Friday, January 31, 2014

MadCap's Game Reviews - "LEGO Marvel Superheroes"

Now mind you, when I said “brighter horizons and happier faces” last week, I didn’t guarantee that said horizons and faces would be good.  Not to say that LEGO Marvel Superheroes is bad, because it’s not. Brought to us by Tt Games (who you may remember for several Crash Bandicoot and other LEGO games) and Warner Bros. Interactive (which, given that this is Marvel and not DC, I’m pretty sure is some kind of paradox), this is regrettably the closest that we’re ever likely to get to a full crossover film with the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, so I suppose we had better do our best to enjoy it.

The game begins with the unseen (but very obvious voice) of Galactus, the Eater of Worlds commanding his herald - the Silver Surfer - to find him another world to eat.  Simple enough until tall, dark, and alloy makes his way to Earth and gets waylaid by the not-really-that-surprising-when-you-think-about-it duo of Loki and Doctor Doom.  In place of the Surfer’s Power Cosmic from the comics, we have “Cosmic Bricks” filling in due to this game suddenly being in the LEGO-verse.  And, of course, when they accidentally spread out on the Earth, the feces impact against the bottom of the roof and S.H.I.E.L.D. is called in.

The plot from there allows pretty much a game bag of Marvel Superheroes to be inserted into the plot whenever it needs them.  Everyone from the duo of Captain America and Iron Man trying to get into Stark Tower to the Fantastic Four raiding Doctor Doom’s castle in Latervia, and so on.  Interestingly for a Marvel game that heavily includes the X-Men - and indeed it does - Wolverine doesn’t receive nearly as much attention as another prominent character, Spider-Man.  I don’t have a problem with this, largely due to the fact that I like Spider-Man far more than I do Marvel’s advertising puppet, except for the fact that the reasons that Spider-Man just happens to be around to show up in certain missions is stretching my disbelief just a little too far.  For a game about superheroes, where we have people who can set themselves on fire, fly around, and twist and contort themselves into unbelievable shapes.
Wolverine is unfazed by the two Chris Evans

Speaking of which, many of the characters have special abilities to assist in progressing through the levels.  For example, Mr. Fantastic possesses the ability to do the aforementioned elongation, but only when he’s on platforms marked with the Fantastic Four “4” logo.  Other characters have other abilities of a similar type; such as Hulk, Juggernaut, and Venom’s alternate form can remove large sections of wall and debris with super strength, Captain America’s shield can be used to unlock certain areas, Iron Man’s flamethrower can burn through metallic objects and golden sections of wall to open up certain areas, and so on.  With 180 characters, the possibilities are pretty much endless...mind you, it does get a little bit repetitive with so much selection and yet so many heroes (and villains) who do the same thing.

You’re set up in a hub world of Manhattan Island where a large deal (read:  everything that matters) of what happens in the mainstream Marvel universe takes place.  Diving down from onboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, you can pretty much traverse the length and breadth of Manhattan Island with no issues, finding studs in order to purchase characters you’ve unlocked (several of which you can find around the city) as well as vehicles and so on.

That all said, I’m not going to beat around the bush any longer - this is a completionist game.  The game outright encourages you to go for 100%, something which you barely scratch just by doing the missions.  It’s all about rooting around through every nook and crannie for anything and everything you can find and then some.  Not that it’s bad, and you can really get a full enjoyment out of the game just by playing the storyline, but that’s not really what we’re here for.  At least, that’s not what the developers intend for us to be here for anyway.
Never let it be said Marvel isn't proud of its stupid, stupid choices...

 And I could rag for a bit on several things I find a bit irritating, such as the flight controls for Iron Man being not at all in whack and Loki not being voiced by Tim Curry (it’s apparently Troy Baker, who many people will know as the Joker in the most recent Arkham game, but props to him for the voice, it sound very like Curry), but overall I can’t really.  It’s not too much to harp on for what is pretty much a decent game - if only for a LEGO one.  That being said, I also really can’t recommend it unless you’re a completionist and it’s just your cup of tea.  Marvel fans will get a kick out of it for a bit - and to the game’s credit the Marvel stamp on it is not remotely just an aesthetic shell - but the novelty will likely wear off sooner or later, leaving only those that crave a “100%” every time they load up their game.

