What deep, underlying moral truth is there in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!?
What does Donkey Kong say about man's inhumanity to man?
Those are both very stupid questions, but with gaming moving ever closer to highbrow art, more and more often we see games that should come with a complimentary monocle and side of brie.
Devil May Cry 4, on the other hand, is an unapologetic throwback to the days when games were simply entertainment.
The game tells the story of Nero—a young half-demon who's usurped the franchise's main character role from series mainstay Dante—and his quest to confront a corrupt priest who kidnapped his special lady. (Fans of the series will be initially shocked by the change, but will quickly realize that Nero is basically just Dante with a wicked left hook.)
Obviously, the shift to a new male lead is an attempt by developer Capcom to inject some variety into the series—but it's far from enough, as the game plays almost identically to its predecessors. Whether that's a positive or a negative really depends on your opinion of the rest of the series, but at least there's no risk of the game alienating longtime fans.
By far the biggest change to the game is a result of its jump to the new generation of consoles: The series has never looked so good. Every surface and enemy is extremely detailed, and the branching combo attacks are as stunning as they've ever been. The game's animation is given similar attention: Every movement is so fluid and graceful that as you master the game's complex fighting system, combat begins to resemble a recital of Swan Lake that's gone horribly, horribly wrong.
There's a lot to be said for the direction gaming is heading (I finally have a reason to wear a scarf and beret!), but Devil May Cry 4 proves that no matter how cerebral the industry becomes, there will always be a place for stylized, violent entertainment.