*gleefully rubs hands*
OK, some basic rules of thumb for the DMC series:
- Start with 1, skip 2, then move onto 3 and 4. DMC2 is an infamously bad sequel that really has no place in this series at all, and there isn't even any relevant story content you need to know.
- DMC1 doesn't have difficulty settings, you just load it up and go. Instead, if you die too many times in the first couple of levels (and don't be ashamed, because everyone does ), it'll offer you the option to switch to Easy Automatic mode, but you MUST NOT TAKE THE OFFER! Easy Automatic is a terrible way of experiencing the game (the game automatically combos for you if you just mash the button), and your save file is forever locked to Easy Auto if you choose it so you can never move up to Normal again.
- DMC1 can be a pretty difficult game, with a limited continue system where you can actually run out of continues (called Yellow Orbs) and have to buy more. It's a waste of money, though, because you can save in between every level and no level in this game is especially long once you know where to go and skip cutscenes (DMC1 is quite a short game, all things considered). If you die a bunch of times in a level it's better to just reload your save and play it over again; your Red Orbs are much better spent on new abilities or health/Devil Trigger meter upgrades.
- Speaking of upgrades, always buy a move called Stinger first. It's one of the most useful moves in each DMC game.
- When you start up DMC3 it'll ask you if you want to play on Gold or Yellow mode. Choose Gold. Yellow mode is the same limited continues system as DMC1, whereas Gold is just a standard unlimited continues thing. DMC3 was notoriously difficult at launch because for some reason Capcom set the default difficulty mode to be Hard and it still had limited continues (and DMC3's levels are a lot longer than DMC1's), but the Special Edition they released a year later (and that the HD Collection is based off) has a much more forgiving difficulty level.
- Oh, and play as Dante first in DMC3; that's where the meat of the game is. Vergil was added in the Special Edition, but his campaign is really an afterthought; you just play the same levels as the main game all over again with a different cutscene at the beginning. I'd recommend trying out Vergil when you're finished with the main campaign, because he feels amazing to play, but don't feel compelled to finish his campaign if you want to move on to DMC4.
- DMC4 is a lot better about quality of life features and tutorials, so you can just jump into that one and go. The DMC4 Special Edition added three new characters to play as, but you want to start with the Nero/Dante campaign.
The only other thing I'd say is that these games can feel pretty dated by modern standards. DMC1 has a completely fixed camera, and the controls will feel very stiff if you're comparing it to, say, a modern character action game from Platinum or something, but I think it's still an incredible game that set the standard for what this genre would become over the years. Devil May Cry is the grandaddy of the entire character action genre, and it's honestly yet to be surpassed in certain areas, so be patient with some of its idiosyncrasies and you're in for a treat.