When the sun sets and humanity retreats to the imagined safety of their beds, a mysterious entity appears in the sky to assemble the wicked and the evil.  The secret power of the dark is unleashed Eighteen supernatural creatures of myth and legend now materialize to wage their eternal war for domination of the night. Beware meager mortals, as the Darkstalkers arrive, the fate of all humanity rests on who wins this epic struggle.


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                              Capcom has always faced the uphill battle of
                              being primarily known for its 2D fighting and
                              action games in a world where 3D has become
                              the standard. Even the hardware makers seem
                              to have stacked the odds against Capcom,
                              with low quantities of the RAM needed for
                              sprite-intensive animations.

                              Finally, after three years of PlayStation
                              gaming, Capcom's R&D has done what most
                              thought was impossible -- they have created a
                              near flawless port of one of their 2D arcade
                              hits on the PlayStation. Sure, the animation
                              isn't intact, but compared to previous efforts
                              this is the technological apex of Capcom's
                              recent 2D games.

                              For those who are not familiar with the
                              Darkstalkers 3 series of games, it is another series of 2D fighters in the vein
                              of Street Fighter but with monstrous beings instead of human fighters.
                              The cast of characters includes vampires, succubi, werewolves...
                              you name it.

                              There are 18 characters in this version of the game, all with different
                              moves and strategies. Of course there is also a standard assortment
                              of fireballs and uppercuts that are the trademarks of the Capcom
                              fighting milieu, but they're much more flamboyant than in the Street
                              Fighter games. You can expect larger combos than usual in this title
                              and you shouldn't be surprised to see some super moves that string
                              together 20 or more hits.

                              Despite these obnoxious super moves, the game still has the same
                              excellent play balance and control that Capcom is known for.
                              Mastering each character will take quite a bit of time and the variety
                              of techniques you must comprehend before you can truly call
                              yourself the "master" in Darkstalkers 3 is incredible. Unfortunately,
                              as with most fighting games, the single player mode is fairly
                              unsatisfying compared to fighting a friend. In its defense, the AI is
                              pretty good.

                              What has always kept Darkstalkers 3 in Street Fighter's shadow is
                              the fact that, while the character designs are exemplary, there aren't
                              any that you can immediately identify with. While playing a werewolf
                              is cool, Talbain isn't a "Ryu" or "Guile". The characters do look good
                              though, and they are well represented in game with the most fluid 2D
                              animation we've seen from Capcom -- complete with bright, vibrant
                              colors. The sound is also nothing to write home about, but it does a
                              good job of representing the action and doesn't distract from the
                              gameplay at all. Even the load times are much more tolerable than
                              usual after you turn on the shortcut mode.

                              Rounding out the package are a few additional modes, including an
                              art gallery of the characters and a create-a-character mini mode.
                              Don't get your hopes up; while any addition is certainly appreciated,
                              these do very little to spice up the meat and potatoes of the game:
                              head-to-head fighting. If you are a fan of the 2D fighting genre,
                              however, this is one of the games to get this Christmas. You won't
                              be disappointed.