Devil May Cry 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 23.12.2019 3

Review for Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch

With Devil May Cry 5, a return to form for the franchise, time has been surprisingly kind to a series that once seemed stuck in limbo. For all intents and purposes, DmC's future is as bright today as it was after the monster success of the very first one. Of course, that should only make fans apprehensive. While DMC5 was a high point for both the franchise and the action genre, so was the first game 18-years prior… only to be followed by Devil May Cry 2, one of the worst video game sequels in history. Now available on Nintendo Switch, Devil May Cry 2 is a humble reminder that success isn't guaranteed.

Good game design is good forever and Devil May Cry 2 doesn't show signs of its age beyond the obvious generational ones. At the end of the decade, DMC2 isn't a bad game, because the action genre has evolved so much, it's a bad game because that's what it always was. The moment Devil May Cry 2 hit store shelves on January 25, 2003, the series lost quite a bit of legitimacy. Overcharging the title on the eShop, and releasing it as a standalone title, Capcom successfully managed to recapture that DMC2 disappointment with a Switch port sixteen years later. Capcom selling DMC as a standalone when the HD Collection exists is dumb, but that's at least one of the best action games ever made. Devil May Cry 2? Not so much.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch

To its credit, the sequel brings a fair share of positive contributions to the series: Bloody Palace, multiple player characters, a pseudo-leveling system, and a good chunk of Dante's abilities are later repurposed into his Styles in Devil May Cry 3, Trickster in particular. While visually drab, Dumary Island is an interesting follow-up to Mallet Island, and aesthetically shares a bit in common with Devil May Cry 5.

Beyond some strong concepts, however, there are absolutely no improvements coming from the first installment - which makes sense considering Team Little Devils did not return to develop the sequel. Even more bafflingly, series creator Hideki Kamiya didn't even know a sequel was in production until development was already underway. Worse yet, the internal development team saw its own shift, with an uncredited director removed off the project so current series director, Hideki Itsuno, could attempt to course correct the last five months of development.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch

The end result speaks for itself, but Devil May Cry 2 was doomed from the start. All the development team had to do in order to ensure the sequel was at the very least good was to bring over Dante's combat as is. He was already tight, snappy, fast, and acrobatic. Unfortunately, Dante's stylish action wouldn't fit with Capcom's obscenely large stages. Instead of traversing carefully designed hallways and rooms, players mainly just suffer through the outdoors and large open spaces with little to no awareness for level design.

Where boss fights were a highlight on the path to Mundus, the core mechanics make gameplay much less interesting on a whole. Less complex sword mechanics mean less complex boss fights. Worse yet, the lock-on feature has been altered for the worse and for seemingly no reason. Dante just flat out controls worse in every conceivable way. Lucia, the second playable character, doesn't fare much better, but she at least feels at home in DMC2, unlike Dante.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch

Visually, Dante lacks almost all of the flair he had the first go around. His actual design is excellent, but he is dour and stands far too stiff despite moving so fluidly in gameplay. Dante goes from being a likable, cool dork, to just another bland action protagonist. In general, Dumary Island offers a much blander adventure than Mallet's. Every little detail that makes up the series has been broken down into the bare essentials.

Combo centric action game? Dante can pull off basic combos and that's it. Puzzles and interactive elements used to build atmosphere? Puzzles show up sometimes because that's what happened in the first game. Enemies show up in trash mobs to be killed by Dante, guns are horribly unbalanced, and most of the stages are nausea inducing. At least the music is nice. It seems Capcom's MO, more than anything, was to strip the series of any and all identity. Really, there's no justification beyond the surface level why this is the sequel to Devil May Cry. It is not a mechanical sequel, it not a narrative sequel, it isn't even a thematic sequel. This is Devil May Cry 2 in name only.

Screenshot for Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

It's always a good thing when old titles are once again available for purchase, but Capcom should perhaps start pricing their rereleases accordingly. Devil May Cry 2 wasn't worth the money in 2003, and it certainly isn't worth much today. A miserable hack 'n' slash, it's a miracle the franchise managed to survive such a blunder in the first place. It's perhaps worth playing from a historical context - if only to gain a deeper understanding of how it failed the original's legacy… but Devil May Cry 2 is otherwise better left in the past.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Oh man that was a good read lol

Our member of the week

Japan is getting a physical release of the trilogy on one cartridge, priced cheaper than buying all three games separately.

https://www.nin-nin-game.com/en/video-games/34838-devil-may-cry-triple-pack-standard-edition-multi-language-switch-.html

That's still more expensive than what you can find the physical collection for on other platforms (you could probably find it for half that price) but still, it's an improvement over paying 20 bucks for each game separately at least.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

I'm ok with dmc1 only on a cart. It sucks 3 isn't getting a better treatment since it is the most deserving, but if I'm ok with 1 being the only one a cart then so be it. It is the Original and should be revered for changing action games forever 

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