Although this compilation doesn’t offer much in terms of extras, this is the best way to experience Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition in this day and age.
Originally intended as a Resident Evil sequel, the project turned into Devil May Cry, a hack and slash action game that was all about fighting demons in neo-gothic environments. The franchise has five entries and Devil Cry HD Collection compiles the first three with a high-definition treatment. Although this compilation doesn’t offer much in terms of extras, this is the best way to experience Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition in this day and age.
The first Devil May Cry is, naturally, the hardest game in the series to go back to. The visuals look dated, the cutscenes have black bars around them and are played in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the mission-based level design can be tiring and there’s not much of a story. As in all the three games, you take on the role of Dante, a bounty hunter who’s trying to avenge the death of his mother by fighting hordes of demons using his trusty sword and pair of guns. The game’s structure is simple enough: you retrieve legendary items and place them on a pedestal to activate doors that leads to another levels and while you do all that, demonic creatures show up and you use your weapons to defeat them. Luckily, The combo-based gameplay is still fun to play: you learn different combos, alternate between weapons and defeat enemies as gracefully as possible. Different items also come into play, including red orbs that serve as experience point and let you improve the effectiveness of your attacks and weapons.
Devil May Cry 2 has always been considered the black sheep of the family and even to this day, it’s easy to see why. The large environments look plain and there’s simply not much to do in them, there’s a default difficulty that’s an insult to anyone who likes a challenge, the game’s incredibly short and the new protagonist doesn’t bring anything new to the table despite using different weapons than Dante and having her own set of moves. When it was released, Devil May Cry 2 came in two discs and each of those featured a part of the campaign: disc one allowed you to play as demon hunter Dante and disc 2 features a completely new character called Lucia who’s faster and more nimble than Dante. Overall, this was a disappointment in 2003 and is still disappointing all these years later.
Rounding up the package there’s Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition which is arguably, the best game in the collection and is well worth the price of admission alone. DmC 3 is a longer game that focuses on both action and light puzzle-solving and offers a variety of moves and weapons to defeat the hordes of enemies that block your path to facing your twin brother Vergil. The game’s combat is incredibly varied and entertaining because it gives you dozens of tools to kill demons: there are nunchucks, swords, dual swords, pistols, shotguns and even an electric guitar that summons bats that fight for you. In terms of tone, DmC 3 is a title that never takes itself too seriously and the main character’s juvenile attitude and the story’s flamboyant qualities is both a blessing and a curse.
It’s worth pointing out that, as part of this collection, there’s an anemic number of extras. In the main menu, you can select the three games, an art gallery and the game’s soundtrack. There are also several achievements to unlock, but that’s about it. I would have appreciated something that tells why these games were relevant back in the PS2 era for those who weren’t around to see it.
Devil May Cry HD Collection offers exactly what its name implies: a high-definition package that compiles the first three games in the series. If you played those games when they came out and you want to relive the experience of playing them or if you missed the beginnings of the franchise and you want to see what they are all about, this is the best way to do so. That said, other than the HD treatment, this collection does nothing to improve the games it compiles and that’s its biggest flaw.