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Devil May Cry HD Collection Review

by on April 3, 2012

Devil May Cry HD Collection ReviewGame: Devil May Cry HD Collection

Developer: Pipeworks Software

Publisher: Capcom

Available on: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

Another week, another HD Collection. After the recent disappointment of the Silent Hill HD Collection, Capcom do their best to cheer us up with three games packed full of stylistic violence from the minds that would later bring us Bayonetta.

What we have here is a compilation of Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 & Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition. All three of the PlayStation 2 DMC games. Achievement/Trophy hunters are going to be pleased, with a whopping 99 Xbox 360 Achievements or 103 PlayStation 3 Trophies to be earned, spread over all three games. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, especially for a budget-priced title, but of course, it’s quality that is more important than quantity.

These titles are simply presented, with a small amount of bonus content. There are a few art galleries (including some fan made art, courtesy of the Capcom-Unity blog) as well as the option to listen to the soundtracks for all three games. These extras won’t blow you away, but it doesn’t do any harm for them to be here for those who are interested (and is more than what most of these HD Collections offer in terms of extra content).

Devil May Cry: HD Collection - Horse

Onto the games themselves. All three titles are fast-paced arcade brawlers that heavily feature sword and gunplay in equal measure. It is clear how much these games have influenced Bayonetta, so fans of the hair-suited (or should that be hirsute?) witch will feel right at home here. I can happily say that all three Devil May Cry games have aged surprisingly well; offering fluid gameplay and responsive controls.

Originally conceived as a PlayStation 2 Resident Evil instalment, the original Devil May Cry is an unforgiving, tough-as-nails hack & slash romp, that still plays well. Like the other games in the series, it can be a little slow-paced between battles, but once the fighting begins, a chaotic orgy of deliciously stylistic violence ensues, against a never-ending array of beasties. It’s all mindless fun, but that’s what makes these games so enjoyable.

Devil May Cry 2 takes the foundations of the first game, and tones down the difficulty considerably. To make up for that, this sequel brings more refined combat to the table, plus an extra playable character named Lucia (who is a bit more agile than the main character, Dante). It’s considered the weaker of the DMC games, but that doesn’t detract from what is a fantastic and extremely playable game.

Devil May Cry: HD Collection - Train

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening is probably the highlight of the collection for me, offering deeper gameplay than the previous titles. Combat can be adjusted to the player’s method of fighting via selectable Styles. These Styles offer different abilities (assigned to the Style button, Circle on the PlayStation 3); for example the Trickster option will allow Dante to dodge attacks, while the Royal Guard sacrifices evasion techniques for an array of blocks and counters. It’s a simple addition that really does make a difference to how different players will approach combat.

Other additions include the return of Bloody Palace mode (originally omitted from the original Devil May Cry 3 and unlockable after finishing the game), Turbo Mode (which increases the game speed by 20%) and unlockable character Vergil (unlocked by finishing the game).

If I could have a small gripe, it would be that these three games share the same faults. The camera can occasionally be a bit irritating, the occasional shift in perspective changing your movement direction on more than a few occasions (although it isn’t as bad as some games can be). It can also be said that all three games can be accused of repetitiveness, as the seemingly endless onslaught of enemies may cause fatigue to some players (I must admit, at times I needed to take a break because of the repetition).

Devil May Cry: HD Collection - Goatling

These minor faults aside, all three games on this collection all great titles; still very playable and still worth a look if (like me) you missed them the first time around.

Pipeworks Software have done an admirable job of bringing these games to current-gen consoles. Although this is just a up-res of the original titles with nothing in the way of actual improvements, I witnessed no bugs or glitches with audio, video or gameplay that would act as a barrier to anyone’s enjoyment of this collection. These games are smoothly animated and in run at 60Hz; just as they should be.

That’s not to say it’s a perfect update. The Collection’s menu is a little clunky. Selecting a game prompts you with a “Do you want to continue?” dialog, which is a little frustrating. There is also no option to quit a game and go back to the selection menu; if you want to quit one game and try one of the others in this collection, you’ll need to go back to the Dashboard/XMB and go back into the game again.

All three games are presented in 16:9 widescreen when it comes to gameplay; but during DMC1’s CGI cutscenes (plus every game’s pause menus), the game switches to a 4:3 aspect ratio; this change can be a little jarring.

Devil May Cry: HD Collection - Boss

As these are PlayStation 2-era titles, their textures are a little stretched and undetailed; but the character models still look pretty good in their hi-res state, it’s clear however, that these games have been competently ported over, so I can forgive Pipeworks for a little roughness.

VERDICT: Devil May Cry HD Collection contains three well ported games that haven’t aged too much; it’s just missing that extra something to set it apart from other collections out there. Any faults I have are all minor, and with around 100 Achievements/Trophies to obtain, there is a ridiculous amount of replay value for the committed demon slayer.

This collection should be a must-buy for fans of the original games, those who love games like Bayonetta, or those who just love a good old fashioned scrap. One of the better HD Collections out there, but simultaneously its strength and weakness is that it successfully preserves these three games so well, without changing things up.

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