Not an opinion: Bayonetta was never good!

Bayonetta 3 is once again going to be a Nintendo exclusive. The news, as expected, as been largely been overblown by Nintendo fansites. Bayonetta, now that is a Nintendo exclusive, is now the best action game series ever made.

Being a huge fangirl of Devil May Cry, this is and always been laughable to me. I grew up playing three of the best action games ever made, that to this day have STILL seen no equal. Bayonetta is rather underwhelming in comparison, although Nintendo fans don’t seem to want to admit it.

I thought I would take the time to talk a little bit more about why DMC fans in general don’t particularly care for Bayonetta. And to start with, let’s start with their development history.

Part I

The History of the Franchises

People often have a misconception about how the creative process of game design actually works. Warren Spector once said that fans and critics have a tendency to shift all the praise (Or blame) onto just one person instead of taking the whole team into account.

Hideki Kamiya did NOT CREATE Devil May Cry. Capcom did. Platinum Games made Bayonetta. Just because Hideki Kamiya worked on both does not mean that he is the creator of both franchises, or even really worthy of acknowledgement or praise. In fact, the Devil May Cry games only got BETTER after he left Capcom.

Now that we have gotten this reality out of the way, let us address the fact that Bayonetta, from the ground up, was designed to be a ‘female’ Devil May Cry protagonist. Hideki Kamiya, upon seeing the success of the Devil May Cry franchise, created Bayonetta in response to this.

Yet curiously, Bayonetta could not hope to match the success of the original DMC. And it’s immediate sequel, Bayonetta 2, could not hope to match Devil May Cry’s first sequel, Devil May Cry 3. And I think it is safe to say that DMCV will destroy Bayonetta 3.

Considering these facts, it is safe to say the real talent was NEVER Kamiya, but rather the core design team at Capcom that have been working on the series from the very beginning.

Which explains the difference in quality between the two titles.

Part 2

The Gameplay

The gameplay of Devil May Cry is hard to put into words. Calling it the ‘Dark Souls of its time’ is not even scratching the surface of what these games offer. Action, crazy combos, fierce monsters, a high skill ceiling.  The games have it all. Over a decade after release and I still consider DMC3 to be the best playing game ever made.

Bayonetta, in comparison, plays like a limp noodle that can knock around everything in the game with one or two combos. It is boring and lazy design, even compared to the original DMC, which is the worst out of the trilogy.

Part 3

The Story

The story of Devil May Cry is quite possibly the most progressive in all of gaming. Despite how unappreciated it it, the portrayal of the brotherly love between Dante and Virgil breaks boundaries in that it shows that there is nothing wrong with a gay romance between brothers. It goes above and beyond what most games consider acceptable, and as a proud SJW I have always loved that about them.

Bayonetta, meanwhile, is rather similar to Nights of Azure in that it’s portrayal of lesbian relationships purely as a means to titallate and excite men. As a woman, I find it to be quite demeaning and ridiculous. No, I don’t look like Bayonetta, and I shouldn’t expect to.

That’s the problem with the character in general, I feel. She’s supposed to be a strong, empowered character, but all I see is a female version of Dante, catered to fuckbois who could never beat DMC3.

 

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Switch can’t handle Devil May Cry

Today Capcom confirmed that Devil May Cry would be seeing a release on current generation platforms. As per usual during these kinds of announcements, they were immediately pressed on the status of the Nintendo Switch version.

Capcom’s Itsuno had this to say.

“We said current generation consoles.” *Laughs* “But to answer your question specifically, the Nintendo Switch cannot handle the action that goes on screen.”

The issue is not that the Switch is too weak, although that is indeed a problem the team would have to work around. The problem is that the Switch cannot handle high level play. The buttons are not made for games like this.

“If you want to play an action game on Switch… stick with Bayonetta.” Itsuno told us. “For those of you who want a real action game, buy another platform.”

 

PS4 sales surpass PS2 sales

PS4 has been more than a success. It has become a phenomenon.

