Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Mission Platinum #1)


In this new series, I will detail the steps I took to achieve the Platinum Trophy for a certain game. To kick this off, we’ll look at Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, which trophies I got in what order, how many playthroughs it took me, the level of challenge or grind, and what I would do differently. So, think “PSNProfiles Trophy Guide” but more of a discussion-themed blog than a direction-oriented walkthrough. So, let’s begin.

1: Beat the Game (3-4 hours)

1a. …and have fun. In this playthrough, the one and only goal is to beat the campaign. Start to get used to the player characters (the doctor, the fans, and the special weapons/abilities). Since you can’t choose masks before the start of the levels like in the first Hotline Miami, you must now get used to playing individual levels as they’re meant to be played; there’s not as much freedom in how you enter a level but just as much freedom in what you choose to do after that point.

1b. It will also save you some time if you try to use every weapon in the game during this playthrough. If you’re trying to really discover everything this game has to offer (which you’ll have to do to get the platinum trophy) a good place to start aside from just playing is to experiment with all of the weapons. However, this isn’t necessary just yet as you’ll spend a lot of time in each level over the next 25 hours of playtime.

2: Mission-Specific Trophies (2-3 hours)

2a. Now we’ll start to look at getting a little bit deeper into the levels you’ll soon master. The best place to start for this would be the levels that have Newspaper Collectibles and Weapons. These are only found in specific missions so it’s best to have a guide out for each one, and put them in mission order so that you can just jump from one to another once you’ve finished your objectives. For Newspapers, you can quit the game as soon as you pick up and read the collectible but for Weapons, make sure you get a kill with it before quitting. To be extra safe, you can finish the floor or level entirely but this isn’t necessary.

2b. Now that you’ve spent more time in some missions, we’re going to go back and replay some levels to get alternate objectives complete. Trophies like Nuclear Waste, Don’t Let Anger Get the Best of You, Got Your Back, Follow The Script, Assassin’s Cred, etc will all be unlocked here. Once you’ve finished these trophies, you’ll know some missions and all charaters like the back of your hand which is necessary for the next step to be made more manageable.

3: A+ Run on Normal (6-8 hours)

3a. This is where most of the challenge lies for this game at least in the fact that there’s a steep difficulty spike from just clearing the levels to perfecting them. Without a doubt, you’ll need YouTube open while you play this in order to help you. Furthermore, I’d recommend watching how to Ace a level twice before trying it yourself. It’s doable without a guide but there are some secrets that will save you hours of effort if you just know them upfront.

3b. During this run, you’ll also get all of the Combo trophies since high combos are the only way you’ll be able to get high enough grades to get this trophy. If by the end of this playthrough, you don’t have Combo God unlocked, make a point to get it now before we start the penultimate step. Once you beat the final level, Apocalypse, you must sit through the credits until the VERY end.

4: Hard Mode (6-8 hours)

4a. Everything you’ve managed to learn about the game will now be necessary to beat it on Hard Mode. Now that you know the pros/cons of each weapon, how to handle the characters, and the general layout of the levels, you’re ready to beat the game… but with twists. The enemies are faster, armed with more guns, spot you through the extra windows, more mobsters, swordsmans, and the levels are flipped over the X and Y axiis which means you’re more or less going to have to re-learn every floor of every level.

4b. As with the first step of this guide, it’s all about trial and error. If going left doesn’t work, go right. Don’t worry about your combos or grades or anything, just beat the game. However, there’s one twist: in the level “Subway,” you play as the Doctor but in order to kill the final enemy, you must have beat-down and pulverized at least two enemies which will unlock your “Rage” mode. The game doesn’t tell you this so it’s important you know before you waste an hour playing without success. Also, you have to sit through the credits until the trophy pops.

5: Genocide Boosting, and Missed Misc. Trophies (0-5 Hours)

5a. It’s totally possible that you unlock Genocide during any of the four previous steps, but if you’re like me and Platinum Hotline Miami 1 before playing this, then you’re going to spend more time on this step than you’d care to admit. Since I already mastered the mechanics and enemies, this step took me nearly five hours to complete. Killing 50,000 enemies is easy to do in this game, but the less time you take on steps 1-4 then the more time you’ll take on this one.

5b. If I had to give a tip, I’d say play the level “First Blood” for 15-30 minutes during each of the previous steps. That way, you can keep yourself from doing it for 240 minutes in a row by just breaking it up during your other playthroughs. It’s not hard but the amount of grinding I had to do reminded me of Black Ops III, and nobody wants more of those trophies.

After four hours of continuous genocide boosting in First Blood, I finally unlocked the platinum. Thing of note, though: once I figured out the fastest way to boost kills (5 kills per restart, 10 restarts per second yields 3,000 kills per minute) I was able to speed up the process quite a bit, or so I thought. I was going so fast that my game crashed numerous times and because of that, 50,000 kills was an ever-moving finish line. Based on my math, I should have been able to go from 0-50k in around 30 minutes (accounting for my arm getting tired of button-mashing) but that wasn’t the case. Either my kills reset upon crashing, or the multiplier you get every time you restart isn’t actually reflective of the kills you get per restart. Honestly, the fastest way didn’t end up being the fastest way and the way I would now go about it would be to play through the first part of level 17 over and over again without going for some insane restart speed. This way, you know just how long it will take, and how many kills you’re actually getting.

All said and done, Hotline Miami 2 is a platinum that anybody can earn with enough patience and effort. It only takes 25-30 hours but you’re going to be pretty much doing the same things over and over again during this time. Every level starts and ends the same (enter a building, leave when everyone’s dead) but there’s a lot of fun to be had during your little adventure. There were some times when I thought “Yeah, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do this” but an hour later, I’d look back and think about how easy it became once I learned what to do. Trial and error is the name of the game and although it can be very frustrating, it’s also very rewarding.

I put this guide in order of what I would do if I were to get the platinum again, with the important note that you could grind Genocide during the other playthroughs to save your grinding at the end. There’s nothing worse than the final trophy you need for a platinum to be a soul-draining grind. Honestly, I had to keep refreshing my PSNProfile to see if I got the trophy because seeing the same flashy visuals on a .5-second cycle made it seem as though the trophies would just blend in. However, don’t go for this trophy as one of the first because you’ll definitely get at least 25k kills before you even begin step 5. With any luck, you’ll have 50k kills at the end of Hard Mode.

Next up: Enter the Gungeon!

Well, there you have it. Here are the links, videos, and guides that I used to complete the aforementioned steps:

(Full Normal A+ Playlist)

(Full Hard Mode Playlist) (Weapon Guide) (Everything Else)

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Dead Cells (Game Review)

DeadCellsReviewDead Cells takes the progression of a Metroidvania and integrates it into this procedurally generated action Roguelike that has you slowly chipping away at its steep difficulty….Just kidding.

Dead Cells is a game that I’ve had my eyes on for quite a while now but haven’t picked it up because, typically, two things I don’t enjoy are procedurally-generated worlds and permadeath consequences…yet I decided to give this game a chance and immediately fell in love with it. The reason I picked it up was that I’ve had the urge to play Celeste and Hollow Knight again recently but Dead Cells is a game that always seems to come up along with those two on any search result page. So, might as well give it a shot, right? Just a few hours in and I completely understood why.

Dead Cells has such charm to it even though it offers a literally faceless protagonist who wanders a world that offers very little consistency, the wonderful experience comes from the feeling that everything you do is unique. Each time you die, you start over from the beginning, losing your weapons, gold, cells, and progress all at once. Granted, you can work towards permanent upgrades but other than those few caveats, this is a game that doesn’t allow room for most errors or simple mistakes. While death offers finality, it’s the belief that the next run will be successful that kept me going for the first 8 or so hours.

Although it took me 13 tries to actually reach the end of the game, I never really felt as though I was playing through the same sections repeatedly; since this game has permanent death but balances it with an ever-changing landscape, each run still manages to feel unique. The paths you take, weapons you find, enemies you encounter, and, sure, some luck will all change between playthroughs which means you have unlimited reasons to experiment with your playstyle and adjust accordingly. However, you don’t have to be RNGesus to beat the game or even progress further than last time. Once you get the hang of how enemies react to you, how they attack you, what damages them most, and how to defend yourself, you’ll be running through the game in 45 minutes without even attempting to speedrun. Granted, my completed runs have all been around 58 minutes so far but 45 will be commonplace once I get more upgrades that will carry over between runs.

Honestly, I’m late to play this, late to review it, and I only learned from my coworker today what the terms “Metroidvania” and “Roguelite” actually mean so I might not be the best person to discuss the quality of this game but what I can tell you, unbiased and unreservedly, is that I adore this game on all levels. It’s fun as hell, charming, and offers a unique experience not only compared to other games but even compared to itself between it’s hour-long campaign runs. Best of all, you can complete a difficulty, collect a reward, increase the difficulty, play again, and keep getting rewarded five times over. Even if you feel like it’s getting old after a dozen hours, just crank up the difficulty which offers new mechanics that will make the entire experience feel just as fresh, challenging, and rewarding as your first few playthroughs.

At this point, I still say that I prefer Hollow Knight (it’s one of my favorite games of all time now) but Dead Cells certainly offers elements that I adore just as much or even moreso. It’s not the biggest game in terms of game length but the depth that it offers via procedurally generated levels and ever-changing weapon options allows for a seemingly endless gaming experience.

I’ve only beat the game twice now (both on the first difficulty) and have played for about 12 hours but I can’t stop thinking about the game and how much I’m excited to jump back into the world. What will I do with my next run? What weapons will I get? What route will I take? Will I aim for timed doors, or flawless kills? The choice is mine, and there are so many important choices to make. You could attempt to make the exact same choices in each run but the chances of that are extremely low and would most likely make your experience less enjoyable. Just take you time, have fun, choose wisely, and level up as much as you can.

I should also mention that although death is permanent, experimenting with your build/loadout is one of my favorite things to do. After you’ve beaten the game a couple of times, you can totally just mess around with weapons you’d never thought to use before (for me, Spartan Sandals and any Shield has been enjoyable…albeit fruitless towards victory) and discover other ways to play the game. They won’t all be great, and you’ll definitely die, but you’ll learn from those mistakes and that information most certainly transcends permadeath. Dead Cells is an absolute blast that you should pick up as soon as you can.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Best 4th Movie in a Series (Top 5 Friday)

top5fridayLook, I know this is a weird topic idea but the only film that’s coming out this weekend is Endgame and I’ve already done Top 5 Marvel, Superhero, Comicbook, etc lists so let’s change it up: the best fourth movie in a series. Since Avengers 4 is here, let’s take a look at what other memorable series had great fourth entries! (Note: Terminator Salvation does not appear in this list. I included it in the thumbnail because it makes for a great thumbnail, not because it’s a great movie. Actually, I quite dislike it 🙂 )


  • all four films have to have the same main character(s) (not Wonder Woman for the DCEU)
  • counted in release order (the fourth Star Wars movie is Episode I)
  • follow the same continuity (no reboots or remakes)
  • prequels are only acceptable if no actual fourth film exists chronologically

Without further ado…

Best 4th Entries in Film Series

This was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I only found less than 10 movies I even considered for this list, and even those are movies that didn’t jump into mind when starting to brainstorm. I will have to make a few disclaimers since my rules are so specific but I think that I found the best fourth films that I’ve seen in my life:

5…Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Image result for goblet of fireEven though I don’t absolutely love this movie, I still think it’s very strong for a few reasons: the strict act structure, and the finale. The high-school-relationship-drama was silly to me even as a kid but after the years have gone by, I appreciate it as it grounds the characters as teenagers even though they’re battling evil incarnate with “superpowers,” so to speak. With the three films before this, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all middle-school(ish) age but now they’re finally maturing and this is their last chance to be kids. Of course, that gets stripped away from them as they save lives and witness death, thrust into the world of terrifying evil but it’s that balance that I appreciate so much.

4…Fast Five

Image result for fast fiveI’m counting this film as the fourth film because Tokyo Drift is pretty much a spin-off by all definitions. Films one, two, four, and five all include the same main characters, though, so Fast Five is the fourth film both by that rule, and by chronology as well. That being said, Fast Five is not only one of the best fourth films in any franchise, ever, but it’s also the absolute best film in this series as well. Granted, not all of the Fast and Furious movies are even worth watching but this film is action movie perfection in every way. It raises the stakes of the other films through deepened character bonds, it takes a more gritty look at ridiculous concepts, and it has a lot of fun along the way.

3…Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Image result for ghost protocolIf we’re going to talk about best action films of all time, Ghost Protocol must reserve a place in that conversation. Following Mission: Impossible which was a fairly by-the-book spy thriller, Mission: Impossible 2 which was a fairly terrible film of cheesy early-2000s tropes and mixed tones, and Mission: Impossible III which was more like the first film in it’s approach to espionage and intrigue, Ghost Protocol raises the stakes, the scale, and delivers one of the most white-knuckle set pieces in any film in history. Kick-starting the over-the-top action that the film is now iconic for, the Dubai scene will not only leave you breathless but will use that excitement as a catalyst for an entire last hour that’s just as exciting as the tower scene itself. Simply a marvelous film that I still hold as the best in the series.

