April 14, 2013
In short, Darkstalkers Resurrection is an HD compilation of Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge and Darkstalkers 3. Iron Galaxy Studios, the studio that brought you Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition and the Marvel vs Capcom Origins collection is behind this game's development. And in doing so, this studio has shown that they know how to make a classic fighting game work on modern consoles with tons of new features.
While Resurrection doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of content or features, it is still a welcome effort for any re-released fighting game. There is now online play with GGPO, HD visuals, viewing/sharing replays online, challenge modes, and tons of in-game unlockables. Both games still play like their original arcade releases, but depending on how you remember each game, it may affect how you feel about them.
Both Darkstalkers games are your standard six button fighters (ala Street Fighter). There are plenty of specials, EX moves, and combos to learn for each character. The biggest difference between the two games is that in Darkstalkers 3, games are played best two out of three rounds, but there is not a reset of time and health when an someone loses a round.
This is a very interesting mechanic you don't see in many standard fighting games, but this is the only real difference when it comes to how the two games play. These are not the kind of fighting game you simply just hop in and can learn after a few games. You will need to spend time learning a single character and how to play them if you hope to get anywhere with these fighters.
Much like with the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins Collection, there are many things that made these games fun back in the day. That fun comes at the cost of a game being extremely unbalanced, but this isn't totally the case with both games here. The original Darkstalkers is nice to have in for nostalgia sake, but with a very limited roster and lack of balanced or original gameplay may keep new players away.
Darkstalkers 3 is the series at its finest, but still has many notable flaws. The roster has a wider array of fighter to choose from, but actually learning how to play them ends up being more trouble than it is worth. While Darkstalkers 3 is incredibly fun to play on and offline, this is the game where you need friends to make this kind of game fun.
The online community in both games seems to already be on a very fast decline and this could be for many reasons. Even though the game is out worldwide, I could almost never get into a ranked match and had to resort to quick player matches just to get my ass kicked by someone who had clearly been playing these games for over a decade. The amount of work needed just to feel competent against the computer is nowhere near the amount of talent the community for both of these games requires for you to take this seriously. Lastly, Darkstalkers 3 is the only game people seem to be playing and the player base seems to be largely ignoring the original's online like the plague.
The mechanics for both games are there and extremely solid, but the learning curve is way too steep for a fighting game released in 2013. Even with all the challenges and tutorial mode, there is not a single place in either game that clearly tells new players how to play the game. If the whole point of this game was to put out these two games so that only new players could fully enjoy them, then Iron Galaxy really hit the nail on the head.
Whether you are getting your butt handed to you or are just watching, it is hard to knock both games for their presentation. Both of these arcade classics really do a great job at making a truly gorgeous 2D fighting game set in a gothic universe. Every character is very unique and has their own crazy back story like most fighting games.
The stages and music really drive home the whole gothic theme with each characters' stage as well as the catchy soundtrack. Also for any fans of concept art, the vault makes a return and you can spend points earned through gameplay to unlock movies, art, and more. The presentation is the saving grace for both of these games no matter how you feel about the gameplay, it is simply a great game to just watch and hear in motion.
Darkstalkers Resurrection seems like a missed opportunity. If this was aimed at getting new players into the franchise, it's a shame that more features weren't put in. How else do you expect to build up brand recognition, if you don't make earlier titles more accessible for a series as notoriously difficult as Darkstalkers. If you have played these games and loved them in the past you already probably own Resurrection. Newer players to fighting games will be better off playing it safe and avoiding this re-release.
Darkstalkers Resurrection was reviewed on the PS3. You can read more about GamingUnion.net's scoring policy here.