unjustly heaped too much expectation on Capcom to produce another hack and slash extravaganza? Ok, no, it was just total cack. For one, Dante was completely devoid of the same charisma, humour and personality that had charmed us in his first outing, and was replaced by a tiresome, formulaic persona that lacked any substance and presence. By altering one of the key elements of a popular character, your already alienating your fans, which is a HUGE mistake, but this wasnt the only problem. Dante was accompanied by a female partner who made as much of an impact on the DMC universe as a punch from Elmo, her name was….um….hm….Laura? No, that’s not right….Lara? No, that’s the other one, well whatever her name is, she was a frankly forgettable character. The gothic atmosphere that constantly unnerved you from the previous installment was completely nonexistent, enemies were poorly designed (not that anyone would remember), but most importantly, DMC 2 was boring. Somehow DMC 2 made escaping from a burning building, while being pursued by a mutated helicopter as mundane as a bus drive, dull (shame on you). The fact is, DMC 2 was completely misguided, and it wasnt just hindered by one or two overriding factors, but it had many aspects that contributed to its inevitable downfall, it was just a collective mess, and as the developer would acknowledge, a regrettable one, but one they rectified in the 3rd.
Devil May Cry 3 is my personal highlight in the series. It reinvigorated the series with a much-needed injection of pace, fun and entertaining characters/villains, that completely eradicated the sour memory left by the aptly named #2. The younger and more arrogant Dante really helped push the game above the original by exploring more into the events that led to him becoming a devil hunter, coupled with the continuing rivalry between him and his more villainous brother, Virgil. The new female lead, Lady, was a welcome addition to the growing cast of DMC characters. Her Wiley nature, total loathing for demons, her complete disregard for Dante and her overwhelming desire to see both vanquished, made Lady a powerful, well, lady, (that and the cumbersome bazooka she somehow managed to drag around). DMC 3 was great in all the ways 2 was not, epic boss fights, the gothic look and feel of the original and the most engrossing combat in the series to date, I mean come on, where else will you see a topless, white follicle, devil hunter kill numerous foes with pool balls, whilst, consuming a slice of pizza?!
Devil May Cry 4 continued in the same direction as its predecessor, sort of. Although vast elements of the gameplay remained intact and the environments retained the same looks as in previous instalments, the game did falter in one respect, Nero. To me, it seemed completely irrelevant to introduce a protagonist who looks exactly the same as Dante, but with less of a personality, and with no explanation for this striking resemblance. For the majority of the game, Nero was an insufferable bore constantly shrieking KYRIE throughout his expansive journey, with as much charisma as a sloth in a drug induced coma. Sure Nero’s magical blue arm was impressive and made combat elements more intuitive and fun, but you couldn’t help yearning for Dante to arrive and lighten up the proceedings, it’s the equivalent of playing as Peter Parker when you could be playing as Spider-man. DMC 4 was also impeded by the repetitive boss battles, not boring, just repetitive, sometimes forcing you to defeat the same enemies 3 times! DMC 4 shouldn’t be regarded as the worst, but nor should it be considered as great, just satisfactory.
All in all, Devil May Cry has had turbulent history with an equal amount of highs and lows, and its due to the series inconsistencies that DMC isn’t as popular as it should’ve been, which is a shame. With the impending release of a new concept of DMC though, you do feel that the series is relying heavily on the success of this imagining, and we can only hope that this formerly great series can be salvaged *crosses fingers*.
PS. Don’t judge a game too harshly before you’ve played it. I’ll admit I’m not convinced that the new vision for Dante will work, but I’m more that happy to be proved wrong. Let’s give it a chance.
Click the link to watch some gameplay footage for the upcoming DMC and let me know what you think. Cheers.