Video Game Review: Devil May Cry HD Collection
Capcom has cemented its legacy in the gaming industry with certified hits that have become household names to people around the world. From Street Fighter to Megaman to Resident Evil, their products have appealed time and again to fans across the globe, and the same holds true for their action adventure franchise Devil May Cry, which undoubtedly changed the way gamers defined cool and stylish gaming.
Created by Hideki Kamiya, the series initially began life as a potential installment for the next Resident Evil game, but that quickly changed when Capcom felt the formula strayed too far from the survival horror series. As a result, DMC evolved into its own title, cementing itself as an iconic platform adventure game and spawning a number of sequels that remain classic titles to this day.
Now, as the series prepares to reboot itself under Ninja Theory’s direction with DmC: Devil May Cry, Capcom gives veterans and newbies a chance to explore the key moments of the franchise anew with Devil May Cry: HD Collection.
As a compilation of the first three games that graced the Playstation 2 era, the Devil May Cry HD Collection works as a double-edged sword tipped with nostalgia and replay value.
Those new to the scene and who don’t have an idea of what the series is about will properly get to know the legacy behind it all, as well as the series’ carefree half-demon protagonist Dante, who stars in all three titles gracing this collection.
All games are primarily mission based, with difficulty levels that vary depending on the player’s preferences. Comprised of Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, the HD Collection marks the first time all three games are packed into one single disc, with notable modifications made to tailor fit it for new console generation standards.
From the start alone, players can choose to play any of the three DMC games. However, it’s advisable to start from the first game and work your way through subsequent installments afterwards. Devil May Cry 3 may come first chronologically since it’s a prequel, but generating a proper feel for the series comes best by learning the basics first.
That being said, the first Devil May Cry game sets itself up as the ultimate benchmark where things begin, setting up a proper introduction to the series’ lore and characters. You meet and play Dante for the very first time, learn to swing his sword while use Ebony and Ivory in combo mashing mayhem, and fight every kind of demon imaginable until you reach the dramatic final battle with Mundus, which will determine the fate of the world itself. As the one that started it all, it earns the distinction of being relatively straightforward and simple among the trilogy, setting you off in good footing for the next adventures that follow after it.
The next installment, Devil May Cry 2, is arguably considered the black sheep of the Devil May Cry franchise, and with good reason too. Set after the events of the first game, you once again play Dante, who’s called once more to save the world from a demonic threat. He doesn’t face things alone this time however, as he’s joined by a partner named Lucia, who has her own unique moves and separate adventures to convey in the sequel.
Unlike its predecessor, though, DMC 2 was met with mixed reactions from the fanbase, primarily because of its shoddy gameplay mechanics and combat system. The game also presented lower difficulty, and the story itself just wasn’t as enticing as the original. Despite this, the game made an effort to introduce new innovations in gameplay, and still serves up a decent mix of adventure for fans to appreciate.
The last and most coveted title of the HD trilogy collection is undoubtedly Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. Originally released as Devil May Cry: Dante’s Awakening, the game is set years prior to the events of the first game, with a younger and more arrogant Dante fighting to protect the world from a madman’s insidious plot to merge the demon world with Earth. The son of Sparda has a personal stake in the matter, as his own twin brother Vergil is involved with his own hidden agenda to pursue. The tale was both compelling and epic, and adding more excitement to things was the refined gameplay that allowed players to choose a “Style”, each offering unique moves and abilities for Dante to use.
Like all re-releases of its kind, Devil May Cry HD Collection isn’t without its pros and cons.
The plus side to having a collection like this is that there’s absolutely no installments necessary to enjoy and play the game. In-game graphics have been remastered in high definition, and certain elements and characters have been re-skinned and given proper detail adjustments to accommodate for the changes.
The only downsides, however, are the startup and menu screens, which sadly have been retained in just their 4:3 aspect ratios. This is a bit of a disappointment, considering the stellar work to convert these games, and it feels a tad off seeing screen ratios switching during gameplay.
But considering that the trilogy is a generation old, it’s still worth the price of admission to replay them, especially with trophies and achievements to unlock. As with all things, pick this one up if you’re up for the nostalgia or crave for action like no other. It’s three classic adventures in one package, and that alone is already worth the price of admission. — TJD, GMA News