Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
Year Of Release: 1994
Darkstalkers is a series of fighting games developed by Capcom. In the West the series is known as Darkstalkers, but in Japan it is called Vampire. The name Vampire comes from the character Demitri Maximoff who in the game is the main character from the stories point of view. The game uses the CPS II arcade hardware which is most famous for Street Fighter II. As soon as you play Darkstalkers you know instantly that this is a Capcom fighting game.
Game play wise Darkstalkers is very similar to Street Fighter II. The game has ten playable characters and two boss characters. The characters in Darkstalkers are all based on some kind of monsters for example we have Demitri Maximoff who is a vampire character. Anakaris who is a Mummy, Bishamon is the ghost of a samurai warrior, Felicia who is a sexy looking Catwoman and who is very popular in the cosplay scene. Jon Talbain is a werewolf type character, Lord Raptor is a zombie rock star. This is just around half the roster of characters and as you can see its pretty amazing stuff and if you are a fan of horror movies then you will not only get a kick out of the amazing character designed, but also the various levels as well. The story of the game centres around Demitri Maximoff who wants to hold a fighting tournament to see which monster should be the ruler of the under/demon world.
The controls of Darkstalkers are very similar to Street Fighter II. The game has the same kind of game play style, but a few new features have been added. You still have your three punch and kick attacks like in Street Fighter and many of the special moves are executed in the same way as in Street Fighter II. But the new game play additions to make the core game play better. You now have the ability to block in the air. Your characters can walk while they are crouched and there was also the addition of super moves similar to what was in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. You have a bar that fills up on the bottom of the screen where if you wait for it to fill you can execute one of your super combo moves or you can use the energy that is in the bar to make one of your regular special moves more powerful. The downside to this is that it depletes the bar.
Current High Score: 687,800 by Justin M Wong
Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors would take two years to reach home systems. The game would not appear on the 16-bit consoles, Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive and would instead show up on the Sony Playstation and the Sega Saturn. The Sega Saturn version of the game is seen as the better of the two versions and more arcade accurate.
There would be two main sequels released in arcades. First of all we had Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge which was released in arcades in 1995 and then as a Sega Saturn exclusive in Japan in 1996. Darkstalkers 3 was released into arcades in 1997 and the following year would be ported once again to the Sega Saturn only in Japan. Interestingly though, Darkstalkers 3 would also be released on the Sony Playstation, despite the 2nd game missing the system. Not only that, but Darkstalkers 3 would be released in the West as well as Japan.
There have been three different Darkstalkers collection releases over the years. Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower was released first in Japan in 2004 and then the West the next year for the Playstation Portable. Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection contains all the Darkstalkers arcade games, but was only released in Japan in 2005 for the Playstation 2. The most recent Darkstalkers release is Darkstalkers Resurrection for the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360.
Darkstalkers is a very popular series and has made the transition from video game to books, comic books, toys and even an animated TV series.