by Jeff Luther
Ever since Nintendo scored the Resident Evil license they've been waving it like a flag and flaunting it as, among other things, proof of their commitment to please adult gamers. While it certainly does demonstrate their commitment to a more diverse demographic, it's still less of a coup than they would like-thanks in large part to Devil May Cry.
The increasingly dated feel of the RE franchise is holding it back both in terms of sales and innovation. The poor control scheme and awkward character movement epitomize the increasingly lackluster feel of the series. The ever-cool, ever-nimble Dante walked onto the scene-actually he back flipped onto the scene, bounced off of a few walls, hit the ground with a flawless roll, decapitated the competition with a flaming broadsword, came up blazing with a gun in each hand, and took killing the undead to a whole new level.
The action and the joyful combat sequences were the draw of Devil May Cry, and fans rushed to embrace it. If there was ever any doubt whether we'd see a sequel, two million copies sold provided the answer. Can cool strike twice? Let's hope so.
A new development team is on board, but the same quality game play looks to be sticking around for the sequel. There wasn't a playable version on the E3 floor this year, but there was some nice footage running, and Capcom has started giving us the details. Dante looks to be up to his demon killing antics once again and he should come complete with new moves and a stylish new look to go with 'em. Dante also has a new Devil Trigger that allows him to transform into a demon. This form should give Dante more powerful attacks and a new aesthetic to keep things interesting. Also look for new weapons to add to the returning arsenal.
The environment has undergone a significant change this time around. We know that a lot of the game will be set outdoors, and according to Capcom, we'll also see "a Gotham-like cityscape and an old European town". All three settings sound intriguing and it's nice to hear that we'll have some variety from the gothic castle look.
Perhaps the biggest news is the announcement that Devil May Cry 2 will feature two characters: Dante and "a brand new heroine". There's been no elaboration on the heroine yet, but a little variety can go a long way, and hopefully this will also add some replay value to the title.
Fans who had a tough time with the first Devil May Cry, and there were a lot of us, will be glad to hear that Capcom is working on refining the difficulty. Devil May Cry 2 will adjust the difficulty as needed. It's constantly tracking your performance and modifying the enemies' performance to meet your skill level. This excellent feature, if successfully implemented, should guarantee a great action game for everyone that picks up the controller.
Fire up your PS2 and shoot the hell out of things in style, Winter 2002.
Jeff Luther (06/23/2002)