Bitpicking: Color-coded enemies

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.
The video game world has drastically changed over the past decade. It’s easy to look back and say, “Holy crap, that came out 10 years ago!” Video games seem like something that have been with us for over a century, yet it feels like it was just last month that Metal Gear Rising Revengeance came out. Oh wait… that was last month. All jokes aside, games have drastically changed over the course of time, for better or worse. Welcome to The Bitpick, GameZone’s bi-weekly column where I discuss something that annoys me in a game, or multiple games.
This week on The Bitpick, DmC: Devil May Cry is the hot topic, or you might even say that it’s a tad cool. Colored enemies are all the rage in DmC, and it changes up the usual combat antics that Dante executes in the game. There are specifically two colors that an enemy can embody, red or blue. While the raging red enemies are vulnerable to the demon weapons that Dante wields, they are invulnerable to every other weapon types, including guns. The blue enemies, as you can guess, are only vulnerable to angel weapons. It’s an interesting design that sounds nice on paper. Sadly, the execution and its result is far from it. 
In theory, colored enemies are supposed to make encounters more difficult. Whether you zone out the colored enemies by knocking them away, or stunning them so you can hack away at the normal ones or finish off the colored ones first, it creates an odd feeling. The Devil May Cry games pride themselves on flashy combos and crazy attacks — at least, this was the intent in 3 and 4. DmC aims to do the same thing as its predecessors. Oddly enough, this isn’t the case when colored enemies are thrown into fray. More often than not, it throws the creative combos out the window. 
I always enjoyed playing Devil May Cry games, even if I couldn’t pull off stellar combos. Just knowing the fact that I can do some semblance of a combo on an enemy using whatever move I want was amazing. This was the case in both Devil May Cry 3 and 4. I played DmC fairly recently due to the addition of Bloody Palace. I loved hacking away enemies for multiple rounds in Bloody Palace in the previous games and I thought I would enjoy them in the new one as well. I was wrong. While the normal enemies are fun to fight and hack away at, the moment colored enemies pop up I sigh in disappointment. Because I’m not a pro at playing the game it’s hard for me to deal with both types of enemies simultaneously with excellent precision. After all, since the red enemies are only vulnerable to demon weapons what I tend to do is just use only my demon weapon throughout the entirety of the fight or until all the red enemies are gone.
Of course this gets a tad more complicated once blue and red enemies appear at once with the normal enemies. It was already annoying trying to beat one type of colored enemy to death but now I have to deal with two – I’m thankful that they didn’t put a third one. If there are two types out on the field I end up knocking one away or locking them up with a stun so I have time to deal with the remaining colored ones. It’s an extremely cheap tactic and surprisingly the game actually encourages it since it’s one of the tips it shows in the main game.