 So if you’re a Marvel fan...sure, give it a rental.  If you’re a completionist, go nuts.  If you’re neither...well, next week might be something for you…

LEGO Marvel Superheroes is now available from LEGO, MARVEL, Tt Games, and Warner Bros. Interactive for Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PS3, PS4, Playstation Vita, Nintendo3DS, WiiU, and Xbox One.

 This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.

For the latest from MadCapMunchkin, follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin

Friday, January 24, 2014

MadCap's Game Reviews - "Devil May Cry 3"
Guess what?! Devil May Cry 3:  Dante’s Awakening time! I recounted in my previous review that the Devil May Cry games are nonlinear, much like Peter Jackson’s stabs at film adaptations of Tolkien’s works and the Star Wars movies. Devil May Cry 3:  Dante’s Awakening is the earliest entry into the series by chronology, taking place before Dante’s battles against Mundus or Argosax (Paarthurnax? Ajax? Thumbtacks?) and going more into the story that was only hinted at in the first game - that of Dante and his older brother, Vergil.

Approached by a mysterious man by the name of Arkham, Dante is given an invitation sent by his brother, Vergil, who he apparently hasn’t seen in some time.  This invitation involves being attacked by several demons.  Dante, eating pizza at the time, attempts several times to get a slice while being assaulted, resulting in him deciding to kill some ass.  After kicking ass, he senses his brother atop a mystical tower that has risen itself in the middle of the city near Dante’s then-new shop and decides to march up there and kick Vergil’s smug ass.

Of course, it’s not as simple as all of that, it really turns out to be a nasty trap set by Vergil and Arkham to get a hold of Dante’s amulet (something players of the first game might remember) to open a gate to the underworld. And Vergil is not so much the bad guy as one might think...not the main one, at least. There actually aren’t a surprising amount of twists to be found within the story, being that we know what becomes of poor Vergil by the time of the first Devil May Cry, so this game pretty much serves as a fill-in to the gaps of what we know of how Dante became the solo demon hunter of the story.

I will say the feeling of the original Devil May Cry is back in this one.  The atmosphere of the Mallet Island’s claustrophobic corridors, dark tunnels, and demonically corrupted...well, corridors, is back in full force in and out of the Temen-ni-gru.  The whole game does feel more like the original and, after Devil May Cry 2, I find it really impossible to complain about this in the least.  Issues with the lack of poor lighting aside (seriously, Capcom? This is an HD remake, could you make some in-game brightness settings?), everything looks great and there are few to no areas where this interferes with the combat.

And the combat is made even more delicious with the variety of new weapons that Dante gets a hold of in this game, including a flail made from the soul of Cerberus (that’s right, the dog that guards the gates of Hell!), a pair of scimitars made from two gate guardians (proving that Drizzt Do’Urden is so cool that even Dante wants to rip him off), and an electric guitar that shoots lightning!  All of that, however, is just the melee weapons.  The guns, while being nice, don’t ever really get as much variety.  Beyond Dante’s signature handguns - “Ebony” and “Ivory”, for those of you not paying attention - the firearms are nice, but you’ll never have any real need of them.  Just upgrade the handguns and you’ll do just fine.  In fact, you won’t even need to carry a second firearm.
Dude, you're awesome, but PUT ON A SHIRT!

In a strange change from the previous two games, Dante can only carry two melee and two ranged weapons at a time and is only able to change them through the God of Time statues that can be found throughout the levels.  And while a button press to change weapons is a far more seamless and quick transfer than having to pause the game, go into the menu, and select the weapon you desire is nice, it just seems strange that - given the lack of basis in reality that seems to permeate Dante’s world - he would be restricted to just two weapons of each kind instead of being granted gracious amounts of hammerspace to store and pull his weapons from for use.

This game also introduces Styles of combat. Starting out you have Gunslinger and Swordmaster - which are pretty self explanatory - as well as Trickster (which emphasizes quick dodges of enemy attacks) and Royal Guard (which emphasizes reducing enemy damage and countering enemy attacks). You pick up two others over the course of the game by defeating boss monsters, Quicksilver and Doppleganger. I went with Quicksilver as soon as I got it because, while it is at the cost of your Devil Trigger energy, it slow time around you so that you move faster and enemies move slower. Go ahead and draw your own conclusions about that one.

