PS3 Reviews: Devil May Cry HD Collection Review

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Devil May Cry HD Collection Review

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Replay Value:



Overall Rating:       8.0



Online Gameplay:

Not Rated





Number Of Players:




Release Date:

March 29, 2012

Devil May Cry remains an iconic franchise and action aficionados have fond memories of first laying eyes on the original title in 2001. A demo came packaged with Resident Evil: Code Veronica X for the PS2, and I distinctly recall playing it about twenty times. We’d just never seen anything like DMC before. Now, Ninja Theory is currently working to reboot the series and in the meantime, Capcom has released a high-definition collection featuring the first three installments.

The new high-def visual presentation is great, but I think more could’ve been done to upgrade and enhance. Last year’s Metal Gear Solid HD Collection painstakingly refined the hell out of everything from the basic detailing to the cut-scenes. But here, while there’s no denying the added sharpness and clarity, the FMV movies still suffer from old-fashioned technical issues (lip-synch still sucks, for instance), and keeping the menus in unedited 4:3 format is sort of jarring. It’s actually surprising – and a tad disheartening – to see how much these games have aged.

The audio remains very much the same, as we have the benefit of a few great music tracks, Dante’s cocky voice, and an assortment of satisfying special effects that emphasize impacts with appropriate auditory flash. But again, one notices instantly that such elements weren’t so smoothly implemented ten years ago, and everything from the obviously outdated cut-scenes to the sound design reminds us that a decade is a long time in this industry. Still, at the very least, the technicals are almost exactly how you remember them.

This collection features the first three titles in the franchise: Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening. They included the Special Edition of the latter, which was a damn good idea and I’ll explain why in a minute. For the most part, this is DMC through and through; the attitude, the innovative and progressive combat mechanic, the gothic-inspired level and enemy design, and the dark, fantastical stories all shine through. They remind us of the greatness of this series, even if we’re often going, “…damn, things have changed.”

The original game actually stands up quite well, despite the aforementioned technical misgivings due to the unfortunate passage of time. The castle you spend most of your time in is meticulously created, and although the fixed camera can occasionally get in the way, the gameplay remains solid. There’s a definite challenge involved and it’ll take some practice to nail down Dante’s demanding combos. But it’s only a glimmer of what we ended up with in DMC3; it’s just too bad that we had to stumble through DMC2 before the third entry wowed us.

As those familiar with the Dante games already know, DMC2 fell short of expectations. With a different development team behind it, the adventure featured larger environments and a much easier learning curve. But unfortunately, it lost a lot of the spirit and panache that made the first title so damn engrossing and appealing. The protagonist’s well-established swagger was scaled back, the enemies were bland and not enough of a challenge, and the story was seriously lacking. None of this has changed, despite the high-def overhaul.

The same followers that will bemoan DMC2 will likely say DMC3 is by far the best of the bunch. Or, at the very least, it’s the most accomplished. From canceling combos in mid-stream to mastering the Devil Trigger and the concept of juggling, Dante came back in fine form, and the game kicked ass from start to finish. However, the original DMC3 was extraordinarily difficult; I had heard our “Normal” was actually the “Hard” mode (some mistake in production or something). Beating it is still one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my gaming career.

But the Special Edition remedied this issue, and it also added the option to play as Dante’s brother, Vergil. Therefore, it was a no-brainer to include this version in the Collection, and I’m very glad they did. The fluidity and intricacy of the fighting mechanic in DMC3 is almost unparalleled even to this day, and to launch your deadly strikes in a slicker, cleaner environment is a treat. If you’ve never played it, this collection is almost worth buying for the revamped DMC3 all by itself. It really is that good, and should be experienced by any self-proclaimed action fan.

The only glaring issue is that a graphical update can’t erase the gameplay issues. Back in the day, they weren’t even “issues;” they were just common quirks and drawbacks of game design due to hardware limitations we don’t have today. But when it comes to fast-action control, things really have changed a great deal, and sadly, the first two DMC titles show their age. That being said, this may not be a detriment for hardcore fans of the series, who might be happy with the simple visual update. Just be prepared to adapt to an older time if you’re unfamiliar.

The Devil May Cry HD Collection is a decent assembly of last-generation classics, even if Capcom didn’t do quite enough with the package. It feels a little light when compared to other collections that have arrived over the years, and such pure action experiences have gone through so many updates and refining alterations. So this one still feels a tad dated. But not enough can be said for the impact this franchise has had on the genre, and $40 isn’t bad to own a few pieces of slightly revitalized history.

The Good: High-definition works well with this series. Original DMC is still a classic. DMC3 is still a beast. General control and mechanics still work well. Lots of fun to be had for $40.

The Bad: DMC2 has never been great. Not enough done with the presentation overhaul. No big bonuses or extras.

The Ugly: “Man…even some of the best games in history show their age these days.”

4/12/2012 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (15 posts)

Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 10:44:03 PM

WOuld it have killed them to have DMC4 thrown in with trophy support? I mean, heck the BD has plenty of room for it.

