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RANT: Devil May wait, what?

So by now I'm sure everyone has seen it. The new, redone from the ground up, teenage angst, hipster Dante is here. Even if I liked the design, which I don't, it is really a sad day for gamers. The problem itself lies not with the new direction of the Devil May Cry series, but simply with the fact that Japanese developers are so completely uncertain in their ability to create new games that they refuse to even try.

Getting closer....


It's been a long time coming I suppose, well, at least since the beginning of this generation of console games. The Japanese developers seem unable to nail a protagonist that has any sort of resonance with an international crowd. It wasn't always this way. In fact right up to the end of the PS2 the complete opposite was true. Let's think about it.


FACT


How many amazingly iconic characters were created from the time of the NES to the days of the PS2? From Mario to Sonic, Alucard to Megaman, Snakes in every state of matter, Ryu to Ryu, and everything in between, the Japanese understood a very important part of making a great video game: creating a character that you enjoyed walking in the shoes of. It's an amazing feeling of partnership you get when controlling a character that you think is amazing, and making them do amazing things. Too many amazings? Fuck off. Example: Play Ninja Gaiden, note how raw Mr. Hayabusa is portrayed to be, take control of him, be raw, experience gratification of living up to and exceeding the rawness of the character. It's this strange sense of misplaced ego that made so many of these protagonists so appealing. With a few exceptions (a little Kratos here, or some Lara Croft there) the Japanese were the best at creating these characters. Characters you could look at and say "man that guy looks pretty cool, I could be that guy and kick some ass and also feel cool."

Flip to today. Japanese developers are selling us games with the same protagonists created anywhere from 5-20 years ago. This isn't terrible in of itself. What IS horrible is that they seem unable to create any new characters that anyone would want to give a damn about. That guy from Lost Planet? Nero? Even Frank West is painfully uninspired. Sadly they have tried to ape the western styles of games and in the process gotten beaten at what they used to do best by western developers. This generation will be remembered by its Marcus Pheonix, Nathan Drakes, Niko Bellics, captain Prices, and 50 fucking Cents. These aren't even that good of characters, but there is really nothing else.

The state of Japanese created protagonists wrapped into one concise package.


The fact that Capcom has so clearly admitted defeat and just said "FUCK IT, you guys make something cool, cuz we're out of ideas" is just such a crushing blow for a nation that gave birth to the importance of "character" in a video game protagonist.

*There are a few characters that are exempt from this rant, Bayonetta, Travis Touchdown, and Lightning get a pass...
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Tom on :

*Finally somebody says what needs to be said.
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