Capcom has been providing a great deal of attention to its classic fighting games in this generation, re-releasing favorites like Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Marvel vs. Capcom and others in high-definition format, with online support and a number of other features. However, one series that hasn't been getting said treatment was Darkstalkers, a "monster collection" fighting game that first came out in arcades in 1994, at the height of Street Fighter II's popularity. Featuring a number of classic monsters in fighting action (including a Frankenstein clone, a rock n' roll zombie, a vampire and a gorgeous succubus named Morrigan), the series gathered its fair share of fans, resulting in the release of a pair of sequels.
After waiting so long to see something new come from the franchise, this weekend at Comic-Con, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced the good news – Darkstalkers were indeed making a comeback. But while it'll be some time before we see any sort of new game in the series emerge (Darkstalkers 4 with Street Fighter IV-like technology would hit the spot), we will get a classic taste of fighting action with Darksiders Resurrection, which features two of the three games in the series – namely the sequels, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge and Darkstalkers 3.
Night Warriors first came out on the Sega Saturn in 1995, where it garnered a huge fan base with both overseas and U.S. audiences, thanks to its beautiful animation, tight gameplay and various options. All of the Darkstalkers characters were included, along with new additions, including demon hunter Donovan Baine and spiritual ghost Hsien-Ko, along with the bosses, the mechanical Huitzil and devil-like Pyron.
Darkstalkers 3 came out a couple of years later for both Sega Saturn and PlayStation, introducing even more characters, including a machine-gun toting Red Riding Hood clone named B.B. Hood. Though its popularity wasn't as huge as Night Warriors, players everywhere still enjoyed the port.
Now both of these games will be reborn for both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, with development being handled by Iron Galaxy, the same team that made Marvel vs. Capcom Origins so good when it was released a few weeks ago. You can expect a number of its features to be included in Resurrection, which fighting fans are sure to enjoy.
First off, the game will support GGPO (Good Game Peace Out) middleware, allowing for smoother online play across both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Some fighting games, when played online, manage to run into lag problems, but as we've seen from Capcom's past efforts, the technology works really well here. What's more, you'll be able to challenge fellow players in Quarter Mode, while also saving replays of particular matches for others to view, should you feel like being a show-off. (Resurrection will also have an option where you can upload your best matches to your YouTube channel, without the need of additional editing software.)
If online competition just isn't your thing, Darkstalkers Resurrection will also come with plenty of single player content. Along with a campaign mode that tells a little bit of back story for each character (like how Hsien-Ko came to be a ghostly figure), Iron Galaxy will line each game up with individual challenges. These include chaining together combos, blocking attacks, and so on. Like Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, these challenges will be displayed on the side of the screen, and you can keep check of your progress after each match. For each set of goals you complete, you'll unlock various goodies in a separate museum, including concept art and other bits and pieces of Darkstalkers memorabilia. And of course, don't forget about the Achievements and Trophies you can unlock for your respective systems.
And like Capcom's previous releases, both Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3 will be retouched in high-definition, using Iron Galaxy's reprocessing. It's something that really worked well with Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, despite the age of the content. Both of these Darkstalkers games features exquisite animations and dark, moody backgrounds, whether you're battling through a London-esque city street or a weird tropical forest, where the plants almost look like they're ready to eat you alive.
The only question now is why the original Darkstalkers game that inspired the series isn't being included. It'd be an interesting trifecta with all three games in the package. But no matter. Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3 will bring more than enough fighting action, with various challenges and online competition to boot. Plus, if enough folks buy the game, Capcom may speed up that development process on a new Darkstalkers game. And that's definitely something we can use.
We'll get hands-on with Darkstalkers Resurrection at a later date, but for now, we're just happy to see the series back on its feet. Look for it on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in early 2013. The dead rise again!