In today’s world, nostalgia is king. Everyone seems to want remakes, reboots, rehashes and re-releases. In this vein, Capcom has brought back demon hunter Dante in its release of “Devil May Cry HD Collection.” In the collection, players are treated to the first three of Dante’s adventures (previously released on the PlayStation 2). “DMC” was revolutionary back in its day, and although it is indeed prettier, the HD collection still has an antiquated and sometimes frustrating feel.
Right off the bat, players have to choose which of the three games they want to play. You can’t switch between titles, but rather players must quit the game they are playing and reboot the entire collection before being allowed to pick another. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before, but it reminds me of when I used to play certain collections back on the NES.
The story of the franchise revolves around demon slayer Dante, who is himself the son of a demon. Dante travels around, meets weird people, fights a lot of demons, saves the girl, saves himself, learns about his past, and then kills some more demons. Plotlines get pretty convoluted as the series goes on, but it all boils down to killing a whole lot of demons while looking cool (or trying to).
The best part of “DMC” was always the fighting. Waves upon waves of baddies continuously attack. Using various swords and guns, Dante can usually make quick work of anything that comes his way. Along the way, players can upgrade their weapons for even more stylized attacks and “did-you-see-that” combos.
When I first played the original “Devil May Cry” in 2001, I was blown away by the experience. Fast paced action, stylized weapons and combos, and challenging, yet not impossible boss fights. Immediately while playing the “HD collection.” I got frustrated with the locked camera position. I desperately wanted the ability to shift my POV while in a heated fight, but it’s just not something you’re able to do. Although players can manipulate the camera slightly in “DMC: 3,” it’s a simple reminder that this franchise is indeed more than 10 years old.
For an “HD” upgrade, I found certain things to be a tad lacking. Granted, Dante and other notable characters look far better than their original counterparts. Elsewhere, however, backgrounds are pixilated at some points and choppy at others. It feels as if the character models got a great HD makeover, while the rest of the game was left by the wayside.
While (some of) the game may be prettier, the dialogue, sound effects, and music have been left as they were in their original glory. Listening to Dante speak is like watching a really bad B movie; it’s so terrible, it’s awesome. It reminds me of how much I really miss 90s voiceovers.
When all is said and done, “Devil May Cry” and its sequels are great games. They were great back in the day, and they still hold up relatively well by today’s standards. The character models look great, but the texture mapping looks dated and flat. The biggest hindrance is the forced perspective in the dated camera system, but most people can look past it (pun intended).
If you’ve never played any of the “Devil May Cry” games in the past, I highly recommend picking up the HD Collection. You get three games on the Xbox 360 or PS3 for $39.99, and that’s a pretty good deal in my book.