Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (known as Vampire Chronicle: The Chaos Tower in Japan) is an updated version of the limited edition Dreamcast game called Darkstalkers Chronicle Online. It is a great 2d fighter similar to the recently released Street Fighter Anniversary Collection in that it combines older versions of the game into one game and marks the series 10th anniversary.
It seems that they have left nothing out of this version; there are tons of different modes of play, options, and characters. For starters the game includes all of the characters from the previous games, there’s 5 different modes of play, and interesting options, like a wide screen mode.
If anyone remembers some of the 2d fighters on the PS2, especially the versus series, some had trouble loading all of the sprites, well the PSP handles the 2d fighter very well, the animation was smooth and arcade perfect. An interesting addition is the wide screen option. It’s similar to playing a normal Gameboy game on a Gameboy Advance or SP, it stretches the image to take up the full screen. You can choose not to stretch it and the images look just like the arcades, on the left and right hand side, where there would normally be black area, you can choose different wallpapers to fill it.
The button configuration is a little uncomfortable, but I don’t see how you could make a comfortable configuration with four buttons and two shoulder buttons. It bring me back to the days of Street Fighter on the SNES, I would always put the Medium punch on the Left shoulder because that was the button I used the least. With the fighting games now, you have to use all of the buttons for your combo’s and that is what makes this so uncomfortable to me. There are two different control setups that you can select from. One is an easy mode that you set your special moves to the shoulder buttons. The other setup maps the kicks and punches on all 6 buttons.
There are five different modes of play, Arcade, Network, Tower, Chronicle and Training. Arcade mode is just like playing the game in the arcades, except you can select from the different modes from the previous games (Vampire, Hunter, Savior and Savior2) to mix things up.
The Tower mode is similar to Survival modes in other games. You pick three characters and you battle your way up the tower trying to get as far as you can before your characters are knocked out. The interesting thing here is this is not your typical Survival mode where you fight the same people each time you go through this mode, instead how you fight can change your path through the tower. Going through the Tower will unlock different features that you can use in the Chronicle mode.
Chronicle mode is a mode that will allow you to use the features that you won in Tower mode it shows you different images and designs from the whole series.
Training mode is still somewhat of a mystery. Generally it will allow you to practice your moves. It is unknown whether or not the AI will be able to customizable or fight back against you.
Arcade mode is match fighting similar to playing in the arcades. The difference here is you can select the version of the game that you want to play (Hunter, Vampire, Savior and Savior 2). There appears to be 18 playable fighters, as well as some hidden fighters.
Network mode is where the fun begins. The multi-player mode will be played via the built in WiFi on the PSP. When you start the multi-player mode you will begin in a lobby that shows all of the people that are in range for you to play. Also rumored is a LAN play that will allow you to connect directly to a friend and play them. There are two different modes that you can play in Network mode, a versus mode and limit break mode. The versus modem allows you to modify the settings of the fights, providing a handicap for players. The limit break mode selects a random character for you and gives you extra challenges like limiting your punches or kicks.
Being a huge fan of 2D fighting games, specifically Capcom fighting games, this game is a must have for me. With all of the different modes of play and the multi-player option adding a great deal of replay value I’ll be playing the game for a long time.