Back in 1994, Capcom put together a unique fighting game. Instead of the sorts of buff karate masters or weapon-wielders we tend to expect in these sorts of games, monsters ruled over everything. You like zombies? We’ve got a zombie. Think vampires are cool? Well, one of them is here too. How about some ghosts? Sure! Don’t forget about Red Riding Hood with uzis. Darkstalkers had it all. While Yoshinori Ono has wanted the series to come back, that hasn’t happened yet. Fortunately, PlayStation Classics give us a chance to go back with Darkstalkers 3.
A New Kingdom is Born, All are Welcome Here
Like the original Darkstalkers, Darkstalkers 3 has a rather unconventional and otherworldly premise. A lord from the demon world, Jedah, has been revived. However, he doesn’t like what he sees, now that it is back. So, he decides to make a new world. That means taking the people he considers worthy to Majigen, his dimension, so they can help populate his world.
This means tons of people are back. That means 22 characters total. Some are entirely new, like the boss Jedah and Baby Bonnie Hood, Lilith, and Q-Bee. Others only appeared in the console versions, like Bishamon, Donovan, Huitzil, Marionette, and Pyron. But one thing is certain: all of them are monsters.
Cry! Scream! Beg! Agonize! Suffer! Weep! Die!
As mentioned earlier, all of the monstrous inclusions make Darkstalkers stand out. There are creatures that would be considered evil at worst and misunderstood at best, and they are normalized here. Hell, they become downright approachable. You want to follow their stories. They are just fun characters who you want to like. But, the game also has some cool gameplay mechanics.
The major highlight is the Damage Gauge system. There are no rounds in Darkstalkers 3. Instead, everyone has two health bars. After one character’s first bar is depleted, the characters are returned to their starting positions. The character who lost one health bar is now on their second bar, while the other’s health carries over from the last “round.”
The other involves the Dark Force. There are two different modes. One is Dark Force Change and the other is Dark Force Power. The former is the same as past installments. Dark Force Change is the same method of specials as in previous games. Dark Force Change is dark force and gives you a brief amount of time to use some special powers. If you choose Dark Force Power instead, then you can use two levels from the Special Energy Gauge to make sure your attacks do more damage, enemies can’t recover health from dodging attacks, and you may have another kind of attack.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Darkstalkers is an amazing series. Its characters are enduring, with people like Demitri, Felicia, Jedah, and Morrigan finding places to stay alive in other Capcom fighting games (or crossovers like Project X Zone!) It’s a shame there hasn’t been a new entry. But, Darksiders 3 is here. It is still easily available. That means we can keep hope alive and enjoy what we’ve got. You can pick it up on the PlayStation Store for the PS3, PSP, or Vita for $5.99/¥617.