Review: Darkstalkers Resurrection (PS3)

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Title: Darkstalkers Resurrection
Format: PlayStation Network Download (336 MB)
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Price: $14.99 / £11.99 / €14.99
ESRB Rating: T
Darkstalkers Resurrection is also available on Xbox Live Arcade.
The PlayStation Network version was used for this review.

When I volunteered to review this game I did so out of a case of mistaken identity. I mean, I knew who I was and who Glenn was and as per usual I was confused by just what Josh is. That was not the problem. There seem to be some prominent games named Dark something. OK! OK. I thought it was an RPG. I didn’t remember the games 1994 and 1997 arcade cabinet incarnations. I am glad I forgot. I probably would not have volunteered and thus would have missed the fun I had playing the games for review. Yes. GameS with a big ol’ “S” at the end. Since Darkstalkers Resurrection contains two full fighting games packaged together with identical attributes apart from some characters and all the background locations the review to follow accounts for both games at once.

There IS a story about vampires (the games have the word vampire in the titles in Japan) but the story is very superficial and little more than a screensaver during load times. Stories are never the point in this genre and this game in particular is jam packed with enough fun to…wait, what was I talking about because I just remembered the match I played online last night and how I beat the bejeebers out of Rashimon playing as Baby Bonnie Hood. Classic!

Gameplay:
The controls are 100% assignable. Which is a blessing and an odd curse. Because if you’re like me you enjoy having what you need right in front of you either on the screen or in a menu quickly accessed by the select button or the start button.

The enormous flexibility of the control assignments mean that the tutorials and the training modes can not tell you which button mash does what. The programmers could certainly have provided this function that no matter what the assignments the tutorial could see what you’ve chosen for which action, if indeed you switched anything from the default settings, and display that. But that gets into the arena of higher dev costs and price points and for this price I am happy to take my own notes and have them at hand until I memorize the controls.

And you will need to take your own notes because while the instructions don’t say “push SQUARE to kick” they do say “kick”. All you have to do is remember which button that is. So just write it all down and learn it. It’s a fighting game and combos have to be learned any way. As do ES and EX finishes so just do it. You’ll be glad you did, if a little sleepy.

There are plenty of characters to control, each with their own special moves and finishes.

Darkstalkers 3:  15 Characters- Jedah, Sasquatch, Demitri, Morrigan, Rikuo, Hsien-Ko, Baby Bonnie Hood, Bishamon, Anakaris, Victor, Felicia, Q-Bee, J. Talbain, L. Raptor, and Lilith.

Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge 14 Characters- Demitri, J Talbain, Victor, Hsien-Ko, L Raptor, Morrigan, Anakaris, Felicia, Rishamon, Rikuo, Sasquatch, Donovan, Huitzil, and Pyron.

It’s a cast of wacky characters all of whom should have their own sugary breakfast cereal. In addition, the animations and vocalizations of the characters are sometimes quite humorous. For instance Lord Raptor has a special move where he turns his opponent into a frog creature that burps out a basketball and then turns into the backboard for Lord Raptor to dunk the ball into. Weird and funny! There are also in-game collectibles like art work and other goodies to get by finishing the tutorials and by using special moves.

Visuals:
Play like you’re watching over your buddy’s shoulder from 19 years ago!  See the game from the point of view of the buddy actually playing on the arcade cabinet 19 years ago! Too much mumbo-jumbo? Play in original 4:3 aspect ratio! Too clunky? Play in 16:9 aspect ratio in HD! Play in 16:9 without HD and with the picture stretched and with simulated cathode ray tube standard def lines and play with more pixelation!

If you work hard enough and experiment you can make the screen look like your mom’s hand-me-down 19″ portable color Zenith TV with the color turned up too far during a Mary Tyler Moore episode! Man! If you can’t make this game look precisely the way you want it too then you need ocular resurrection.

The character animations are reminiscent of the network cartoons of the 1990s. The arenas are interesting and varied backdrops. The God Uterus level is not to be missed! Watch me get creamed playing Night Warriors: Darksiders Revenge online below! (dustinZ123 was my opponent.)

Audio:
There isn’t too much to say about the audio. You have control in the options menu over the volume of music, effects and voice chat. The music is appropriately arcade-y. The announcer has a very thick Japanese accent which is pretty fun.

Online/Multiplayer:
Online matchmaking is fast and ping tolerances and the like can be adjusted as well as region. NAT is displayed too for anyone who wants to get into their router and play with their ports to lower their ping even further.

Modes include 2 Player Couch Local, Ranked Match, Quick Match, Player Match with join or create, Tournament Match with join or create. Plan a tourney with friends! GGPO, which is the system running under the hood to keep lag to a minimum, sets itself automatically but still allows the gamer to fiddle with its settings for fine tuning.

Social interactions are deep for a game of this or any price! Upload your last online match to both the Match Server and/or YouTube. Don’t want to upload but still wish your buddy in Australia could come over to see this? Well, if they have the game, you just put on your headset and invite them to watch WITH you on your PS3 over the internet and chat about it as you watch. There are separate leaderboards for both games.

Conclusion:
Darkstalkers Resurrection is a great duo of games, particularly for the price and it’s dinged only for the omission of control assignment follow-through in the UI. The amount of flexibility included means the player can set-up every aspect of the experience. If you have any interest in fighting games you definitely don’t want to miss this one! Learn the combos and finishes and have a blast.

Score:
9.5

For more on this game, check out the Darkstalkers fan site via Capcom’s Forums.

Written by Keith Dunn

Keith Dunn

An actor/director and more lucratively an Administrative Assistant at a small paper company in NYC, Keith loves his games. And he loves to write. And he is a bit of a sarcasmo.

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