Devil May Cry 2

Review

posted 2/8/2003 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
One Page Platforms: PS2
My sympathies go out to all the fans out there of the Devil May Cry series and the severe pain that must have been felt when this game was played after being so happily purchased from your local game store. This game, while retaining the Devil May Cry name feels so lost in its ambition of being a stylish game that it becomes lost in mediocrity. And while its gameplay elements have not yet been matched by any other game, the original Devil May Cry certainly had a better grasp than this weak sequel. There is a side of me that loves this game for how much fun it can be at times. But then there is this side of me that sees all the flaws that this game carries, like lack of story, lack of dialogue, lack of bad-assness (I think I just invented a word) in Dante, and so many other "lacking" things and I hate this game because of it.

I want to get started with the story. First off there isn't one. Dante just shows up at this place, Dumary Island, apparently on call from Lucia, the Protector of Vi Du Marli. By the end of the first stage you meet Matier, Lucia's mother who talks about Arius, your prime villain for the game. (Side note: Arius is lame... lamer than lame... But I can get into that deeper as I go through this review.) And after the story bit with Matier you play through the rest of the game. You'll get short snippets of a story here and there but nothing very cohesive that makes you want to find out what is going to happen in the game. As if the story wasn't lacking enough, the levels of this game fail to live up to the original. Dante's lines seem to be kept to a bare minimum, and there is a minimal amount of trash talking. How can Dante be the ultimate bad-ass if he can't taunt his enemies while he's kicking their asses? The only really cool thing that he does won't come until the end of the game. Although I must admit it was quite cool.

The acting for the most part isn't very good either. Lucia and Matier speak with what sounds like a faked french accent, and Arius just has this horrible whiny and screechy voice. While the voices don't fare well I must say that I like the music. It is very similar to that of the last game and of course compliments the demon slaying quite well.

Now about that whole demon-slaying bit. You'll be doing a lot of it. And this wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the frustrating new lock on system that has been added to the game. Coupled with many lame camera angles and controls that feel much slower than before and you’ll find yourself heading back to the first game in no time. Whenever an enemy comes into view Dante will lock on to it and a cursor will appear. If you want to switch targets then you hit the L3 button. This causes for some cumbersome action, especially while you are trying to keep your combo's up, however you can override the lock-on by holding the L2 button. The combo's are easier yet harder to accomplish at the same time thanks to the lock-on cursor, for most times it will lock on to an enemy that is not in your direct view, like behind a pillar or something while there is an enemy who is closer to Dante. You would think it'd make more sense to just target the closer monster but such is not the case. Your guns will keep your combo alive but will no longer add to it, unlike in the first game where you could just roll and then fire the grenade launcher over and over to get a Stylish combo. As for the actual controls themselves, I feel that this game has Dante’s transition to different attacks move a lot more smoothly but at the same time it slows him down. It’s almost as though he freezes right when he connects with moves which throws off timing the first couple of levels, but you’ll pick up on it fast.
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