Something About Japan: DmC wows critics as Monster Hunter hits the mainstream

This week, we’ll be taking a look at how DmC is faring back in the country of its origin and peering into the somewhat perplexing popularity of the Monster Hunter series. Finally, it’s customary for any proper and upstanding member of society to give younger relatives a little bit of spending money at New Year’s. This means it’s one of the biggest times of the year for game sales, so we’ll take a look at this week’s charts to find out how Japan is spending its pocket money.

DmC: Dapper Man’s Coiffure

DmC has been the subject of a niggling anxiety to fans of the beloved series worldwide since it was announced the series would be rebooted by the UK developer Ninja Theory, taking it away from its Osaka home at Capcom. It’s also the latest in a series of games Capcom has outsourced to western developers in a bid to generate more overseas sales, all which have failed their purpose thus far, having been met with lukewarm critical and commercial response.

DmC, however, has finally broken the streak, coming out to favourable reviews in the west – but how did it fare in Japan? Famitsu awarded it a reassuring 34/40. “I couldn’t quite get over the change in developer,” says the Famitsu review. “When one thinks of Capcom, one thinks of a company with a legacy in creating high quality action titles like Mega Man, Final Fight, or Monster Hunter. I had a nagging concern that Capcom’s magic touch would be lost in the shuffle of developers. However, the newly released DmC is an excellent game, and all my anxieties were almost immediately dispelled upon playing it.”

“The first thing that stands out in an action game is the feel of your character’s movements, and in this case, Dante feels good to control,” the piece continues. “He reacts immediately to the player’s input, with clean animations. It’s clear from the results producer Eshiro and supervising director Izuno’s frequent trips to England’s Ninja Theory have been to great effect. Even action game beginners can chain together attacks by mashing at buttons, while experts can expect to casually smash out combos utilising a multitude of weapons. The entry bar is low, but there is plenty of depth to the systems.”

While the reaction has been somewhat mixed in the west, the protagonist Dante’s visual overhaul seemed to go down well, too. “Firstly, though his appearance has been redesigned, his stylishness and purposely facile personality remain in rude health,” adds Famitsu. “He’s a little different to the Dante of old, but he’s a cool guy.”

A great success for Capcom then, I look forward to seeing if the feeling is reciprocated by Japanese fans in next week’s sales figures.

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