noiseredux vs.

Posted on Apr 10th 2011 at 03:50:54 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Fighting, PS1, PS2, PSP

The picture above is my personal Darkstalkers collection. It's a series that I have in the past several months become completely addicted to. My first introduction to the world of Darkstalkers was through Capcom Vs. SNK 2 where I started using Morrigan and realized that her move-set was so intuitive to me that I was just as good with her (or better) than I was with Chun-Li, who had been my standard fighter since Street Fighter II was released all those many years ago. After doing a bit of research (namely on I learned that Darkstalkers was essentially the coolest thing ever:  a combination of Street Fighter style fighting and a horror movie theme. I was sold.

When I started collection PlayStation games again this year one of the first games I picked up was Darkstalkers 3 due to a deal I couldn't pass up. The game seemed totally brilliant to me. Using Morrigan, I zipped right through it -- continuing only once. I was now officially hooked. I picked up a copy of Darkstalkers Chronicles on PSP soon thereafter, and same thing. One sitting, one continue. Yes, this was definitely a series that I could connect to in a big way. I quickly started collecting all the releases for Sony consoles. As such, let's take a look at them all.

Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors was released for the original PlayStation pretty early in the console's lifetime. Note the longbox. Although there's some frustrating load times, the game is a pretty great arcade conversion. It looks fantastic with its huge 2D sprites, especially considering Sony's early plan to hype 3D as much as they could with their new system. Of note however is the insane difficulty of this one. The AI is incredibly brutal -- something that separates it from the other Darkstalkers releases. It's also worth noting that the Japanese version (titled Vampire) is worth considering as it features bonus music videos not present in the US release.

Sadly the second Darkstalkers game wasn't released on the PlayStation. Though in 2005 Japan received a PS2 collection of all five of the Darkstalkers arcade games. Unfortunately for we import collectors, this game has a strange glitch that causes it to freeze up whenever a game is selected at the title screen. So unless you've got a Japanese console, the disc is entirely unplayable via normal import-loading methods.

Darkstalkers 3 is pretty much the finest example of the Darkstalkers experience on a home console. Though loading times are present, they're not game-killing. The graphics are gorgeous. The controls are flawless. Since first playing this one, it has become one of my all time favorite 2D fighting games ever. So certainly I've got a level of bias. But considering the fact that it can be had at a reasonable price on the aftermarket (as opposed to even the inferior first game) there's no reason that fans of the genre should overlook this one.

Darkstalkers Chronicles: The Chaos Tower was actually a launch-title for the PSP. Odd considering the lack of mainstream popularity for the series. The game is basically a mega-mix of the first three games. It incorporates all of the characters, moves and styles of each game into one big collection. Though the PSP interface isn't exactly meant for fighting games, this is actually a pretty great release for fans of the series. It looks great, and is certainly playable. An online option would have been a welcome addition though, and sadly the game wasn't exactly a big seller so a PSP sequel is unlikely.

Capcom released two UMD Videos exclusively through GameStop known as Night Warriors Darkstalkers Alpha and Omega. These are actually collections of the anime series that had originally been released on VHS. They look great, and add a bit of background to the characters. And considering their exclusivity through GameStop, they are actually a bit tricky to find these days. Definitely a cool collectible.

Although the Darkstalkers series seems slightly forgotten these days, many of the characters live on in other Capcom fighting games. The Capcom Vs. series has featured many of them (and this blog may touch upon that in the nearish future as well). But Darkstalkers still maintains a cult audience as well. There's a bounty of comic books, cartoons, soundtracks and figurines out there for collectors to delve into. Further proof of what a unique series it really was.

Posted on Jan 28th 2011 at 01:18:03 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Blog, PS1, PS2, PSP

It's been a couple of weeks since my last big post. Some of you may be wondering why the lull. Well there's lots to talk about, so I've decided to just jam it all into one big, unstructured post. So let's begin with a post-Holiday story. Being a "gamer," I received a fair share of gift-cards to video game stores for Christmas. And understandably. I don't expect family members to keep track of my constantly in-flux collection. So the day after New Year's my wife and I went out from store to store using up various gift cards (and "mad money" from Grandma) that we received. Here's where the story takes an interesting turn. Most of the gift cards that I received were for GameStop. I went to four of them in a single day only to find that their GBA sections were almost gone. The games they did I have, I already owned. And then I'd start to notice things out of the corner of my eye. And by "things" I mean Playstation 2 games that I wouldn't mind playing.

