When you hear the phrase fighting game, there's a strong chance you will think of the company Capcom. For decades they have strived to obtain the fighting game crown with their most popular franchise, Street Fighter. However, there is a series from Capcom that while not as main stream as Street Fighter, has gained an almost cult like following and that series is Darkstalkers. Molded from the same formulas as Street Fighter, Darkstalkers brought to the ring a slew of characters ranging from those found in horror movies, to children's stories and more, which in turn, provided Capcom a way to seemingly re-invent the wheel.
Using a few innovative (for the time) gameplay additions such as air guards and ex attacks allowed Capcom to create a fighting game with a very fluid and fast paced feel to it. This is the fundamental core of what makes Darkstalkers a dark horse fighting game. The Darkstalkers faithful have lit their candles for years in hopes that Capcom will release a new installment of the franchise. Instead of granting that wish though, Capcom has decided to test the patience of those faithful by releasing HD remakes of Darkstalkers Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3 into one release on the Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 MS points. Side scrolling, button mashing, screen flashing moves have always been the backbone of the Darkstalkers series. Given the fact that there are two separate games in this release, let's take them one at a time and see if you should be spending your 1200 MS points on this, or something else.
Darkstalkers Night Warrior is the first title in this double feature and from the beginning it will instantly appeal to the hardcore fans as well as provide a great way for those new to the series to jump in and play. The customizable six button configuration remains intact and if you do not have an arcade stick you're in luck, because you can customize the layout to suit the controller. There is a single player arcade mode which allows you to select any of the demons available and twist your way through the dark levels honing your skills as you prepare to take on the world in the very solid multiplayer option. It's in here where you can configure your search by not only region but also player level and ping time as well so you will know ahead of time what you are getting yourself into. There are other options within multiplayer such as tournament and there's even the new innovation of syncing your Xbox 360 to YouTube to display your unholy dominance to the world.
Already known for being a beautiful and colorful fighting game, Capcom has done a fantastic job with providing the HD remake for Darkstalkers Night Warrior. Now the backgrounds look more vibrant and the colorful characters we know and love look absolutely brilliant. Now when you manage to pull off special moves and connect that 20 hit combo, the screen lights up in a spectacular fashion bringing to life every aspect of this HD remake. Originally releasing on the Sega Saturn system back in 1997, Capcom has done a fantastic job resurrecting the classic joy we had back in 1996 and bring it into today's world. With one of the two Darkstalkers games showcasing some amazing beauty in the new HD remake, time to press onward now to the next game included with this Darkstalkers Resurrection arcade title, Darkstalkers 3.
Originally released back in 1998, Darkstalkers 3 has arguably been hailed as one of the definitive titles in the franchise. Knowing that a large and loyal following would be combing over every detail of this game, Capcom set out to give this game a facelift that any Hollywood plastic surgeon would admire. While the core gameplay remained, there were a few changes however to how the matches were played. Instead of opting for a more traditional round system, Darkstalkers 3 implemented a system that made each fight one round but allowed each person a dual life bar that when drained would signal your character "downed" and after the second bar was lost, the match was over.
Capcom has done a terrific job keeping the gameplay as original and hectic as it was before, but not contempt to rest there, Darkstalkers 3 has been given such a tremendous HD remake to the graphics that the entire package looks simply stunning. Bright, vibrant colors grace every inch of every level and the character models of the fighters look like they have aged better than Dick Clarke. It goes without saying that Capcom has done a magnificent job bringing these two aged classics back to life.
There are a few drawbacks though, and that mostly rests within the content provided, or should I say not provided. This isn't the first time these games have been released, yet in previous releases, we as gamers were treated with more content such as a chaos tower mode, more characters, etc. Capcom though does include an innovative challenge system where you can go through different tiers of challenges to level up your "player" and unlock various artworks, movies, and more. This extra content though serves very little purpose to gamers and in the end seems to bring down the overall title itself. Had there been more content, then it could easily be worth the 1200 MS points ($15); however, when it comes to just purchasing the content provided and then waiting to purchase more DLC for the game that should have already been included, Darkstalkers Resurrection should rest in peace.