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Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection
  opened by paleface at 21:44:04 06/02/05  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Fighting; reg=JPN]
Finally Capcom is doing things right: instead of mashing a bunch of old games together in a sort of potpourri version (see entry 707, "Vampire Chronicle," and entry 680, "Street Fighter Anniversary Colllection"), in Darkstalkers Collection they give you separate version of each of the five games in the Vampire/Darkstalkers series: Vampire, Vampire Hunter, Vampire Savior, Vampire Hunter 2, Vampire Savior 2.
Although I complained about the blurriness of the video in Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, I've come to like it here. It's nice that you have the option to disable it, but basically, by dynamically scaling the original games' weird CPS resolutions down to normal screen resolution on a high-res screen, filtering the result to allow half-tones to form from blended pixels, they give a better, smoother representation of the original art and animation than you just scale it down into chunky pixels with no antialiasing, as happened in Vampire Chronicle.
I think they did a good thing with the unlockables here: each time you beat a different game with a different character, you unlock a gallery image. Apparently clearing certain games completely, or in certain ways, unlocks a few alternate play modes, but I haven't seen those yet. It strikes me that I'd like to see a fighting game go further and keep track of say your high score, clear time, and continues used per character, so you could keep challenging yourself to beat your previous numbers. You can still do that here, but you have to keep track of some of those numbers in your head (high scores are saved though).
You have to set up your button config separately for each game, which seems kind of weird since they all use the same six-button layout. You can also alter each game's speed, enable an auto-block option, change difficulty (default levels are tough!) and so forth. Aside from a few seconds pause after selecting the game from the selection menu, there are no load times from the DVD.
Oh, that reminds me: there is an option to install the game to the PS2 BB unit's hard drive (takes up 1024 MB, the back of the case says). Seeing as how the load times are so short, I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but hey. There were rumors before the game shipped that it would be online-enabled, but I think they'd just got confused with the BB unit being mentioned, 'cause I don't see anything about an online mode in the game or in the manual.
As for the games themselves, well, I really like 'em. It's great to have access to all the different games, each with their own intro sequences, backgrounds, music mixes, combat systems, and, well, "flavor." I don't want to try to go into an analysis of all the games, so suffice it to say that the Vampire series sports some of the weirdest characters, most colorful themes, and most polished, though outlandish, gameplay that you'll ever find in a 2D fighting game. They are difficult, but very, very good, and this is a great collection by Capcom.
  paleface 04:21:38 06/13/05 [relations updated]
Similar to the "Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service" port on DC (see entry 679), Vampire Darkstalkers Collection has a secret Options mode: hold L1 and R1 when selecting "Game Options" in the Options menu and you'll arrive at the secret screen of what are essentially dip switches that you toggle on/off. There isn't much of an explanation there of what they do, but as far as I can tell from crude translations of Japanese sites and GameFAQs board posts, they let you go back in time in the game's arcade evolution, turning off various features or bug fixes that were added in later ROM sets. Mostly pretty minor stuff that only really hardcore people would notice, nothing major like being able to enable English like you can in SSFIIX, unfortunately.
The AI in Vampire is pretty funny--heavily pattern-based, so some of the characters will simply run right into the same attack over and over. Until you figure out which attack works best, though, you may have a helluva time. Almost a puzzle game in that sense. ;) Oh, and it's rubber-band, too: get 'em down to near dead in the last round and suddenly the AI goes nuts, blocking everything and attacking all-out with everything they've got. Grr. The puzzley aspect can be kind of interesting, but I don't know that it entirely makes up for the frustration. For the sake of comparison, the AI in SNK's fighting games tends to feel more human and less robotically pattern-based.
  paleface 02:11:59 06/20/05
It's actually only the first one that's really, really difficult on the default setting. At least with Victor.
  paleface 10:45:19 09/14/20
The Vampire/Darkstalkers games, including the versions here, flash the screen red when a character is defeated: just a single red flash, so it isn't the worst there is, but I suppose I'll avoid it all the same. The PS3 version has it too--but interestingly, the PS1 versions *don't*.
  paleface 15:46:50 05/28/22
Correction: there's no red screen flash at the end of a round in the first game in this collection, "Vampire: The Night Warrior."
A preview video by IGN of the upcoming Capcom Fighting Collection has no red screen flash at the end of a round in the second game, "Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge," either. Curious, because the red flash IS there under every option setting in the JP version in this PS2 collection ("Vampire Hunter: Darkstalkers' Revenge"), and in the US version in the PS3 compilation Darkstalkers Resurrection.
  paleface 16:28:15 05/28/22
Oh, they actually list Capcom Fighting Collection's included ROM revisions on the web site - Japan 950302 and USA 950406. 950302 is included in PS2 Vampire Darkstalkers Collection and does have red screen flash, as does its other included version, JP 950316, which you can switch to in the Secret Option menu (go to Option, press and hold L1 and R1, and select Game Option; I also tried toggling all the "Customize" star dip switches in there, but still got red screen flashes with them all either on or off).
  paleface 16:34:18 05/28/22
Whoops no that's not it, this video of 950406 has heinous red screen strobe at the end of a round, even in 30 fps: (YouTube) l5avVlpy6eo
So...either IGN edited out the red screen flash in their video--seems unlikely, since their rounds of the later games in the collection have round-ending red flashes--or the version in CFC is just different--or they added an option to turn the flash off?
  paleface 07:29:30 05/30/22
On difficulty 5/8, playing Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection for JP PS2--going through secret options, VERSUS CPU mode, playing through the collection's version of the first game as Morrigan, and playing each of the games in Training mode, as Morrigan and Lilith, vs the Dummy set to "COM"; and playing through some of Arcade mode in the PS1 version of the third game, called Darkstalkers 3.

