Devil May Cry 2
|Devil May Cry 2|
North American box art
|Series||Devil May Cry|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
Devil May Cry 2 (Japanese: デビル メイ クライ 2 Hepburn: Debiru Mei Kurai Tsū?) is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed and published by Capcom in 2003. The game is a sequel to Devil May Cry.
Set in modern times, in the fictional city of Vie de Marli, the story centers on Dante and Lucia in their fight to stop a businessman named Arius from raising the demon Argosax and achieving supreme power. The story is told primarily through a mixture of cutscenes using the game's engine, with several pre-rendered full motion videos.
Devil May Cry 2 received mixed reviews, and has been criticized for a variety of development decisions, which made the game considerably different from its predecessor; chief among these decisions was the lowered difficulty and changes to the personality of Dante. Nevertheless, it was a commercial success.
In Devil May Cry 2, the player guides either Dante or Lucia through an urban environment, fighting groups of monsters in fast-paced combat. The game consists of missions with specific goals in the play area of the game itself. The player's performance in each mission is ranked from D (poor/"Don't Worry") to S (excellent/"Showtime") based on the time taken to complete the mission, the amount of Red Orbs collected, the overall "style" displayed during fights, item usage, and damage taken. In contrast to the rest of the gameplay, the style judging system used in the game has been cited as being the harshest in terms of how it judges the player's performance.
Combat itself is based on the "style" the player demonstrates during a fight. The rating the player gains for style is improved by hitting enemies continuously while avoiding damage. This ranges from "Don't Worry", progressing to "Come On!", "Bingo", "Are You Ready?" and peaking at "Showtime". If the character takes damage, the style rating falls back to "Don't Worry".
The game's controls convert short sequences of button presses into complex on-screen actions. New to the series is an evasion button, which allows Dante or Lucia to roll, dodge enemy attacks, or run along walls. Another new feature is a weapon-change button, which allows the player to cycle through ranged weapons without switching to the inventory screen.
The game also features puzzle-solving and exploration elements. Gameplay involves the player examining their surroundings to find items and orbs. Red Orbs are used to acquire new combat powers and abilities for the characters. These Red Orbs are "the blood of demons"; enemies drop them when they are defeated. Dante and Lucia can also purchase items, which allow them to restore their damaged health or even instantly revive should they be killed by an enemy's attack.
The Devil Trigger ability enables Dante and Lucia to transform into a demon form. This changes their appearance, increases their strength and defense, slowly restores health, and enables them to use special attacks and other passive and movement abilities, including increased speed and the power to fly. The Devil Trigger state lasts as long as there is power in the Devil Trigger Gauge, which increases by attacking or taunting enemies in the normal state and decreases by attacking in the Devil Trigger state or using Devil Trigger-only attacks. Unique to this game is the Desperation Devil Trigger — an enhanced form of the Devil Trigger — available to Dante when he is low on health.
Devil May Cry 2 begins with Lucia and Dante separately entering a museum where an important item called the Medaglia is stored. After defeating a group of demons in the museum, Lucia invites Dante to follow her to the Dumary Island, where he is introduced to Matier, her mother. Matier explains that she once fought alongside Dante's father, Sparda, to defend the island against demons. She asks Dante to help fight Arius, an international businessman who is using demonic power in an effort to conquer the world. Dante flips a coin in answer, and decides to help when the coin lands on heads. After Dante leaves, Matier and Lucia discuss the Arcana, the items required for Arius to raise the demon Argosax.
Lucia eventually confronts Arius, who reveals that she was his creation. When she moves to strike him, he uses his magic to blast her away. Shortly afterward, Dante meets up with Lucia, who gives him the last of the Arcana before leaving. Dante then encounters Matier and tries to pass the Arcana to her. Matier, in turn, asks Dante to take the Arcana to save Lucia, who has gone to fight Arius again. Dante flips the coin again to decide if he will help; it lands on heads, and he departs to aid Lucia. Meanwhile, Lucia enters the Uroboros tower and attacks Arius, who captures her. Dante arrives and trades the Arcana for Lucia, then attacks Arius. To escape, Arius forces Dante to decide between saving Lucia or killing him.