On the same note as the combat, it is definitely much improved over its immediate predecessor, if only because the enemies actually do something.  That being said, they do many somethings and most of them involve turning Dante into a snarky red stain on the cement.  The difficulty is amped here even on the “normal” setting, but after having played all three of the original Devil May Cry trilogy back to back over the course of these reviews, I didn’t really have a problem with it until the final boss fight with Arkham.  Once you get down enemy attack patterns, particularly those of the bosses, they’re ridiculously easy to put away.  Not to say you shouldn’t pack a few Vital Stars away, just in case, but the point still stands.

The items in this game are once more a grind to get a hold of, I already mentioned the price of the item going up every time you purchase one.  I mentioned it in Devil May Cry 2, and while it was stupid, it’s stupid here, too.  Insane, in fact.  I got through all but the last six or seven missions with absolutely no upgrades to anything, so I just have to ask what the point is.  Why are they there? Besides turning your attack buttons into a “kill things faster” button?  The visceral action is one thing, and I can totally understand that given the feel that these games are going for, but the pricing on them is ridiculous.  Why so much for so little payoff?  I’m not watching a Uwe Boll movie, Capcom (and let me stop before he gets the idea to make this into another terrible video game movie).
Double Jackpot!
The story is also a good one, even for a prequel.  Indeed, especially for a prequel.  Capcom could have very easily gotten lazy here and done a great deal of fanservice in place of anything of substance, but they surprisingly didn’t.  We get more on the backstory of brother against brother, Vergil and Dante.  Whereas Dante is cocky, arrogant, and loud mouthed, Vergil is very cold, calculating, and a disciplined warrior.  We see that they’ve clashed and do clash quite a few times throughout the game (Vergil even at one point impaling Dante through the chest...twice), in the end they are able to come together against the real Big Bad and finish him off.  

Alas, however, Vergil remains within the Demon World after all is said and done, refusing to leave the home of their father...and meeting a terrible fate because of it.  But he gives Dante Force Edge before falling to his supposed death.  Given their earlier interactions, the fact that Dante is so broken up about this (even crying, to female side character Mary’s notice), shows there are much deeper tones to the brother’s relationship.  They clearly care about each other, even so vastly different and conflicting as they are.  Dante’s flashbacks in Devil May Cry make all the more sense, and have all the more potency now, because the players know and better understand that relationship now.  Indeed, I will say that Devil May Cry 3 does that, if nothing else, very well.

Beyond the themes of brotherhood and family, though (which are thick within this game), the game itself is well placed as a prequel - allowing it to both show us a younger, less experienced and worn Dante as seen in the first two games, but to also serve as a sort of self-parody of those games.  To give a good example of this, in the first game Dante receives the Alastor sword by being rammed through the chest with it and being dragged all the way up and down the length of the blade (don’t read too much into that), and it’s played completely seriously.  Flashback to Devil May Cry 3 and we have a scene where Dante is shot repeatedly in the face by Mary only for it to have no effect, and clearly being played for the comedy of it.
You know what they say...home is where you hang your enemy's head...
And there are other bits as well, showcasing where the franchise isn’t afraid to take the piss out of itself, such as the very first fight, where a cutscene has Dante clearly showing more interest in the pizza he’s trying to eat than in the demons that are attacking him, or a later scene where Dante rides up the side of Temen-ni-gru and proceeds to not only spit right in the face of physics (nothing new for him, I assure you), but to take down several demons with his motorcycle!  Surprisingly, while this is very funny and indeed a deconstruction of Dante's behavior and antics in the other two games, it doesn’t keep him from being just plain awesome. I frankly don’t know how he does it.

With the trilogy complete, and Dante’s story...mostly told, I’m going to move on for a time.  Don’t worry, Devil May Cry 4 will be coming at some point, and it wouldn’t be right of me to ignore the much maligned reboot of the series, but those will come at another time.  For now...set your sights on brighter horizons and more friendly faces, Madmen! Next time we meet, it will be a very different game brought before you from dear old me…

Devil May Cry 3 is now available from Capcom.  The Devil May Cry HD Collection is available on Playstation and Xbox 360.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.

For the latest from the MadCapMunchkin, follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin.

