I love Capcom fighters. Street Fighter II was the first game I ever owned, and from that point forward I was hooked. I had to play the X-Men and Marvel fighting games, all the Vs. Capcom titles and even games like Power Stone; but one series that always seemed to slip through the cracks though was Darkstalkers. I would always see Morrigan (a hot vampire with a huge “personality”) pop up in Capcom games everywhere but I would never play the game she originated from. With the release of Darkstalkers: Resurrection, a remake compilation of Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (Darkstalkers 2) and Darkstalkers 3, I have now filled that gaping hole in my heart, and man was I missing out.
No matter how you feel about Capcom fighters you can’t ever complain about how simple and tight the controls are. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro or a newcomer, within seconds you will be able to pull of fireballs, massive uppercuts and super moves, and with those simple and tight controls comes a huge amount of depth. All that is on display in both the Darkstalkers featured in this compilation.
The undead horror theme Darkstalkers goes for actually plays heavily into the gameplay. Unlike say Street Fighter where the characters and world are “somewhat” grounded, Darkstalkers is way over the top allowing the developers to go crazy with the character’s abilities and movesets. You are not going to see any lack of teleporting, flying, summoning bats, dragging characters to hell, all of it is part of the course with Darkstalkers. All of this makes for a game the when playing feels familiar but plays very differently to other mainstream 2D fighters.
With the two games featured in Darkstalkers: Resurrection there are a lot of similarities as you would probably expect, but playing them both you would be forgiven for being surprised at how different they are. Darkstalkers 2 plays very much like games from the Street Fighter Alpha series, except with the unique characters from the Darkstalkers universe. Darkstalkers 3 however is more it’s own beast. On the surface level when you start playing Darkstalkers 3 you think to yourself that this is more or less the same as it’s predecessor just with a few more characters and updated graphics and animations, but the major change to the formula the game brings is how it deals with rounds. There are no rounds in the traditional sense in Darkstalkers 3. In most fighters once a player has depleted his opponent’s life bar to zero the round ends and a new one begins with both players at max health again. In Darkstalkers 3 once a player’s health bar has been depleted instead of starting a new round, there is a short break and only the player who was defeated’s life bar is refilled to 100% whilst the other player’s life remains as is. So in essence instead of a best of 3 rounds, it’s who can take out the other player’s life bar twice. This makes it much harder for comebacks but also opens a whole new layer of strategy which is unique to Darkstalkers.
Darkstalkers: Resurrection has added a slew of extra features to these two classic games. Including the ability to unlock art, a series of tutorials and challenges that helps perfect your skills, and of course online play. Online play is a huge deal when playing a fighting game, as there is nothing like playing a real person instead of a computer. Resurrection has a plethora of good online options. If anybody has played Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition they will feel right at home here, with ranked matches, ability to create 8 people lobbies, it’s all very robust. All the games I played online were fairly smooth and painless, though I did find it hard at times to find players. I’m not sure if that was my connection or whether the servers were unpopulated, but overall my online experience was good.
The graphics in Resurrection are split into 2 different components, during gameplay you will get gorgeous old school low res pixel art keeping it true to the original games exploding onto your screen, and when you are not beating up people and navigating through the menus you are treated to gorgeous HD visuals. Each of these elements work on their own and look fantastic, but there are some points in the game like the character select screen where the try to merge the two and it just looks clumsy. It’s a small gripe but I do think it takes away from the experience a bit. Other than that though there is not much to complain about, Capcom have even thrown in a few options to personalise the game best for you such as some filters that “HDify” your sprites, or give you a scanlines view to make it look like you are playing on an old TV, there is even a cabinet view so it looks like you are playing in an arcade and loads more. It’s a nice touch.
Playing a game like Darkstalkers makes you realise that they really don’t make videogame music like they used to. The music in this game is awesome. There is not much to say on this front except that the tunes are super catchy. If you like retro gaming music and haven’t heard any Darkstalkers tracks before I assure you that once you hear some a lot of the tracks will become instant classics for you.
– Simple controls with deep gameplay.
– Great characters and setting
– Great music
– Occasional clash of visual style.
If you are a fan of 2D fighters you can’t really go wrong Darkstalkers: Resurrection. For a small price you get 2 very fun and deep fighting game filled with great characters. I would love see Capcom revisit this world and create an new entry into the franchise.
Score – 8/10
Written by Jin Yum Chan Wai