(Yeah...I changed the title and some of the pictures...I didn't like it...I might just delete the whole thing. Argh.)

I went to hell again last night (apparently it took me a little over 7 hours to get through it)…and yet less than 24 hours later I am sitting in front of my laptop hammering out another blog. I don’t really write reviews per say, but I usually always blog about games that I finish, if for no other reason then to savor the moment of a triumphant victory. Last night I finished Dante’s Inferno…or did I?


SPOILER ALERT: If you are playing or plan to play Dante’s Inferno, you DO NOT want to read this blog as I am going to specifically mention a few things about the game and specifically discuss something about the ending that could ruin your experience. Read at your own risk!




This may be the first (I seriously doubt it though) discussion about this game that doesn’t mention a certain other game that is far more popular and supposedly tons better. I’ve never played that other game that some will obviously know that I am referring to, so its mention here by me would be irrelevant.




I normally don’t buy games like Dante’s Inferno. I don’t even know what genre you would call this type of game, but if “button mashers” was a genre then DI would certainly fall into that category. I have this quirk about me though that once I start a game (with only a few exceptions), I have to finish it. Dante’s Inferno fell into this category – not because it was a bad game, but just because it’s not a style I would normally play.




A brief summary to capture how I even came into possession of said game – a few weeks or has it been months ago, my wife and daughter just happened to be reading Dante’s Inferno because they enjoy reading classic literature (I know right…reading on your own without being forced to, what a foreign concept to me) and when I happened to mention there was a Dante’s Inferno video game, they were both very excited (because in addition to enjoying classic literature, they’re also gamers). I purchased the game and we started to play/watch it together. We realized a couple of things right away. Dante’s Inferno, the game, really isn’t anything like the classic poem, other than the characters share the same names. Well, and they both occur in hell. There is that similarity.




The other thing we realized is this wasn’t appropriate for our 15 year old daughter to be playing or watching. I’m normally one of those “bad parents” the media grouses about that let’s their kids play too much video games, watch scary movies and stay up late on school nights (because I’m usually right there with them)…but this game was a bit much and lived up to it’s Mature rating. I don’t mind her (or me for that matter) playing shooters, but graphic violence and nudity tend to be the line in the sand. This game has plenty of both. (I've spared you the details LOL - nice globe...)




The game was relatively simple. You’re corralled along a path like a rail car on a track and come across rather easy challenges that don’t require much intuition to figure out. A seeming endless supply of bad guys that spawn in all shapes, sizes and powers spring up along the way to give you something to mash your buttons at. If you can mash them proficiently you’re able to string combos together into one continuous barrage of butt kicking.



I’m going to tell on myself for just a second. I can pick up most controllers and just subconsciously “know” what the buttons are and what they do. But if you asked me which colors are which buttons and in what locations…I think I would fail that test. Dante’s Inferno proved this over and over.


During much of the combat, a particular button would flash on the screen indicating you need to take that action in order to achieve the desired result. In some sequences you have to hit the yellow button at a certain time, followed by the blue and then the green. I fail horribly on these tasks because apparently I don’t know the controllers as well as I thought I did. I muddled through it…eventually.


So, at this point, you’re probably thinking that I must’ve hated this game. Not at all. It has some very redeeming qualities.


The trick to playing Dante’s Inferno is…instead of viewing it as a game that tells a story, change your perspective a bit and look at it like a story that you get to play (just not the original Dante’s Inferno story, mind you).



You can’t really say the levels are beautiful, as it takes place in hell which is certainly not a beautiful place. But they are certainly meticulously created and convincingly convey the bleakness and hopelessness associated with hell. The sound affects and scenery lend to the dreadful atmosphere and give a very real translation of what the gnashing of teeth may be like. Not a place I would want to visit myself. Chilling to say the least.


Perhaps one of the most stunning (and disturbing) aspects of the game is the periodic cut scenes that tell the tale of how and why Dante finds himself in the dire position he is in. It’s an animated (I dare not call it a cartoon) sequence of events that is very movie like in appearance and to be honest, I did find it interesting, but again, a bit more sexual and violent content than what I’d like my games to have.




Spoiler Alert: Last Chance! This may ruin the ending for you.



The ending was a bit of a surprise and made the experience worthwhile…it plays out rather quickly. After a heated battle with lucifer himself…you think you have finally vanquished the fallen angel and won the fiddle of gold (my name’s Johnny and it might be a sin, but I’ll take that bet…sorry…couldn’t resist…) but as the cut scene plays out and your scythe (that crazy looking sickle weapon used to cut hay that Dante is carrying) turns to dust, you realize it’s not over yet…





And then the game ends with “To be continued…”




Okay…many many moons ago (only my longest and most dedicated readers may recall this) I wrote a blog about the game XIII being my least favorite game ever because it ended with “To be continued…” and a sequel never came.



Look, I’m all for leaving the ending hanging to suggest a sequel…but when a game ends with “To be continued…” my mind instantly translates that into “If you want to know what happens next you will have to purchase the sequel.”



I despise games that do this. I know there are some popular ones that have taken this approach. I don’t care. I still don’t like it and if anything it makes me despise the game. It’s sloppy; it’s arrogant and it’s...



…to be continued.



See, it is a cheap trick…isn’t it?