2…X-Men: Days of Future Past

Image result for days of future pastThis entry may take explaining as well, but it follows the rules I described very closely. Although it’s the sixth film released in the X-Men series, it’s the fourth film with the main cast of original X-Men characters. I’m also going to note that the version of the film that I’m including in this list is the Rogue Cut which is far superior to the theatrical release in many ways, not the least of which is the inclusion of another classic X-Men character and some more incredible parallel scenes. Taking the franchise’s mixed chronology and re-booting many of the prequel elements, Days of Future Past is sort of The Avengers of this series, even though all of the movies are pretty much ensemble events. It’s not only the best X-Men film, but also one of the best time-travel movies I’ve seen (which sparked me to create a sci-fi essay titled “Schwarz’s Law of Fours”) and has remained one of the greatest superhero movies to date.

1…Mad Max Fury Road

Image result for fury roadI hate calling this Mad Max Four because it’s streets ahead of the previous three films but including it in the franchise actually makes the other films better in retrospect. Imagining the first film take place in this world strengthens it greatly and allows the atmosphere in Mad Max to be disclaimed and attributed to low budget. Fury Road is potentially the greatest post-apocalyptic film of all time, and one of the best action movies ever made as well. It’s hard to make an argument for why it wouldn’t be as it’s nonstop action from beginning to end with a heart-pounding score, eye-popping visuals, and heart-melting character drama as well. It’s simply a perfect Mad Max movie, and I’d also recommending watching the black and white version as well since it adds to the desolate aesthetic that the world offers. Plus, it killed at the Oscars so that’s reason enough to give it a shot.

To conclude this essay’s odd topic all I have to say is that I didn’t include Avengers: Endgame for a few reasons: 1) it would easily be the best of them all, and 2) you can’t see it without watching the other 21 movies in the series. So, if I was going to make a Best 22nd Film list, it would be on that for sure. Either way, see Endgame as soon as you get the chance because it’s well worth your time.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!


Avengers: Endgame (Very Vague Movie Review)

Well, my dreams came true last night. After 11 years of nearly-daily Marvel speculation, discussion, reviewing, and day-dreaming, the final chapter of the Infinity Saga is here. Since I’m not a terrible person, this review will be 100% spoiler-free which is only bad for one reason: I can’t talk about anything. Because of that, any details of the movie that are required to discuss to explain my position on certain elements will be completely glossed over; even if you watch all of the trailers, you’ll still have no idea what to expect from the film and I’d like to keep it like that. So, here is my very vague and ambiguous review of the “end” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point…

Avengers: Endgame

First things first, this film is three hours. However, it did not feel like three hours. I checked my phone throughout simply to see when around the act breaks were (and how much left of the film since I was dreading it ending), but at no point did I wonder if it was almost over. I made sure to pee right before the movie started, but still was distracted by my need to do so during the last 90 or so minutes. If you can, treat this like a surgery and don’t consume any liquids for a good while before watching it; but it doesn’t feel as long as I’m making it sound.

Image result for endgame

As a matter of fact (yes, fact) for the last hour or so I literally (yes, literally) jumped out of my seat, cheered, fist-pumped, squealed, flailed, and just about hopped over the row of seats in front of me to get closer to the screen (yes, screen). I have never felt that way about any movie, ever. Even if I go through my entire Letterboxd film-watching history (username BCarsonElite, over 1900 films), I can’t find a single example to bring up that caused me to react with even a fraction of this intensity. It is, simply put, the greatest hour in cinema history.

As I said in my Letterboxd blurb-review: “I didn’t even know where to look on screen for the last hour. This is the Return of the King of the MCU, perfectly tying up everything you hoped it would and many things you would never have expected. Touching, beautiful, surprising, exciting, and astounding in every way.”

Image result for endgame

The reason I start with that is because I’m not quite as enthusiastic as the first hour, and even the second hour seemed to take it’s time during certain sections. Since I help manage a theater, I got to see it in a theater all by myself (hence the cheering and jumping) but when my assistant manager came in around 30 minutes into the film to ask how it was so far, I told him it was “pretty good.” It does have a fairly slow beginning, but since this takes place in the aftermath of Infinity War, having a fast-paced beginning would most certainly feel out of place in every way. So, I don’t complain about the first act but it’s not as thrilling as most first acts in Marvel films (especially the most recent Infinity War).

Image result for avengers endgame

While the second act was much more thrilling, albeit with a few lulls still, there isn’t a single moment of this film that could have been scrapped. Every frame of this movie is totally necessary for the story of this film, and the conclusion of every other. When I say “conclusion of every other,” I do mean it. Endgame doesn’t just tie up the MCU in the absolute best way imaginable, but it also hearkens back to every previous Marvel movie to date, from Iron Man to Infinity War, not a single movie is ignored. I will not tell you what, how, why, or where these references take place, but seeing every previous movie is a worthwhile investment before watching this one.

Image result for endgame

This is when it starts to get extremely difficult to not talk about any details. I know that the internet is full of spoilers right now so avoiding them is nigh impossible, but I consider myself more your friend than your critic so I’d prefer to write a vague “review” that serves as a detriment to the quality of my writing than an in-depth review that serves as a detriment to the quality of your movie-going experience. This is a film that will lose a significant chunk of magic if you know what happens, when it happens, or how it happens and there are more than a dozen moments you’d want to be kept a secret from you. If at all possible, delete Twitter /Instagram /YouTube /Reddit /Letterboxd /Facebook and everything else from your phone until you watch the movie because you’ll be happy to remain as blind as possible.

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I won’t give any details as to what I thought was amazing (just about everything), but some characters that I had different expectations with were Thor, Hulk, and Captain Marvel. They weren’t disappointing in the least, but their “job” in the film was something that I had to get used to and although it threw me off at first, I assume that going in for a second time tonight, and then a third time tomorrow, and then a fou-… that I’ll grow to understand, appreciate, and even enjoy those characters’ roles. But that’s all you’ll get out of me, I’m going to mention any details whatsoever.

Image result for endgameAll in all, Endgame is everything that I could have ever hoped it would be, and so much more. Not in my wildest dreams could I have thought of a conclusion to this absurdly epic saga that even remotely impresses as much as this did. Over the years, fans have speculated about this and that in an endless swarm of excitement; this movie listens and gives you want you want. I can’t express my love for this enough. I loved Infinity War a ridiculous amount when it was released and as I’ve watched it over and over to this point, it’s still just as exciting to me. The Wanda and Vision Scotland stuff got a little old after awhile and some of the humor has started to feel flat but I don’t see that happening much with this film. Sure, there are jokes that I’ve already begun to wish played a less-significant role but all in all, the humor is fed through the story and since the story is so powerful, the humor feels as though it simply belongs there.

I mentioned earlier that I didn’t know where to look for the last hour of the film, there was just so much going on. This is where repeat viewings will become very valuable to fans of the film; maybe it could have taken more time to show some of the things happening but slow-motion gets old after the second viewing and seeing something new every time you watch the movie is priceless. So, I can’t really fault the movie for that even if there was simply too much going on in some frames to make sense of it all. That Thanos/Ant-Man butt stuff was just too crazy to comprehend, ya know?

Image result for avenger

Maybe I can think of an equivalent to my excitement for this film: 2012’s The Avengers. Seeing those characters together for the very first time is something that I’ll never forget, and this movie trumps that moment with a dozen moments that are even more memorable. In every way shape and form, this feels like the payoff we’ve been waiting for; an epic finale to the greatest firework show of all time. You’re not going to want to miss this one.

5 out of 7

(That’s a joke…) As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!



The Story Of Your Life (Original Short Story)


Author’s Preface: 

The Story of Your Life is on it’s 9th draft; beginning as a Creative Writing project my sophomore year of college, this story was nothing more than me poking fun at the rules we learned from the textbook. “A story has to be this and it has to have that but you can never do these,” et cetera. Over the years, I’d add to the story a bit and recycle some other elements for additional workshop classes until I finally got this tale about to where I think it works best. A couple years ago, my professor and friends all read this version of the story and told me it was a lot like Black Mirror. I hadn’t watched the show yet but, yeah, it has a lot of similarities with many Black Mirror-esque elements. I’d say that this story is if Stranger Than Fiction was a Black Mirror episode…and I hope you enjoy it.Continue reading “The Story Of Your Life (Original Short Story)”

Devil May Cry (Game Series Review)

Last summer, I took on the daunting task of playing every Far Cry game that there is (aside from some ports and remakes) and write Progress Reviews; I’d do a slight pre-review, then write down my thoughts at 1, 5, 10, 15 etc hours of gameplay until completion, and end with a more polished review for each game. After that, I’d talk about the retrospective evolution of the series as a whole and how big of a role each game played in said collective whole. So, I thought I’d do the same thing here with the Devil May Cry series. I just purchased 1-4 on PS4 for around $45 and figured now would be a good time to start; so far, I’m looking to just play the games (1-5 and DmC) without jumping into the anime season or manga/prose novels. Either way, I’m looking forward to the road that lies ahead.

The Progress Reviews for this series will be at 1, 3, 6, and 10 hours with additional thoughts every 5 hours after that when needed (15 and 20 hours), though it should be noted that I’m looking exclusively at the campaigns. If there are challenge rooms to extra trophy-related tasks, I’m not going to jump into those just yet. “Before Playing” and “Upon Completion” will bookend the progress reviews with a “final review” being my lasting impressions of each game. Without further ado… Devil May Cry!

DMC1Devil May Cry Before Playing:

The last game that I played from 2001 was Max Payne on the original Xbox (which was only around a year ago) and it became one of my favorite games of all time. The protagonist of Max, the amazing story of regret and revenge, and the film noir style made the entire vision just beautiful. However, it sure felt like an old game. Devil May Cry looks like it’s going to feel like an old game… but, one that rewards you for style. This part makes me a little bit nervous; if the game asks for precision but offers you clunky controls then I don’t know how fun or easy this experience is going to be for me. Either way, I’m excited to see what this classic title has in store for me.

Devil May Cry 1 Hour In:

Okay, so it’s a little different than I expected. I can get “S” ranks in combat by just button mashing RB+(triangle) and making sure I’m facing towards an enemy. It’s not too bad. My attacks can cancel theirs so as long as I keep swingin’ I’m okay. There are a few things, though, that have become problematic. For one, the camera…it’s atrocious. It’s a third-person camera that’s fixed on certain points of the walls and only follows Dante during certain hallways. Other than that, the perspective changes every few feet which means the direction your thumbstick is being held in will never be the same direction as what it was before, relatively. I’ll find myself running through a doorway and immediately running back through it without knowing what the hell just happened. To fix this, I have to jiggle the thumbstick around quite a bit just to prepare for another change in camera angle. It’s beyond annoying.

Additionally, this game sounds and feels like an arcade game…it almost would make more sense for me to be playing this on a Chuck E Cheese arcade because it feels so terribly outdated. I get that this is technically a 2001 game but when a company remasters it for modern consoles, some things should probably be updated. The physics, map, textures, and mechanics are all still there, just change the camera and the world will be a happier place.

Each mission has taken me about 20 minutes on average, so far. I beat the first two missions without a problem but am currently getting my ass kicked by a big spider called Phantom. Although, I’m going to call it Shelava because it’s like Shelob, but with Lava. Thank you. I’m not sure how to beat this spider because the controls are so damn clunky that occasionally, my jump-away-at-the-last-second move works and as my health bar gets below 50%, it stops working. I’m not sure if this is programmed in but I just died for the third time to the spider and this is something I’ve noticed happens without fail. Furthermore, the tutorial elements are non-existent. It’s sort of a “figure it out for yourself” game which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I feel as though there’s a lot I’m missing one hour in.

It’s not all bad, though, I’m actually really enjoying myself. The incredibly retro vibes actually pair nicely with the style and setting, making for one hell of a rad clash with the underworld. Controls and cameras aside, I’m honestly looking forward to diving back into the game after work today. I can see myself becoming quite attached to quiet Dante and his war-waging with Hell itself.

Devil May Cry 3 Hours In:

Let it be known that I did not switch to easy mode when the option first came on screen. Even after getting my ass kicked by Phantom over and over again, I beat him and was offered “Easy Mode,” to which I proudly turned down. Then, I played for another 45 minutes and came across a third boss: an evil version of myself. Needless to say, he kicked my ass as well. Then, things changed.

When I died, I was offered to go back to my last save…my last manual save. The last time I manually saved was before Phantom so I just lost an hour of gameplay and now have to beat the boss that gave me so much trouble before. Not too bad, right? Except now I’m having more difficulty than before because I lost all of the upgrades I had purchased; Noob Dante in combination with the absolutely sinful cameras are making me seriously doubt my resolve to continue. Can I just skip ahead to DMC5? That came looks so fucking rad and I don’t want anything to do with this game anymore.

Again, it’s not a bad game. I have to keep in mind that this game is older than 9/11 which means the amount that has changed in the world pales in comparison to how much the gaming world has changed at such a rapid pace. Trial and error are the themes of older games and “not manually saving” (while I’d like to argue shouldn’t be necessary in an HD remaster) is one of those errors. Still, I’ll press on even though I sort of hate this game at the moment.

