Darkstalkers 3 / Vampire Savior
STORY: Jedah, one of the high nobles of Makai, is resurrected after a premature death long ago. Seeing the state of the demon world, he decides that the only way to save the world is to recreate it. To this end, he conjures a dimension known as Majigen, to which he summons worthy souls to feed his new world. As luck would have it, those souls belong to the characters from the first two games, in addition to three newcomers.
Jedah is the new boss of Darkstalkers. Don't argue with him.
REVIEW: The third installment of the Darkstalkers series, Darkstalkers 3 (known as Vampire Savior in Japan) presents the biggest and most colorful cast yet. Four brand new characters join the roster: Jedah, Q-Bee, B.B. Hood, & Lilith. Unfortunately, Pyron, Donovan & Huitzil were cut from the original arcade version of the game (but do make an appearance in the console versions of the game). There were actually two simultaneously released "updated versions" of Vampire Savior that debuted in Japanese arcades only a few months after the original release... Vampire Hunter 2 - Darkstalkers' Revenge and Vampire Savior 2 - The Lord of Vampire.
The key difference between the two upgrades and the original Vampire Savior is in the character roster. Vampire Hunter 2 features the same character roster and soundtrack as Night Warriors (known as Vampire Hunter in Japan), omitting the characters introduced in Vampire Savior, while Vampire Savior 2 features the Vampire Savior cast along with Donovan, Huitzil & Pyron, omitting J. Talbain (as well as Dark Talbain), Rikuo & Sasquatch. But thankfully, all characters appeared in the console ports of Darkstalkers 3 / Vampire Savior.
The selection screen is particularly catchy.
Darkstalkers 3 introduces the "Damage Gauge System". Battles take place during a period of one round, with each fighter having two "life markers" (by default) which diminish after one character runs out of vitality. Basically, this enables faster bouts than the typical "best 2 out of 3" round system previously used. The player can also regain a portion of their life during battle if they manage to avoid taking further hits. Darkstalkers 3 also introduces the "Dark Force System" which allows players to perform special abilities unique to each character for a limited time period.
Fighting on the side of a skyscraper... FTW.
Following suit with previous installments, the music, artwork, and character animation of Darkstalkers all stand out as 100% original. The new stages are intricately designed, creepy, and are really effective at getting you into the unique setting of Darkstalkers. Following suit with past installments, the interesting new Darkstalkers character designs offer diversity and present some awesome new play styles. No doubt a 2D fighting game player of any level can find a character in Darkstalkers 3 that they enjoy using (if they take the time to properly learn the character, that is). Even if the gameplay doesn't suit your fancy, any artwork enthusiast can appreciate the amazing art direction of Darkstalkers (thanks to Capcom's team of master artists).
Overall, Darkstalkers 3 was a superb-looking game at the arcades and on consoles at the time of its debut, and was the definitive version of Darkstalkers (until Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower). The Playstation version of Darkstalkers 3 also included a cool Color Edit Mode where you can customize each character's color scheme to your liking. I believe this was the first Color Edit Mode to ever appear in a console fighting game, and for the time was a fun and innovative fighting game bonus mode.
Page Updated: October 15th, 2013 Developer(s): Capcom Publisher(s): Capcom Artwork by: Bengus, Edayan, Daigo Ikeno Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation, PSN, Sega Saturn Release Date(s): 1997 ( Arcade)
April 16th, 1998 (Saturn)
November 5th, 1998 ( PS1)
November 18th, 1998 ( PS1)
November 30th, 1998 ( PS1)
April 24th, 2012 (PSN)
Characters: Demitri, Talbain, Victor, Zabel, Morrigan, Anakaris, Felicia, Bishamon, Rikuo, Sasquatch, Hsien-Ko, B. B. Hood, Q-Bee, Lilith, Jedah, Huitzil (console), Pyron (console), Donovan (console), Dee ( Darkstalkers Collection)
Related Games: Darkstalkers, Darkstalkers 2, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Darkstalkers: Resurrection, Warzard, Bloody Roar, Mace: The Dark Age, Pocket Fighter, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Capcom VS SNK, Capcom VS SNK 2, Capcom Fighting Evolution, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, SNK VS Capcom Chaos, Marvel VS Capcom, Marvel VS Capcom 2, Marvel VS Capcom 3
Gameplay Engine 8 / 10 Story / Theme 8.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 8 / 10 Animation 8.5 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 8.5 / 10 Innovation 8 / 10 Art Direction 10 / 10 Customization 8 / 10 Options / Extras 8 / 10 Intro / Presentation 9.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7.5 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 7 / 10 Characters 9 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.7 / 10
Review based on Arcade / PS1 version Final Words: Darkstalkers 3 offers a stylish presentation all around. The original intro movie of the game is still one of my all time favorites. The gameplay of the series has evolved significantly, with Darkstalkers 3 being the fastest and most frantic installment to date.
Considering the time period in which Darkstalkers 3 was released, I think the gameplay system was starting to show its age a bit. However, the colorful character designs and unique art style still managed to stand out in the genre. While Darkstalkers 3 is a great game, I was actually more excited to see many of the series characters cross over to other fighting game titles over the years, such as: Capcom VS SNK, SNK VS Capcom Chaos, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Match of the Millennium, and the Marvel VS Capcom series. ~TFG Webmaster