Monday, January 20, 2014

MadCap's Reel Thoughts - "Resident Evil (2002)"
Saying that Paul W.S. Anderson ruins video game franchises by this point is a bit like saying that Uwe Boll ruins video game franchises...actually, that’s not entirely fair to the man.  Mortal Kombat was at least decent and DOA:  Dead or Alive is pretty much exactly what one would expect from any adaptation of that franchise.  So, let me start again, in all fairness to Mr. Anderson.
I’m not a fan of Resident Evil.  While I enjoyed the fourth game as being a third-person shooter (and, apparently, so did everyone else), the first three games and I have never really gotten on all that well.  Mostly due to the fact that having a fixed camera angle that constantly changes depending on which part of the same room you happen to be standing in is absolutely stupid in any game that you play, most of all ones where you’re supposed to mostly be avoiding enemies rather than fighting them.  It’s not challenging, it’s wasting my time with nonsense while I’m trying to avoid being zombie chow. should I just play Ave Satani now?
I’m getting off topic, back to my original point that the Resident Evil games have had a profound impact on gaming.  Indeed, many would say that the series has shaped how every survival horror game that has come out since it has been made - for better or for worse - with this rise in popularity, it was inevitable that a movie adaptation would be made.  But who to get for such an endeavor? Enter Paul W.S. Anderson, Director of Mortal Kombat, an actually successful movie adaptation of a video game.  Could he strike beautifully hammy gold once again with Resident Evil?

It seems easy enough, really.  Take the plot of the first game:  a group of Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.) members get trapped in a mansion and discover that things have gotten a little bit Dr. Frankenstein.  Now just take out the S.T.A.R.S., put in a Ukranian supermodel who cannot act (and isn’t expected to, really) and give us a bunch of characters who may as well be wearing signs reading “I am expendable” for all we care. ...surprisingly, not a terrible movie.
Holy smokes, Ms. Fanservice is packing!
Fans will rag on endlessly about how movie adaptations ruin their favorite franchises (see my book “Dear God, Not Tobey Maguire!” for my Spider-Man related thoughts) in video games, movies, books, and so on.  However, the first Resident Evil doesn’t really do anything to mess with established canon within the games.  Indeed, it’s very possible to see where the non-intrusive story of Alice and the expendable squad could fit in even during the events of the original.  It’s a shame, then that Anderson would go on to do - as of this review - five other films in which he takes characters from the game and underutilizes or completely changes them in order to heft the ego of the Madonna, Alice. In this film, though, we begin with Alice (Milla Jovovich) having no idea who she is or how she’s woken up naked in the shower.  Also, if you ever at any point get tired of seeing Alice naked over the course of these movies, I feel sorry for you.  Anderson just loves to remind us that he’s tapping that, and while I do have to congratulate him on that, there’s only so much self-gratification you can do. Besides her fanservice, we find that Alice has a deadly fear of light breezes before she is shanghai’d not once, but twice by a policeman from Raccoon City and a group of Umbrella soldiers who have come in to learn about the condition of “The Hive”, a facility that Alice was apparently one of two guards of.  “The Hive” being where the T-Virus, the virus that causes said residents of evil, is being mass produced by the Umbrella Corporation.  We do get a scene in the very beginning of some of the people within the Hive complex when the virus gets released, but besides a reveal near the end and a simple blink and you’ll miss it cameo from someone of importance to the endgame plot, there’s really no reason to care. And that’s a major problem with this film.  We have no reason to want to see any of them survive.  People are given piecemeal character development at best, and I can’t even make that many plot derailing Mary Sue jokes about Alice because, really, this is her story.  None of the Resident Evil mainstays are actually in this movie, and so she’s not really taking anyone’s story from them.  But even with her, I found myself caring very little whether or not she lived or died.  The rest of the group are either one note or pretty much completely forgettable. At the beginning of the film and a little bit later in the film, we are exposed to the Red Queen - an artificial intelligence modeled after the daughter of a prominent Umbrella scientist (who, by the way, ends up both looking and sounding completely different in the sequel) - because Anderson wanted to make an Alice in Wonderland parallel without any subtlety whatsoever (I'm also aware of the Red Queen hypothesis, before you comment on that).  That being said, she’s one of the few instances I’ve ever seen in fiction where an A.I. doesn’t go completely guano and kill all organic lifeforms.  Really, she’s just doing her job in protecting the outside world from the spread of the T-Virus.  Not that this - understandably - keeps the hapless humans within the Hive from doing everything they can to ensure their survival, including shutting her off completely and threatening to erase her from the mainframe. She also, ironically, is pretty much the only relatable person in the bunch. As for the plot itself, it’s very much in the vein of every single “handful of survivors trying to survive scientific/arcane/cosmic terror in an enclosed space” film that has ever been made.  Just, again, with no character that we’re actually given to care about.  And considering Alice is pretty much protected by the creator, even situations where we should feel some sort of tension or fear for her well being...we don’t.  And I remind you that this is before she ever becomes a gunslinging, T-Virus enhanced Mary Sue.  In the end, she manages to escape (again, because the focus of The Lord Our God Anderson is upon her, is the main character) only to be captured by Umbrella and tested upon, waking up all fanservice-y and setting up the sequel in the seemingly abandoned and ransacked remains of Raccoon City.
Sad when your special effects look worse than the game, just saying..
As for the visual effects, they’re mostly alright by early 2000s standards.  The final boss...sorry, the “last beast encountered” is the Licker from several of the games and when it first gets released by the Red Queen, the fact that it’s CGI is painfully obvious, but in later scenes it looks decent enough.  It’s very clear that the production team knew right from the jump that they knew who the real stars of the show were, namely the zombies who all look very decent and I really like the visual aesthetics. I do have a beef with the Red Queen's explanation of how the T-Virus works. I don't care how much electricity you run through a dead body, it's not going to do anything more than jerk around like you embedded an ax in its nervous system. While the fact remains that the human body does hold an electrical charge at least for a little while after that, giving the system a "jolt" isn't going to turn them into a flesh-eating zombie. It's just not going to happen. Still, I'm asking for realism in a film where Saint Alice of Anderson is going around killing zombie dogs that have several times her strength in the face with no adverse effects, so maybe I'm asking for too much.
Truth be told, I can’t really rag on this film.  Again, I’m not even a Resident Evil fan, but this film at the very least does not violently violate the canon, treat established and beloved characters of the franchise like side characters.  And, truth be told, Milla Jovovich’s role as fanservice here isn’t so much intentional as it is just because she’s the main character.  No, for fact all of that, Anderson waited until the second movie to start with it.  And no, I’m not going to jump into Apocalypse right away.  Instead, I’m going to leap back in time just a bit to another product of W.S. Anderson.  Next time “Reel Thoughts” returns, it will be time to test your might...

