Bitpicking: Color-coded enemies
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Why would a game that prides itself on flashiness, creative combo, and freestyling support an opposite notion, to lock up your diverse moveset. It’s almost like giving someone a swiss army knife for them to use in whatever way they want but the person who gave it to you said, “dont use this, this, and this.” Wouldn’t you find that someone aggravating? Why give it to you in the first place?
Perhaps the better question is then to ask, why do colored enemies exist in the first place? They are the epitome of anti-fun, right next to bosses in the game which I’ll get into maybe in the future. Let’s break down perhaps why they exists and why they were designed in such a way. To start off, the existence of colored enemies is most likely attributed to making conflicts more challenging. Anyone can hack and slash at an enemy but to strategically do so, and by that I mean juggling both the normal enemy and the colored ones, is something not everyone can do. As I said before, the game throws all sense of style out the window if this is the case.
Colored enemies also make the game difficult due to the limitation of one weapon type. While there are two weapons for both angel and demon styles, you are largely limited to the type of attacks that each style associates itself. To expand upon this, demon weapons tend to be much slower than their angel counterparts. It’s quite annoying when not only do you have a limited moveset but you’re limited to the types of weapons you can use, and I don’t mean just angel and demons. I’m talking about the style that they associate themselves with. Though, when you think about it, it’s the same thing.
It’s easy to say that colored enemies exist solely for making the game difficult but why do two types of colored enemies exist - as well as why do they pit them against you at the same time? Obviously two types exist because there are two weapon types. It’d be odd to have red enemies corresponding to demon weapons and not have some type of enemy connected with angel weapons. Why have two at the same time in combat? Juggling a normal enemy and one type of colored enemy can be annoying but it’s not too difficult. By having two types it encourages shifting from the two types of weapons in a constant and frantic manner. It’s not a matter of the game trying to challenge the player but it’s to test the player’s dexterity and on-the-fly play. Maintain style, damage, and plan your moves accordingly are most likely what the designers were intending when creating this situation.
The colored enemies surely change up the average encounters but it’s hard to say that it’s a smart design choice. I understand the sentiment to mix fights up a bit and add challenge but when the game has conflicting philosophies, that’s usually a bad sign. DmC is one case of this. It’s disappointing really because the combat system is really enjoyable. The new DLC, Vergil’s Downfall, doesn’t have colored enemies and greatly benefits from it. Just mixing up enemy composition with varying types of enemies are good enough. The designers may have tried a tad too hard with DmC. Colored enemies are bad. There is no getting around it.
Join me next time on The Bitpick as I talk about how pacing matters a ton in games and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance fails to pace itself well.
Simon Chun is GameZone’s freelance writer and RPG buff for all things new and old. Check out his twitter @kayos90.