|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Iron Galaxy|
|Release: March 12, 2013|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence, Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
Darkstalkers Resurrection is cut from the same cloth that all of the other Capcom fighting game re-releases are cut from. It doesn’t update the mechanics of its games (Darkstalkers 2 and 3) in any way shape or form. Instead, it updates just about everything else, from art to achievements, and lets the games speak for themselves. Heck, it’s even done by the same studio, Iron Galaxy, that brought us the incredibly well-received Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition.
As a result, there’s not a whole lot to discuss here. We all basically know what’s in store for us in terms of gameplay. If you liked the original Darkstalkers series, then you will absolutely love this updated version. If you didn’t, then there isn’t anything new or revolutionary here that will change your mind. Darkstalkers Resurrection isn’t anything more than a love letter to currently existing Darkstalkers fans, a beautifully written and masterfully crafted love letter that makes us all remember why we fell in love with the series in the first place.
Of course, no Capcom fighting game remake would be complete without a host of new graphical options, and those are all present. You can apply all sorts of filters, making the game look as smoothed over or pixelated as you like. You can stretch the game to fit widescreen TVs, or you can keep the game bordered at its standard 4:3 ratio.
However, none of these graphical options is the coolest thing that Darkstalkers Resurrection has to offer. That honor goes to the “over-the-shoulder” view, which pretty accurately simulates standing over the shoulder of an old pro at your local arcade, waiting for your turn to play. Of course, you never had to actually play from this perspective in the old days, so it’s a little weird to control. You’re not likely to use this option much outside of playing around with your friends. Still, it’s an amazing piece of nostalgia that satisfies old arcade regulars like me.
All the same bells and whistles that were present in Third Strike Online Edition are here as well. For example, the game has a full list of achievements and challenges that can be set to scroll up the margins of the screen as you complete them. The points you earn by completing these challenges can then be used on a number of mostly aesthetic unlockables that your standard superfan would appreciate.
A fully fleshed-out tutorial has also been integrated into Darkstalkers Resurrection, and it’s one of the better tutorials that we have seen in a fighting game remake. Granted, it’s essentially just a trial mode and there are only five trials per character, but for once the trials aren’t just a Simon Says combo simulator. Instead, these trials actually teach you the utility behind each character’s best moves. Some of these trials get difficult fairly quickly, and that is sure to anger some of the newbies who have never touched Darkstalkers before, but biting your tongue and sticking it through will make you a far better player.
It’s impossible to talk about re-releases like this one without discussing the inevitable inclusion of online mode, and Darkstalkers Resurrection’s is one of the best. The game’s online modes take full advantage of the GGPO networking library, the best online library for fighting games out there. The majority of matches go off without a hitch. You can easily play matches across the country without perceiving a hint of lag. Problems only start showing up when you decide to take on opponents from the other side of the planet.
Ressurection’s implementation of online multiplayer is far better than even Third Strike Online’s. You can now filter matches both by region and by ping, making sure you only get the best connections possible. You can create eight-player online lobbies that allow you to set your own rules for the game, including straight out banning characters that you just don’t want to deal with. If you are a fan of online-only tournaments, which have become all the rage in the fighting game community in recent days, you can run one using the game’s online tournament mode. Finally, if you feel the need to show off your Darkstalkers prowess to the world, you can upload your match replays directly to YouTube from the in-game interface.