Perhaps I’m a slow learner, maybe I enjoy pain, or it could be that I’m simply quick to both forgive and forget. I’ve already disregarded the not entirely pleasant experience of playing one fighting game on the Sega Saturn. No reason that I should allow that to stop me from trying more of the same genre on the same platform. Plus, there’s that ever-present goal of getting all of this data — good or bad — into MobyGames. With that, let’s delve into Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge.
This game is one in a franchise of Darkstalkers titles from Capcom. Actually, one of the arcade versions of this series, available circa 1995, remains my second favorite fighting game of all time (second only to the original Fatal Fury, but only on the Neo-Geo; accept no cheap SNES substitutes). I always enjoyed the premise of this game– a bunch of mythological creatures and monsters battling it out. This allows for legendary match-ups such as Dracula vs. Frankenstein:
Of course, that’s not actually Dracula or Frankenstein. It’s the Capcom characters, Demitri and Victor. (And of course, purists know that the monster in the Frankenstein tale is not named Frankenstein, rather he was named Dr. Frankenstein’s monster; ironically, the good doctor’s first name was Victor; I first learned that in 10th grade world history class of all places). I found myself wondering this evening why Capcom chose to invent one-off properties instead of using the real deals. I realized that having their own set of slightly unique characters is eminently more copyrightable than stock folklore characters already in the public domain. Further, they don’t have to contend with horror genre fanboys complaining about glaring incongruencies when contrasted with popular legend, such as the fact that the vampire shown above looks less like a sophisticated count and more like a rather sinister Superman with a dinner napkin tucked into his shirt for the sloppy feast.
Whatever. I still find the Darkstalkers characters very interesting. Thanks to the magic of Wikipedia, it’s easy to research the characters and what the characters are supposed to be based on. Some are easy enough to guess, like the vampire, the werewolf, and the Frankenstein monster. But what about the skinny zombie whose body produces any number of sharp edges and also bears a Union Jack? Or the ghostly samurai warrior? (As an aside, I have never understood why some characters in these fighting games get weapons and others don’t; then again, they all seem to be able to fire magical projectiles so maybe it all evens out.)
I had not seen this character, Donovan, in the arcade incarnation I once frequently patronized. This guy has a little girl that follows him around on the sidelines. It’s all very weird. More notably, if you mash enough buttons, you can invariably summon this attack:
Just like the chandelier attack prominently featured in any number of castle movies, the preceding attack works best if the opponent is conveniently located underneath the foot.
I’m pleased to report that this is a great Saturn game. Despite the inherent A/V lag I experience due to my capture setup, the controls are very responsive (thus further evidencing that perhaps Criticom was just bad). My only gripe with this game is load times. I’m so glad I missed this the first time around since I was out of gaming during the original PlayStation/Saturn days.