TGS 2002: Hands-onDevil May Cry 2

Check out our hands-on impressions of Dante's latest adventure.

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Capcom had several kiosks devoted to Devil May Cry 2 at its Tokyo Game Show area, and not surprisingly, they were packed at all times during the show. The beginning of the Devil May Cry 2 demo featured Dante standing on top of a tower, looking across a European-style town toward a small house located at the other end. Dante jumps headfirst from the tower, flips in midair, and safely lands on the ground below, when suddenly a group of mummylike enemies wielding swords pop out of the ground to confront him.

These particular enemies are easily defeated with a few swipes of Dante's blade, but since he has a few new skills, we took care of them in a slightly more stylish manner. The demon hunter can briefly run straight up or on the sides of walls before making a quick back flip, which is helpful for evading enemies as well as for launching a brief aerial assault with Dante's pistols. If you want to do a little more damage, you can flip off the wall and perform Dante's downward sword thrust. The animation for these moves is particularly cool--Dante flies gracefully through the air with his feet toward the sky and guns blazing. Dante can also perform a small jump kick, which lets you get in an extra hit on an enemy in midair.

Of course, he has the usual assortment of attacks from the first game, such as a series of sword slashes, and he can still turn into his demon form to inflict damage on his enemies, but it appears that Capcom has ditched some of the combinations from the first game, such as a sword uppercut that would lift enemies into the air and let Dante juggle them with his pistols. But the demo was pretty brief so it remains to be seen if he receives such skills later on in the game.

One feature returning from the first game is the orb system, which encourages a little more exploration, but the town level is mostly made up of confined streets and rooftops, so there really isn't a need to do much searching. In addition, there are some points in the demo where you have to defeat all enemies in the area before being allowed to progress. This happens once in the streets, when you have to fight more of the mummy creatures, and near the end of the demo, when Dante fights dozens of shadow creatures (like the lion from the first game) within a crumbling coliseum structure before securing a key to unlock a door to the next area.

Visually, Devil May Cry 2 looks quite good, though it's not quite as striking as the first game. Many of the environmental textures look a little bland, as do the enemies. Still, the character model of Dante looks relatively detailed, and there are some nice special effects, particularly the sky, which featured an ominous, almost supernatural-looking storm. In addition, Dante's sword produces a cool little distortion effect whenever he swings it.

Devil May Cry 2 is scheduled for release in Japan and North America in January. We'll have more on the game soon.

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