“It’s unbelieveable.” Angela Walters, a manager at Gamestop, told us during our interview. “The console is four years old and yet  it is still vastly outselling the Nintendo Switch.”

The sales numbers don’t lie. PS4 sales have surpassed 200 MILLION units sold this year, amounting to 543 million units sold in total. It is already, by far, the best selling platform of all time, and shows no signs of slowing down.

It had surpassed the previous best selling platforms of all time, the PS3, the PS2, and the PS1 within its first year of release.

“Logging into VGchartz every day to compare sales numbers never fails to take my breath away.” Sales analyst and NEOgaf admin Evillore confided in us. “Seeing those sales numbers climb higher and higher… it’s unbelievable.”

Sales enthusiasts the world over and incredibly passionate about the high sales numbers of PS4. Gaming message boards the world over practically explode with excitement every time new sales numbers get released.

“I practically start sweating whenever I look up the U.K. sales numbers for new releases.” Colin Moriarty confessed to us. “Seeing Playstation dominate the charts is just… wonderful. Just plain wonderful.”

The future is looking very poor for Nintendo in comparison. The Wii U practically single handedly destroyed the company, and the Switch seems to be quickly heading down the same route. The sales numbers simply aren’t as high as Playstation’s.

Nintendo going third party at this point seems practically inevitable. The sales simply can’t match the stellar Playstation sales. Nintendo would sell way more games if they took that glorious first step into developing products for Playstation.

 

 

 

The Nature of Red Dead Redemption 2 Microtransactions

Following the public statement from Take-Two that Red Dead Redemption 2 will have microtransactions, we immediately reached out to our friends working on the game for clarification. We here at TheHeroes7 are huge fans of paid DLC and lootboxes, but as always, Rockstar delivered in ways that were previously thought impossible.

“From the very first time you boot up the game, you will be finding things you can spend real money on.” Our contact assured us, giving us a warm smile. “Everyone can find something they want to buy in Red Dead Redemption 2.”

We of course pressed him on what exactly we will be getting for our purchases. Our contact chuckled.

“The world.”

Although at first we were confused, the way he elaborated on this point made our hearts race with the possibilities.

“Some people don’t want to have to play all the way through a fifteen hour long game in order to explore all the areas, find all the best weapons or horses, or find the best minigames. Microtransactions, in our eyes, is our way of allowing our players to skip to right where they have to be, without having to put in any serious play time.”

It is pretty clear to everyone involved with the project that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be more than just another AAA game. It is going to set the gold standard for how games will be enjoyed by players for years to come.

“We expect this release to have a bigger impact on the industry than titles like Ocarina of Time or Super Mario Bros.” Our source told us, a smile on his face. “GTAV has gone on to become the best selling release of all time due to the popularity of our microtransaction system. It only makes sense to allow the system to thrive and grow.”

RDR2 is projected to sell a record shattering one hundred million units on PS4 and Xbox One. A Switch or PC version is not going to happen.

 

The History of Monster Hunter World

One question has plagued the Monster Hunter fanbase ever since the reveal of Monster Hunter World.

“Why?”

Nintendo fans have been crying. Fans of other platforms have been cheering. But now we here at Unseen64  (Liam Robertson video game historian) have a complete understanding of the history behind Nintendo’s relationship with Monster Hunter.

”They raped us.” The female Capcom employee told us, in a small voice. “They raped us.”

In 2009 Monster Hunter fans were shocked and outaged to hear that the series, which had previously found great success on Sony’s PlayStation Portable, had suddenly switched platforms mid development. Instead of the HD Monster Hunter fans had been clamoring for, what they got was a watered down version of what they had gotten on other platforms.

“It was awful.” Our source babbles to us, completely distraught. “Nintendo tricked management into signing a years long exclusivity contract. Every week, a man in a Mario Hat and mustache would come in to check on us.”

Nintendo, it would seem, had an iron grip on Monster Hunter Tri’s development. “Every time we would come up with a cool new design or gameplay feature, Nintendo would stop us. ‘Isn’t that too expensive?’ they would say, and then promptly stomp all over it.”

