Devil May Cry HD Collection Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 console.
It’s the year of HD remakes. Konami has brought us remodels of the classic PlayStation 2 games of the Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill franchises, and now Capcom throws their hat into the ring with Devil May Cry. DMC’s half-demon, pizza-eating protagonist is back with a triple threat on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with the Devil May Cry HD Collection. But does Foundation 9 developer Pipeworks Software do the trilogy justice, or is this a series that should have stayed shrouded in the shadows of the past? Well what are we waiting for? Let’s get this party started!
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Devil May Cry series, the original trilogy hacked and slashed its way on to PlayStation 2 console in 2001. Dante, the series’ protagonist, is the progeny of a human mother who was a priestess and wife to the demon Sparda. Sparda rebelled against his demon brethren to save the human realm. Dante is imbued with demonic powers and wields his father’s sword Rebellion, living out his days as a mercenary for hire. Chronologically speaking, the series’ order is Devil May Cry 3, Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 4 (which is not part of the HD collection, but can still be bought used at most game stores for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) and Devil May Cry 2. However, you might want to stick to the original release order to really appreciate the series.
Devil May Cry HD Collection offers a number of things to players both familiar and unfamiliar with the series. Fast-paced combat, combo systems, and puzzles galore are coupled with a fantastic set of stories to play through. The in-game graphics for each installment have been updated in order to accommodate for operating on a 1080p television, and while they appear a bit dated, they don’t look bad at all. The out of game movies however (FMVs), such as the opening video on DMC appear to have been lifted from the original game. This makes for grainy 480p videos that are stretched out for 1080p, and just look plain bad. Furthermore, instead of being widescreen, they’re in standard format. It’s a pretty blatant oversight for a collection that should be updated for HD, and makes this feel more like money grab than anything else.
Gameplay in the trilogy is virtually unchanged, which has both good and bad points. Combat in the Devil May Cry games for the most part is solid, however, one issue that is consistent between the three are the camera angles. While most of the time the camera follows Dante without obstruction, there are points in each game where they get to be a hassle by picking a position with an object in front of your view, preventing you from playing effectively. DMC3 added camera control with the right analog stick, but even that isn’t always available in the game depending on where you’re at (e.g. a large room or a series of corridors).
For players new to the franchise or those who prefer the good old button mash, you do have the ability to switch to auto-combos instead of having to remember the button combinations to press. You also have the ability to upgrade weapons and attacks by collecting Red Orbs that are left behind when a monster has been killed. You can also upgrade your health bar and Devil Trigger gauge (a special attack where Dante is able to take demon form for a short period to deal more damage) with the aforementioned orbs.
Capcom has also used the original sound effects and voice tracks for the remake, keeping the audio intact from the original. However, the audio is lower quality than the “high quality digital” that we’re used to hearing, and through my Turtle Beach X41s, you can tell the difference. A remastering of the music and effects would have been a nice addition.
There’ve been no menu modifications in the games either. This means that if you want to go from, say, Devil May Cry 3, back to playing Devil May Cry, you need to bail out of the game altogether and re-enter from the Xbox or PlayStation menu. Once again, another oversight that should have been taken care of.
There are some saving graces to the Devil May Cry HD Collection beyond having the games themselves. From the main disc menu, the Vault is available to access containing art and audio clips. The art section contains concepts and renders from the games for your viewing pleasure, as well as fan art submitted by Capcom Unity members. Some of which is quite fantastic! The audio section contains music clips from all three games, which are very cool. Of course, making them available from the console to play in a list, or having a media player app on disc would have been nice so you could just sit and listen to them while they run on their own. Instead, you’ll have to select each track manually.
Overall, Devil May Cry HD Collection makes for a great trip down memory lane; however, it seems that Pipeworks could have spent a little bit more time and effort making the game truly remarkable with some audio remastering and by revamping the FMVs into fully rendered, in-game cutscenes. If you’re new to the series, it’s a great pick up, but if your PS2 is still working and you have the collection already, you might want to wait until this series makes its way to the bargain bin.
Devil May Cry HD Collection receives a 3.5/5.0.
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