For now, though, final thoughts on the first film - it's dumb, but it's no less dumb than any other film of its type. It's got a single wholly memorable moment (the lasers in the hallway - when you see it, you'll know what I mean). If you've got an hour and forty minutes to kill, it's worth a watch.

Resident Evil is owned by Capcom. The film is owned by Constantin Film and distributed by Screen Gems in the US. It is available wherever movies are sold.

For the latest from the MadCapMunchkin, follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin

Friday, January 17, 2014

MadCap's Game Reviews - "Devil May Cry 2"
So, apparently, Devil May Cry is not in chronological order.  Like Memento, like Pulp Fiction, the story is out of order.  Because of this, the second game is actually the third, the first game is the second, and the third game is a prequel to the original Devil May Cry, making it the first.

Confused yet?  Don’t be, just roll with it.

This time, Dante is found entering a museum - once more being a complete badass – as he meets up with his partner, Lucia.  He follows her to Dumary Island, where Lucia’s mother sets up the Dragon for the game, a businessman named Arius who is using demonic powers to - you guessed it - take over the world.  Dante literally flips a coin on it and decides to help based on the result.
Apparently you can pick to play as Lucia. Why someone would want to play through this twice is beyond me...
What follows is a battle of attrition that is nightmarish.  The game isn’t particularly difficult.  No, in fact, most enemies don’t even attack Dante before he’s had a chance to repeatedly bury his sword in their chest cavity or riddle them with bullets from his guns.  They’re amazingly easy…the problem is that there’s just so many of them!  This is especially true with the boss battles as well.  They feel padded out to a ridiculous extent!  The first game didn’t need this.  I mean, alright, Nightmare showed up two more times than he actually needed to, but it still didn’t feel like they were just padding out the game when he showed up again for another bout.

