Analyze This,

First off, some gaming news:

NFL extends exclusive rights to EA for football license. Not a big surprise but still disappointing, especially with the news of the then Lead Producer David Ortiz (not Big Papi) leaving EA because of "family issues". Family issues- meaning EA Sports family issues.

EA plans to extend Mass Effect franchise. Staying true to the EA etiquette, and fresh off the news of a PC port, 1up reports that EA may make Bioware prolong the storyline past the original trilogy. Here's to hoping EA won't run a series off to a good start into the ground.

My first impressions of Devil May Cry 4 (2 hours into it):

I'm not all that impressed. Admittedly, I've only played the first DMC on the PS2 and liked it a lot, so I was looking forward to the fourth installment of the franchise, hoping for more of the same. And I got it. Exactly the same.

Well to the developers credit, they did add a new character named Nero, who is Dante-the original white-haired demon slayer, with shorter hair, and a cool devil arm thingie that extends and grabs bad guys for some more pummeling.

That is where the differences end for me. The same pre-rendered backgrounds. The same super linear designed levels. The arbitrary glowing things that only open doors and paths to new levels by continually hitting them. The weird way that the animators still make Nero and Dante jump- a strange super quick "up" into the air, then awkwardly flipping forward or backward, making me land a few paces short of where I want to, making me do it all over again. Then of course the frustrating camera, that shifts in all different directions when entering a new section of the map, making me confused of which direction I was going.

I guess that is the nature of the beast though. This is what makes the Devil May Cry series what it is. I was just hoping for advancement in the series, especially for its first next/current gen debut. What really got to me was the pre-rendered backgrounds, giving the nature of it's protagonist, it felt I was a caged animal, restricted and held by electric fences. By today's gaming standards, I expect to go wherever I want to go, not held by invisible walls. This is exacerbated by how beautiful the backgrounds are, it begs me to go explore, to see what lies around the corner, instead of the realization that it just a 2-d plane with a nice painting of a wall.

One can argue that many games still do this, Gears and God of War comes to mind, but those games also do a much better job keeping you looking forward, keeping you on your toes with plenty of cannon fodder to shoot or slash at. Now, I don't expect to have some giant GTA or Crackdown-like city to run around in, but if I am a bad-ass demon hunter, I would certainly expect it.

Speaking of cannon fodder, who the hell are these demons I keep killing anyway? A little information to who and what I'm fighting would be nice.

Oh well, like I wrote above, I'm only 2 hours into it, there's still time to change my mind.

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