So, after I beat Phantom again, I’m taking the Easy option just to make sure that I continue playing. I’d hate to leave this review unfinished and having shit like manual saves getting in my way is a surefire determination retardant. Plus, I think I’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of the game and will happily move onto the next one(s) in the series. I’ll upgrade weapons faster, be able to test combos in combat, and just play around to my heart’s content. Dante must live.

Devil May Cry 6 Hours In:

Bad news: I guess even though the game doesn’t have an autosave function, it still automatically saved the fact that I declined to switch to Easy Mode when given the option. So, it didn’t give me the option a second time.

Good news: I’m having an absolute blast with this game. The camera is still unforgivably awful in every single way, but the gameplay is getting incredibly fun. I just finished the 16th mission (out of 23) so I’ve gotten a lot done in these last three hours of gameplay. While not much of the story has become clearer, it’s become a lot more enjoyable to venture through.

If I had to describe the story to you at this point, I would say that Dante is the son of Sparda who is some sort of powerful demon warrior. Dante is now going through killing everybody with Stylish tactics because somebody is unleashing darkness onto the world. That’s about it, it’s not exactly Red Dead Redemption II but this game is old-school hack-and-slash at it’s finest. I’m almost entirely used to all of the aged mechanics, clunky controls, and I’m getting the hang of accommodating the drunk cameraman, and all of those improvements on my part have really facilitated a fantastic experience.

One thing that I’ve also grown to love is that this game doesn’t push you in the right direction. It assumes you pay attention to what you have and what you need, and asks you to figure out how to get from A to B. At times, I feel smart for figuring these things out even when there are no other ways to go. There is an extremely small amount of dialogue throughout the game so all you hear is swords, guns, screams, footsteps, and music. It feels like a very lonely experience which sort of just allows you to feel closer to Dante even if his word count is barely in the double-digits.

I’ve unlocked quite a few new weapons which have made me not only have more fun experimenting with combos, but I’ve gotten super damn good at playing. I haven’t had any more trouble with any other part in the game thus far even though it’s on the same difficulty that gave me a run for my money earlier on. I’ve beaten the same Phantom boss completely and taken down quite a few other gnarly opponents that have all more-or-less been easier given that I’ve learned how to play this game.

All in all, I’m very much enjoying myself at this point. I don’t think it’ll take me another four hours to beat it so unless I really start sucking, my next entry will be the Upon Completion update followed by a review of the game as a whole. So you soon!

Devil May Cry Upon Completion:

At 8 Hours and 56 minutes, I reached credits. Ironically, the only bosses that I had any trouble with whatsoever were the first and last bosses who both gave me quite a hard time. Other than that, though, I found this game not unreasonably difficult most of the time but overwhelmingly fun to play. Each mission is unique and all of the bosses bring something different to the table. It’s not quite as unique as, say, Hollow Knight‘s Pantheon of bosses but for a 2001 PS2 game, I’m struggling to see how it could have been better for what it is. Of course, the camera, but other than that this game is solid as hell. I found myself not having enough Red Orbs (the game’s currency) towards the end of the campaign except to just buy little upgrade-trinkets. I couldn’t afford any of the attacks near the end of the game which tells me two things: this game offers a lot more than it tells you, and there are people a lot better than me.

Other than that, my main notes have either been addressed in past progress updates or I’ll touch on them in my “final review” shortly.

Devil May Cry Final Review: 

Devil May Cry is a game that’s old enough to vote. Let that sink in for a second. Now, because it’s so old, a lot of what it offers has either been done again (but better) or elements of it are so dated that it becomes a challenge to really get into the game. For me, it took around 3-4 hours to really start appreciating it which is longer than some people may give it but I do implore those people to stick with it. Once you get used to the graphics, controls, and other antiquated elements, this game becomes an absolute blast. Not only is it fun, but it still feels unique overall. If I were to compare it to a single game I’d say that God of War II is quite similar but given that those games had, what, six years in between them, it just gets easier to credit Devil May Cry for its originality.

Controls and graphics aside, there is an immense amount of great things to talk about in this game. For one, the combat. The combat in this game feels very smooth and intuitive for a game of this age; I wouldn’t compare it to an Arkham or anything but I will say that this game’s combat feels better than Assassin’s Creed II; not only in how it handles itself between multiple enemies but just how satisfying it feels to hack-slash and beat-em-up in many unique ways. My weapons of destruction were Ifrit gauntlets and the Noob-tube, without a doubt. They balanced each other out so well and allowed me to plow through most of the game without any trouble.

The main parts of the game that I struggled with were the first encounter with the first boss (Phantom), and the boss fight in level 22 (Part II of that fight). Those two bosses gave me a run for my money and required me to get creative not only in playstyle but also in power-ups. I didn’t use any powerups all game so that I’d be prepared for the climax, and it was a good move on my part. Without those powerups at the end, I’m not sure I would be done playing at this point. Either way, I beat it and I feel incredibly satisfied.

There were some genuine issues that I had with the game that could have been fixed in this HD remaster, aside from the fixed camera; the saving function. My problems with the lack of autosave are as follows: you have to save between every mission which sounds like an obvious thing to do but given that this is a modern console with autosave capabilities, having to manually save to back up your progress is one step above using a memory card. The game does appear to save certain things, though, because I wasn’t offered a lower difficulty the second time I reached the screen that should have offered it, and it keeps track if you “re-do” an area if you failed because you won’t have the powerups you used the first time around. To combat this (in the final boss fight), I closed down the application instead of click “re-try” so that I could have my powerups back. I don’t know of any game that still does this because it doesn’t make much sense at all.

All in all, though, Devil May Cry is the oldest game I’ve played in over a year (aside from Another World) and it’s also one of the ones I’m most proud of having beat. It’s not the most difficult game I’ve played but getting used to the old style of videogames was a bit of a chore at times. While the graphics are cheap, controls are clunky, dialogue is atrocious, and entire game is fairly cheesy, the amount of sheer entertainment it offers is more than enough reason to pick it up. The combat is smooth, weapons are addictive, and boss battles are very unique; those are the things that kept me playing and since I went from very much disliking it to borderline loving it, I can’t see what the next game in the series can offer me.


Devil May Cry 2 Before Playing: 

Having just finished the first game, I feel as though I know more about what to expect from this series. Since this game is from 2003, I expect some improvements to the controls, graphics, and camera. If those things are not improved, then I hope to at least see some new additions to combat to make the other elements easier to forgive or ignore. I know nothing of the story so I can’t comment on speculation but given how the last game ended, I think it would be cool to see Dante and Trish kicking ass together; maybe even having more than one playable character each with different abilities would be impressive. That being said, I’m eager to get into this and see what’s next for our demon-killing strong-silent Dante.

Devil May Cry 2 1 Hour In:

Well, I miss the first game already. I feel as though many problems that I had with the 2001 original aren’t fixed, and some of them are made worse. Somehow, this game creates problems where there weren’t any before as well such as with the main protagonist, Dante. He goes from being a strong, silent type to a complete mute without any dialogue at all and on top of that, he has this surprised look on his face at all times that makes it seems like he’s just an absolute idiot. How do you go from being a Nu-Metal Badass to a little derp from one game to the next? I’m not sure.

The question that I wanted to be answered more than anything, though, is how is the camera improved? Well, it’s not. Actually, it’s the same. It’s the same camera but in larger environments which means you actually see less of what’s around you. In a claustrophobic corridor, it was an issue but it could be worked around. In a city? A fixed and limited camera starts to ruin the game and every possible playstyle that somebody may have. But if the environments are bigger, isn’t it at least more fun to explore?

No. Invisible walls, lack of details, and shockingly flavorless environments due to a bland color palette and inability to go anywhere don’t only make the city not fun, but actually quite boring at times. I’m not sure if this will continue but for the last few missions, the exteriors have been largely disappointing to encounter.

The combat seems downgraded as well, mostly due to, again, the environments. The AI wasn’t an issue before but now that they’re either hyper-passive or hyper-aggressive, it gets nearly impossible to get a combo over the rank of D because they hardly ever rush you, and it takes too long to get from one of them to the other. It may be a lack of weapon/skill upgrades thus far but as of now, I can’t see this game being that fun overall when the combat is its main selling point.

If the combat wasn’t a priority, then at least story would carry you through the campaign, right? Again, no. I have no idea what the hell is going on. There’s a girl that I’m going to call Lucia because that sounds familiar but we’ve seen her twice so far and her role is a complete mystery. Why Trish isn’t in that role is beyond me as it seems the game just swapped one female character for another. Maybe these questions will be answered later on but for now, I’m just confused instead of curious. She does seem to be playable, though, so I guess that’s one point for the game. Total points is somewhere around -7.

Last point I’d like to hit on before moving on with my day is that the enemies do seem like a really big improvement. AI, not so much. The enemies themselves, their look, their powers and whatnot, they’re really badass and encountering each one for the first time is quite exciting. At this point in the game, I only have my sword, pistols, and a shotgun so my combat abilities are quite limited but I could see it becoming more fun as I get better tools to use. Why I don’t have anything I unlocked in the first game, though, is one of my biggest problems with sequels. At least I can double-jump now, I suppose…

Devil May Cry 2 3 Hours In:

I hate this game. I honestly believe that this is one of the worst games I’ve ever played for a great many reasons. Firstly, it’s boring. I’d rather play a bad game than an unremarkable game but this thing manages to be both; what a home run. Not only has everything I mentioned being bad just gotten worse, but not a single thing has actually improved at all. The story…can we even use the word “story” with this game? I have no idea what the hell is going on, nothing is discussed and there is probably an average of three words of dialogue per mission since there are about two lines every five missions.

Dante is just a baffoon, there’s nothing “strong and silent” about him; when he talks he sounds like an idiot just recalling bad ’80’s oneliners that hardly make sense given the context of his “conversations.” Basically, every line of dialogue sounds like 1980’s C-movie material that Dolph Lundgren could make sound a whole lot better. The dialogue and story are both so laughable that this game would have made more sense just being completely silent and story-free. Hell, I’m 3 hours in and I have 2 missions left, I would even have been happy with just a string of challenge rooms since I wouldn’t have expected that to tell me a story at all.

The combat hasn’t improved at all in any way, shape or form. What I mentioned 1 hour in about how I hadn’t unlocked any skills or upgrades still holds — as there are no skills or upgrades. The most you can do is “level up” one weapon at a time, but the usefulness is debatable because there is no information about what the upgrades do and the weapons don’t have any quantifiable statistics to speak of. I have no idea what the point of any part of this game is.

It’s not only boring, but the entire game has felt like a tremendous chore thus far. Honestly, parts of it are just an outright joke. This is a game with dialogue, mind you; subtitles do more of the storytelling than any character does, and that’s not me being cheeky. Literally, subtitles have come on screen describing what’s going on since nobody else has any idea how to drive the damn narrative.

If you’re into filmmaking, then you’re familiar with the term “180 Rule” or “180 Line” or “180 Degree Rule” or whatever; basically, that a scene will only be physically coherent if the line between two characters is not crossed by the camera. The camera can move anywhere it wants as long as it stays on one half of the scene (basically). DMC2’s camera makes the game completely incomprehensible at times. I’ll enter a corridor with four doors (for example) and every single time I enter or leave a room, I’ll be totally lost. There is no consistency in the camera whatsoever and it actually makes playing some levels nauseating. This is a disaster.

One element that made combat addictive in the first game was receiving a rating for each encounter: D, C, B, A, and S being top marks. Each one stood for something that felt increasingly rewarding as you moved up the scale: Dull, Cool, Bravo!, Awesome!, Stylish!. Now, we get words that feel like the equivalent of a fortune cookie actually just giving you shitty tips: Don’t Worry, Come On, Bingo!, Are You Ready?, and Showtime!!.  “Awesome!” vs “Are You Ready?”…just one of these feels like a reward.

There are so many parts of this to rip apart, but I’ll end with this: each mission is repetitive, unrewarding, and directionless. I don’t feel as though I (as a player), Dante as a character, or the story as a whole has progressed at all since the opening of the game. I still have no idea what’s going on or why we’re here and I’m just going to finish these last two missions before moving onto Lucia’s side of the game (because I’ll have beaten Dante’s in under four hours and I hear Lucia’s campaign is better in every way). This game gets a D for “Dull and Worrisome” as of now.

Devil May Cry 2 Upon Completion:

As of now, I’ve completed the “Dante Disc” and “Lucia Disc” (because the HD remaster didn’t even bother to change the language of the menu from when this was probably a 2-disc game instead of an HD Remaster Download), and it would really be better to view them as two separate games. This is not due to the fact that they are very different, actually, they’re very similar; they’re so similar that they can’t exist at the same time because they are the same story but with a different protagonist, mostly…sort of.

To explain this best, let’s say that you and I go to the grocery store together. While there, we split up and each head down a different aisle. From there, we have two stories: yours and mine, while both at the grocery store. However, what if only one of us decided to go? Then, we not only have two stories, but we have two timelines; the one in which I go, and the one in which you go. Devil May Cry 2 offers us two different timelines: the one in which Dante kills these bosses, and the one in which Lucia kills the bosses.

