Devil May Cry HD Collection|
This seems to be the year for HD remakes, and when done properly, remastered classics are a great way for new gamers to experience a bit of gaming history and seasoned veterans to recapture a bit of their misspent youth. Itís also a nifty way to see just how far gaming has advanced in the past decade, or at least graphics. As is the case with most HD remakes, most of the effort is put into updating the textures and resolution, which admittedly, puts a nice superficial next-gen spin on these older games, but no matter how good or how many facelifts, an old game is still an old game.
Devil May Cry HD Collection is a set of three ďold gamesĒ, the first releasing in 2001 and the last in 2005. At the time, these supernatural action-brawlers were setting the bar fairly high for the genre and the PS2. You can read our original reviews for Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, which scored a 9.8 and 9.3 respectively and see just how much we loved those games back in the day, and while nostalgia is a powerful shade of red for those rose-colored glasses, Dante is starting to show his age in 2012.
I was particularly eager to get my hands on this collection, not only to see the visual enhancements, but also because, for some reason, I never played the second installment in the series. That gap on my PS2 shelf has been haunting me since 2003, but now I was finally able to experience the missing episode and I have to say it was very good, adding a companion character and a new open-world approach to gameplay. As for the first and third games, I gave them a solid 2-3 hours each, relishing in the new graphics and lamenting the decade-old camera system. You donít realize just how far gaming has come until you play a modern-looking game with a dated camera system. I was eventually able to slip back into my retro-gaming mode and work through the camera issues, but younger gamers are going to have a difficult time adjusting.
The best feature of the Devil May Cry HD Collection is its sheer value. Youíre getting three AAA titles (admittedly 7-10 years old) all bundled for less than the price of one today. And these three games are going to encompass 40+ hours of quality action gaming with a great lead character going up against insane numbers of demons and encountering all sorts of crazy characters along the way. Itís quite the wild ride with an outrageous story that was told through dazzling-at-the-time cutscenes. Sadly, these pre-rendered movies are immune to the HD upgrade process and now represent the weakest visual moments in the game.
Camera issues aside, controls are just as good as ever, although coming from the PS2 there was a minor adjustment process to using the 360 controller. Dante wields his sword and pistols with deadly proficiency and there is a nice collection of weapons and guns to be unlocked and upgraded throughout the various chapters in each of the games. The new remastered textures and high resolution combined with a fluid framerate guarantee this is the best Dante has ever looked in the series, but there are a few issues. HD enhancement is far from consistent across the series. While Dante and everyone else in the game are totally upgraded, some of the backgrounds are blurred with pixilated textures that appear to be stretched to fit the new aspect ratio. The first two games often revert back to their native 4:3 ratio in non-gaming moments.
I am a huge fan of Dante and the Devil May Cry series so this was a great blast from the past. Sure, the game hasnít aged as gracefully as I would have liked, but there are some remarkable visual enhancements and a nice stash of new bonus content that fans are sure to love. Plus, the new Achievements are a powerful inducement for possibly playing through all three titles again. There is no denying the value of three quality games for $40, and gamers looking to stretch that almighty dollar wonít find a better bundle. My only problem is finding the time fit the series into a new year of contemporary game releases. Now bring on the Onimusha HD Collection...