Dante must realize he's inside a video game. His world is an urban wasteland beset at all times by demonic creatures, yet all he does is laugh. Surrounded by such madness, most would live in fear. But not Dante; his only concerns are weapons, women, and the occasional slice of pizza. The world is just one big joke to him. The Devil May Cry HD Collection packages Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition all on one disk. It's light on extras, but perhaps that was to make room for Dante's ego.
The high-definition visuals look good, but they're not as striking as other HD collections. This is due, in part, to the spartan design of many enemies and levels. There are a lot of gray walls, brown floors, brown walls, and gray floors. Most enemies are designed to be distinct and disposable, with no frills save for the attack effects from Dante's arsenal. Now, do not mistake "spartan" for "bad." This design choice helps place the stylish demon hunter and his friends in the spotlight where they belong. It's just that a concrete wall can only look so nice.
Consistently flat lighting, a carryover of PlayStation 2 technology, doesn't do the setting any favors either. However, the few, though significant, blemishes are the menus and certain cinematic scenes. Outside of the purely serviceable title menu, the rest of the collection's menus are a bit off. In contrast to the crisp action, the menus look blurry and smoothed over. Some cinematic scenes, such as the thrilling opening to Devil May Cry 3, suffer from so much aliasing that they look only marginally better than their PS2 originals.
But enough about lights and menus. The real attraction of these games is the combat. Thankfully, it's still intact in all its high-speed, combo-centric glory. Dante handles exactly how you remember him, right down to the occasionally annoying camera, and the collection runs at a smooth rate. For those whose introduction to the series was Devil May Cry 4, moving backward to the younger versions of Dante can feel limiting since you're not swapping between five styles and six weapons on the fly.
Compared to modern games in the same genre, such as Bayonetta, Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3 are still a lot of fun. Both offer plenty of challenge and feel empowering. Popping an enemy into the air with your sword, and then juggling that same enemy in midair with bullets, is great no matter the year. However, Devil May Cry 2, bless its heart, is also along for the ride. The game that bled Dante's personality dry and overpowered his pistols successfully defends the title of 'Most Dull' in this action series.
Outside of the three games, there are two extra treats to enjoy. The first is an art gallery featuring concept art from the three DMC games. There's even a bonus section containing choice fan art from developer Capcom's community. The other treat is a music mode where you can listen to the rock-and-roll tunes of this DMC trio. Devil May Cry HD Collection is priced at $40, and its best selling point is convenience. All three classic DMCs in one spot, plus trophies. Just don't expect much else.