"Awful camera angles and Capcom never learning from mistakes prevent this from being a good series. It's as simple as that."

An article came out recently that Capcom was doing rather badly financially and only worth around 700 million dollars. That sounds like an insane number to the average gamer, but in corporate terms 700 million is not a large sum of money. This is good news, however. Not many companies deserve to be out of business more than Capcom, with their years of unethical business practices, nickel-and-diming loyal fans with awful games and DLC beliefs, and having their collective head too far up their ass to notice the smell.

Games like Devil May Cry: HD Collection are a good example in a very long line of why Capcom is having a bad time. Over and over again, Capcom errs. Over and over again, mistakes are never fixed and they rely on being a big name for sales. Specifically with the Devil May Cry series, there are too many blunders to go over quickly in a small review, but I'll give the short version.

Devil May Cry was originally going to be the earliest rendition of Resident Evil 4, but Hideki Kamiya made the game very action oriented. Capcom decided Kamiya's idea was worth pursuing, so they created a new franchise out of it. Thus, Devil May Cry was born. Despite very bad camera angles and Resident Evil's very obvious influence creating a very clunky experience, Devil May Cry becomes a defining third person action title.

Capcom rewarded Kamiya's success by completely ignoring him come time to pick a director for the sequel. Instead, Capcom chose Hideaki Itsuno to direct Devil May Cry 2 without so much as consulting Kamiya. Kamiya was stunned by this, but has remained professional about the decision even to this very day.

Everyone knows the rest. Devil May Cry 2 was awful, which hurt the sales of a respectable Devil May Cry 3, but the series damage was beyond repair at that point. Itsuno plowed ahead however, creating decent games with DMCs 3 and 4.

How did Capcom reward Itsuno's service? “With DmC this time, we wanted to avoid the problem that befalls some series where you keep making it with the same team, same hardware, and it tends to decrease and fans move away from it. We wanted to avoid that. We don't want the series to die.”

Ninja Theory promptly killed the series in one fell swoop.

In just this one series, Capcom has a litany of errors to learn from, and has ignored all of those errors. Which brings us to the actual HD collection, which was supposed to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the series. Instead, it's a reminder of why Capcom can't get out of its own way and why it will be better off bankrupt.

Because other than the graphics being redone in HD, nothing was fixed! And since we have virtually no options at all to reconfigure the controls, an argument can be made that the games are actually worse than they were originally. It's no joke that nothing was fixed, either. It has the same clunky handling, the same awful camera problems, the same artificial difficulty spikes caused by enemies manipulating the camera, and the same exact problems with lack of control configuration. You still can't fix the controls against the final boss in 1, 95% of the difficulty in 3 comes from enemies being off-camera with no real effort to let you see what's going on, and 2 still has the same issue of being zoomed in way too far.

To give a very apt description of why this game is so bad, 2 comes out having the best improvement of all three games, because 2 looks decent in HD and only takes 2-3 hours to beat. Overall, the biggest issue these games have is with fixed camera angles and combat zoomed in on the character you're controlling instead of combat. The God of War series almost never gets the camera angle wrong, unless it's intentional with a puzzle. In Devil May Cry, the camera is zoomed on Dante regardless of anything going on with combat, which leads to wild camera fluctuations when enemies are flying around. If you watch any high-level gameplay video, the player is never really fighting the enemies; they fight the camera angles, and are constantly making sure everything stays on-screen. That is the mark of a very badly designed video game series.

Capcom could have really listened to the fans and wowed us, for once, but as usual they stuck to their guns and refused to fix anything wrong. They once again released a half-finished video game that had no business being on shelves in the current state, and rather than admit any wrongdoing, Capcom defends the practice of doing stuff like this while blaming the gamer for not being good enough to play their games as-released.

I'm pretty sure this mentality is why Capcom is hemorrhaging money, which is a good and necessary sight to see in gaming. Capcom is one of many companies that really needs to learn the hard way that business practices like this are no longer okay, and it looks like gamers have finally gotten the clue about how they will never, ever fix anything.

The Devil May Cry HD Collection is but one example of Capcom's hubris, but the reality is that they've run every single one of their series into the ground. I wasn't even expecting much from this game, but some of the problems being fixed would have been nice. Instead, I get the same bad games, but given an HD polish. Sorry Capcom, but bad games in HD are still bad games. Nice try.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 09/19/13

Game Release: Devil May Cry HD Collection (US, 03/29/12)


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