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Movies and books begin in medias res all the time.
George Lucas started the Star Wars Franchise with part 4.
Memento played out backwards.
Lost was very popular among the general public.
And yet people raise Devil May Cry's chronology as a point of criticism?
Not really. He started with just Star Wars. The story of how Luke became a Jedi and redeemed his father. Then he made prequels. I find that quite different than starting in the middle of a saga. The other examples I will say you are right. There isn't anything wrong with skipping around in a timeline so long as it 1) doesn't interfere with established canon and 2) the story is complete. DMC 2 was a fairly complete story. Possibly even the end of Dante's life. No reason they can't go back to a time when he wasn't so "emo" and have a story about him being younger and weaker. They did it with DMC 3, right?
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When it comes to Nero there really isn't much to say, his background isn't explained but a large portion of the fanbase didn't like him anyway. The fact that the games always jumped around the timeline and ended up being fairly convoluted didn't help either.
Just because he wasn't liked that much (people don't mind him now though) doesn't mean he shouldn't be explained. I'd rather go through one more game with a character I hate than have a searing plot hole in my face.
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