The Original Demon Hunter Returns
This isn’t the first time Capcom’s brought back one of its hit franchises, having recently remastered and re-released both Resident Evil 4 and Code Veronica X just last year, and this isn’t likely to be the last. The Devil May Cry series is known for a number of things, including its cocky demon-hunting protagonist Dante, its slick visual and gothic style, some rocking good metal music, and fantastic action. This collection comes at the perfect time, when DmC fans are undoubtedly jonesing for more Dante; the most recent game came out four long years ago, and the next game not expected sometime later this year. But is this a collection that will please both the hardcore fans of the series and potential newcomers? Well, yes and no.
Obviously, this is one of the more content-heavy re-releases we’ve seen, since most tend to be individually remastered games—like with Resident Evil 4 HD or Code Veronica—or dual collections, like the Silent Hill HD Collection or God of War Origins bundle. Three games makes this a considerable deal even if it charged full price, but the $40 price tag makes it a little easier to chew when many of us are still recovering from the intensely busy last couple of months. Like any good re-release, this HD Collection introduces smoother, crisper HD visuals to an already stunning trio of games.
There is however, a downside to the new HD visuals. Because the graphics were updated without the source material being changed at all, it’s almost like you’re seeing them with glasses for the first time after having played them with terrible vision. The blurriness that’s since been replaced by cleaner graphics originally helped cover up the grainy, low-resolution textures. In a way, the HD visuals actually hurt the game, because it makes it difficult to forget you’re playing games that came out a decade ago.
It’s not all bad; titles like Devil May Cry tend to age pretty well since they don’t strive for realism. The stylish and colorful cast of characters and the gothic architecture look great without the remastered graphics, and with them the game does look to run a little more smoothly. I just would’ve liked to see more time invested into making the first two games look like they weren’t released in 2001 and 2003. With Konami’s Silent Hill HD Collection, the textures were cleaned up and even the character models were upgraded. With this collection, everything just looks crisper, and that’s a bit of a disappointment. Unlike the Silent Hill bundle, however, this collection brings with it exclusive content that definitely makes it a worthy addition to any Dante fan’s library.
It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a dose of Dante, and with the next game, dubbed DmC, following a new Dante in a different world fighting new enemies, and even being developed by a different company—Heavenly Sword and Enslaved developer Ninja Theory—it’ll be some time before we get more of the original Dante.
For the uninitiated, it’s best if you just forget the numbering of the games, because the story doesn’t really flow from one game to the next in the traditional sense. Really, the correct order would be Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, followed by the original game, then Devil May Cry 4, and finally Devil May Cry 2. The good thing about this collection is it gives you an easy way to play these in chronological order, rather than the order they were released (and assuming you have DMC4). All three games follow Dante and his fight against numerous demons and other hellish creatures.
While each installment has improved and added upon its predecessor, one of the core elements of the game that’s always there is the highly critical rating system. It will take a substantial amount of practice combined with a high level of skill to achieve the higher ratings, like the S, SS, or the elusive SSS. I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time with the series and I rarely get an A, and when I see anything above that it’s a feat worthy of serious celebrating. For the ultra-competitive gamer, there are leaderboards so you can rub your skill in your friends’ faces.
Devil May Cry was originally planned as a sequel to the Resident Evil series before becoming what it is today. This means there are some obvious survival horror influences, like puzzle solving, exploration, and creepy locales brimming with many twisted creatures. It’s much more of an action game than anything else, but one of the many things that helps this series stand apart from others like God of War is these survival horror roots. Like the horror genre that inspired it, the Devil May Cry series can occasionally be punishingly difficult. This is a tough trio of games that will challenge even the most dedicated action fans, but if you’re up to the challenge, the rewards are more than worth the struggle.
Each of the three games brings with it a very unique arsenal of weapons. Your arsenal changes from one game to the next, and they include swords, pistols, shotguns, nunchaku, gauntlets, scythes, throwing daggers, and even a grenade launcher. Each weapon gives you another way to tackle a tough situation, and trust me, you’re going to have plenty of those over the course of these three games. Devil May Cry 2 introduced the ability to perform combination attacks, an evasive move, and the option to switch between weapons in the heat of battle. One of the more unique features introduced in Devil May Cry 3 was the focus on offering multiple gameplay styles. This gives players the opportunity to experiment with various fighting techniques, including offensive, defensive, and evasive. Playing each of the games in chronological order might be a little difficult to adapt to the various features changes, but it could be worth it to experience the story in the right order.
If you’re a fan of the Devil May Cry series, this is definitely worth your time. There isn’t too much new content, so if you’re looking for new features or a hefty amount of bonus content you really won’t find it here. For newcomers looking for a chance to experience three of the best action games the genre has to offer, this is easily worth checking out. The Devil May Cry HD Collection is a fantastic way to keep fans busy while we all patiently wait for Dante’s next crazy adventure.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.6 Graphics
The Devil May Cry series is known for its unique style and gorgeous visuals, but the HD retouching doesn’t look as great as it should. 4.0 Control
The trademark fast-paced combat is here, and unfortunately, so is the awful camera. 3.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice work is hit or miss, but the frantic metal music provides an exciting backdrop to all the demon butt-kicking. 4.2 Play Value
With three games packed into this collection, this is easily one of the most content-heavy HD collections to date. 3.8 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend|
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid||2.5 – 2.9 = Average||3.5 – 3.9 = Good||4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy|
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor||3.0 – 3.4 = Fair||4.0 – 4.4 = Great||5.0 = The Best|