Darkstalkers Resurrection Review

Player(s): 1-2
Extra Features: Local multiplayer (1-2), Online multiplayer (1-2), Leaderboards

If you're not familiar with Darkstalkers then it is a 2D fighting game similar to Street Fighter that has roster of Capcom's take of old-school creature characters. This series was popular in arcades during the 1990's and it was three games long altogether. Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge and Darkstalkers 3 were the two follow-ups to the original game and have now been re-released in HD on the PlayStation Store and Xbox LIVE Marketplace in a collection called "Darkstalkers Resurrection".

Night Warriors introduced the combo chain and ability to save up a character's super gauge to the formula established in the original Darkstalkers game. If you're not familiar with the original Darkstalkers cast then here is a list of them all: Demitri (vampire), Victor (Frankenstein monster), Felicia (cat woman), Lord Raptor (zombie), Rikuo (merman), Bishamon (ghost samurai), Anakaris (mummy), Sasquatch (bigfoot), John Talbain (werewolf), Morrigan (succubus). Along with the original team of ten characters from the original game, Night Warriors brought in the two boss characters from the original game as playable characters (Huitzil [robot] and Pyron [demon]) along with two new characters (Hsien-Ko [ghost], Donovan [darkstalker hunter]). The game has both ES Specials and EX Specials that can be used - ES Specials take a small portion of the super bar and EX specials take a full bar. The game is an improvement over the original game in every way and basically makes the original feel obsolete after playing Night Warriors.

Darkstalkers Resurrection screenshot 1

Darkstalkers 3 was released a few years later and made some major changes to the series compared to what Night Warriors had done. The third game removed both boss characters and Donovan from the cast and brought back Hsien-Ko and the original ten characters once again then added Q-Bee (bee lady), Jedah (demon), B.B. Hood (twisted Red Writing Hood) and Lilith (young succubus). Along with the changes in the roster came several character tweaks for extra balance - Demitri and Morrigan were both toned down and Rikuo was changed into a charge character, etc. Along with the ES and EX specials, each character had a new "Dark Force" ability that allowed a player to use a portion of their super gauge to give their character a certain enhanced ability for a few seconds. Instead of having the usual two round gameplay, all matches were only one round and each character had two life gauges - when a character's life gauge was fully depleted, the character would be knocked down and the life gauge would refill. This all made the action much faster than the original game. Darkstalkers 3 also has the option of a turbo speed much like Street Fighter.

Both games are presented in HD and look quite well still. Darkstalkers is one series that Capcom has not released on many systems so this game feels rather fresh still. Both games play just like they used to in the original arcade versions. Both games feature online play. They both have ranked matches, player matches and tournament plays. Player matches and tournaments have a lobby system where 8 players can join a lobby and watch current fights through a spectator mode. I played many matches online and only found a slight sound glitch at one point (the sound turned off) as the only flaw in those matches. Both games have the option for replays that can be uploaded or downloaded as well.

Both games also have a vault filled with artwork from each game title. Like other Capcom fighters that have been re-released in HD, a player can accumulate vault points by performing certain tasks, which unlock "rewards" that give a player a certain amount of vault points to buy extra artwork. Night Warriors has a list of five chapters for challenges with each character and Darkstalkers 3 has a list of five tutorial chapters with each character. Both extras are basically like challenges really.

Darkstalkers is truly a unique fighter that feels very fresh compared to many other fighters out there. The game series is over ten years old but it still feels just as fun as it did in old-school arcades. Both games are easy to play, but they are difficult to master. This compilation features the two of the best games in the series of Darkstalkers. Both games have their own uniqueness to them that fans would miss out on if they weren't both included in this collection. The first game was practically overdone by Night Warriors so its exclusion is understandable. At $14.99 on the PS3 store and 1200 points on the Xbox LIVE marketplace, this collection is an excellent deal for any fighting game fan.

The Good:
+ Two Darkstalkers games in HD
+ Game feels unique compared to other fighters
+ Online play

The Bad:
- The overall fighting is not as deep as other more modern fighters so it can get old quickly

Final Rating: 89%. Darkstalkers Resurrection is a great compilation of two of the most unique fighting games that have ever been made by Capcom.


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