A lot of nuance went into remaking the second and third Darkstalker games for modern consoles, but not every idea Capcom had for the retro remakes made it into double pack Darkstalkers Resurrection.
Among the wish list of things that didn't quite make the cut were more robust community tools and the ability to animate the buttons and joystick shown while playing in arcade cabinet view mode.
"With these HD rereleased games we have tried to appeal to fan nostalgia and fond memories of those days playing these games in arcades," said producer Derek Neal. "Arcade mode, for instance, even has buttons and sticks. We recognize fans love that. We want to recreate that experience for them."
While the view allows players to feel like they're standing in an arcade in front of the cabinet, it won't be the same cabinet found in either Japan or the U.S. Instead developers Iron Galaxy Studios decided to create custom ones for the game.
Players can even see the ball stick and buttons on the cabinets.
"We don't have them moving," Neal said. "I would like to see the buttons depress while you're playing or light up and the stick wiggle, but they don't.
"Every feature comes at the expense of others in the game and this time around we decided the games other features we more important than making the sticks wiggle."
And the developers didn't skimp on features with this double pack.
"This is the most full featured downloadable fighting game we have ever released," he said.
The game includes HD visuals, a variety of different view modes including arcade mode, combo trials and challenges built into both games, a replay saving mechanism that allows you to upload fights to a server and view them later with friends in a room, you can also upload those game replays to your personal YouTube channel. And while the game still uses the game's original art, the developers managed to work in quite a bit of new art created for the game by Stanley "artgerm" Lau.
Lau's art showed up in a number of different places in the game, Neal said. The user interface makes extensive use of it. You can also find quite a bit of it in the unlockable vault.
Neal also pointed out that Darkstalkers Resurrection uses the most updated version of fan-favorite net code GGPO, to ensure liquid smooth online play. This latest iteration of the code displays the actual ping number for possible opponents and allows players to use a new ping limiter, first tested in Marvel Vs. Capcom Origins, to set a maximum ping for matches.
"We've also dome some backend stuff," he said. "As we collect more data we're able to fine tune the experience."
The game has been playable on the New York Comic Con floor since its unveiling on Thursday, and Neal says the fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
Pressed up against the Capcom booth, I had a chance to try a single round of the game. It felt every bit like the original Darkstalker titles, but included some neat visual touches, like streaming challenges that appeared and rolled up along the sides of the screen, outside the play field.
"We have a whole bunch of tasks we give you, like throw an opponent or shoot a fireball or perform a four hit combo," Neal said. "They start up simple but level up. They push you to harder aspects of the game, some you need to be a master to learn."
As you complete these challenges you are award points that can be used to unlock items in the game's vault.
The idea, Neal said, is to teach players new to Darkstalkers some of the nuance of the game.
"It's a great way to incentivize them to learn these things," he said.
Darkstalkers Resurrection comes with Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, the second game in the series, and Darkstalkers 3.
And unlike more modern games, nothing has been done to try and balance or tweak gameplay.
"Our intention is to be true and faithful to the arcade versions," he said. "We deliberately won't do anything to change the game's balance. It's kind of sacred ground. These are beloved games. We don't mess with your baby."