Lucia, worried about the ritual and conflicted about herself, wonders how they will stop Arius. Dante waves her off, stating he will find a way. Dante leaves Lucia to think as he departs to defeat Arius. Matier arrives a short time later, sets Lucia's mind at ease, and persuades her to rejoin the fight against Arius. Dante arrives at the tower to find Arius in the middle of his immortality-inducing ritual. However, Dante is not worried as he switched one of the Arcana with a false coin. Another fight ensues, in which Dante finishes Arius off with his pistols. Outside, Lucia confronts Dante and demands that he kill her because she fears she will become a demon herself. Before the issue can be resolved, a large stream of energy strikes the tower and a portal to the demon world is opened. Dante and Lucia argue over who will enter and close it from the inside; Dante offers to leave the issue up to fate. He flips the coin and it once again lands on heads, leaving Dante to enter the portal to deal with the partially summoned Argosax, after leaving the coin with Lucia.
After Dante departs, Arius returns to life bearing demonic power. While Lucia fights Arius, he finds himself injured and attempts to distract her, a tactic which fails, and Lucia goes on to defeat him. Within the portal, Dante fights and defeats Argosax. Finding the portal closed behind him, Dante instead drives further into the demon realm on a motorcycle. In the aftermath of the battle, Matier attempts to reassure Lucia about Dante's fate, insisting that Sparda returned from a similar trip. Lucia examines the coin Dante left with her and discovers that both sides are identical. Sometime later, in Dante's shop, Lucia muses about Dante. Outside the sound of a motorcycle echoes, and Lucia leaves to investigate. The player is not shown if Dante has returned.
Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, the sequel was not created by Hideki Kamiya or Team Little Devils. The first notice Kamiya's team was given about any sort of sequel occurred during localization of Devil May Cry in North America and Europe, a move which greatly surprised Kamiya. Since the game's release, Kamiya has expressed disappointment that he was not called on by his superiors at Capcom to direct Devil May Cry 2.
Though initially an unidentified director was placed in charge of the project, Capcom was dissatisfied with their work and assigned Hideaki Itsuno to finish the game roughly halfway through development. Itsuno is the only person credited as director in the final version of the game. According to producer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the thrust of the design was to make Devil May Cry 2 bigger than its predecessor; Tanaka estimated that the game's environments were approximately nine times as large as the first. The emphasis on puzzles was also downplayed, with the camera system revamped to allow for better action scenes. Changes from the first game were influenced by surveys distributed by the development team, allowing them to patch any areas identified as weak by those surveyed. The addition of Lucia as a playable character was a response to player complaints that Trish was not playable in the first Devil May Cry.
Due to the focus of Devil May Cry 2 on style, Capcom decided to partner with the Diesel clothing company, which has a history of working with game developers. Dante and Lucia were modeled with specially designed costumes featuring the Diesel brand name and were featured in promotional material in Diesel stores across Japan.
Within the game, Dante has one unlockable costume with the Diesel brand name, while Lucia has two separate outfits. The Diesel logo is also featured in several screens during the game, and a special edition Devil May Cry 2 bullet featuring the Diesel name was planned for inclusion.
Initially, Capcom was very reluctant to release an officially sanctioned soundtrack for Devil May Cry 2. After a test period during which Capcom sought 1,000 pre-orders as a proof of demand, the Devil May Cry 2 soundtrack was released to the public on October 15, 2004, as a two-disc set, with Masato Kohda, Tetsuya Shibata and Satoshi Ise credited as producers.