Timeline A will be Dante’s Timeline and Timeline B will be Lucia’s, but since the game sells them as two sides of the same coin, we run into a few issues. Issue #1 is that if these are not two timelines but rather two perspectives within the same timeline, then is doesn’t make sense how Dante and Lucia both kill the same bosses or do the same things like opening the underworld. Issue #2 is that if these are two different timelines, then it doesn’t make sense how both of their paths are the same as their individual timeline and they still meet up under the same scenarios. I’m not even diving into the butterfly effect, I’m just saying that if there is only one route to take to get from A to B, and one of them takes it and leaves behind rubble, then the other person cannot take the same route. Yet, it seems as though that’s what happens a few times. They take the exact same route on numerous occasions, though, because Dante will leave doors open for us like the lovely man he is. Chivalry is alive and well.

Furthermore, you need to play both to get the whole story because some questions aren’t even answered until the end of Lucia’s arc. The game doesn’t really have much of an ending unless you put them both together which, yes, makes the game better but only playing one means that you get less than half of the story. Dante’s campaign is an incoherent mess and Lucia’s campaign is a repetitive improvement but there’s no way to play DMC2 that’s going to give you a great experience.

However, there actually is a story in Lucia’s “Disc” that not only makes it more enjoyable to experience but it also makes Dante’s perspective make more sense. He’s less of a buffoon which is nice as well. However, Lucia’s campaign didn’t make this game that much better overall. It added some enemies, gave us a few new bosses, switched up the combat animations and threw in some new weapons but it’s still the same slog of a game. It’s better, but still not good.

Devil May Cry 2 Final Review: 

Devil May Cry 2 is everything that the first game wasn’t, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s sluggish, repetitive, boring, incoherent, and unrewarding not only upon completion but every step of the way as well. Dante becomes a cheerless scene kid and Trish was nowhere to be found. Instead, we have Lucia who isn’t a terrible character but you’ll only find that out if you finish Dante’s campaign and feel as though you want to play more by diving into Lucia’s arc. Hers is better in every way, but both of them are underwhelming in basically every regard.

You can’t learn new tricks or powers, and it seems like Dante just simply forgot everything he learned in the first game. Now, you can spend orbs to upgrade weapons but the statistics aren’t accurately quantifiable (unless you measure pixels of a health bar) which means upgrading them is just sort of a roll of the dice. Moreover, the weapons seem spread a little thin. At the end of the first game, I had some badass fire gauntlets and a flippin’ noob tube but here, I stuck with the same exact sword and pistol combination I used at the very beginning of the game. Nothing changed at all, and the bosses never gave me any trouble.

Even the boss that destroyed me in the first game, Phantom, makes a return (twice…because it’s Phantom, I guess) and I cheesed the living daylights out of him. Most bosses can be beaten by standing in the same exact spot and button-mashing either your melee or firearm attacks. No part of this game is difficult in the least, for either character, even the final boss fights.

There’s not much else to cover that I haven’t touched in other parts of the Progress Review, so I’ll end it with this: Devil May Cry 2 is the sort of game that would kill a franchise. How it didn’t is because Capcom believed in the IP and Dante is a character that can kick a lot of ass. Granted, the next game is a prequel so I guess they had a lot of time to reconsider things but as things stand now, I say that if you’re going to play this game, play Lucia’s campaign. If, after the 90-minute playtime, you want more: play Dante’s. But, absolutely play them in that order. If not, you’ll hate the 210 minutes with Dante.


Devil May Cry 3 Before Playing: 

After the last game, I’m just really hoping for three things: a new camera system, some ability upgrades, and a coherent plot. If I get all three of those things, I’ll be happy. If the game is missing one of them, then let it be the upgrades but the other two are an absolute must. This is a 2005 game which means Spider-Man 2 has already come out; if Devil May Cry 3 still has a fixed camera that blinds gameplay, then I’ll be a very unhappy player. But, I do love this IP so far and I can’t wait to see what many fans of the series refer to as one of the absolute best it has to offer. Honestly, I’m quite excited to jump in so that I can join in on the conversation.

Devil May Cry 3 1 Hour In:

I may only be one-hour into the game, but so far I’m absolutely loving it. The gameplay is the most fun it’s been for the entire series thus far and it’s actually quite challenging at times (unlike the second game). There is also quite a bit more room for growth and customization as you’re able to upgrade abilities and weapons as well. Not only are the upgrades more align with the first game’s system, but now you can choose “specialty” playstyles that will rank up as you fulfill them more. For me, I’m using “Swordmaster” which allows me to use my swords as frequently as I did in the previous games but there are also other options to experiment with.

Also, there is a story! Although it’s too early to say much, I’m captivated by what’s going on and I’m enjoying meeting new characters within the world; Dante is also a fully-functional individual as well, with speaking abilities and all. While the story is a prequel, it doesn’t seem to be seeking to answer every possible question from the first games, or give us the origin for every single brick in DMC. So far, this seems to be fairly self-contained while also serving as a good starting point for Dante’s story within the franchise. What I don’t really want to see is this game reveal important plot points or characters that weren’t referenced in the first two games because it would then feel as though history has been retconned, but since we didn’t see or hear about too much of Dante’s life before the beginning of the first game, I think it would be fine to see, say, his brother survive this story.

I think my favorite part of everything thus far is that I feel like a younger Dante. He’s not as good in battle because I have a lot of upgrades and I see that the Devil Form that Dante takes will be available later in the game so we’ll see the origin of that. I feel as though this is just going to be a great game all around based on what I’ve experienced so far.

Lastly, there is a way to control the camera at times but even during the moments when that isn’t possible, I’m not having too much of a problem playing. Depth perception is still atrocious for fixed-camera gaming but I’m finding that I may be getting used to it… more or less. Maybe I just don’t care as much anymore about the stupid DMC camera.

Devil May Cry 3 3 Hours In: 

I’m stuck…but I’m not only enjoying the game enough to try until I succeed, but I respect it enough to play it without lowering the difficulty. The part I’m stuck at is my first encounter with my brother, Vergil, but the camera is sort of causing problems. I know his attack pattern and I know to dodge to the side before attacking but I’m so into the battle that I keep dodging backwards which gets me killed. It’s a camera-character-thumbstick orientation thing that’s weird to get used to but I’m having so much fun overall that I’m not even going to complain about the camera at all.

The level design, the puzzles, the battles, the progression, the abilities, the weapons, the bosses, and the story so far are all just superb. I’m having an amazing time beating each level because they all feel different and unique, and each one of them is part of a story that progresses as you go further into the narrative. It has a great flow and structure to it all that is a blast to experience. There is one character that keeps showing up that I have no idea who she is, but given that I’m around 25% into the story, I’m not worrying myself with her role just yet. Most things thus far are simply hinted at but I’m sure soon enough everything will come into place.

Metaphorically, DMC1 is a road…and DMC2 is if that road took the exit leading to an underground parking lot while DMC3 took the onramp to the highway. Everything that made DMC1 fun to play, DMC3 capitalizes on and adds to (to tie off the metaphor, DMC2 was a dead-end); it feels extremely rewarding in every way. I started to experiment with my playstyle, unlock abilities, mess with combos that I never tried, and found myself enjoying everything even more. I’m not even mad about being stuck right now, I’m having too much fun with the game for any frustration just means more time in this world. If this is indicative of the future of the franchise, I’m 100% on board.

Furthermore, the cutscenes and music in the game are quite breathtaking. This game is like if The Matrix met…well, I was going to say Batman & Robin but try to turn in into a  positive thing but that wasn’t going to work. It’s like The Matrix but if it was a cheesy 90’s B-movie instead of what it ended up being, in all of the best ways possible.

Devil May Cry 3 6 Hours In:

Over the last few hours, the bosses I’ve encountered have been notably challenging, especially Beowulf who I am now stuck on. I’ve managed to make it to around the halfway point in the game thus far so if this boss is destroying me over and over again, I can only imagine what lies ahead in the latter half of this adventure.

Even so, the challenges, while frustrating, make me re-think my strategy which has allowed me to experiment with different playstyles and approach the game with a different mindset. With Vergil, I was stuck and then came back to it the next day and beat him on the first try. I assume that it’s sort of like Hollow Knight in that it’s usually always best to take a break and reapproach the boss after letting the information you’ve learned sink in.

Since it’s become to challenging (on Normal, too), the Platinum trophies seem more and more like pipe-dreams than plausible goals. I wasn’t planning on trophy hunting but as I started to appreciate the game (series) more, I thought it would be nice to have these 100%’s on my mantle; my skill and patience have been tested, though, and I think that beating these games on Normal is about all I have the energy for.

Either way, my experience with this game has been nothing but positive not only in gameplay but story as well. It feels as though actions have consequences as the ties between the characters seem to be strong(er than DMC2) and I enjoy spending time with them and learning about why they’re here. It’s not always poetic, but it is entertaining.

The camera has been a bit of an issue recently once again. Being able to swing it around at times has been slightly helpful but given that the L/R controls for it are inverted and the sensitivity is painfully slow, it’s only a good thing when you have no enemies close to you. Furthermore, it doesn’t work in boss fights…which is usually when you’ll take the most damage and need to have the best idea of where everything is. I wouldn’t call this a “third person” game because the viewpoint is more like an untrustworthy omnipotent POV. The “narrator” (camera) tells you as much as he wants, but it’s not always everything…which makes playing as Dante sort of distancing, to say the least.

Dante himself is the most well-developed that he’s been for the first three games but most of that is due to the cutscenes, and cutscenes alone. Gameplay feels about as lonely as DMC2 does but less boring because the music and sound effects have greatly improved. The lack of dialogue, or anything really, during combat and exploration (aside from grunts while jumping or swinging swords) sort of adds to the feeling of isolation that may or may not be intentional. As the game goes on, it starts to feel more like the other two games but with better mechanics, abilities, and atmosphere. Still, it’s the best of the bunch without a doubt.

Devil May Cry 3 10 Hours In:

As of this moment, I have four missions left and am starting to see everything come together. Of course, I won’t outright spoil anything but given that this game is 10 years old, I think it’s safe to say “I know who’s good and who’s bad” at least. Thus far, the most “major” thing that has happened was a portal to hell being opened but I remember that happening in both of the previous games as well; seeing as how this has been sort of a staple of the franchise, I’m not sure if it’s going to get old or stay relatively exciting to witness. For that, we’ll have to wait and see.

From this point, though, many things have become clear and all of these things point to one single idea: this game is simply brilliant. The bosses are so unique and fun to play, especially when they’re challenging. There has only been one lame boss as that was the one I most recently beat; she didn’t put up much of a fight and her tactics were annoying and repetitive. Aside from her, the other bosses have been an absolute blast and the puzzles leading up to them have been two.

On two separate occasions, the puzzles that I’ve had to figure out in this game have gone on for an entire mission. 15+ minutes of going room to room to room to get to your objective and figure out what do to now and where to go next; the best part is that these missions didn’t get old whatsoever. Sure, I felt as though I was lost a few times but I always seem to figure out where to go which is as gratifying as it gets.

Now that I’ve unlocked more weapons and ranked up to Swordmaster Level Three, I’m starting to have a lot more fun fighting as well. I’ve even gotten the highest grade on fighting combos, something that was vastly easier to achieve in the previous games. Now, I find myself lucky to get an A or above in a single encounter. There are some enemy types that are simply infuriating, not only asking you to switch up your playstyle but really just ask you to try until you get lucky and then capitalize on your luck. Maybe I’m missing something, but some enemies just seem like obstacles to slow you down for some reason.

Lastly, there’s one thing that I have to expand on: the cutscenes. Some games rely too heavily on cutscenes, some need more, some cutscenes are poorly designed or written or acted or polished but the cutscenes in Devil May Cry 3 are nothing short of superb. Each one is like a live-action anime, taking the campy badassery of anime and grounding it with more realistic-looking graphics (as far as 2005 graphics go, at least) which is just awe-inspiring. This game balances cutscenes with action, always knowing what to let you play as opposed to watch; both are equally amazing in every way.

If the future of this franchise is anything like this, I can forgive the atrocity that was DMC2 and consider this one of the best game series ever, as well as a regret for waiting so long to discover it.

Devil May Cry 3 Upon Completion:

The final boss fight sure gave me a run for my money; I’m not sure if I would have been able to beat it this week if I hadn’t gone back to the first level to boost my currency so that I could buy items to save my ass three times. But, my desire to complete the game I think says a lot about my admiration for it, compounded with the pride I feel for completing it means that this game truly is spectacular. There’s not much to add in this section that isn’t either repeating what I’ve already said, or spoiling the end of the game. So, I’ll just jump into the Final Review segment.

Devil May Cry 3 Final Review:

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening is simply outstanding in nearly every way. Aside from the camera (the downfall of this trilogy), this game takes everything that was great about the first game and emphasizes those elements while taking everything that was terrible about the second game and completely ditching them. Of course, the action is exhilarating, relentlessly awarding encounters will not only test your abilities but promote experimentation and creativity which, in turn, train you for future battles as well. Completing a battle rewards you with orbs that you can spend to get better moves and higher-damage weapons, which allows you to complete tougher battles that reward more orbs and the cycle continues until you’re just the most badass devil-killing son-of-a-bitch that has ever walked the land.

