It's been almost 7 years since the last Darkstalkers game hit the US, and it's been long overdue for a new one. Darkstalkers Chronicle - The Chaos Tower isn't necessarily a "new" game, but a compilation of the 3 previous games: Darkstalkers, Night Warriors, and Darkstalkers 3. Capcom also threw in a new mode, art gallery, and wi-fi compatibility (ad hoc/infrastructure). So, while it may not be a new game, fans of the series can rejoice in the fact that all their favorite characters can now be taken on the road.
When you first start up the game, you're asked to choose between 3 different modes: Darkstalkers (DS), Night Warriors (NW), and Darkstalkers 3 (DS3). Now both DS and NW have matches split into rounds, but in DS3 mode, the matches are split into downs. As soon as one player's life gauge reaches zero, the next round starts leaving the opposing player to fend off attacks with whatever life he or she has. This makes for very fast gameplay, and keeps the action going.
After you select the mode you want to play, and select your character out of 18 fighters, you are asked to choose what "Type" you want to select. You can choose between DS, NW, DS3, and DS3EP. Each of these types determines the moves and commands you're allowed to use depending on what pick. For example: if you know all the moves for Felicia from NW you would pick her, while your opponent may be unstoppable with Anakaris using his DW3 moves. You can tailor your fighting style to your preference.
The new mode that Capcom added was Tower Mode. You get to select 3 characters, and fight your way through over 100 levels, but there is a catch….
Your characters don't get health back in between battles, and some levels have requirement to pass (i.e. no punching, no jumping, EX move victory). Tower mode brings a whole new level of enjoyment, for 2D fighting fans.
The graphics on the game are smooth and brilliant, and a vast improvement in the series. The biggest flaw I found was that everything looked a bit squished, but you should expect that when taking a 4:3 ratio game and stretching it to 16:9 ratio. They could have fixed it, but it really doesn't take anything away from the game. For a launch title 2D fighter, with some character designs made of 7 years ago, its good to see the Capcom didn't just cut and paste poorly animated sprites in to this game *cough*capcomfightingevolution*cough*
The sound was great for a portable system, but it hard to hear over the shouts of me and my friend over how awesome the game was.
Controls. Hmmm. Well, I've read quite a few articles about the whole "fireball" problem, and both me and my friend we throwing fireballs like it was going out of style. I found the moves very easy to pull off, and anyone who has played a street fighter game with a brand new controller shouldn't have a problem. The problem that I DID have… was jumping. I found it very hard to jump diagonally forward or backwards, and that was pretty hard to overcome, especially when you're getting beat to a pulp stuck in a corner. It might just be that the system is new, but we'll see how it gets after a few hundred games.
Any 2D fighting fan, especially a Street Fighter fan, should add this game to their collection. If you're still a bit weary about the control issue, rent the game or borrow it from a friend…just let them know that they might not get it back.
Review by peloquin
Anon E. Mous
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