Saturday, 23 March 2013

Review: Dalkstalkers Resurrection (PS3)

Darkstalkers was one of my favorite fighting games growing up.

Sure it's more popular sibling Street Fighter got all the press for its attempts to keep realism in the title (at least to some degree), but Darkstalkers never felt forced to be grounded in reality and it made for a very distinct fighting experience.

Monsters and monster hunters fight with their fists, claws, detachable limbs, ethereal weapons, demon powers, and pretty much whatever random objects that they care to utilize.

The character choices are pretty darn diverse: cat-girls, vampires (both kinds: sexy and stoic), mummies (Egyptian and Chinese), lycanthropes, little red riding hoods, sasquatches, monks and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Whereas other fighting games are restricted by reality (blown fire, stretchy limbs, and kinetic energy not withstanding), the Darkstalker franchise always seemed more willing to go over the top with crazy attacks and unexpected approaches to character design.

Lovingly rendered in 90's style sprite art, this re-master doesn't lose any of the character art or aesthetic from the original.

Darkstalkers Resurrection includes two games – Vampire Hunters: Dalkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers 3 – and switching between the two is a mere button click. Adding on to the original experience is the training systems. You can start by learning each character's attacks and trying to master their specific combos, or even step back even further and set goals for yourself (i.e. start using specific moves during the course of the next match to get some more experience for example). By completing these goals you'll get to unlock some nice extras: concept and character artwork.

The visual modes are pretty darn neat as well. You can choose to use a 4:3 aspect ratio (like the old school stand-up machines) which will show you additional information on the sides of the screen on an LCD, LED, or Plasma television (those goals that you're actively hunting down). Also there are modes to stretch to fill a widescreen view or a true nostalgia mode which re-creates the feeling of watching the fight from an over the shoulder view like you would while watching a game between two other players (very cool). You can play in both the original speed or in turbo mode, if you need to really challenge yourself.

The only real complaint I can level at Darkstalkers Resurrection is the fact that Darkstalkers 3 is the arcade version, so we don't get all the characters that were in any of the console versions… other than that no complaints whatsoever.

For those who loved the originals, the $15 investment is well spent. For those who've never experienced the franchise before but love their fighting games, this nostalgic trip is well worth the money to see how one of the greats did it earlier.

- Tazman

The Good:
- Both the 2nd and 3rd games together… uh, YES PLEASE
The Bad:
- Not the entire character compliments that we've seen in some versions

Score: 8.0 / 10