Sure, the first and second games did that as well but what makes this game better is how it lets you upgrade yourself. Increase your move library, unlock new weapons, purchase upgrades for said weapons, change up your playstyle to highlight certain attributes, and buy items to help you over those steeper obstacles. The promotion of exploration is also highly helpful as you’ll find new weapons, items, and orbs to help you out even more.

What I greatly appreciate about this entry, though, is that the story is not only present, but it’s enchanting. A story of two brothers fighting is a classic trope of fantasy but it feels unique in this case because it doesn’t feel like it’s a divine conflict that will either destroy or save the world. No, they’re caught in the middle of something but the war between them feels so much more intimate. There’s a climactic battle between good and evil, and then there’s the battle between the brothers. It feels rewarding, the level of care that went into detailing the plot of the game.

Furthermore, this is a prequel to two other games; a prequel that has every right to try to explain everything about the previous games. Instead, it adds new characters to tell a new story, one that doesn’t really feed into the other games but instead just decides to be great on it’s own. For those reasons and many more, Devil May Cry 3 is not only the best game in the series but it becomes one of the best beat-em-ups, prequels, and action games of the PS2 era. There’s not much not to love about this game.

Each level feels unique, the enemies have enough variety to keep the game interesting without making each level feel like a different game (@Killzone: Shadow Fall) which makes playing the game — either a little at a time or hours on end — feel rewarding no matter what. The skill difference I saw in myself from playing the first level initially and then again at the end was tremendous. There were no intensive tutorial segments which means everything I learned was simply from playing the game and experimenting with everything it offered me. I still played it safe, using Swordmaster for 95% of the game, but having the option to change things up felt refreshing as a player. I can’t recommend this game highly enough; I only wish the camera was more modern and the entire game had the HD remaster passion behind it that went into the first two games. Onto 4…


Devil May Cry 4 Before Playing:

The only thing I know about this game is from the still directly to the left, and the release year. Both of those things make me very excited to see what’s in store. If this is Dante vs Vergil like the previous game, then I hope the story is just as strong and these characters are just as mesmerizing. The combat may also be much smoother but I love the combat already so any improvements will only make me even happier. I’m only going to say this one single time, though: the camera better be better than it has been. I’ll make note of it in the 1-Hour segment but I’m sick of complaining about it so either I’m going to shut up and get used to it, or I’m going to be giddy as hell when it’s designed better. We’ll see…

Devil May Cry 4 1 Hour In:

So far, this game is everything I want it to be. From the moment the logo came on the screen as I loaded the game, I felt giddy as a school kid. I play on a 4k TV so the first games, even with the 1080p remaster, looked pretty shitty. DMC4, though, looks really great which means that either I’ve gotten used to the potato-quality of the original trilogy or DMC4 is a gorgeous-looking game. Everything that I loved about DMC3 is present here but in beautiful true-HD quality. I can’t wait to see what the future of this game holds.

There are two small issues that I have with this game so far, though: and none of them have to do with the camera, so I’m just going to leave it at that. One problem is that I booted up the game and immediately was greeted with enough Red Orbs and Lost Souls to buy every upgrade that I could with no need to play the actual game and hunt for orbs myself. I bought items to max my health and kicked a lot of ass in the first couple missions of gameplay. The other issue I had can be summarized in one word: jealousy.

I mentioned that DMC3 had just about the absolute greatest cutscenes of all time; they’re all a work of art. That continues to this game as well, but I felt as though the coolest parts have been unplayable. The game opens with Dante vs Nero and the parts that I got to play were simple tutorial sections while I got to watch them have all of the fun. Sure, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself by wanted to play more of the game after only spending an hour with it, but I’ve only played about 15 minutes out of the 1 hour thus far. It seems as though the majority of the “game” is actually a movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fantastic experience but I just wish I could play more than watch.

Lastly, I mentioned in my “Before Playing” thoughts that I’m excited to see Dante versus Vergil again but the image is actually of Dante and Nero, who are… not related? I’m not sure yet but they seem to be more like twins than Dante and Vergil were in the previous game. Either way, these two characters are badass and I thoroughly enjoy playing as Nero thus far. This makes me reconsider who the characters in DMC5 are, I know that Dante is in it but there are two others that I’m excited to learn about. Vergil? Nero? Eh, I can’t say for sure just yet. However, I’m on board for whatever this series holds at this point. Bring on that Super Sexy Stylish Slamin’ Spectacular stuff.

Devil May Cry 4 3 Hours In:

To be honest, I’m not sure how long I’ve been playing. I totally lost track of time because I’ve been having so much fun and I can’t find the gameplay statistics screen like the previous games had. It’s nice to finally have autosave features to keep me from having to save every few minutes but on the other hand, I can’t see how long I’ve been playing for. I just beat the 6th mission which took about 30 minutes but with all of the cutscenes, I’ve probably been playing for closer to 4 hours in total. Either way, this game is an absolute blast. So far, I haven’t even gotten to play as Dante (I will, right?) and my experience with Nero has been superb. The characters are very similar thus far so it’s not as if the entire game feels completely new but the new enemies, new bosses, new weapon(s), new Devil form, and new attacks feel smooth and exciting if not entirely inventive.

My largest problem with the game is the “Special Edition” additions that don’t make much of an effort to announce themselves. So, when given the chance to choose a few different skins to use for Nero, I chose the most badass one. Great, right? Yes…but, no. The one I chose gave me access to the Devil Form which I wasn’t supposed to have until the sixth mission, when that form is introduced in a climactic way. So, my Devil Form use before then decreased my grade and made the introduction feel less rewarding. If these features could be unlocked at a later point (like a non-special edition) or come with a disclaimer, my experience would be much better.

Other than those, no really issues have come up so far. It feels like DMC3 in everything from the tone to style and I don’t have too many complaints. It doesn’t feel quite as fun or magical as DMC3 but it’s still too early to tell exactly what the atmosphere of the game is as a whole. I suppose we’ll see…

Devil May Cry 4 6 Hours In:

Yeah, it’s not as fun or magical as DMC3 so far. I’ve been playing as Nero the entire time, and have only encountered Dante at the very beginning, and in the level I just played. Looking at the digital box art, I’ve only encountered half of the characters so far and the two that I have not look to be Lady and Vergil. So, this game doesn’t seem to be introducing anybody aside from Nero to a large cast of characters we already know. My fear here is that this game is pretty much an origin story for Nero alone, and the other characters we already know are here just to facilitate his arc. While that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all, I’d rather be spending this time as Dante. The two are similar not only in combat style but also in appearance and attitude; almost interchangeable.

The boss battles are extremely easy, too. They don’t have much variety and can pretty much all be beaten by just button-mashing desperately. Trying that in any of the previous games would get you killed, but here, it almost seems promoted. Maybe the entire game taking place in daylight takes away from some of the intrigue and diabolicality of the villains but everything just feels much more anticlimactic than even the grunt encounters did in the previous game. Still, I haven’t even seen Vergil or Lady yet so I assume there’s a lot to come, I just hope that what comes is more fascinating than what I’ve seen thus far.

The fact that this is a Special Edition has sort of ruined parts of the game. I’ve been playing as a Super Character this whole time which isn’t really something the game nudges you to say which is probably why it’s been so damn easy. It’s still fun but without the challenge there, the gameplay doesn’t feel as rewarding, and less exciting because of it. Hopefully, the end of the game provides more exciting encounters than some of what we’ve had so far.

Devil May Cry 4 Upon Completion.

That’s game. So, yeah. Not the best. Although it’s most certainly the biggest, baddest, and most bombastic game in the series, it felt quite hollow at times. I know that I said earlier that I was looking forward to playing as Dante instead of Nero but in contrast, Dante seemed flat while Nero seemed like the real hero of the story. While this is Nero’s story, Dante’s stake in it felt misplaced at best and because of that, the 35% of the game in which you play as Dante feels like quite a lull; the story abruptly halts as you re-play sections you’ve already beaten but with Dante this time. It’s extremely directionless and reminded me more of DMC2 than either of the other previous installments, as you would go from mission to mission without really knowing what was going on and why you were doing the things you were doing. It’s a lot like that here on multiple occasions.

While Dante was fun to play as again, I much prefer Nero as a narrative and playable character. His Devil Bringer arm made gameplay encounters feel fresh and it’s usefulness was a balanced art of perfection. I had a lot of fun with it and sorely missed it as I went through Dante’s section of the story.

014356.jpg (961×1182)I should also mention that although this is the Special Edition cover… Lady, Trish, and Vergil are only really in the game if you choose to play their campaigns after you beat the main game. For canon and variety, it might be a good idea to do so but it doesn’t sound very enticing to me at the moment.

A few other elements that I haven’t discussed so far are also more on the negative side: the final few missions, and the bosses. Neither one of these is favorable to me, and they both take up the last hour of gameplay. When thinking of how to describe some of these bosses, “bad Bond villain” floated through my head a few times but then I realized that it’s not accurate enough. “Austin Powers villain” feels more apt, and then you’ll understand the tone they bring with them. Maybe that’s a little harsh as this is an over-the-top hack-n-slash romp with demons but the moment the game stops taking itself seriously is when it becomes a parody. This entire game felt too tongue-in-cheek for me to really feel invested in and while those two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, they do feel quite divided in this case.

The other point I wanted to make was regarding the final few levels: so, so, so weak. I’m sorry…but I’m not sorry, actually. The second-to-last mission goes like this: you walk onto a platform and roll a die. Whatever the die lands on, that’s how many spaces your avatar-thing can move. If it lands on a red space, you fight enemies. If it lands on a white space, you’re okay. If it lands on a blue space, you get money. If it lands on a yellow space, you get moved to a different space. If it lands on the one purple space, you get to fight a boss and go onto the next stage. A few things: if you roll a 6 but the purple space is 5 away, then you start going around the circle again.

You’ll repeatedly be landing on red spaces over and over again which prolongs the gaming experience so much. You’re literally button mashing for a Randomly Generated Number that will dictate how much longer you’re stuck for. Even worse: when you do finally land on the purple space(s), the boss(es) you fight are all recycled from earlier in the game. Which means that you’ll have beaten the boss as Nero, then as Dante, and now as Nero again. It reminds me of the climax of the second game as it feels just so lazy trying to squeeze the most out of every boss they designed and coded.

Going through missions like that makes me just tired as the player. The entire game felt very recycled at times not only in the boss fights, and not only as you’ll play the same missions as both characters (and then are offered to play as Lady/Trish and then as Vergil?), but the whole game feels directionless. It’s cool as hell to look at but once you get over what the combos look like, you’ll soon realize you’re just button-mashing and wandering around in circles until a cutscene triggers to introduce you to another boss that you’ll fight three times. I’m being hard on the game, yes, but I’m just writing from the heart. Is it as bad as I’m making it sound? Not even remotely. But, I had high hopes for this game not only following DMC3 but being the first HD game in the series made me really want to enjoy every bit of it. Alas, it’s okay.

Devil May Cry 4 Final Review:

DMC4 was not the sequel I was hoping it would be, and I have an easier time comparing it to DMC2 than DMC3 which is almost insulting to even think. The recycled levels, obnoxious ease, uninspired bosses, and lack of progression in any sense made the entire game feel like a slog. While I genuinely enjoyed playing as the main character, Nero, the time spent as our old pal Dante was the worst the game had to offer. It detracted from the story, made the game feel slow and tedious, and was overly directionless as a whole. The enemies, stages, bosses, and everything else were just recycled from earlier in the game and although you get new equipment as Dante (he counts down from 3 as he gets each one), they don’t build to any sort of climax when you get all three. It’s just three different weapons and it doesn’t feel remotely rewarding.

This is a game that also deals with a portal to hell, cool. What’s amazing is that you actually see demons invading Earth while innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire. It sounds amazing but by that point in the game, I had very little interest in what was going on that the stakes didn’t feel nearly as high as they should have. If the pacing of this game was better, then that moment should have been the most intense moment of the game. Yet, the stakes never felt high as you played as two all-but invincible demon punks. It looks great, it sounds great, but it doesn’t feel great.

By the time I reached the credits, I was more happy to just be done with the game than anything else. Because of that, I’d have to rank it below both the first and third games but in all honesty, I don’t think anything this game could do would make it as bad as the second game. Nero was a great character, his relationship with Kyrie was the heart of the story. I wish that was more of a focus instead of them just not being together for a solid 99% of the game. It got a little tired after a while, chasing the same single goal for 9 hours while nothing else seemed to happen. Having a game as badass and crazy as Devil May Cry feel boring is probably the worst thing I could say about it. It’s not a bad game at all, but I felt as though it was rather unremarkable as a whole.


DmC Before Playing

Following DMC4, I think I’m looking forward to a little bit of a change of pace. I’m not sure how great this change will be (referring both to quality and scope), but it could act as a little breather before jumping back into the reality set forth by the other games. I know this game is sort of an alternate timeline (punk rock instead of nu-metal it seems) with Dante and Vergil which means it’s probably not actually “canon” but I’m playing through all of the games and this is one of them…technically. Well, here goes nothing aside from 8-10 hours of my life.

