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September 4, 2005
DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower - Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
1/9/2005THQCapcomCapcom PS5
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating
128KBMedium1-4M

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Getting a 14-hit combo.
If you're an older gamer like myself then chances are during the 1980's and early 1990's you were hooked on any number of 2D fighting games. Be it the artistically gorgeous Street Fighter or the bloody brutal Mortal Kombat gamers usually had at least one 2D brawler in which they had master some, if not all of the characters. Capcom has come to the party for the PSP launch by releasing this game, DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, yet another fantastic 2D fighting game from the company. This game isn't just another game in the DarkStalkers series, but is actually a port of the Dreamcast game Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service which combines the best characters from the previous five titles from the last 10 years.

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Ohhh... character selection screen.
This game is a classic beat 'em up through and thorough. As well as selecting from 18 different characters including Demitri, Jon Talbain, Hsien-Ko and Jedah to name just a few. If you've never played a game in this series then trust us when we say these are some of the most artistically impressive characters of all time.

Capcom have included several different game modes in the game. As well as Training and Arcade modes - which are fairly self-explanatory - DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower includes a Tower mode. This all-new Tower mode is also quite impressive as you select three of your favourite characters before entering a series of battles. Your health isn't replenished after each round either making this quite a challenge to continue for long periods of time. If that wasn't enough you'll occasionally be handicapped in the rounds, perhaps you won't be able to jump, or perhaps you're kicks won't be available and so on. While it may sound like a chore this mode allows you to unlock some very cool bonuses.

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Backgrounds look quite nice.
The final game mode is the Multi-player Wi-Fi. We tested this a bit and noticed only a tiny amount of lag when playing. 2-player can actually fight it out in this mode, or 4-players can participate in a round robin league styled event.

Now while the game is brilliant technically we can't help feeling that the PSP digital control simply isn't quite up to the task. By the D-Pad's design pushing diagonally is difficult, but putting it into a large combo is damn hard, and even with practice you'll occasionally miss the intended moves. Fortunately Capcom have also included an Easy control scheme which, while die hard beat 'em up fans will scoff at not only allows newcomers to ease into the game but also reduces the D-Pad control issues Also disappointing is the load times between fights which, like many PSP titles, are a little longer then we were expecting.

Graphically DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower really impresses. The 2D sprites translate extremely well and while we still prefer the artwork in some of Capcom's other 2D beat 'em ups this game is certainly up there with the best of them. The smaller screen actually aides the game in reducing the pixelisation which are seen in Capcom's 2D fighters in larger screens. The game is also mighty slick with some wonderful effects and slick character design. One neat option for this game is to switch the graphics from a 16:9 mode to give it a full screen, but slightly stretched appearance, or to set it to 4:3 mode which gives the game some small borders on the left and right side of the screen.

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Set to the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
In terms of audio this game is pretty much identical to what we heard on the Dreamcast and the PSP does the game justice with some wonderful combative sounds and music. The voiceovers are pretty good. Capcom's games have never been great in this area, but this is one of the better ones.

DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower is an extremely good 2D fighting game with the biggest problem being the controls. If you can overcome that issue then you'll find one big, bold, kick-ass fighting game. Certainly recommended to fans of the genre.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSVery very impressive 2D visuals translate well to the PSP.
82%
SOUNDClassic Capcom music and effects transferred well into this version.
83%
GAMEPLAYNot the games fault, but the control really struggles.
75%
VALUETonnes of fighters to pick from and plenty of game modes as well.
80%
OVERALLIf you like 2D beat 'em ups then this game is certain to keep you satisfied. Capcom's dominance in the genre remains to this day and DarkStalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower is another superb game from them.
80%

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