geekcomplex's Darkstalkers Resurrection (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

Darkstalkers Resurrection brings the elements long time fans demand while delivering fun for newcomers all around!

Darkstalkers Resurrection REVIEW

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Known for it’s deep character back stories and classic fighting mechanics, the Darkstalkers series has long since remained a classic in the mind of fighting game fans. After years of talk of potential sequels, and years of Capcom seemingly trying their hardest to avoid giving fans what they want, the announcement of Darkstalkers Resurrection brought a glimmer of hope to a franchise many had given up on going anywhere. The collection of the second and third games in the series, Night Warriors Revenge and, Darkstalkers 3, featuring a slew of brilliantly designed characters, some of whom have gone on to be featured in games like Marvel vs Capcom or Puzzle Fighter, and some who are based on classic tales slightly tweaked to fit into the fighting genre. Does Darkstalkers Resurrection recapture the magic that the fans have desired for so long, or is this one last cash grab before Capcom closes the door on Darkstalkers once and for all?

First, let me point out that while arguably a cash grab, the purpose of the games release is really to gauge the level of interest to decide rather or not they will be looking into Darkstalkers 4 at all. As a long time observer of many of the less known fighting franchises, I spent my childhood primarily with MK and some Street Fighter peppered in, but only ever saw Darkstalkers in arcades, and can’t recall an occasion I really got into a match. That said, as a child I was also a button masher, so gravitating toward the greatest payoff for such tactics is natural- and for me the best payoff was VIOLENCE. Since then however, my tastes have skewed toward the side of a true balanced fighting experience, and if the game has some great depictions of violence, well then all the more fun to play. Darkstalkers Resurrection takes a story driven route not often explored well in fighting games, but fitting into the classic style very well. The backstories for the individual characters are surprisingly rich, and many will bring up childhood memories, and potentially ruin them for you forever (in a good way?).

The level of effort put into restoring the original feeling of these classics is truly impressive, keeping true to the elements that made the originals stand out, and improving the graphical elements perfectly without taking away the old school fighter feel. Character animations are as fluid as ever, and when played on Turbo, the game shows off a serious ability to keep up. The classic soundtrack may raise complaints with a few, but having not played the originals outside of a random match here or there, I really enjoy the distinctly arcady sound the game carries, both in the music and the characters voices still having the same grunts and shouts they had when they were first crafted. Keeping to the classic feeling, the game seamlessly jumps between the 2 games HD ports at your whim with a button press, and has yet to show any signs of stuttering, even when played online, which in classic fighting games brought to modern consoles, is often a huge problem. Additionally, the game features new art both on load screens and unlockable, seemingly to bring a fresh feel to the game, and to show off how they would bring some of the fighters into the modern day without alienating what made them special.

The game has a number of modes to view the fight from as well, and a number of filters you can turn on or off entirely. For example, want to view from a classic arcade cabinet standpoint? You can do that! Some seem to find it quite enjoyable, while I personally (I will blame my bad eye sight) struggle to focus on anything I am actually doing in this mode. You can play the game in its modern form of turn off the graphics filters and switch it to a very well done rendition of a classic CRT-TV screen for a seriously back in the day feel without the odd angles. Rather or not you’ve been a fan for years, or are seeing this asking “Dark what now?”, there is a load of fun to be had. Additionally, you can take pride in knowing that giving into nostalgia in this case, could very well lead to the game you’ve been wanting for years.

Additionally, for newcomers the game has a very well done training mode, in which not only does the AI show you how to perform each move, even down to the timing, but allows you to practice against what is basically your pre programmed (by you) reflection. All of the training features are surprisingly well done and truly allow a level playing field if you take some time to master a character’s moveset. Rather or not this will prove valuable for long time players is perhaps debatable, but it allowed someone like me who hasn’t played in about a decade to jump in and hold my own, and even have fun while doing it.

Darkstalkers Resurrection gets a ⅘

Darkstalkers Resurrection now available for PSN and XBLA for $15!

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