DmC 1 Hour In:

While most certianly different from the rest in this “series,” I think this game represents some of the best parts of the previous games. So far, it seems to be an alternate-reality re-telling of Dante’s origins as he finds out about what he is, who is is, and why he’s special; basically DMC3 but with a new coat of paint. This may be controversial to say, but this game is a lot better than most of the games in this series. However, I’m only one hour in so that may be a little early to tell. But, there are many reasons why I firmly believe this so I’ll jump into those.

One reason why people don’t seem to like this game is because it changes how Dante looks and acts. For me, this is a huge positive because Dante has always just been the sort of “too cool for school” character with few layers aside from combat skill and relentless chill. While that’s not unlike this Dante, being able to experience his world changing so dramatically from being a metalcore punk to being a badass demon is exciting because we experience that journey with him. He is sucked into Limbo, learns about his parents, meets his brother, and is rewarded with weapons of the underworld. It’s fantastically entertaining and exciting to witness especially all in the opening hour of the game. The weapons you’re given are all available at all times, you don’t need to hit a button to switch weapons but you can wield different weapons by prefacing your “attack” buttons with trigger combos. It feels so much more fluid and natural than the previous games and allows you to climb the learning curve with incredible ease.

In the year this game was released, a genre-evolution of nu-metal to metalcore made perfect sense and with the music I listen to today, it still holds up very well. I think the reason I am promoting this change is that the heavy use of music in the gameplay, as well as the new art-style used for exposition purposes, gives this game something that the previous games haven’t been able to nail: tangible style. The third game was the closest to achieving this but that progress was lost in DMC4 as the style didn’t know whether to be fun and badass or cheesy and ridiculous; the mixture only muddied it’s resolve and left us with, well, DMC 4. I don’t mean to say that as if it’s a bad thing but all in all, it was a fairly repetitive, forgettable, and tangential game in this saga. While DmC is the definition of tangential, it at least offers us a memorable experience thus far.

Honestly, I’m stoked to press on. It holds on to what makes the series fun while improving on every aspect. It varies gameplay and combat in ways that the previous games have only brushed over and has made for a breath of fresh air in this long-running series. In my opinion, it could have been handled better but to change universes and make a more badass game sounds like God of War (2018) and if they can rectify plotholes, then I’d love to see this game cross over with the other main saga.

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Finally, the gorgeous painting artstyle that has accompanied flashbacks and revelations is just too beautiful to pass up. Here’s one piece just so that you can see the sort of aesthetic I’m referring to. Whether or not this style will have a big place in the game is unbeknownst to me currently but I do hope it plays a role in the furthering of the narrative.

DmC 3 Hours In:

While there were a few instances that I sort of saw the possibility of a qualitative decline, this game has remained strong in my eyes over the last two hours as well. The style of the character (or at least, evolved style) has seemed to get in the way of his character growth which is something I didn’t expect with the new genre but it is still true to the series so I’m at odds on this. Metalcore is often referred to as “boy bands with breakdowns,” so a transition from nu-metal to metalcore should be at least more emotionally transparent in its exploitation of the protagonist’s emotional journey but so far, he seems rather apathetic towards everything. Every single combat encounter ends with the same cheesy “look over the shoulder into the camera and smirk” look which is starting to get old but there is still a lot that I love about this game…even if some of the flaws are starting to show. On the bright side, it’s still as badass as it was when I first loaded the game. The best way to describe it would be this game is to the original Devil May Cry as 2016’s Doom was to the original counterpart.

This is also the first game in the series that I could see myself hanging around for a while afterward and going for the 100% completion statistic and platinum trophy as it’s just challenging enough to enjoy and fresh enough to stay fun without getting old (yet, at least). The other main thing I think I should mention is that my mission ranking has absolutely sunk since the previous games. Every other game in this series, I’d get S rankings on Mission Time without fail. Now, I’m getting D’s all around just because I’m having so much fun exploring and looking for collectibles. Traversal is more fun since we have a grapple-type ability (two of them, actually) which makes exploring not only enjoyable but rewarding as well. Everything feels balanced; there haven’t been any ridiculously easy sections that I can just cheese right past and there haven’t been any frustratingly hard parts that I’ve been stuck on for hours. So far, I’ve beaten one real boss and it was quite an experience; gory, nasty, and supremely bombastic but in all of the best ways.

Finally, I thought of one thing while playing that I think is a very apt and honest description of the game as a whole…but is also just about one of the most insulting things you could ever call a piece of narrative fiction. This feels like a movie adaptation of the Devil May Cry games and there are a few reasons I say that. For one, it’s not really connected to the other games at all, and the style is so vastly different that it feels like the Max Payne movie in comparison to the first two Max Payne games. If that doesn’t make sense then just substitute any video game title with that previous sentence and it’ll be crystal clear since no movie ever feels like it’s video game inspiration. It even sort of boils the villain of the first game into a businessman (in disguise, but still) which felt a little cheap and on the nose. If there’s social commentary in a game, cool, but if it interferes with the plot then it becomes too much. It’s too early to tell which way this sways but I have my fingers crossed that it’ll just stay away from making statements.

DmC 6 Hours In:

Over the last three hours, I kept looking for reasons as to why this isn’t my favorite game in the series so far. It’s different, but I think that might be why I appreciate it so greatly. Other than the Devil Bringer addition, no Devil May Cry game has really grown from the previous one; just looking at how the camera was never improved is a clear way to see that. The series has sort of sputtered along between the first and fourth games with the third game seeming to be an outlier in that trend. While DmC is more like Prototype or inFAMOUS than the first few Devil May Cry games, it does what it’s trying to do better than the previous games, without a doubt.

Dante has grown so much as a character in the last few hours of gameplay, becoming somebody on a mission with stakes and consequences. He has emotional depth and we care about him because of it; he’s not just on a mission to kill demons, but he’s on a mission to avenge his mother, save a girl, and protect the world. If he fails, humanity loses. No other game in this series has communicated that as well as this one has, even if they all had similar stakes. Furthermore, Kat as the “damsel in distress” (even though she’s a complete badass) is the best this series has seen. I remember the names Lucia, Lady, and Trish from the previous games but I can only remember what Lady looks like as she was a decent part of DMC3; none of them compare to how big of a role Kat plays in this story, though.

The boss battles have all been extraordinarily visual, ranging in scope but all being about as epic as you could imagine. While they might not be as big as the final bosses in DMC1 or DMC4, and maybe but I don’t remember anything about that terrible entry, they feel bigger because the stakes feel higher and I actually care about the characters. In the God of War series, Kratos was fun to get behind because he’s this monster slayer who killed a god but we didn’t know much about him until the sequels rolled along. Even though this is sort of an “alternate Dante,” I feel as though we’re learning more about him here than all of the previous games combined. Not only that, but the lore is so much more well-defined that I actually understand what’s going on and what place Dante takes in all of this aside from just being the heir to a demon.

Sure, some parts are still cheesy but the game more than makes up for that with some of the most manically dissident action sequences I’ve ever seen in a game. As of this moment, I’m doing rounds of battle in a limbo-club which has been climactic and ethereal in every encounter. This boss, and the one before it, have simply been awe-inspiring encounters that made me feel like a badass. Granted, Dante is pretty much a superhero in this game but I never feel too overpowered as I did in a few of the other games. You have seven weapons that you can access or change with the tap of a button, so juggling them is sometimes daunting but when you get it just right, you feel amazing. The different weapons all have their place in battle and using the right one and the right time is monumentally important for success. You can’t just button mash and hope for the best like the previous game, this one gives you everything you need and hopes that you’ll figure it out. I love it.

If Arkham Asylum “makes you feel like Batman,” then DmC finally “makes you feel like Dante.” This game is beautifully absurd and one hell of a ride so far. I’m about 65% into the game and I’m loving every moment of it. No other Devil May Cry game has been such a joy to play. I’m just going to beat the entire thing today because it’s too much fun to put down.

DmC Upon Completion:

The game sort of started to fall apart at the end but that’s really just the final two missions that I’m not crazy about. I won’t spoil anything, all I’ll say is that the second to last mission is sort of the epic boss battle finale and it felt like the most anticlimactic fight I’ve played in a long time. It sort of reminds me of Halo 4 where you go through the entire campaign to fight the villain and the game gives you a Quick Time Event fight. All you had to do was push THIS button…and then THIS button…now THAT button…and you win. Everything sort of happened in a cutscene with very little player involvement. Given that this is a video game, it always makes me mad when the developers don’t take full advantage of the medium their playing in. If I wanted to see something cool happening, I’d watch a movie. If I wanted to hear about something cool happening, I’d read a book. No, I want to do these things, which is why the end of this game disappointed me so. The final mission just tried really hard to feed into a sequel that I sort of feel disappointed only because I don’t think we’ll ever get to see what happens next.

Everything else about the game, though, I loved. The combat felt so fluid, the camera was fully controllable, and the story more entertaining than any other the series has offered. Even the sounds of the various weapons added to the atmosphere and made me feel more like an unstoppable killing machine. There are 8 weapons total in the game (that I’ve used, I suppose), and each one of them felt so damn good to use. The slamming, slicing, stabbing and shooting all combined made for the best combat encounters of the entire series; even though it felt quite different from the other games. I suppose the combat is most like DMC4 with the Devil Bringer but the story is much more like DMC1 and DMC3. The fact that I can refer to this game as being the best parts of all the other games is saying quite a bit about the quality of this entry.

Why this game gets hate, I don’t know. Maybe some people don’t like change, and some others don’t like this sort of change but I can say without hesitation or insecurity that this is my favorite in the series. DMC3 is a very close second but even then, no game in this series has offered such a variety of level design, enemy encounters, and strength of the narrative. There were a lot fewer bosses but the enemies were tougher and made the lack of bosses not feel like a void that needed filling. All in all, fantastic bloody game.

DmC Final Review:

I knew nothing of this game going in, except that various people online either think of this as a stain on the series, while others think that it got too much hate at first but is actually rather great, and the last group thinking that this has always been a great game but is damaged by the Devil May Cry name attached to it. For me, I think that this game is the absolute best the series has offered so far. From somebody going into all of these games blind with no preconceived notions or expectations, I love almost everything about this game. It’s fun, fresh, tells a story better than all of the other games, offers a variety of weapons that makes each encounter feel unique and a ton of enemies that all have their own strengths and weaknesses, a scoring system that feels rewarding no matter what grade you get, a soundtrack that feels just as epic as the action on screen, some of the most memorable boss battles I’ve ever completed, and missions that all feel different from each other.

The characters all have their own desires and flaws, becoming people unlike how in the other games characteristics were few and far between. What kind of person is Dante from the previous games? Not sure. He’s like early Kratos in that regard. In this game, though, the backstory and lore are so much more pronounced and fleshed out, I actually felt as though this game had stakes and those stakes resided within the character relationships. This is a game series about killing demons and this is really the first game that made me feel that way. When hell opens up for the fifth damn time in this series, I finally felt as though the world was in danger and it was Dante’s job to save it. This game felt like the reboot the series needed, and I’m just saddened by the backlash it received; completely unwarranted.

The game is not entirely perfect, however, as there were quite a few flaws that surfaced during my 8-hour run. Firstly, it can be pretty cheesy…

DMC17.jpg (1920×1088)Some of the dialogue shocks me to have gotten past the first-draft stage. The battles almost all end the exact same way, with this look (pictured right). Almost without fail, every single encounter will end with Dante looking over his shoulder like somebody paused his My Chemical Romance. It was definitely rad at first but after a while it got old, especially when most other battles end with a superb slow-motion finale. The other main issues I had were with the final boss fight and the pretty-ribbon conclusion. Respectively, I thought they were underwhelming and unnecessary. The boss fight was pretty much a quick-time-event button-mashing while the final mission just felt like it was trying to force a sequel too hard. I get why it was there, and I like the scene itself, but I don’t like the principle of it.

The sparkles outshine the scratches, though, as this game becomes my favorite in the series. It offered a story stronger than even the third game, combat stronger than the fourth game, weapons stronger than just about any game ever, and an atmosphere that was all but tangible. This is the first and only game in the series that has truly made me feel like a superhero fighting demons from hell, and I loved every second of it. While it’s not perfect, it’s as close to perfect as a Devil May Cry game has gotten so far. Even if the grunts were harder than the bosses, I enjoyed almost every second of this adventure which is why I beat it all in one day.