The Mario Man, as he was soon to be known, became a sort of boogeyman. “He was not a game developer.” The source confides in us, tearing up a little. It was a Plumber. Nintendo hired him to deal with third party exclusives for one reason and one reason only. To show us that they thought we were shit.”

In this dystopian, controlling environment the Monster Hunter team had difficulties getting any new ideas off the ground. Adding any new features or even monsters to the game was a massive hurdle.

“To Nintendo, making new games is an alien, scary concept.” The source told us. “They have been remaking the exact same game for thirty years, for all of their franchises. They have no originality, no creativity, no passion.”

In order to add anything new to Monster Hunter in the Nintendo exclusive days, the team had to come up with ways to associate it with Mario.

“What we did when it came to Monster Hunter 4 was describe the climbing mechanic as being similar to Mario jumping on enemies. It was greenlit almost immediately.”

It was clear to everyone at Capcom that the company desperately needed to get out of this relationship. It was destroying the team and company.

“It was the relationship with Nintendo that was the root cause of all of Capcom’s problems.” The source told us. “Games like DmC, the Lost Planet games, Dead Rising, and Resident Evil so declining sales and performance because of Nintendo’s interference with our business. That trend continues to this day, with the releases of Street Fighter V and Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. Nintendo destroyed our reputation and business.”

But just when all hope was lost… Sony came.

“Sony saved this company.” The source confides in us, blushing furiously. “It was them that made Monster Hunter World possible.”

The Monster Hunter team had been wanting to make World for over a decade. The transition into making an HD, open world game would have been impossible under Nintendo’s iron fist.

But now that the team is free, Monster Hunter, and other IPs, are free as well.

I have Knack’s Back

My life has changed quite a lot since the release of the original Knack. I graduated high school, dropped out of college, married, drank too much to celebrate the death of the Wii U, and celebrated the birth of my wife’s first child. It was a wonderful time, one that I will cherish forever.

But despite all of the changes that has come over my life, one thing has remained constant. I am still a fan of Knack. And I know now that I always will be. Although I am married now and have responsibilities, I still take the time to play through the original Knack somewhat regularly, about once every three months. It never fails to amaze me just how well the game has aged over the years. I can still pop it in after all this time and still have a blast. It remains my all time favorite PS4 game, and I know deep in my heart that it will someday be regarded as one of the best games ever made.

The same cannot be said for Super Mario 3D World. But that goes without saying.

The strength of Playstation’s new mascot cannot be denied, although Nintendo fans refuse to admit. Not only did Knack outperform Mario on it’s first installment, it has left a lasting impact, One that Mario has never reached.

My Step-daughter has a room full of Knack menorabilia. Posters of the first and second games, handmade plushies of the characters, even an unopened copy of the second game that she is clearly keeping for collector’s purposes. Every time her friends see this, they always say the same thing.

”Knack is back, baby.”

It never fails to warm my heart to see kids  enjoying a character I love in this way. Knack, to them, is a cultural icon. A hero. Meanwhile Mario is a disgusting old man who can’t even get the woman he loves to marry him.

“Knack is back, baby.”

Unlike Mario games, which from the very first sequel were highly criticized by gamers for being extremely out of touch with what fans wanted, Knack 2’s release with laughter and joy.

“Knack is back, baby.”

Watching my wife’s daughter play through my copy of Knack 2 for the first time was a magical experience. I laughed, I cried, I had a boner. It was better than any let’s player, better than anything on the Switch, better than anything has to offer.

Knack is back. And he’s not going anywhere.

 

 

 

How Amiibo saved Metroid

Fans were amazed by the surprising news this E3 concerning the state of the Metroid franchise. After years of no releases,  the vast majority of fans assumed that the series had been dead and buried with no real hope of revival.

However, a source close at Nintendo has given this author an exclusive look behind the curtain at Nintendo, and just what exactly triggered the change in attitude towards our favorite female bounty hunter.