Discovering that I have fun just jamming with the AI in Training mode set to "COM"--a no-kills versus CPU mode where the CPU and I just groove--felt revelatory, especially after the frustrating play-through of Revenge vs the unforgiving CPU (but finally just block and HK to beat Pyron fairly easily :PPPP), and with clunky controls (Specials are consumed with single-button inputs; can't dash forward from holding back).
But then I found, via Training, that for Revenge, Pyron got a new, kaleidoscopically flashy attack--one that looks similar to what I see when I close my eyes during a migraine-inducing photosensitive attack. So even if the Capcom Fighting Collection for some reason removes red flash effects from Revenge, the boss fight will still be too flashy for me to play.
It's unclear whether Training modes in CFC will have a "COM" setting--Capcom has said all the fighting games in CFC will have Training, but haven't described the options. After the main recording, I reinstalled and ran Capcom 30th Anniversary Collection, the last big fighting compilation Capcom put out, and was reminded that only four of the games there have Training--and they're bare-bones modes with only "Stand/Crouch/Jump" for the Dummy--no "COM" setting, so you can't play against the CPU in them.
I notice now though that Digital Eclipse, who did 30th Anniversary, are not involved in CFC ( )--Capcom hasn't announced any studio as being involved. Probably good DE isn't, at least (hah but they're doing TMNT Cowabunga Collection, which has been the "definite buy" I've had on my upcoming games list! = P).
  paleface 08:22:33 05/30/22
^ Oops, the Night Warriors play-through--and maybe some of the Training modes, I dunno--was on difficulty 4/8.
  paleface 23:35:50 06/05/22

Rough comparison of input lag in three ports of Vampire Savior on my set-up, which includes a Hori HRAP V 2017 arcade stick, a 4x2 component matrix switcher, an OSSC, Brook Super Converter adapters, and a 5ms display lag monitor. On a computer, if you're playing this video at 60 fps, you can pause playback, then advance one frame at a time by pressing the "." key, and count along with me the frames that go by between the arcade stick's light punch button being fully pressed down, and Morrigan beginning to play her light punch animation--just make sure the video playback quality is at a 60 fps setting in your YouTube player. I counted the following delay frames for the games:
Darkstalkers 3 (PS1): 3 frames of delay
Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection (PS2): 5 frames of delay
Darkstalkers Resurrection (PS3): 4 frames of delay
I was surprised that the PS1 port beat Iron Galaxy's PS3 port--their famous earlier PS3 port being the ~2 frame delay (2.5 on my setup/test) 3rd Strike. I shouldn't have been that surprised though, I suppose--the lowest lag version of SFII I have is on PS1, after all!
This is a totally unscientific test and only really relevant to the performance of other games tested on my current set-up! Will the version in Capcom Fighting Collection on PS4 beat the PS1 port??
Was a bit surprised the version here was two frames behind the PS1 version. It doesn't FEEL bad or anything.
  paleface 00:32:00 07/20/22
Using a cheat code newly shared with me by @HEHEHE I AM A MASKED WARRIA to skip directly to the boss in the Vampire / Darkstalkers games in Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection on PS2, and demonstrating that you can use this cheat code, beat the boss, and, if you were playing in the correct additional secret mode (Shadow/Soul or Marionette mode--see details below), that will indeed count as fulfilling the beat-the-game requirement to unlock the secret version of that game:

Skip to the boss:
From the "Press Start" title screen, or from a game's animated intro, press and hold [], O, and R1, then press Start to advance to the game's main menu, with "ARCADE" highlighted--if you're still correctly holding [], O, and R1, then "ARCADE" will be highlighted in blue. Still holding Square, Circle, and R1, press Start again. Select your desired character, and the game will go directly to that character's boss fight.
Unlock the secret version of Vampire Savior:
Beat Vampire Savior in Shadow (aka "Soul") mode. To play in Shadow mode, press Start 5 times with "?" highlighted on the character select screen.
Unlock the secret version of Vampire Hunter 2:
Beat Vampire Hunter 2 in Marionette mode. To play in Marionette mode, press Start 7 times with "?" highlighted on the character select screen.
Unlock the secret version of Vampire Savior 2:
Beat Vampire Savior 2 in Marionette mode. To play in Marionette mode, press Start 7 times with "?" highlighted on the character select screen.
Access the unlocked secret games:
Once a game's secret version is unlocked, you can access it by holding the Select button while choosing the regular version of that game from the collection's main rotary menu. The secret versions of the games have all 18 of the non-secret/alternate characters visible on their character select screens, instead of just 15.
Play as Dee in the unlocked secret games:
In the secret games you can get a new secret character, Dee, by hitting Start 9 times with "?" highlighted on the character select screen.
(Oh and in Vampire Savior, Jedah jumped right to Demitri in the Fetus of God with the code because that IS Jedah's normal last battle in Arcade mode, forgot about that. : P)
(I'm not sure that was Oboro Bishamon I faced after the boss in Hunter 2 and Savior 2, because according to cheats lists, to face Oboro Bishamon, not only do you have to not lose a round before then, which I guess I did thanks to the skip cheat, but supposedly you have to use a specific EX Finisher move once or twice, which I'm pretty sure I DIDN'T do. But it looked like him as far as I can and I DIDN'T get him in Vampire Savior, which has a similar I guess that was him and I must'a done whatever moves were required accidentally in H2 and S2. Cool. OR maybe Marionette mode made it happen, I dunno.)
· Capcom Fighting Collection (PS4)
· Darkstalkers 3 (PS1)
· Darkstalkers Resurrection (PS3)
· Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (PS1)
· Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (PS2)
· Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service (DC)
· Vampire Chronicle for Matching Service (DC)

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