The game received mixed reviews, with significantly lower scores than its predecessor. Chief among the complaints was that the difficulty was lower than in the first game. The combat system was also criticized as being less refined, with individual weapons being weaker or stronger variants of the same weapon instead of different weapons with their own advantages and disadvantages. Boss battles were criticized for requiring less strategy than the original. The environment was also considered less detailed than the environments of the first game, trading detail for open space. Furthermore, Dante received a change in his personality which did not sit well with reviewers; his cockiness was considerably toned down, and he rarely spoke during the game. The addition of a second disc was seen as a cheap way for the developers to increase replay value since Lucia's missions are simply recycled material from Dante's own missions, with only minor variations. GameSpot chose Devil May Cry 2 as the Most Disappointing Game of 2003. UGO Networks ranked Devil May Cry 2 19th on its list of "The Biggest Disappointments in Video Games", adding "Devil May Cry was so good [...] There was no way Devil May Cry 2 could've lived up to the hype, but it didn't have to fail so spectacularly."
However, the game also received some positive reviews. PSXextreme, for example, countered arguments by many critics, stating that the environments only looked worse due to their range, and that the only reason Devil May Cry 2 failed to surpass its origins was due to the lack of challenge. Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the game's control scheme and new ideas, as well as the idea of featuring the two protagonists on separate discs. Play called Lucia's side of the story "a cruel sonnet of self-realization wrapped in a story steeped in religious overtones", stating that the story alone was reason to purchase the game.
Devil May Cry 2 sold well, becoming one of the top ten best-selling games in the United Kingdom for the first half of 2003. By March 2003, Capcom reported selling 1.4 million copies worldwide, and as of September 2006 has shipped over 1.7 million copies.
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- Matier: Son of Sparda... we must ask this favor, of you... You see, there's a man who's transformed our land into a demon's paradise; his name is Arius. And although he is the president, of an international public corporation... he uses the demon power. Please, deal with Arius and his master for us. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- (After flipping a coin and noticing the result is heads.) Dante: ...Looks like it's your lucky day. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Arius: You are my creation. Lucia: Liar! Matier is my mother. Arius' secretary removes her mask, revealing the fact her face is identical to Lucia's. Arius: She merely found you when you were about to be disposed of, and then raised you as a soldier. Is that what you consider to be a mother? (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: But... actually... I do not deserve this power... Lucia: Bring this to Matier for me... please... I... I've got something that I need to take care of... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Matier: There is one more thing I need to ask of you, son of Sparda. My daughter went to face Arius all by herself... Please, take these, and save Lucia. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Dante: ...If it's Heads. The coin lands, heads face up. Dante: ...Your lucky streak continues, granny. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Arius: You cannot win... someone is holding you back... Lucia: Ugh, forget about me! Kill Arius! Dante: Don't worry. I've got you... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: Why did you save me? I was created... by him... Dante: Every hero has a weakness. Lucia: But, the ritual was activated because of me... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: Mother... Matier: Yes, it is true that we are not tied by blood. But our ties are bound by history and experience, which is much deeper than blood. Now go; everything I know, I have passed on to you. You are my daughter... Lucia: Thank you... mother... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Arius: *laughing* Now, I'll absorb his power. I, will become an all-powerful immortal! Arius: Wh...what?! Wh-what's going on?! Dante Is there a problem? Arius: You!! (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: I was created by Arius! I could become a monster and attack the humans at any time! Now, kill me! It's your job to hunt devils... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: But...! Dante: Let's leave it to fate. Heads, I go; Tails, you go. He flips the coin and it lands as heads again Dante:See ya around. Lucia: Don't you want to hear the story about Sparda from... Matier? Dante: I know... He did the same thing... Hold on to my coin, Lucia. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Lucia: Arius?! Lucia: It seems I have to finish him off myself. (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Arius: You are not human! You are just a monster... a monster that I created! Lucia: Dante told me... Devils never cry! (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
- Matier: You must not worry, my dear; I am sure that he will return. Everything is just as it was with Sparda. Lucia: Oh my...! Matier: What is it, my dear? Lucia: Both sides are Heads! He tricked me! That macho... (Devil May Cry 2) Capcom, 2003
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