GAME NAME: Darkstalkers Resurrection
DEVELOPER(S): Iron Galaxy Studios
RELEASE DATE(S): 13 March 2013
There’s just something about beautifully animated sprites that instantly evoke thoughts of an era of late afternoons spent at the local arcade, hands always fumbling for the next 20c coin before the announcer’s booming CONTINUE? countdown reaches zero. While most will associate these moments with Street Fighter – a franchise that has grown from strength to strength since I was an arcade-dweller – some will remember another less
exploited well-known Capcom fighting franchise.
Darkstalkers is in many ways the bastard child that simply doesn’t get enough attention from its parents, always shoved to the back in favour of the more popular siblings. Still, the series has managed to carve out its own little niche of fanatical followers, and it’s these guys that’ll be ecstatic with Darkstalkers Resurrection – a port of the two best games in the franchise: Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3.
Receiving very similar treatment to another recent port – Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Edition – the download-only Resurrection features the same bells and whistles with development duties once again handled by Iron Galaxy Studios. This means that if you’ve played 3rd Strike you’ll be well aware of what to expect. Playing the game in its original 4:3 mode or stretching it to fit your wide-screen, pixel-smoothing filters, side-screen challenges and stacks of unlockables, this is undoubtedly the definitive version of these classic arcade games. For newcomers it also features an extensive and exhaustive training mode where your skills can and will be tested.
Broken down into chapters, the training mode starts off easily enough with things like basic chain moves and command grabs, but these quickly escalate into much more detail where you’ll learn which moves can be invincible to grabs, guard cancelling and unblockable moves. Your fingers will get a workout and, if you’re at all planning on taking your game online, it’s completely necessary. If you want to stand any chance of survival online you’ll need to master the art of blocking airborne attacks, the chain combo system and character specific mechanics. But with a wide variety of settings for hosting matches (including filters for ping and skill level) it at least makes it easier to find opponents on a similar skill level to your own.
While fans of the series patiently wait for an official Darkstalkers 4 announcement, this is a fantastic offering to temporarily appease Darkstalker loyalists. With its camp 90’s punk-horror aesthetics, fantastic character design, eye-catching sprite animation and blistering gameplay (at the Turbo setting), Darkstalkers Resurrection is a must-own for those who want to see the franchise continue. The world needs a little less Ryu and Ken, a lot more Morrigan and Demitri.