Let me back up for a minute here. Many of you know me as "the Game Boy guy," and that's certainly understandable. I mean look at the name of my blog, right? But here's the thing: I've had a long history of various systems beginning with the Commodore 64. And believe it or not, when the Playstation launched, it was actually the first console I ever bought with my own money. I had to put it on layaway and pay it off with bits of allowance over a period of months. When I finally got the damn thing, I couldn't even afford a game for quite some time, so I had to settle for the demo disc that came with it. But those demos of Jumping Flash and Battle Arena Toshinden kept me busy. And I really did love that thing.

And though I've always been a bit of a Nintendo Fanboy, I skipped over the N64 altogether. A single friend of mine owned one, and though I was impressed with Mario Kart 64, nothing else really appealed to me the same way that Resident Evil, Suikoden, RPG Maker or the Tekken series did. In fact, the PS1 was awesome enough to me to make me purchase a Playstation 2 at launch as well. This is the last console that I bought at launch to date!

However sometime in 2008 I realized that I just had way too many video games for a married man living in a small apartment. I knew I had to condense. It made sense to focus on a single collection. And thus the GameCube with Game Boy Player made the most sense to me at the time. Though it's true that the PS2 (and it's PS1 backwards compatibility) offers a huge library of games, I decided to focus on the GB/GBC/GBA library based mostly on a handful of series. To be honest, the biggest draw for me was that Zelda didn't exist in Sony's world (unless you count Dark Cloud). So I sold my PS2 along with my PSP and all the games I had for each.

In the time since I've certainly become a bit of an expert on the Game Boy's library. And rightly so, as I've spent enough time with it. But I've also become a far more educated gamer as well. I've spent countless hours reading the amazing wealth of information over at, and their ilk. I've discovered a new fondness for entire genres (Shmups!) and publishers (Atlus!) and well, I just know a lot more now. It occurred to me that it was time to re-buy my once beloved PS2 and PSP. And so I spent those gift cards.

Now many of you know that I'm a very regular poster in the forums at And as I started building up my old PS1, PS2 and PSP libraries all over again, along with new additions, I felt the need to discuss this blog over there. I guess I was looking for permission to expand the blog's horizon. And though I got lots of feedback (some begging I keep it GB-only, others wishing me luck), ultimately I have to go with my gut feeling. And my gut feeling is that this blog is my blog. And my blog will be at it's best when I'm writing about whatever I'm excited about right this very second. So that's what I'm planning on doing, folks. (If you're really bored, you can read the whole soul-searching thread here:;st=0&sk=t&sd=a)

My main reason for wanting a PS2 again was to tap into the rather rich library of (both domestic and import) PS1 and PS2 shmups out there. So I picked up a used slim model, and a Hori stick made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Tekken. A handful of trades yielded me such entries as the US version of Castle Of Shikigami (known as Mobile Light Force II here), along with the second Shikigami, Gradius III & IV, R-Types, Sol Divide, Gekioh Shooting King, and many others. But probably my biggest delight thus far has been Einhander, the infamous Square developed shmup that has proven to be even better than I've heard.

Truth be told I've gone on a pretty serious binge over the past month. Numerous retro collections and fighting games (Darkstalkers 3!) and everything else in between. To put it mildly, I am really enjoying getting back into collecting PS1 and PS2 games again. It has a ton of "hardcore" games that I'm loving attempting to track down, and on the casual front my Celtics are 4-0 in NBA 2K9 and my wife and I are hopefully on our way to a championship in Jeopardy.

Which meant buying another PSP was the next rational step. To be honest I've loved the PSP since it was released. Of course back when I owned one, there weren't as many must-own titles that I knew about. When I first had an original "fat" model PSP, it was mostly used as an MP3-player and retro-emulator to be completely honest. Of course now I'm far more interested in imports and more interesting releases, such as the absolutely amazing Half-Minute Hero which is pretty much blowing my mind right now.

And though I'm not an advocate of piracy by any means (seriously, I hate the Johnny Depp movies even), I can't ignore that the PSP homebrew scene is among the best. There's an absolutely wonderful port of the indie hit Cave Story for the PSP. And the solid Atari 2600 emulator means that I could finally play Halo 2600, which turned out to be one of the finest 2600 games I ever played. It was addicting, and well perfect, forcing me to beat it as quickly as I could.

So there you have it, dear readers. The end of the beginning. Or whatever it is. Of course I'm not abandoning Game Boy coverage, but I am intending to let other stuff in. I hope you all stick around to see where things go from here. Hopefully some of you are just as excited as I am.

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