Devil May Cry 2 (1)

Genre: Action
Year: 2003
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom
Platforms: PS2
Feeling Like: Devil Might Cry

Every long running video game franchise has a black sheep in its family. A title so bizarre and off putting that you’ll be inclined to believe a different group created it. This is often the case, as hundreds of creative minds migrating in and out of a particular office is bound to yield different results as the years go on. Add in shifting technologies, pop culture trends and the ever changing wants of the masses and it’s more of a surprise when we don’t see a shift in direction in sequels.

Devil May Cry 2 doesn’t quite fit that mold. It doesn’t seem to fit any kind of Devil May Cry mold. Its review scores are significantly lower than its brethren, the levels are surprisingly barren and it fails to capitalize on one of the most surprising, landmark titles of 2001 – Devil May Cry. Dante, the cocky son of a demon, is here but not quite the same. He’s still charming, arrogant and cocky, but the quips aren’t as frequent. The voice acting, as a whole, is filled with over the top performances and odd breaks in pacing. The less said about the writing, the better.

Devil May Cry 2 (2)
Lest I going to shoot thee in the visage, demon bird with three breasts

But you don’t play a Devil May Cry game for the writing, you play it because you bought the Devil May Cry trilogy for the PS2 and you wanted to finish it up so you could pack the console away to make room for the PS3 on your shelf. The insane acrobatics, impossible gunplay and formidable sword-fighting doesn’t hurt either.

It’s slightly muted, however and I knew this going in. So the real question is, why do I insist on playing such games? Knowing that the reviews were worse, fully aware that it wasn’t on anybody’s best-of lists and having a sneaking suspicion that I was playing an incomplete product, how come I still played through until the end?

Why bother?

I’m not going to prescribe myself as OCD, since that ailment should be reserved for those poor souls that actually have it and not a justification for a temporarily embarrassing over indulgence of a hobby. But I do have something ticking inside me that physically forces me to complete things.

I’ve given up on about five games in my life, and even less books. Even if I don’t enjoy it, I will see the product until the end. After all, it might improve.

But that’s hardly the reason. It’s FOMO, or fear of missing out. What conversations in the future am I excluding myself from if I don’t set self-arbitrary rules surrounding completion? What does that say about me, if I purchase something only to toss it aside before I see everything? Will I learn a lesson, by experiencing hours of mundane gameplay, to be more careful in the future and not just beat a game because it just happens to be a part of a series?

Devil May Cry 2 (3)
IS there a light at the end of the tunnel?

I want in. I’m curious. I want to see if I can verify retrospective videos online, or if they saw something I didn’t. I want to see how my analytical skills hold up on a title that is drenched in mixed reviews. I want to be able to look at Devil May Cry 2 on my shelf and nod to myself. Complete. Over. I don’t have to play again, or wonder what it’s like.

And if Devil May Cry 3 is better (it is), then I can immediately launch my opinion of it by comparison. Oh this is WAY better than its predecessor, and I know why.

Devil May Cry 2 (4)
The end boss really was amazing, however.

I still commend developers for trying something new and off-beat. I find it usually best reserved for those “unofficial, un-numbered” sequels but as you’ve probably learned by now, my OCD  affinity for structured naming systems go beyond what most people would call reasonable. I still got to use a sword, juggle demons with my pistols and face off against blobs of horror while making wisecracks to the camera. What else do I need?

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