Devil May Cry 5: Before Playing

Now, for the moment I’ve all been waiting for, Devil May Cry 5. This game and the incredible response it’s garnered is the entire reason I started playing these games. I heard great things and decided “What the hell, I’ll just buy and play every single one of them.” So far, I’m extremely happy I made that decision as I’ve found two games that I absolutely love but if this one is everybody’s favorite, I can’t wait to see what’s in store. My fears mostly lie in that I don’t want another game that’s 60% Nero and 40% backtracking, I hated doing that. While this game’s poster has Nero in the center with Dante and Ronnie Radke by his sides, I’m hoping that this is a case of three main characters that all share a spotlight. DmC offered the best variation of weapons since you had them all at all times, but having three characters with vastly different styles may be a good substitute. Time to find out…

Devil May Cry 5 1 Hour In:

Even though I adored DmC, I’ve realized that I have missed the style of the other Devil May Cry games. Devil May Cry 5 picks up where the fourth game left off, with Hell exploding onto Earth. The streets are covered in Demons of different sorts, hellish vines that wind up buildings, disgusting growths that block your path, and Earthquake-like cracks all across the city. At the very least, it’s epic and intriguing. When I mentioned that DmC was the only game in the series that made me feel like I was actually killing demons from hell, I meant it; I’ll have to revise that now. Fighting demons in this game is definitely a hellish experience but it almost feels even more grotesque and unnerving than DmC which is a step in the right direction.

The combat is extremely limiting so far, though. Starting as Nero, you’re given a sword and a gun and that’s about it. He has his special arm but with the Devil Bringer ripped off by a person who is definitely/probably/maybe Vergil (?), you’re given the Devil Breaker as a substitute. While this new weapon can still Devil Bring enemies to you to keep stylish combos going, you can also place different styles of Devil Breakers that offer different abilities. One hour into the game, this is my favorite part and I’m excited to see what other Devil Breaker weapons we’re given throughout the campaign.

Also one hour in, I just beat my first boss. The way this boss was designed made him very repetitive to play as the best way to take him down was to button-mash for a few minutes. Slice his heels, jump behind him, slice his heels, repeat. It got old very quickly but it was, again, an epic fight that impressed visually on all levels. I haven’t yet gotten to play as anybody else but seeing (or hearing) that Dante, Nero, Lady, Trish, Kyrie, and Vergil (I’m like 90% sure the bad guy is Vergil) is very exciting to me; almost as if all games were leading to this story and I can’t wait to see what it holds.

Okay, let’s speculate about Vergil…whether I end up being right or wrong, this will be the last time in this essay that I mention Vergil and DMC5 together. But, Urizen has to be Vergil, right? It’s mentioned in the Prologue that this Demon King, Urizen, stole Nero’s arm. Then, in Mission 02, we see a flashback in which a mysterious individual takes Nero’s arm. When he leaves with Nero’s arm, the arm turns into a blue Katana (like Vergil’s) and he slices it in the air to make a portal (like Vergil does in DmC). If this is supposed to be a twist later on, then the game totally blew their proverbial load by showing too much. I’d definitely hate for this to be a twist because it’s obvious from the first three levels of the game. Anyway, that’s enough of that. Whether it’s right or wrong, you’ll have to see for yourself when you play the game.

Lastly, the Customization screen is pretty stellar. Instead of finding Statues to spend orbs at, you find a phone booth to call Nico (I had to Google her name just now), who will arrive in her Devil May Cry Van. There, you can trade her red orbs for her inventions and whatnot. She’ll train you with new moves, sell you special items and new Devil Breakers, and everything else that you could find at a previous-DMC statue. It’s a big change but it’s more than welcome, the statues started to feel a little cheap and this new style of Store adds to the atmosphere of the game, and the character of Nico. It might not be the most impactful character growth exploit but it’s most certainly efficient and effective. Without calling her whenever I find a phone booth, I think she’d be the most forgettable character in the series.

Other than those notes, I’m just playing this game for fun. There is a lot that feels new but most of the game just feels nostalgic, and it’s beautiful. The sound effects for clicking in the main menu are the same from the original games, and the style of the area boundaries breaking into a million pieces feels like classic DMC (without the hand reaching out of the doorways). It feels like classic DMC and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. It has grown in ways that it needed to but harkens back to it’s roots when it’s appropriate. I can see this game becoming amazing like DMC3 or underwhelming like DMC4 but no matter what, this seems like it will be immensely better than DMC2. Onto mission 03.

Devil May Cry 5 3 Hours In:

Since there isn’t any play-clock in sight, I’m going to go about these progress entries by mission. If the game takes around 11 hours to beat and I play faster than most people, then I’m going to say it’ll take me 10 hours to beat. If there are 20 missions, then each mission should take an average of around 30 minutes, so I’ll do a progress review after Missions 6 (now), 12, and 20 to end this essay. While I feel a bit naggy, I’ll get my other issues out of the way.

Ahem…the goddamn camera: you have the ability to move it around unless you’re in a battle with a boss. Then, you can jiggle it a little but you always stay facing the boss. This became a problem in Mission 05 and Mission 06, both of which feature bosses. For mission 05, I was playing as V and my bird needed reviving, but he was on the perimeter of the arena so I couldn’t see where I needed to go to heal him. It was extremely annoying and this seems like something that should have been fixed a decade ago. DmC didn’t have this problem and that was the most recent game before this, and it was also the only game in this entire series with a good camera system that I had zero issues with. Why the steps backward? The last problem I have isn’t a problem with the game as it helps the player but it takes me out of the experience. Every time I hop on the game for the first time today, I get a Gold Orb as a “login bonus.” Talk about meta…while I appreciate the emphasis on player commitment, it decreases player involvement and skill required to beat the game. Basically, the longer you take to beat it, the better you’ll do. It almost seems to be punishing players who want to play as much as possible as they won’t get those daily login bonuses as many times as a slower player would. Anyways…

This game is a ton of fun. While it doesn’t seem like a game that I’ll binge-play like DmC, it is one that I feel very rewarded for exploring within. I don’t think I’ve missed a single Red, Blue, White, or Gold Orb yet and my collection of Blue and Purple fragments has grown quite a bit as well. I’ve found it much easier to collect Red Orbs in this game which makes purchasing items, skills, and whatnot a lot easier to do. It feels like a smart progression for the Devil May Cry name in many ways which is absolutely perfect for a sequel 11 years after the previous game. Let’s talk about the characters again because a lot has changed since my 1 Hour In entry.

V, Nico, and Lady have all taken larger roles in the story in differing degrees. I’ve been able to play as V for a couple of the missions so far and I’m greatly enjoying it. The playstyle is vastly different from all other Devil May Cry characters in the series as he’s somebody very removed from the fight. Dante, Vergil, Nero, and the others are more involved in the action while V sits on the edge of the battlefield commanding his animals. The two that he has (so far?) are a bird and a panther which are mapped onto the SQUARE and TRIANGLE buttons, respectively. You can still use many combos but instead of them all commanding V, they’ll command his animals with the CIRCLE button being left for V who can use it to hit with his cane (once) and finish off opponents that his animals have beaten. The Devil Trigger is also quite fascinating while playing as V, as you can summon what is basically a Rock Ogre to fight in the battle as well. Though the Devil Trigger runs out fairly quickly, it’s easy to refill as all you have to do is (take damage or) hold RIGHT TRIGGER to read his little book of poetry. Like I said, vastly different.

Nico has grown on me as well even though she seemed…well, abrasively obnoxious at first. She’s been a part of the story every mission so far and is somebody I look forward to seeing as it means I get new upgrades and a chance to purchase new combos. During the second mission, I started to think that if Nero and Nico were such good pals then why don’t we get free stuff but that question was answered when Nico established herself as a business partner and not a friend which I suppose makes sense for all of the characters here. Everybody is trying to stop the Underworld from taking over Earth by doing what their good at, not by making sure everyone’s a bestie for the restie.

Speaking of Underworld taking over, this is the first game in the series that really taps into that and makes it feel like that’s what’s happening. The first few games dealt with portals into the Underworld but only Devil May Cry 4 had demons on land; this sixth game finally feels like it has stakes. Sure, the cities are desolate and only monsters are running around so it feels a little like a post-apocalyptic zombie game at times but the variations of demons (in style and scale) have made the levels feel unique up to this point. I’m excited to see what the next 6 missions hold; hopefully some Dante.

Devil May Cry 5 6 Hours In:

Sure enough, Dante. The last three missions I’ve played all featured Dante as the playable character but since we sort of jump around in time, it doesn’t feel as though the other characters have been forgotten. I love that no matter who you’re playing as time still moves forth with the other two characters who sometimes even appear in the background while you’re playing. Unlike Devil May Cry 2 in which there’s some strange temporal exclusion depending on who you play as DMC5 offers the same story but from different perspectives which I quite enjoy. There were also some juicy story details that have finally come to light which I won’t go into detail over but I definitely couldn’t have foreseen the reveal(s).

Playing as Dante has been fantastic, almost as great as DmC but definitely better than his playtime in DMC4. If the DMC4 Dante missions were basically just recycled from Nero’s story, DMC3 was a prequel, and DMC2 sucked, then the last chronological Dante mission of quality would be back in 2001 with the very first game. So, 18 years later and we finally have some great missions with Dante at the forefront. Two new weapons have also made my playtime with him a great joy (his new Dual-Wield Motorcycles, and a new sword) even if one has been limited to a boss battle so far and the other is impossible to do fast combos with, they still make this game feel unique which is needed for a game following DMC4. 

Trish and Lady have both become larger parts of the story but as of now, they’ve been demoted to “damsels in distress” instead of the ultimate war machines they have been referred to thus far. Granted, this is done to showcase the power of the mysterious demon king Urizen but I’d still like to see more of them. Maybe there will be a Battle of New York-style moment in which we see all heroes together on screen to fight the Demon King but that may be hoping for too much. What I am looking forward to very much it so see what happens next. The last few words of Mission 12 were supremely ominous and what happened on screen was about 10x as epic as the end of Man of Steel so I’m expecting to see stakes raise, characters worry, and swords clash. If the game keeps moving at the pace it has been, I’m guessing quite a lot will happen in the next four hours.

Lastly, I think it’s important to mention how well this game handles the variety of missions and characters. Each mission has felt fairly different but not to the poor extent of the shambled Devil May Cry 2 (or Killzone Shadow Fall) in which no mission felt connected at all. Here, they all feel connected but each offers something different. You bounce back and forth between Nero, V, and Dante in a beautiful balance that in no way undermines or emphasizes one over the others in any way. This feels like a team-game and it works so well at that; I’m greatly enjoying my time with each of the characters and their, again, “vastly different playstyles.” I still like playing as Dante from DmC the best as using his different weapons in one combo was as fluid as it could possibly get but many upgrades have occured to playing as Dante and Nero from DMC4 that it’s hard to complain. Changing Devil Breakers as Nero is something I still can’t figure out how to do, and rotating through swords and guns as Dante seems a bit underdeveloped but they both offer great experiences and variety that I’m having too much fun to complain a great deal. Let’s see what the last handful of hours of this series has to offer…

Devil May Cry 5 Upon Completion:

Aside from the whole “tune in next season to see…” vibe that the ending gave me, I think that this game has the best ending of all six games; the final boss fight(s), the story’s conclusion, the characters’ arcs wrapping up, and experiencing the apex of what this game allows each character to do were quite spectacular. While all of that is great, the best thing this game does is retroactively make Devil May Cry 4 better and more re-playable which is something that I’m impressed by and happy with. Seeing what each character became by the end of the game felt appropriate, either tying them off with fitting conclusions or setting them up for future potential, all choices seemed fitting and just.

There are three main twists in the story, two of which I saw coming a mile away but the third seemed very out of place at first. After this reveal, another mission or two remain to define the revelation which gave me (and the characters) time to deal with the information and wonder what was to come next. On paper, I bet this sounded like the worst idea ever but seeing how it’s treated with gravity in the story, it goes from being ridiculous to poignant and now I’m completely on board with it. On paper, I’m sure a lot of this game sounded just atrocious but damn if it didn’t all pay off. There’s one cutscene in which Dante is given a cowboy hat by Nico, and proceeds to dance like a smooth criminal. During the first moments of this, I was genuinely shocked; it became one of the best parts of the entire game.

That’s sort of what Devil May Cry 5 does best: subvert expectations. V as a character with his fighting style is potentially the aptest example of this as he is a character who doesn’t fight…in Devil May Cry? Sounds preposterous until you play as him and realize just how unique and refreshing his playstyle is. His ability to control animals gives the combat an almost real-time strategy feel to it: use the panther to hit the enemies into the air, have the bird shoot them, have the panther air-spin, have the bird dive-bomb, and finish them off with V’s cane. In more dire situations, call in Nightmare to even the playing field and allow your other demon-animals to sweep in while the grunts are distracted. Even though it’s a stark contrast to playing as Nero or Dante, V offered something so unique that I couldn’t have expected to want in this series.

Everything else I have to say about this game I’ll save for the Final Review and the Series Overview.

Devil May Cry 5 Final Review:

Devil May Cry 5 is a sequel 11 years in the waiting (fun fact: that’s what Avatar 2 will be next year) and while I wasn’t around during the wait, I’d have to assume that it’s worth every minute of anticipation. This game takes everything from all previous games, puts them together, improves them, and adds so many new elements to enjoy; combat, story, character, and weapons felt like a worthy successor in a franchise that has done quite a lot to impress over the years. While I hesitate to call the combat more fluid that the estranged step-sibling DmC, having Dante, Nero, and V all being playable did help appease it. Personally, I’d argue that Nero was the best part of DMC4 so to see him return as a main and playable protagonist in this game along with Dante was great to see; given his new character details introduced to us by the end of the game, I’d say both games he’s in are better for it.