ANyway, if I ever actually want to pick up where I left off on the series, that being DMC3, this is probably where I'd start again.
DOn't know if I could go back to the first DMC, I remember the fixed camera angles driving me nuts at times. DMC2 had the real emo Dante =p, and DMC3 released at a bad time for me. Anyway, a cool classic collection for cheap cheap cheap!

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:30:05 AM

You missed the best one, Sensei Temjin!

DMC3 > DMC1 > DMC4 >>> ET > DMC2

Ok, that last bit about ET and DMC2 is an exaggeration. DMC2 was obviously a sore thumb of the series, but it had very cool mocap/animation and rocking tunes.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:05:12 AM

lol, Eliot phone home!
I agree, I liked DMC2 as well. Granted it was a misstep no doubt, but it did do a few things right. For one, they fixed the aliasing issue from the first game with a higher rendering res. It did have rocking tunes. And they fixed many of the camera problems of the first game by opening up the cramped level design and drew the camera back.
If I remember right I played DMC2 at least two times through, once on a harder difficulty, too.

Anyway, I'll probably eventually get to DMC3.. I think =)

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 2:07:27 AM

PUT THE KIDS IN THE CAR!! No way DMC HD collection? Sweeeeeet. I'm soooo there

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 2:15:15 AM

So a bit of a theory as to why Normal mode was hard mode in DMC 3. If players are anything like me they start with normal mode. No upgraded weapons or anything. By the time you hit HM you are all geared up and Hard doesnt seem so hard.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:34:32 AM

I'm pretty sure you had to have beaten a difficulty previously in order to reuse your weapons and upgrades.

That aside, where have you been? I remember reading more of your comments years back.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:48:25 PM

lol, don't even get me started. I have been through 4 ps3's in the last 3 years.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 2:58:50 AM

yes but all weapons and upgrades carried over to the next difficulty. Which is why I am saying that normal was hard if you start with normal. I don't think it had anything to do with a dev error.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 2:10:55 AM

Hey Ben, all these hd redeuxs are out, where is your FF7 HD?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 9:59:24 AM

PS1 remakes are sadly out of the question.

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:45:33 PM

Lol I know man, I was just gettin you going.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012 @ 8:56:10 PM

That was just cruel...

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:12:16 AM

as much as it hurts me to say this, this has to be THE WORST HD remake ive ever played!
and ill bet 500 trillion bucks worst i ever will play!
the graphics are not all HD its very inconsistent, the cut scenes are still in oldchool 3:9, so is the pause menu, the camera and controls have not been fixed at all.
its almost like they just straight ported this over to work on current systems they have not fixed ANYTHING!
and to make things worse cheats and the cool shooting the loading logo are gone.

i was so freaking excited for this DMC1 and then 3 are 2 of my favorite games of all time!
i was really expecting them to be remade properly with decent visuals and a camera control fix.
but nope.
its not that the games hard, its that its freaking CHEAP!
and the useless camera and controls only add salt and vinegar to the wounds!
if i had a nickel for every time i died because a enemy leaped from one side of the screen which i could not see because of the useless camera, to where i was and it killed me id be a multi trillionaire by now!

im up to the witch boss battle now and keep rage quitting because ive got no health items left and no red orbs to buy any.
kinda impossible to beat any boss in the game without any health items, or at least purple stars to replenish my devil gauge.
not to mention the controls are not helping.
the controls in this are as useful as a cup of water at a oil rig fire!

they SERIOUSLY need to fix the f*cking controls!
so many times you press x to jump away from a enemy and dante just sits there like a stunned mullet.
so many times i hold L1 to trigger devil trigger and dante just sits there like a stunned mullet.
another weird thing with the controls is sometimes when i press L3 i get the items menu.
sometimes when i press the directional buttons it pauses the game and brings you to the item upgrade menu.
this has to be the most random buggy useless piece of sh*t i have ever played!
so disappointed come on crapcom dante deserves better then this!!!!!!!!!

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 9:26:22 AM

I've had this since they lifted the embargo a few days early. Gotta say Ben's review is spot on. I'm going threw the collection chronologically so I started with DMC 3. Easily the best out of the 3. Although you are able to move the camera slightly, it doesn't help much in the long run. Nearing the end of the first DMC and it's amazing how easy it is now compared to when I played it in high school.

Visually, just like Ben, I'm disappointed that they didn't do anything in regards to the cut-scenes. It was disheartening to go from HD gameplay in DMC 3 directly into a cut-scene that has not received the graphical overhaul.

Definite must have for fans of the series. Especially with the reboot taking us in a different direction.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012 @ 8:55:41 PM

I'm surprised they bothered with DMC2, it's always felt like they were trying to ignore it (3 was a prequel, 4 happened before 2, DmC's a prequel/reboot/whatever they're calling it tomorrow). I don't like playing DMC1 enough to buy this. It was a great game, but going back from 3 makes it feel like Dante has arthritis.

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