Top critical review
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Great game, lazy port.
on 13 July 2015
I'll get this out of the way first.
- The games themselves -
They're great! Years later they're still a joy to play. They look good for the time they were released, the soundtracks are still awesome, the controls feel as smooth as ever (well, maybe not the first game, but they were always a bit off). Everything I loved about these games still holds up to this day, something I can't say for a lot of games.
If you've never played a DMC game then this is a great place to start. Played DMC4 or the new reboot? Throw those in the corner and play the first three. Played MGS:Revengence or Bayonetta? Put those down and pick this up. They still hold up against modern titles with the only downfall being visual aging.
The HD textures are a bit of a mixed bag. They look great with everything being crisp and vibrant. For DMC1 in particular though it sort of lessens the atmosphere to a degree, where that game in particular was supposed to be very dark and very Gothic. It's less of a complaint about the game and more of a trade off for giving a game that was designed around technology X amount of years ago a HD upgrade. It's a very minor complaint as the game is still great.
They also have trophy support now if you're into that. I don't care all that much but it's a nice addition for those who are.
Now the collection itself...Eugh. It just feels so lazily done, like they've tried to do as little as possible with it to take fans money/
The main thing is the aspect ratio. The gameworld where you run around and kick a$$ is fine, it looks fine, there's nothing wrong with it. However, for some reason they decided to do nothing about the menu's, map screen, inventory or most cutscenes which are still in their 4:3 aspect ratio and look like they've been ripped straight from the original game without any sort of effort put in. Switching from 16:9 to 4:3 every time you open a menu is just jarring and it really shows the difference in quality, and not in a good way that makes me appreciate the HD and how far we've come (ala Halo Anniversary), it's in a bad way where I think "why did I give them my hard earned money for this piece of junk?"
I've also come across a few framerate drops and slowdown in certain areas. Now, I'm no technical wizard but these are PS2 games running on much more powerful hardware. They're HD but I really doubt that it being in HD is enough to make the PS3 struggle whilst running these relics of the past. No, it's obviously the fault of the developers who ported this mess.
The last thing is the 'new content'. What new content? I can't find this new content anywhere! That's because there is none. I pulled out my PS2 to check and yea, the 'new content' here is definitely on the original versions. Maybe there's a point to be had with DMC3 since this is the special edition version, a version which was released in the UK, to which I sold my original DMC3 and upgraded years ago.
None of the content is new no matter how you cut it. Maybe it's new in other regions like the US? Well, remove that claim of new content from EU versions because it's not to us. Even Square didn't advertise 'new content' for their FFX and KH remasters because it wasn't new content for EU, so they simply didn't claim that. Why couldn't this do the same?
Compare that to MGS HD, Ico/SotC HD, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD or any other HD collection and it shows just how little effort has been put into this one. All of those had everything updated to stand up on a modern system stopping short of remaking the game entirely, DMC trilogy HD on the other hand can't even be bothered to stretch the menu's to 16:9, let alone give them a HD overhaul.
Overall, I bought these so that I could play some of my old favorites with a HD upgrade. I've only half gotten that. It feels so cheap and half ar$ed to the point where I wish I just bought something else.
If you've never played the original trilogy, pick this up. For the price, I guess it's fine to see what the games were like, even with the laziness surrounding it.
If you've still got the originals and a functioning PS2, set it up and play those. You're really not missing much with the HD release.