| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=NA] |
|DMC3 is a big improvement over the first game in the gameplay department: camera angles are only semi-fixed now, and thus will only screw you over half the time, as opposed to all the time in the first game, and there is much less reliance on cheap, unintuitive or repetitive ambushes and attacks to provide a challenge. There is less back-tracking, and sometimes when you do have to backtrack, the enemies you killed there before don't respawn and force you to fight them all over again! How about that.|
When it comes to the boss battles, though, the cheap attacks and death-by-camera-angle (still happening once in a while) have been replaced by massive amounts of hit points on the bosses, so it becomes a marathon of just holding down the target lock button and hammering on the fire button, while the boss gradually ticks away your health with prolonged homing attacks that are hard to avoid in their entirety. Either you managed to scrimp and save enough gems to buy enough health "stars" to last out the battle or you die--and have to replay the entire level just to get back to the boss.
Yep, DMC3 still makes you repeat the whole darn level to get back to where you were when you died. There's also so what looks to be RPG-style enforced grinding, because while I can get close to outlasting the boss I'm at now, and could probably get him in a few more tries, but I'm spending all my money on health-restore items rather than "levelling" up my weapons, which will inevitably lead to a point where I just have to spend ages on a level killing enemies over and over to earn cash.
That prospect doesn't really appeal to me in an action game, and DMC3 isn't really appealing in other departments, either. The first game had a gorgeously dark gothic tone, and DMC3 seems to be trying to recapture some of that, but the inspiration seems to be gone, and we're just trotting through large, fairly dull semi-gothic gray hallways, or, worse, garbage-strewn modern-day settings. Enemies are just as stupid, and silly-looking and sounding as in the first game, the music is horrible (nothing while running around, but the same industrial ass rock over and over while fighting), and, maybe worst of all, the main character himself has become really annoying.
In the first game, Dante was more of a cool brooder, although hot-headed and arrogant. Here, he jabbers constantly, in an almost whiny voice, trying very hard to sound cool. The worst is that he's developed a manic "party" personality; he's always shouting about getting "the party started," and he loves to jump on things (demons, missiles--whatever's handy) and "surf" around the room on them, in the same way that surfing or grinding things around like rocket-powered skateboards was suddenly included in every video game and action movie three or four years ago.
It doesn't help that he's wearing a hideous outfit consisting of jeans, no shirt, and an ugly, long red leather coat. It also doesn't help that the dialogue, and what I can see of the "story," is pretty horrible. There's something about his twin albino brother (sigh) and some motorcycle-driving, rocket-launching girl, oh and demons, of course; this isn't really a story, with characters we care about, but just a freak parade. The first game didn't have much of a story, but it didn't try to, and in this restraint there was much wisdom.
So I'm not much inclined to keep replaying levels over and over to grind it out against dumb bosses just to see this thing through. The gameplay improvements are somewhat encouraging, so we'll see if they can keep the series on an upward slope in DMC4... (Perhaps this whole DMC experience will cure me of the habit of automatically buying sequels to games I own but still haven't played sufficiently to tell if I really like them or not.)
|Download added: 02guns.jpg (20711 bytes)|
"And then there are guns."
I did learn to enjoy the melee/gun mix a little more here than in DMC1, probably because the camera was a little more forgiving in intense battles. Guns are very weak compared to the melee weapons, which is puzzling, and took me a while (and a lot of pointless shooting) to admit; I guess they're there more for looks--and to tick away against bosses that you can't melee attack--than for really being your bread and butter, which is a shame. You have to get in and chop-chop-chop.
Much has been made of various hand/gun combos you can do, but I didn't find these to be very effective in terms of killing efficiency, and they set you up to get surrounded if you try them in a crowd--and most fights in DMC3 are very crowded, because the game just throws a ton of spawning guys in all around you, over and over--oh, and most of them can teleport themselves. Hm the ones that rush in from off-camera at lightning speed to slash you are pretty irritating, too.
Wait, I was trying to remember something I liked... Oh, yeah. So you have to use the melee attack, really just hammering the button rather than trying superfluous combos. BUT sometimes the enemy will get knocked back out of melee range momentarily, and in those few seconds it is efficient to pump some gun shots into him as you close the gap again. So there, an actual use for mixing the guns and melee attacks. I suppose that can be done in the first game, too, but it's just hard to see anything in that game.
|Download added: boss3.mpg (11126788 bytes)|
"Getting to and fighting the worm boss."
Oh wait, I think the big worm is the third boss, maybe. The attached video shows him, but it also shows how first, if say you had to go back to the beginning of the level to the shop there to stock back up on health items, you then have to run all the way back through the level to the boss.
I didn't do a great job in this recorded try against him :p, but I was a bit depressed going in because I'd had to use up one of my health items fighting through a forced encounter mid-level, so I knew I was understocked on health going into the fight; and, sure enough, he wore me down, and there I'm facing replaying the entire level to try it again.