ANARCHY REIGNS + DEVIL MAY CRY = CREAM
It is fair to say that, just 15 days into 2013, the flash and flair on display has already surpassed all of 2012. The combined forces of Anarchy Reigns and the reboot Devil May Cry are enough to surpass whatever the previous 12 months could muster. Not surprising since Platinum Games and Ninja Theory are arguably the two flashiest game developers out there.
It was a group effort really. 2012 had plenty of stupendous games, but none that really stood out as bombastic or sublimely absurd. Anarchy Reigns and DMC revel in just that. They’re irreverent to current trends and thus irrelevant to most. They wear their feverish gameplay on their sleeves but are very difficult to master.
The official GCBC review for Devil May Cry is still pending, but results up to now unsurprisingly confirm these findings. Check back soon for an in depth look.
Anarchy Reigns on the other hand is a proven success. Powerstone is the obvious comparison, but it’s more fitting to describe Platinum’s long overdue US release as the destined lust child of Super Smash Bros and Devil May Cry/Bayonetta. The meager single player mission structure/extended tutorial is a shadow of the latter games, as is the tone in character design.
Most importantly, the combat is paced and conducted in largely the same way. The 3D levels are much larger than SSB and you can’t switch weapons willy-nilly as in DMC, but it otherwise shares their DNA. Fights are high tempo, winning demands precise execution, and there’s a deceptive amount of depth contained in the three button attack schema.
Bottom line: Anarchy Reigns requires solid execution just to get on the board, much less pull flashy stunts. Often the line between a successful maneuver and team wipe is razor thin. Button mashing will get you nowhere. On top of all that there are environmental hazards like black holes and nuclear bombs to watch out for.
Watching raw gameplay is the best way to get a feel for the action though: