Devil May Cry 2 Sound DVD Book - Dance With The Devil
Devil May Cry 2 was an atrocity, but its merchanidise initially sold well. A few months before the release of the Devil May Cry 2 Original Soundtrack, Capcom decided to follow the example of its predecessor and release the Devil May Cry 2 Sound DVD Book - Dance With The Devil. It features 17 full-length audio tracks set to a video that documents the action and tells the story of the game. It also includes an exclusive bonus remix and a 48 page booklet with illustrations and liner notes. Can it possibly be enjoyable to revisit the experiences of such a bad game? How does the audio and visual presentation compare to its predecessor?
"Shoot the Works" opens with the CD with a vibrant mix of grungy bass lines and bright synth licks coloured with dabs of the main theme. The video takes a more experimental approach that those of its predecessor by focusing on silhouettes of Dante and Lucia in a similar style to a James Bond title sequence. "Eye of the Wind" emphasises the tragic undertones of the story with a solemn string presentation of the main theme above deep chord progressions and moody sound effects. It is accompanied by a more conventional video featuring gameplay footage of Dante exploring the game's rural town. Dante's battle theme "Fire Away" is subsequently used to introduce the various enemies of the game in much the same way as Devil May Cry's "Public Enemy" from did. It is actually a medley of two battle themes, incorporating "Wings of the Guardian" too, but this is better than more repetition of the most uninspired battle theme of the franchise. Lucia's "Demon's Paradise" accompanies further enemy introductions with a vapid assembly of electronic beats, though is fortunately brief. That's the worst part of the set out of the way.
A large proportion of the DVD revolves around documenting the boss battles of the game. "Cursed Giant" conveys aggression with powerful drum rhythms, driving bass riffs, and a classic malevolent motif, though the accompanying video of the battle with Oranggeurra is straightforward and uninteresting. "Parasitic Evil" reflects the enduring fight with Jokatgulm through integration of hardcore beats and the supporting red-themed video is far more enjoyable than the previous one. "Evil Tower" reprises "Dance With Devils" in suitably apocalyptic style; used in a battle against a malevolent skyscraper, the video fortunately incorporates plenty of footage from the unforgettable encounter while also taking the story forward somewhat. "Faithful Servant" accompanies an exciting video of a formidable demon with dabs of blistering high-pitch guitar work. Used in conjunction with one of the more bizarre enemy encounter video, "Uncanny Noise" focuses almost entirely on grunge rhythms, but is still energetic and gritty enough to be enjoyable. The underworld town theme "Destructive Step" is an example of a theme placed because of its importance within the game rather its musical qualities. It simply comprises suspended strings, generic beats, and a few decorations, though the accompanying video is quite good.
Moving to the climax, the final dungeon theme "Blasphemy" opens with a powerful and urgent orchestration but takes a reductionist turn in the second half with the use avant-garde piano meanderings and eerie sound and voice effects. Uniited by videos focusing on Lucia, Arius' battle theme "Cry for the Evil" is one of the most impressive action themes of the score and "Realize, Regret... Resolution" provides a tragic melody against sweeping piano arpeggios. Though abruptly linked, it's pleasing that both "Darkness Instinct" and "Ragnarok" feature in the final battle video, the latter a particular favourite. The staff roll theme "Head or Tails" provides a light rock accompaniment to a retrospective montage of scenes and takes an introspective choral turn to focus on Lucia's tragedy. The first bonus is a video set to Trish's battle themes "Show Time" and "Spark It Up!", though the visuals don't offer anything new. There is also an exclusive remix of the opening theme "Dance With Devils" set to more silhouettes and retrospective footage. The mix fluidly incorporates techno, rock, funk, new age, and urban influences in conjunction with melodies from the two-tiered theme. Though it sustains interest quite well at first, its excessive ten minute playtime makes it somewhat tedious after a while.
The Devil May Cry 2 Sound DVD Book - Dance With The Devil is enjoyable enough to watch, but an unlikely purchase. Given the Devil May Cry 2 Original Soundtrack is the most concise and accessible of the soundtrack releases for the series, few fans would be left desiring a 'best of' instead. This DVD does provide a lot of good tracks, but several of the worst in the soundtrack made it here because of their importance within the game rather than their stand-alone merits and some of the biggest emotional highlights were also missed off. In contrast to its predecessor, its difficult to watch the videos and feel much warmth since the game was phenomenally bad and there wasn't much of a story to be swept away by. The videos here are generally more barren that those in the previous soundtrack, mainly focusing on action footage and occasional silhouettes. This set is quite a good production, but is limited in depth and appeal because of the deficiencies of the game.
Shoot the Works (Dante Battle 2)
Eye of the Wind (Lower Town)
Fire Away (Dante Battle 1)
Cursed Giant (Orangguerra / Tartarussian Battle)
Demon's Paradise (Lucia Battle 2)
Parasitic Evil (Jokatgulm Battle)
Evil Tower (Nefasturris Battle)
Faithful Servant (Furiataurus Battle)
Destructive Step (Underworld Influence Lower Town)
Uncanny Noise (Noctpteran / Trismagia Battle)
Blasphemy (Uroboros Building)
Cry for the Moon (Arius Battle)
Realize, Regret... Resolution
Darkness Instinct (Argosax the Chaos Battle)
Heads or Tails (Staff Roll)
Show Time! (Trish Battle 1)
Dance With Devils (D-Mix)