$20 game of the week: Darkstalkers Chronicle (PSP)

August 29, 2006 at 4:58 pm ($20 GOTW, Lost Classics, Video Games)


Since the early 90s, Capcom has been known for it’s fighting games.   It’s three main franchises in the genre are Street Fighter, the Marvel games, and Darkstalkers.  Of the three, Darkstalkers has had the least exposure, with only 3 games in the series and a few Japan-only “Championship edition” upgrades.  Darkstalkers was unique due to the anime reinvention of classic universal studios monsters like the wolf man,  dracula, and the mummy to name a few.  Even though it’s based on the 6 – button street fighter engine (also seen in the marvel games), the game features crazy attacks and moves that you would never see in an SF or even any X-men game.  One character summons a god from heaven to stomp on your opponent while another has an attack that turns his opponent into a female version of themself!  Darkstalkers 3 is the most recent in the series, with 18 characters, 4 of which are new to this installment.

Darkstalkers chronicle (also the first PSP game featured here) gives players the “Street Fighter Anniversary Edition” treatment by allowing players to select versions of each character as they played in previous games in the franchise (i.e. Nightwarriors Morrigan vs Anakaris from the original Darkstalkers).  Also, you can choose to play using rulesets from each game in the series as well, also accessing the music from them.  The game also throws in a new “Chaos tower” mode, where you pick three characters and try to make it up the tower as fas as you can, unlocking artwork and features on the way.  Some of the matches force restrictions on you, such as no punching and no specials.  This game is light on the features as are most Capcom fighters and the PSP control pad is a bit cumbersome to work with,  but the music and bizzare characters make up for it.  This release proves 2D fighting is neither dead nor dying.  Hopefully Capcom will give us a sequel, or at least a new 2D fighting game that’s not a remake or a rehash of 10 year old sprites.
Note:  Darkstalkers 3 is also availabe on PS1.  You can’t interchange characters and battle systems, but the rulesets from Darkstalkers 1 and Nightwarriors are unlockable.  The game features a color edit mode in place of the PSP’s Chaos Tower mode.  You create a character by editing the color palette of another and then build it’s stats.  I’m sure it’s cheap too, so if you don’t have a PSP, find a copy.


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