I can still remember the first time I was introduced to Dante. For a game that started out originally as a Resident Evil follow-up, Devil May Cry has gone on to make a name for itself. Dante is an iconic character, and the series has become known for its immense challenge and gothic art style. Capcom is bringing back memories with the Devil May Cry HD Collection, bundling the original three games in one neat package and making them available for the first time on a Microsoft console. If you are a fan of action games at all, you owe it to yourself to pick up this incredibly packed collection.
Let’s not beat around the bush; including DMC 1, 2 and 3 in one package is incredibly amazing for $39.99, especially when you consider that the special edition of Dante’s Awakening (the third game) is included. The standard HD upgrades have been applied, making the games look like you remember, with the exception of a few notable areas. The pre-rendered cut scenes are still presented in their original 4:3 format, with all the blurry, grainy goodness intact. This really separates you from the experience, and shows you just how far we have come in the past decade.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it is all about style. DMC has always been a delicate dance of chaos with guns and swords blazing. Series protagonist Dante is cocky, taunting his enemies before he fights them. The story is definitely there, but unless you are willing to do a little digging and dedication, it will seem nonsensical to you. It focuses on ridiculous cut scenes, over-sexualized women and of course, Dante and his appeal to both male and female gamers (for different reasons, of course).
There is no arguing that the first and third games stand out the most, with the second in the series being labeled as the bastard child of the trilogy. Devil May Cry games have always prided themselves in being challenging, and simply put, the second game was a cakewalk. It did, however, introduce the second playable character with Lucia, who had her own disc, which makes the game selection portion of the DMC HD Collection stand out even more. Every time you boot up the game you have to choose which DMC you want to play. Once inside, you are stuck unless you reboot the entire game. This also holds true for the multiple disc portions of DMC 2. While not uncommon with HD collections, it still becomes annoying when you want to jump from one game to the other.
Going back to the golden days of the series brings to light quite a few things. For starters, the static camera takes some re-adjusting to. The game switches between angles during intense battles, sometimes making it awkward to keep fighting. Thankfully, the controls are designed to compensate for that, and once you get into the swing of things, it makes more sense. Speaking of which, Dante still controls as beautifully as I remember. It was only a matter of time before I was hammering down the time-sensitive combos and wailing through hordes of uniquely designed creatures. The boss battles are appropriately epic, complete with quick-witted Dante insults before and after each battle.
Speaking entirely visually, the game’s new coat of HD paint looks good. While not as detailed as some other collections, the characters look like we remember them, and the design retains its unique motif with the updated visuals. However, the textures can still appear muddy at times and the use of 4:3 ratio for pre-rendered cut scenes is jarring to say the least. The music retains the hair-inspired rock that makes mowing down these creatures so much fun, and the voice acting is appropriately cheesy. DMC is a unique action game that still stands out even today.
What makes the Devil May Cry HD Collection truly appealing is the value you get. There are three meaty action games packed into one disc, and all for $40. You simply would be hard-pressed to find a better deal on three games of this caliber. Action fans, this is a must. DMC fans, rejoice in knowing that your beloved franchise is now available in one neat package. Everyone else should definitely give this game a whirl if you enjoy action titles and are willing to be patient and die a few (OK, many) times. The satisfaction is worth the investment. Style is the name of the game, and DMC has it in spades.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.