Though the start of the game felt a little slow and many of the levels seemed to blend together a bit, the characters we follow through it all kept this from becoming repetitive and often underwhelming like DMC2, or even DMC4 for that matter. Most Devil May Cry games suffer from repetitive level design, except maybe DMC3, and this game is no different. Combatting that with three different characters and different perspectives to experience almost every mission by, Devil May Cry 5 becomes not only (one of) the best game in the series, but also one of the most enjoyable action games of the last many years.

If God of War (2018) stayed true to its roots, I wonder if it would have looked much like this game does. While Devil May Cry 5 is an evolution for the series in many ways, it still feels like DMC in all of the ways that matter. Combat barriers, red orbs, boss fights, smooth combat, fun combos, and classic style keep this game on the DMC leash while still allowing it to redefine the characters and story to move forward with. I’d even argue that this game has the most consistent style of the entire series (tone is a little inconsistent balancing comedy and tragedy), because while the characters grow in more ways than they have in all previous games, they still remain true to their original counterparts. Because of that, I’d happily follow them all into five more games even after spending the last month of my life with them in all of their low-quality clunky-control beginnings. DMC5 is everything I would want from a DMC5 and many things that I didn’t know I wanted as well, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Devil-may-Cry-5-art.jpg (2048×1233)

Series Overview (Spoilers Ahead):

To be completely honest, before all of the hoopla over Devil May Cry 5, I don’t remember ever hearing about the series at all. When I was younger, I played a lot of Xbox 360 games (mostly shooters) and just sort of equated any Capcom game to Street Fighter and the like, never giving any DMC games a chance. That being said, I sort of regret not playing them all during the peak of each game’s excitement…sort of. I’m definitely glad that I waited to play DmC: Devil May Cry because I absolutely love it and to play it during all of the backlash would probably have soiled my experience.

Granted, my favorite games as a kid/teenager weren’t exactly the most acclaimed (Quantum of Solace, Aliens vs Predator, FEAR 3, etc) so I might not have noticed or cared about the fan reaction but still, I’m glad that I was able to experience this game without any hype or hate surrounding it. On the other hand, I do wish I experienced Devil May Cry 4 at it’s peak because as it stands today, I’m not the biggest fan of it. I thought it was a big step down in narrative quality from the third game even if we were able to get a whole new character and a whole new story. Playing that game at the time of fans loving it would have been better for my experience but I suppose playing it for myself and seeing what I think was the best move overall.

As a series, this one definitely has it’s ups and downs. With a strong start in the first game with some of the best bosses in the entire series, Devil May Cry set up a strong foundation for the next games to grow upon. The second game attempted to do that with a larger world, another character, and larger-scale set-pieces but ultimately failed in giving us a reason to care. Dante the suave rockstar badass from the previous game had become a grungy vanilla 80’s action hero without all of the things that make 80’s action heroes fun at all. The game also stripped out all manner of difficulty and memorability with levels that felt incredibly recycled and bland; the game was ultimately directionless and forgettable. Then comes Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening.

DMC3 is bloody fantastic; offering a new upgrade system that expands on both of the previous games, new weapons that make getting high combos all the more delightful, and a story that draws you in and keeps you invested during the entirety of the game. It was also this game that first made me notice just how incredible the cut-scenes can be in games like this (something that not many games do anymore, aside from this series). Dante and Vergil’s relationship is intriguing in every way and allows for a great story to take place and carry you through to the very final boss fight. As of now, I’m torn on which game is my favorite but this is most certainly in the running.

All of the great ways that DMC3 expanded on the series carry over into the next game aside from a few elements: A) the story B) the unique level design. Since these feed into each other, I’ll hit two birds with one stone…playing 40% of the game as Dante was soul-draining. The same levels that you had fun with as Nero had to be backtracked as Dante, repeating the same bosses, the same grunts, the same platforms, etc. The momentum that was gained as Nero was lost as Dante and took all excitement out of the game almost entirely. Sure, playing as Dante was still enjoyable for the same reasons that seeing the xenomorph in Alien vs Predator: Requiem is still cool but overall, it just sort of took Dante down a peg or two. The challenge from DMC3 was also downgraded to this game as enemies were easy, bosses were simple, and most else that this game had to offer was rather forgettable. What wasn’t forgettable was cheesy, like Mr. Bumblebee or Dr. Super-Tall Fire-Ball (I couldn’t tell you anybody’s name). All in all, a step down for the series but a good action game on it’s own.

Speaking of games that shouldn’t have the Devil May Cry name, the fifth game in the series is one of the most underrated games I’ve ever played: DmC. I love almost everything about this game but even I would agree that it shouldn’t have been called “Devil May Cry.” If the names were changed from Dante, Vergil, and Mundus to Alex, Jude, and Lucifer then you’d have a game that people would clamor over. The reason this game gets the flack that it does is because it was released with a series banner that has pleased fans for over a decade. It took a brand name that has a distinct style and history, and completely changed it; they did it so damn well. Out of all six of these games, it’s difficult defining why this one isn’t one of the best, but it’s easy to say why it’s a bad Devil May Cry game. The combat is better, the style is palpable, the story is fascinating, and the characters are strong but it doesn’t feel like DMC, and that’s it’s main issue.

Then, the crowd-pleasing, saga-redeeming game 11 years in the waiting: Devil May Cry 5. Ignoring DmC altogether and instead improving upon everything that the previous four games had offered, Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t only become one of the best games in the series, but it becomes one of the best action games I’ve played in a long time. The gameplay is stellar, the challenges are rewarding, the characters are deep, the story is enthralling, the weapons are bananas (yes, bananas), the missions feel unique even when you’re playing the same one from different perspectives, and the climax is unforgettable. There are so many twists and turns in this game that I didn’t see coming (sort of) that I think I’m going to have to go back and try to get the Platinum trophy just to put a bow on the end of my journey. As far as series progression goes, this thing makes Uncharted 4 look like Killzone 4 as the amount it has grown and changed, matured and improved are well-deserving of applause.

Having V and Urizen being who halves of Vergil and coming together at the end to recreate Dante’s long-lost brother wasn’t the biggest surprise but having Vergil be Nero’s father was definitely unforeseeable. This revelation, though, makes me want to replay Devil May Cry 4 again just to see if there are any hints of this at all, or if there are any plotholes now. I also would love to replay Devil May Cry 3 again to fight Vergil since his fight at the ends of that game and Devil May Cry 5 seemed so very similar in every way (probably why I had such an easy time beating him for the last time in the last game) without feeling too repetitive. Plus, just being able to see the same fight in 4K can’t be scoffed at.

All in all, this series is definitely a must-play, but it’s not without its lulls. If I were to rank the games… I’d have difficulty doing so. I’m most certainly going to go back and Platinum as many of these games so that I can be certain of my opinions on each one (Essay, Part II?) but for now, here’s where my ranking stands:

  1. Devil May Cry 5 (9/10)
  2. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (9/10)
  3. Devil May Cry (7/10)
  4. Devil May Cry 4 (6/10)
  5. Devil May Cry 2 (2/10)

I’ve intentionally left out DmC because I honestly believe that if it were viewed as a separate series, it would be beloved (also, I don’t want to get hate for saying that I love it more than Devil May Cry 3, to answer your question) so I’m going to stop perpetuating that equation. So, yeah, I’m extremely happy that I discovered this series for myself and have been able to play all of the games with a fresh perspective and no(t many) preconceived notions. I’d like to thank Angry Joe for publishing his review on Devil May Cry 5 because the large smile on his face in the first 30 seconds made me stop the video and buy the games. About 70 hours later, I’ve seen all there is to see and am left feeling content with my efforts.

As always, thank you for reading and I’ll see you soon!


Add me on PlayStation to see my trophies and progress on these games and others as well (BCarsonElite)



Love, Death, and Robots (Series Review)

(Spoiler-Free) Netflix recently released a new show titled Love, Death & Robots that calls itself an anthology series but really is a collection of short films with similar styles, themes, and genres (like a snack-size Black Mirror); so yeah, anthology.. All 18 shorts deal with science-fiction themes in some way, whether they fall on the spectrum of “slightly sci-fi” or “extremely sci-fi,” and balance elements of horror, fantasy, action, comedy, and romance as well. While I didn’t find many of them particularly “funny,” those that could be considered comedic have such an awe-inspiring genius to them that’s impossible to deny, while others are just as notable for their thematic horror, emphatic action, or fantastical elements instead. Continue reading “Love, Death, and Robots (Series Review)”

Best Feel-Good Movies (Top 5 Friday)

This site has been fairly focused on the bombastic recently but this week, I thought we could slow things down a bit and look at the best feel-good movies. I have a list on Letterboxd simply titled Peliculas Sobre Personas to keep track of human-centric tales but I thought I’d go ahead and rank that list to create this week’s Top 5 Friday. Without further ado, here are some great Indie(-feeling) Movies (taken from films that I’ve rated 8/10 or higher)

the-florida-project.jpg (1000×563)5.The Florida Project

Take a film that’s about growing up in a household without money, with a mother whose life is barely held together, homelessness right around the corner, and sitting in the shadow of the most magical place on Earth, Disney World. Now, tell that story from the perspective from a child and you’ve got a tale that might as well be in the Magic Kingdom with how optimistic it is. Not only managing to breathe love and adventure into a seemingly hopeless tale, but also telling a story from the perspective of a 4-5-year-old kid which has almost never been done in the history of cinema.

583468.jpg (3600×2400)4.Captain Fantastic

This movie most likely doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves strictly because of its horrible title. No, it’s not a cheesy superhero B-movie knock-off; it’s an incredibly beautiful indie drama about family. Viggo Mortensen and his ragtag family create a team better than The Avengers themselves but they’re just “normal” people fighting for their right to be together in their own, quite unorthodox, way. It’s a tale that will not only resonate, but make you think about life differently. Every time I hear the words “that’s interesting,” I shoot a dirty look at whoever can’t think of any other word besides “hmmmmmmm.” All I can say is that you’ll love the film if you watch it.

Image result for short term 123.Short Term 12

While this movie seems like the least feel-good of this bunch when you watch it, I can’t help but smiling when thinking about it in hindsight. It’s probably the most emotionally impactful film in this Top 5 and although it’s gritty and brutal at times in it’s honesty, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece from writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton who was able to turn his short film into a feature-length project with this title. For that reason alone, this is a feel-good movie for the ages.

the-edge-of-seventeen-review.jpg (768×512)2.The Edge of Seventeen

For me, this is the opposite of a feel-good movie. Any story that takes place anywhere around middle to high school are exclusively horror movies in my eyes (or fantasies, if they’re happy). Yet, this film managed to feel strangely…optimistically callous; it presented the truths of high-school (be they heartbreak, anxiety, jealousy, etc.) and focus instead of the beautiful parts of life instead. While the story beats present poor relationships between high-schoolers, it film highlights her relationship with the school’s faculty instead. And it’s tremendously charming.

the-way-way-back-duncan-owen.jpg (1920×1025)1.The Way Way Back

Last but not le- well, I guess this one’s technically “first” but I… anyway, this movie is perfect. The ultimate feel-good movie is also one of the best comedic, dramatic, romantic, coming-of-age movies that I’ve ever seen. I just recently watched my 1915th movie since 2012 and this one is one that I can’t stop thinking about whenever I want to sit down and watch a film like none other.

Image result for jim rash

Just really quick, I’d like to take this time to dedicate this post to this man: Jim Rash. He, along with co-writer/director Nat Faxon, made The Way Way Back. That duo along with Alexander Payne have also written a film that I mention later this post (The Descendants) and Rash also played one of my favorite characters of all time in my favorite show of all time, Community. He seems like such a fun-loving, feel-good person and that’s why I’m dedicating this list to him. Somebody so talented and so humble deserves the success and honor he has gained but to top all of that off, here’s a little blog post about feel-good movies.


Because I love movies, as well as my readers, here are some more feel-good movies if the Top 5 just wasn’t quite enough for you…

  • The Intern
  • Chef
  • Begin Again
  • 50/50
  • The Descendants
  • Adventureland
  • Juno
  • The Spectacular Now
  • High Fidelity
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • The Big Sick
  • Band Aid
  • Everybody Wants Some
  • Almost Famous
  • Good Will Hunting

Enjoy ❤

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!


Game Journalists & Game Difficulty (Essay)



Early this morning, I watched a YouTube video by HypeBreak titled “Sekiro Is Too Hard For Game Journalists,” under which I commented the following: I think the main problem is that the qualification for being a game journalist is mostly the ability to write. Passion for the medium is important… but proof of skill is not? If editors looked at gameplay history, trophy/achievement lists, or anything else gaming related (instead of writing related), I think our view of game journalists would be significantly better. Leave the syntax and diction to the editors, and the gaming to the journalists. Here, I’d like to expand, define, and support my thesis and talk about why this is constantly an issue within the Gaming-sphere.Continue reading “Game Journalists & Game Difficulty (Essay)”