Written by Joes Xbox Name:
The Devil May Cry games are filled with nostalgia. For those of us who played PS2 in the early 2000s, DMC was a ground breaking series of games that helped to define what action games are and even lead up to today's market. There are currently 4 games in the original series: DMC 1 – 3 were released on PS2 between the years of 2001 and 2005 while 4 was released on Xbox360 and PS3 in 2007. This collection comes with the original trilogy of PS2 games in all their original glory with a gloss of HD thrown over them. If you are looking for some nostalgia, a 40 dollar price tag is well worth what you are getting. However, if you are looking for new content, save your money.
The first game we have in this collection is Devil May Cry. Released originally in 2001, this game was genre defining. Being influential even to games today, the combat system is very well thought out and demands quick reflexes and intricate strategies. Each enemy fights differently and is susceptible to different guns, melee weapons, or combos. On some enemies, just the place that you hit them can matter and cause more damage.
This game mixes both melee and ranged combat. Although there aren’t many, specifically when it comes to melee weapons, each one has it's place and can be used quite effectively in the right situation.
The main negative about this game is the claustrophobic environments. Sometimes the camera is so close that you can't see something off screen that is just about to hit you. Also the camera is stable similar to the first three Resident Evil games. This can be annoying when trying to fight an enemy and the next fixed camera angle takes charge leaving you disorientated. Altogether, this game is still fantastic and stands the test of time very well.
The next game of this trilogy is Devil May Cry 2. First released in 2003, DMC 2 takes place after the events of the original and has two protagonists this time around. Dante, the trench coat wearing demon hunter we are familiar with, and Lucia, a mysterious woman with a white scarf, knives, and bright red breaded hair. Whichever you pick, your game play experience will be relatively the same. They have different arsenals to choose from but they are relatively mirrored in what they do. For example: Dante has pistols, where Lucia has knives. They both hit at about the same speed and do the same damage. The only real difference is the graphic. In total, the only reason you would pick Lucia is that she has a 13 mission campaign where Dante has 18 missions to complete.
After choosing your character, you will find that the combat has been changed. Once fast and rewarding, this new combat system is slow and tedious. The idea of multiple combos has been ditched for one repetitive one that concerns one button being pressed continuously. As you push forward from mission to mission, mashing the same combo button for a few hours you will switch your tactics completely when rewarded with specific guns in each arsenal. If you are Dante, you will receive the missile launcher. If you are Lucia you will find sticky bombs. Feel free to back into the nearest corner and hold down the shoot button. This strategy will easily propel you through to the end of the campaign.
Once the ten hour campaign is finished (7 hours as Lucia), there is a new mode added called Bloody Palace. Basically all it is a giant arena where they drop enemies on top of you continuously. Feel free to reuse the past strategies till the end. The bloody palace is glitched though and enemies may fall through the floor or walls causing you to restart. Since the bloody palace takes about 8 hours to complete, this can lead to extreme frustration.
Finally, we come to Devil May Cry 3. Released in 2005 and the final game in this collection, DMC 3 is the crowning jewel of the franchise. The HD collection includes DMC3 Special Edition which was released in 2006. The special edition release of this game made the grueling difficulty a bit more lenient and introduced Virgil as a playable character in his own campaign that is the same as Dante’s but with different beginning and ending cut scenes. Half demon and half mortal, Virgil is more then an equal fight for Dante as they both rush towards the power left to them by their long diseased father Sparda. The story to this one, unlike the other two, is decently written and easily followed. The art is beautiful and the set designs are fantastic in accurate gothic style glory. The combat system completely negates the second’s take on action gaming and returns back to the original. Adding additional weapons and new techniques, the combat system only improves on the original and is nothing short of fantastic. If it wasn’t for the bloody palace, although devoid of glitches and vastly improved from the previous title, this game would be near perfect.
In total, except for the second entry in the series, the Devil May Cry games are truly great. Being a genre defining franchise, if you haven’t had a chance to understand what these games are all about, there is no better time than now. If you already have played them or they are sitting on your shelf and you want to relive the adventure, hook up your PS2 and play what you already bought. The HD upgrade is nice and if you’re an achievement/trophy nut you may be compelled to pay the forty dollars, but overall there is not enough new content to warrant buying what you already have.
Graphics: 7/10 – The HD is nice. But they are still PS2. The art design is pretty awesome though in all but DMC 2.
Sound: 9/10 – The music is very nostalgic. The third game definitely had some awesome tunes from the band Coal Chamber.
Gameplay: 8/10 – One and three are both awesome. Stay away from two.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10 - It is a three game bundle packed with 99 achievements for the hardcore fans. A very nostalgic package well worth forty dollars.
Achievement Score: 1000/1000