No matter the damnation of gaming gossip, Devil May Cry 2 is not a travesty in any way. You may have heard this game was unimpressive, dumb, or (according to Game Informer) “one of the biggest video game disappointments in history,” but understand this, it still offers the high-flying, gun-slinging fun found in the original. The plot, like the original, is pretty much non-existent beyond three or four cut scenes at the beginning and end. There isn’t an incredible amount of improvement over the original except for a couple of new moves and a new playable character, but really, how much room was left for improvement over such a classic?
Some time after defeating Mundus and running off with Trish, Dante is hired by Lucia, a mysterious woman with odd powers, to aid in the battle against an evil man named Arius. Arius seeks to open the gate that separates the human world from the demon world, in order to become one with the demons and emerge immortal using mystical items called Arcana. Upon Dante’s arrival to Lucia’s hometown, Dumary Island, he teams up with Lucia and meets with an old woman named Matier, who explains that Sparda, Dante’s demon father, had fought on that island many-a-year ago. She then orders Dante to go collect the Arcana, kill Arius and protect Lucia. From there, you learn Lucia isn’t actually human – and then, story wise, everything just kind of blurs until the end. Now, admittedly, the sequel’s plot is virtually non-existent, and while its predecessor offered a solid plot about Dante’s past and the connections between Sparda and the other main characters, this offers no enthralling plot, and very little development of Dante. Furthermore, Capcom offers nothing to tie this to the original Devil May Cry, giving no acknowledgement to the existence of Virgil, Trish, or Mundus. Really, if Capcom wanted to, they could claim DMC was the latest in the chronological passage of the series, and that they’re working backwards from there (especially since DMC3 is a prequel).
The sound, graphics, and gameplay in Devil May Cry 2 are not vastly improved over its original. The voice acting is still well executed, but sadly sparse. Conversations only take place between some missions, and because there are only four characters throughout the game, the dialogue isn’t compelling in any sense of the word. The graphics are nicely polished, and look great in both cut scenes and during gameplay, but they are improved only slightly over the original. There are also a few new moves in the game, but nothing that makes it discernibly better than the original Devil May Cry. If you run near to, or at a wall, you can perform a Matrix-style run across it. However, this is, for the most part, entirely useless since you can’t attack, block or change direction while dashing across a wall. Another new skill is multi-directional aiming, the quality of which is?questionable at best; you’ll ultimately end up using this accidentally, which won’t help you as much as it will simply take Ebony off the designated target. Though both are highly flawed, neither affect the game in a negative way, but the only thing they offer is a really cool looking move.
Now the big question – is the game worth buying? Renting? This reviewer would have to say: “Hell, yeah, buy this game!” Because Devil May Cry 2 is so long past the public’s eye, it has been reduced to costing little more than pocket change compared with modern games. Devil May Cry 2 can take as little as ten hours to play through (including the Lucia missions), which may be a setback to some gamers, but the game is certainly worth its weight in replay value. Plus, the drive in some players to raise all their equipment to its peak level may cause some to glean far more hours out of this game than Devil May Cry. The Lucia scenario also adds a nice new perspective to the game and, even though it is made up of a dozen slightly tweaked Dante levels, they are changed just enough to make them worth playing through again, which helps fill in many of the plot holes from the Dante campaign.
Now as mentioned earlier, Devil May Cry 2 does keep up the quality found in the original, but offers little improvement in many respects. The gameplay is solid and entertaining, the controls are easy to master, and there are a wide variety of moves for both Dante and Lucia. However, the omitted plot and shortness of this installation can really be a turnoff for many gamers. Despite that, though, this is still a worthy title to pick up for any action gamer and it really is a good game.