I remember around
1998-1999, my local arcade still had a mint condition Night Warriors:
Darkstalkers Revenge arcade machine. I remember periodically catching myself
game's opening movie over and over again. (This was because the Darkstalkers arcade cabinet was positioned right next to
the Marvel VS Capcom and Soul Calibur machines, where my
were commonly known to reside at the time).
On that note, that cool intro movie did seem to play indefinitely, as Darkstalkers never received
nearly as much love as
other fighting games at the arcades.... I always kind of felt bad for that
machine. Nonetheless, I've
always been an admirer of the character designs, artwork, music, and universe of
the series. That's why picking up Darkstalkers: Resurrection, a
downloadable package featuring 2 online-enabled arcade classics for $14.99
seemed like a no-brainer.
Darkstalkers Resurrection contains arcade perfect ports of Night
Warriors and the sequel, Darkstalkers 3. Falling in
line with other recent Capcom digital releases (Street Fighter III:
3rd Strike Online and Marvel VS Capcom: Origins),
Darkstalkers Resurrection features remastered visuals, a variety of graphical filters & viewing options,
on-screen challenges, unlockable artwork & extras via the Vault system,
smooth GGPO online play, and integrated Youtube replay
sharing. Online Mode offers the standard matchmaking options and is as smooth as you'd expect from GGPO.
Online also packs an 8-player online tournament mode with full spectating
Old school graphical
filters for the old school fans.
Just like in
3rd Strike Online Edition, Stanley Lau (Artgerm) created awesome new artworks for all of the characters in the game! This artwork replaces
the pixelated character portraits on the character selection screen(s), and is
proudly shown off on the Darkstalkers Resurrection main menu. When the game first starts up, you're
treated to a remastered version of Morrigan's Night Warriors theme... one of my personal favorite BGM's...
of all time, that is.
The main menus for Night Warriors and Darkstalkers also play
badass remixed versions of Demitri's and Hsien-Ko's theme songs, respectively. Besides running through all the new artwork, the sleek main menu
also displays some interesting "Did You Know?" Darkstalkers facts, as well as your
player level/rank. Besides the 7-second load times, switching between the Night
Warriors and Darkstalkers 3 menusis a smooth ordeal.
The game's HD filters make the ancient character sprites actually appear a few years
younger, and the moody hand-drawn backgrounds still retain their old school charm. The
classic animation still pleases the eyes as well, but the lack of
frames during certain moves is certainly very noticeable by today's standards. It only makes me
ponder on how awesome a "next-gen" Darkstalkers title will look (which Capcom's
Yoshinori Ono has previously expressed interest in making). Lastly, the variety
of cool visual options, such as: classic arcade view, original pixels,
with/without scanlines, and smooth/sharp filters are all fun options to play
with as well. However, simply using the default "remastered" settings,
the game's 2D visuals actually never looked better.
I miss this view in real
life... but it should have an MVC1 cabinet
next to it. ;)
is a through-and-through 2D fighter from the old days... and considering the
iconic era it's from, the game still warrants respect when it comes to gameplay
even after all these years. After a
quick glance of a character's moveset, any 2D fighting game player can jump into
a Darkstalkers game and pretty much know what they're doing. Darkstalkers is
very accessible in that way, and the new Mission and
Tutorial Modes of DS: Resurrection make learning a character even easier. I have to say the
team did a good job with each of the challenges, which give you some solid tools & tricks to add to your arsenal (and also makes you realize how deep
and challenging of a game it is). Each of the tutorials also feature some
character-specific text commentary along the way, which makes learning that much more
Through playing any of the game's main modes, realtime challenges appear on
screen (within the borders) and make a nice accompaniment to playing a classic
title such as Darkstalkers. Pretty much everything you do earns you some
sort of "reward," and you will level up as a player by repeating your
solid fighting game fundamentals. If you look for them, you'll also find other,
more difficult challenges that you can tackle if you're an experienced player. As you
level up, you'll earn VP (Vault Points) which can be used to unlock content from
the Vault, such as concept artwork, group artwork, and character endings.
As a fighting game artwork enthusiast, I was kind of disappointed to see all of
the artwork in the game generically labeled as "concept artwork"... especially
since quite a bit of it wasn't done by Capcom at all.
Also, some of Shinkiro's artwork from Capcom Fighting Evolution makes the
cut as Darkstalkers "concept artwork". I know it's sort of a
trivial thing to complain about, but I think the artwork
should be labeled as what it actually is.
Also within the Vault is a "Theme
Room" where you can freely move the camera around a classic arcade cabinet
running the game. It's a cool little novelty, and a convenient way to show any
of your "younger" friends what those old school arcade machines used
to look like. (However, the awesome smell of the arcade machines can never be
virtually replicated). There are also DLC cabinet skins available based on each of the
characters, but they'll set you back $0.99 cents each. The unlockables are
decent, but I also wish there was a bit more to unlock... some new
character colors or console versions of characters would've been cool.
For an old school fighting
game enthusiast like me, picking up a nostalgic compilation with a few new bells &
whistles is enough for me to shell out a couple bucks. Whether you want to
play Darkstalkers Resurrection by yourself or with others online, the
solid number of options makes it easy to enjoy the game.
As you may know, Resurrection features the "perfect" arcade
ports of Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3. In the case of DS3, this means the character rosters are
slightly different than previous console
versions you may be familiar with... more specifically, lacking a few selectable characters.
While I understand Capcom's reasoning for wanting to release an arcade perfect
port, I find it disappointing not being able to use Donovan, Huitzil, and Pyron
in this version Darkstalkers 3. On the bright side, it warrants
revisiting Night Warriors, which still holds up as a solid game on its
In any case, for the low price of $14.99, Darkstalkers: Resurrection
isn't a bad deal. The classic 2D gameplay and iconic characters definitely stand
the test of time. Also, by buying this game you're supporting the future of Darkstalkers....
And I don't know about you, but I think a next-gen "Darkstalkers 4"
would be killer.