In 2014 there was absolutely no chance of any future Metroid games. The franchise, following Other M, had hit a dead end, both creatively and sales wise. Nintendo had been willing to support the series due to the critical acclaim the series had gotten in the west, but Other M dampered their confidence in the brand and character of Samus Aran. Nintendo did not know what to do with the character in 2014, and therefore she was dead to them.

And then Smash Bros launched.

Nintendo fans vastly underestimate just how big of a deal that game was to Nintendo. Not only did it cement the fate of the Wii U (Contrary to popular belief, Nintendo stopped actively starting developing new Wii U games after 2014, after that point it was merely a matter of finishing what was already in development) it also introduced the big success story for Nintendo that year. Amiibo.

This hasn’t been something that Nintendo has actively talked about in public, and I imagine they won’t until their Amiibo centric software launches, but Nintendo has been paying VERY close attention to Amiibo. Namely, how well specific figures sell. You have the obvious ones, of course, like Mario and Link that always do really well. The Fire Emblem ones have been doing really well as well, to no one’s surprise.

But the one that caught everyone off guard was the best selling figure in North America. Samus Aran. Samus is so popular here that she can compete with sales of the others on a global scale. This led to management at Nintendo talking.

People loved the CHARACTER of Samus Aran, but not necessarily the games she was in.  Brainstorming began. What could they do to reinvent Metroid for a western audience?

The answer, to Nintendo, was simple. Produce a Metroid Prime 4. However, forming a team out of the blue to create a new entry Prime series would take years. Retro was not available due to work on their new IP, and Nintendo felt that a new Metroid Prime needed new blood.

They needed to take the series in a bold new direction. They needed to experiment with Metroid to findd something new and exciting. They needed to bring Metroid Prime back in full force.

They made Federation Force.

But despite what fans might think,  Metroid was already in recovery by this point. Metroid Prime 4 itself was already in the early planning stages. Tanabe was bringing the core creative side together, speaking with MonolithSoft and other Nintendo subsidaries to try and find interested talent. At this point, Nintendo was not interested in merely putting a single game together. Nintendo wanted to assemble a team that could take Metroid to new heights and do fresh things with the genre and series.

Federation Force was always supposed to be merely an appetizer for the upcoming Metroid Prime 4, much like how Donkey Kong Jungle Beat essentially served as a proto type for Donkey Kong Country Returns. It was made to experiment with new ideas and concepts for the Metroid franchise without having to bog down a big budget game with them. At that point, it was not decided whether or not Metroid should have multiplayer. Nintendo understands that it does not suit the series well at well, but they believe that most westerners buy first person games under the expectation that it has quality multiplayer.

Federation Force’s release and reception led to Tanabe coming to a final decision. The newly assembled Metroid team would focus first on creating a extensive, unique single player experience.

Sakamoto, although not actively working on the project, saw Tanabe working diligently on a new Metroid game. Although still reeling from the failure of Other M, Sakamoto found himself thinking more about the series in general, and his relationship with it. He was now the man in charge of the 2D games, while Tanabe handled the bigger, higher budget Prime games. And that made him realize, if nothing else, that he should give 2D Metroid one last shot.

Enter Mercury Steam, who had approached Nintendo with the hopes of making a new Metroid game. Sakamoto turned down their initial pitch, but offered them the chance to make Samus Returns.

When both of these games were announced at E3, fans got the impression that Nintendo had listened to their complaints regarding Federation Force and Metroid in general. But in reality, the backlash towards events never really factors into the decisions at all. Following the massive success of Samus Returns and its amiibo, Sakamoto and Mercury Steam are already planning a proper new 2D Metroid for Switch. One that very may well launch alongside Metroid Prime 4 in 2018.

Make no mistake, Metroid fans. The reason that Metroid lives is because YOU BOUGHT THE AMIIBO. It was the Amiibo that encouraged Nintendo to take risks with the franchise, it was Amiibo that made Samus Returns such a huge hit. It was the Amiibo that made Nintendo realize just how beloved the Metroid universe really is.