Prime example of that being a section where Dante has to hold of a bunch of horde of enemies while a transport movies into an Oil Field.  In close quarters, of course, the enemies are even more useless, but there’s just way too many.  Making me repeat the same thing again and again isn’t any test of skill, it’s wasting my time.  Whether its puzzles (which DMC 2 has suspiciously few in comparison to the first) or combat.  This becomes even worse in one particular stretch of the game where enemies are constantly spawning and you had to hit certain markers in order for Dante to progress.  Apparently, Dante has been hit with the Doom Guy ray and can’t resist the urge to rip and tear their guts.  This wouldn’t be too bad except for the ever dropping time limit before the building he’s in explodes.

Clearly, this is man who has his priorities in order…or the ability to target specific enemies is just complete garbage.

Even the bosses are ridiculously easy once you get the hang of their attack patterns, they just have health bars padded out to a ridiculous length.  I really liked it better in the first one, where it actually took some skill and careful maneuvering to get the job done.  But here, the bosses never really differentiate from their attacks and once you find the exploit, it just becomes a matter of time before they’re defeated and you move on.
Devil Trigger mode returns with cool new aethestics, but is pretty much a "kill faster" mode.
Another particularly jarring change from the first game is the environment.  Instead of the creepy and atmospheric corridors of the Castle on Mallet Island are now replaced with more open urban environments (for the first half of the game, anyway) that are more indicative of platforming.  It’s rather disappointing after the Castlevania­-esque Gothic style scenery and locations of the first game, which really helped to set a more dark and ominous mood.  Some of this comes back in the second game, but it doesn't really create the same feeling.

Of course, and I know this was a complaint I had about the first game – I still can’t see anything in certain areas.  This is especially terrible during the aforementioned exploding building scene when I go into one room and find a door to attempt to progress in leaving the place and between the poor lighting and the fixed camera angles (again, why the hell did people think that was a good idea?!), I can’t make heads or tails of where I’m supposed to go by anything other than trial and error.  And this, by the way, is me playing the HD remake!  Could the restoration team not have gotten in here and given me something I can actually see?  Or, better yet, how about a brightness setting, Capcom? Yeah, the menus still direct me to adjust the brightness on my TV, and it still doesn't help!

But hey, let’s take a look at the items, shall we? We have the same assortment of goodies from before – Vital Stars, Devil Stars, etc. – though, strangely, Vital Stars and Devil Stars now come in small and large varieties.  Why even bother with the small ones? Who’s going to buy a cure light wounds potion when one of heal is readily available?  Nobody, that’s who.  Then again, there’s really no reason to even bother with either of them.  Your health will pretty much remain full since your enemies rarely, if ever, actually get an attack on you (except for bosses, and even then once you get the pattern down you can’t be touched) and the amount of fighting you do grinding through wave after wave of enemies will see your Devil Trigger gauge stay fairly full on a consistent basis.  Of course, grinding is actually a pretty excellent term for it.  Red Orbs, also immigrating from the previous game, are dropped by fallen foes and can be exchanged at the “God of Time” stores for weapon upgrades, power ups, and other items on your quest.  However, we come to a problem.

Everything is too damned expensive.

Literally, your first weapon upgrade for either Dante’s pistols or his sword will set you back ten thousand, and the number only goes up as you go on (it stops after a certain amount, but geez!).  This means if you want to improve anything, you’re going to have to grind a lot.  Again, something that the first game didn’t have and didn’t need, and it worked fine there!  However, I managed to get through most of the game with only an upgrade for each, so that tells you how utterly useless that is in addition with the Stars – all of which increase in price as you buy them, and don’t bother to lower in price again afterwards.  Why? Why keep a vital item out of player hands and make them do more grinding?  If I wanted to do that, I could play World of Warcrraft.  Hell, I could go back and take another shot at The Sacred Cards.  And the game actually expects you to waste your time with this!
Don't even think about it, the game won't let you jump...
This games boils down to having too many problems for it to be any good.  There are way too many differences from the original, something that can be chalked up to a different development team, which I really just have to shake my head at.  The first game wasn’t perfect, but it was at least workable and enjoyable as a game.  It had good atmosphere, a decent difficulty curve, and didn’t make me feel like I had just spent several hours wasting my time when I finally finished it.  I can only hope that the third entry into the series – which is really the first – will be better than the second, perhaps something closer to the first.

I can only hope.

Devil May Cry 2 is now available on Playstation 2 and is collected in the Devil May Cry HD Collection for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, from Capcom.

For the latest from MadCapMunchkin, follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin