Darkstalkers Resurrection PS3 Review

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Looking at recent news from Capcom it seems that the company is embracing its huge collection of historic IPs and bringing them back as downloadable releases. This is especially important to fighting game fans, as there is a lot of love for some of Capcom’s older fighting games. For me, it was Street Fighter III: Third Strike, which received an updated port to current consoles in August of 2011 as Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition. This new update brought tutorials, good training systems, fantastic GGPO implemented online play, a skill-based achievement system and new music. IT was a labor of love to bring Third Strike back, and it’s an example of the care Capcom is willing to take with its upcoming plans to release old games with a new coat of paint.

Fast forward to today and we are back with another loved franchise that had seemingly vanished for a while – the Darkstalkers series. There are swirling rumours of a fourth entry in the franchise, and a teaser video was shown at an event, but it seems Capcom is using this updated collection to gauge interest in a potential new entry in this Gothic horror universe. It’s certainly a promising start, with Iron Galaxy, the team that did the amazing work on Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition, returning to resurrect the Darkstalkers interest on both Xbox 360 and PS3.

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If you have played Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition or Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, you already have an idea how this game is going to turn out. It’s exactly like Iron Galaxy’s past work in that gameplay remains unchanged in terms of balance and priority, so that the title remains faithful to the original arcade release. It does, however, feature new artwork, an updated GGPO net code and matchmaking search system, HD filtering, plenty of viewing options for the game, which includes the funky arcade cabinet visual style, YouTube uploads and tournament mode. There’s plenty included on top of the original game and once again Iron Galaxy has gone out of their way to make sure Darkstalkers is represented to its fullest here. What’s even better is that this Resurrection package includes both Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (the second game) and Darkstalkers 3, because Darkstalkers fans were split on which game they preferred playing, so the developers threw both into the package to satisfy them.

Gamers who are already in love with the series will need no introduction and can get straight to playing online with the game’s awesome GGPO net code. Ping is now on display, giving you an idea of how much lag might interfere with the game. When playing online with low ping,the game feels super smooth. I could not feel any lag with my inputs, which is something you can rarely say about a lot of online fighting games. It also seems a few gamers have picked this title up, as I never had to wait more than 20 seconds to find a game on the searching system. That could be down to the title selling more on release than Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition or the update to the search mechanics means it finds games much easier than the initial troubling search that plagued Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition back on its release.

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If you’re a recent newcomer to fighting games, for whatever reason, you might not have heard much about Darkstalkers, since it never reached the popularity of games like Street Fighter II or Marvel vs. Capcom. Darkstalkers features a cast of legendary creatures and beasts that fight against each other – while this might sound typical, no other fighting game pits Bigfoot against a mummy, a vampire against a werewolf or a heavy metal zombie against Frankenstein’s monsters. You might have also seen Felicia, the cat girl, or Morrigan, a succubus that is dressed to seduce, as these characters have jumped from this series into other Capcom games. There is no doubt that the Darkstalkers games have truly great character design, jammed with personality and animations that still looking charming today. It’s a title with a style that doesn’t age, a testament to the creativeness of these designs.

Does all this sound like your thing? Then newcomers will be happy to know that this game will welcome you. Darkstalkers Resurrection has inbuilt tutorials to let players pick a character and learn moves with them, from simple combos to advanced techniques; you will learn to become skilled enough to have fun with your favourite mythical creature and the jargon that comes with fighting games. It’s one of the harder fighting games to master, as it is filled with genre defining – at its time of release – mechanics, such as air blocking, reversals, chain combos, throw escapes and the Dark Force mechanic, a unique ability that each character can do. For example, Morrigan’s Astral Vision, which you might have seen recently in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, is available to her in Darkstalkers 3. The game is also best to be played on the turbo setting, making it one of the fastest fighters around and a blast to play with the faster settings.

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Iron Galaxy has done no wrong with this beautifully cared for port of the two Darkstalkers games. The only negative is that the use of the arcade version means that Darkstalkers 3 is missing a few characters that appeared in the console version, but apart from that, this is a port full of love and care for the franchise. If you’re a fan of Darkstalkers, then you should buy this game and show Capcom that there is interest in the Darkstalkers franchise and get that fourth entry moving in production. For new fighting game fans, you can take part in a piece of history, as Darkstalkers Resurrection contains great fighting games that hold up today. You also get to see how Capcom reinvented the mechanics of the fighting game genre and wasn’t a company that simply got lucky with its extremely popular Street Fighter series.

8/10

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Version tested: PS3

Also available on: Xbox 360

Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Fighting