Devil May Cry HD Collection
Fans of any video game franchise often debate which installments are the best. Distilling the various opinions on series like Final Fantasy and Zelda down to a consensus is practically impossible. When it comes to Devil May Cry, the argument usually involves Devil May Cry 1 or 3 reigning supreme, but with a twist: No one ever disagrees about which entry is the worst. In the Devil May Cry HD Collection, Capcom allows gamers to sample all three of Dante’s PS2 adventures, and in doing so, experience the opposite ends of DMC’s quality spectrum.
Like the many preceding HD collections, the DMC compilation transforms the original last-gen titles into sharper, smoother, and prettier incarnations. Don’t expect any frills or special bonuses; the collection contains Devil May Cry 1, 2, and 3 (plus some minor extras). While the in-game action looks better than ever, the whole package feels rough around the edges. Cutscenes and menus did not receive a total visual overhaul, so it’s jarring when the combo-driven combat stops and you find yourself looking at a blurry upgrade screen or dialogue sequence. Considering the age of the games, I’m sure technical reasons are behind the discrepancy, but the effect was more drastic and distracting here than in other HD collections.
Apart from those complaints, I still love the guns, swords, and demonic action that this series dishes out. The camera is a huge problem and the combat feels slightly dated now (especially if you’ve played Bayonetta), but the satisfying thrill of landing a solid stinger or juggling a room full of marionettes is just as addictive as ever. Of course, that praise applies to DMC 1 and 3 only.
Other HD collections have included what I consider essential titles, but this is the first time I’ve seen a completely average game remastered and re-released. Devil May Cry 2 has been an industry joke for years, but I won’t waste too much time explaining why. Time has not done the second installment any favors, and Capcom didn’t magically redesign the whole game for this collection. Its inclusion on the disc is good news for completionists, but anyone interested in having fun should skip over it.
Devil May Cry helped transform the action genre, and despite its sophomore stumble, it remains a defining franchise in gaming history. This collection is a good way to revisit the two best games in the series, though it may be better suited to newcomers than gamers who just want to relive their favorite moments. The uneven transformation into HD left me a bit disappointed – I was hoping to be impressed rather than constantly reminded of how these games originally looked. Sometimes the fantasy is better than reality.
Gamers can sample all three of Dante’s PS2 adventures, and in doing so, experience the opposite ends of DMC’s quality spectrum.