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Devil May Cry HD Collection Review

by Diogo Miguel April 24, 2012
A succesful lot of players found out about Devil May Cry when the fourth instalment was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Devil May Cry 4 focuses on new hero Nero and his quest to find out more about his origins. This Devil May Cry collection means that those who are new to the series can see what it’s all about.

It’s worth getting the collection based on the quality of the first Devil May Cry. Anyone that played the likes of Castlevania will be right at home. Main character Dante is visiting an island filled to the brim with demonic activity. Various areas are connected and it’s up to the player to unlock new paths.

It might prove tricky on a few occasions but it’s deeply satisfying to solve some of the puzzles. There’s a lot of fighting going on between all the exploring too. The fighting mechanics seem basic, when compared to the sequels, but it’s interesting to see how it all began.

Building up combos, by using both guns and physical attacks, will mean earning more red orbs. Dante also has the “Devil Trigger” ability which makes it possible for him to transform into a powerful demon. It will enhance his combat abilities and also regenerate his health.

Devil May Cry 2 and 3 build on the combat mechanics from the first title. The second title introduces a way for players to evade attacks. It also makes it possible to switch guns easily by pressing a button. The combat mechanics have been given a major overhaul in the third Devil May Cry.

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It’s possible to pick between fighting styles and combat involves stylish fighting sequences. It’s fascinating for new players to see how the combat mechanics have evolved with each new instalment. Fortunately it’s changed for the better with each new revision.

Combat is designed in such a manner, that it caters for different types of players. Someone less skilled can still perform advanced tricks, when playing through on an easier difficulty setting.

What is not so great is the fact that there’s less emphasis on puzzles in the second and third titles. It’s part of the reason why the first Devil May Cry works. It doesn’t mean that the puzzles have completely gone but there aren’t as many included. Devil May Cry’s intricate level design means players are compelled to explore areas.

The other two try to slightly modify this to offer more of a linear experience. This is particularly visible in the second title, which focuses heavily on combat. The third title redeems itself slightly by making it possible to explore areas and find new paths.

It’s difficult to give a reason but each new Devil May Cry doesn’t feel as exciting as the first. Perhaps it’s such an enjoyable experience, that it becomes difficult for sequels to live up to the high standards set.

Devil May Cry is probably so enjoyable because of the dark island location and how the story unfolds. This is oddly enough not the first title in the world of Devil May Cry. It’s set after the third title, and a few story related moments will make more sense, after playing all three.

What is amusing is how dialogue seems to get less serious with each new Devil May Cry. This isn’t a major issue since the story doesn’t take itself too seriously. However, it turns into a series of gags by the time players get to the third video-game. But deep down, it’s worth playing each Devil May Cry to the end, since they all feel unique in their own way.

Each title is also complimented with well integrated features that are aimed at helping players. One of them is the superb item management system. Items are purchased from statues spread throughout levels. It’s vital to carefully think before using red orbs towards items, since they are needed for tougher battles.

It’s one of the key elements that makes Devil May Cry so compelling. Using items strategically will make it easier to get through the game. Each Devil May Cry is split up into missions. It’s really hard to get completely lost because of the clear instructions set for each mission. There’s an impressive set of monsters to fight that are introduced at a steady pace.

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But the important part of this review for those that have played all three titles before is the visuals. It’s reassuring to confirm that this is one of the best high definition ports released so far. Obviously visuals progressively improve with each sequel.

But even the first Devil May Cry has managed to age well. It’s all down to consistent level design that still feels unique, when compared to similar video-games.

The only downside is that video clips are still shown in a 4:3 ratio output. It’s not something that will ruin the experience, but it does look odd with the black borders. Otherwise there aren’t any other issues such as frame rate drops during combat. There are quite a few occasions where loading screens appear, but they vanish within seconds.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Devil May Cry HD Collection is that all three are included. Fans will get to experience it all over again with improved visuals. Newcomers get to see what all the fuss is about.

Each Devil May Cry is also fairly accessible due to the availability of easier difficulty settings. This is a stylish HD port that will raise awareness for the upcoming DmC, while showing players why Dante is still at the top of his devil hunter work.

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