Devil May Cry HD Collection PS3 Review

Publisher: Capcom  Developer: Pipeworks Software, Capcom  Genre: Action  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 16+  Other console/handheld formats: Xbox 360

Devil May Cry might well have began life as Resident Evil 4, but was so far removed from the series roots that Capcom instead opted to transform the game into a new IP altogether that was all about making the hybrid hero Dante look stylish whilst beating up demon scum. Like Resident Evil before it, the game ushered in a new genre (albeit a sub genre) which is still fighting fit today, so it’s certainly more than deserving of a HD upgrade to celebrate the series.

Sadly, however, in some ways it’s more of a downgrade, with the primary problem being that the FMV sequences and menus have been left untouched, leaving them looking a bit of a blurry mess. It’s not game breaking by any means, but two of the games featured in the collection were deserving of far more respect than what is on display here.

In game is where it really matters, though, and here the games look perfectly adequate, whilst the original games horrible PAL conversion has of course been rectified, allowing everyone to finally get the chance to play the game in the way it was intended: full screen and with a demon hunter that doesn’t look like he’s constantly wading through a sea of syrup, and the fresh addition of HD further adds to the goodness.

The original game introduced the enticing mixture that would largely be used in all future games in the series: the cocky, platinum haired half human and half demon protagonist, Dante, the challenging difficulty, the memorable boss encounters, the combination of melee and gun based combat, the devil trigger which temporarily allows you to transform into your more powerful devil form, the emphasis on fighting stylishly, collecting orbs to upgrade Dante, and that so very lovely combo that allows you to hit an enemy into the sky with your sword and then keep them suspended by shooting them with the dual pistols Ebony and Ivory. Even though the fixed camera angles can cause some frustrating moments from time to time where unseen enemies will cause you some unfair pain, it’s still an excellent action game today.

The classic original game was followed by Devil May Cry 2, which made everything bigger and flashier, with environments that dwarfed those of the first game, but were much more boring to look at, an additional playable character in Lucia, combat that is more slickly animated and allows you to run up walls, but is dumber and far more limited. In short, the game, whilst enjoyable and not the abomination that some make it out to be, has to rank amongst the most disappointing sequels ever, they even made Dante all serious and boring for some reason.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening was an extraordinary return to form for Capcom’s gothic action series, however, and is easily the highlight of this package, bringing the difficulty and depth back that were absent in Devil May Cry 2, to the point that it was the most challenging and elaborate of the series at that point in time. You could have two melee weapons and two swords equipped at once and these could be switched between rapidly, allowing you to construct some lovely combinations during fighting. Styles were the biggest new mechanic added to the combat system and each of these offered a contrasting experience. Sword Master allowed you to access additional melee abilities for example, while Royal Guard grants you a parry ability. It’s the definitive Special Edition version of the game included in this collection too, so there’s a Gold option, which makes the game more manageable (still very hard though) and completion of the game allows you to play as Dante’s evil brother, Vergil, who has a contrasting enough fighting style to Dante to be a worthwhile addition.

Devil May Cry HD Collection’s HD upgrading could have been a bit more convincing, but it does its job well enough in allowing people to experience two action games on modern technology that years later still manages to be amongst the finest and most stylish that the genre has to offer.