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Darkstalkers 3
Review By: Joel Fajardo
Developer:   Capcom
Publisher:   Capcom
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Fighting
ESRB:   Teen

I’ve always loved Capcom in the arcades and on the Saturn; I probably will on the Dreamcast, too. But one place where I don’t like seeing my 2D gods on, is the Sony PlayStation. Not that the PSX isn’t deserving of Capcom’s fighting goodies, but it’s that they can’t handle most of them. What the PSX does best is 3D, not 2D, not even 2 ½D. Regardless, Capcom’s latest installment of their Darkstalker series proves to mediocre to good on a platform where it shouldn’t be.

Unlike the first two Darkstalker games, the boss of this title isn’t Pyron. Instead, it’s a new baddie named Jedah. In this version, the plot’s as follows: " Jedah, one of the three largest noblemen in the Dark World, was resurrected. ‘ I shall be the one to unite every dispirited soul’, he boasted. For perfect salvation of all souls, he summoned the owners of ‘valuable souls’ to his Dark Dimension, to unit them al to himself (—Dark- stalkers’ manual, Capcom)." And in the Dark Dimension, you have the ability to take control of several new characters (along with all the old ones): Jedah, the protagonist; B.B. Hood, a blood-driven 10-year old (girl) hunter; Lilith, an embodiment of Morrigan’s soul; and Q-Bee, the leader of the Soul Bee tribe and a follower of Jedah.

The biggest difference from the Saturn’s version of Night Warriors (a.k.a. Darkstalkers II), is the graphics. This game pales in comparison in all ways, but honestly, it’s good. Sure, it may not be up to the arcade standards, but you gotta think that the PSX was never meant to handle that many pixels per second, and what it does do, it does well. The animation, I’ll admit is a bit on the choppy side, even when the speed level is on high, and the characters seem to stagger at times when performing moves. I don’t even want to know how many frames and pixels of animation were cut out from the arcade version, because the nice visuals the arcade version had will not be found on this version. And on top of the, the intro is horribly cheap, but not as cheap as the disappointing, standstill endings. (The worst part of the game though, is the lack of battlegrounds.)

Interestingly, the control isn’t as bad as I thought it would be; it works fairly nicely. One down factor is something that you find on most PSX games when using the D-pad—your thumbs begin to hurt after a certain time of playing.

The DS (Darkstalker) series never had great music; I didn’t anticipate in this version that they would. On that assumption I was correct. What they did offer, was mediocre tunes, average sound effects, and the whatnot. If you ever plan on buying a game’s music CD, don’t buy this one.

I have to admit, though, that aside from the games many little flaws, it’s pretty darn fun. The first hour you play it, it’s boring, almost annoying; the second hour, it’s just A-okay; the third hour, it begins to grow on you; the fourth, you’re actually enjoying yourself. It’s almost like some weird disease that the longer you’re exposed to, the more it affects you. And, even though it’s not the best of the best of fighting games, it can be fun, especially when trying to get all the endings (which are sadly disappointing) and when playing with a friend.

But if you’re looking for a game that you can expect to replay for years and years, till Kingdom Come, this isn’t that game. It’s good to pick up and play once in a while, and you’ll find yourself having a good time. But, like other fighters, it can only last so long. You can only take so much.

Overall, it’s a good game; nothing more, nothing less. I’ve seen better, played better, and heard better, but heck, I like it. If you’re interested in purchasing it, you can find it at most places for around $19.99, new, maybe used.

Overall: 7.9

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