Street Fighter IV Producer Yoshinori Ono has just stated that he’d love to create a new Darkstalkers game. This is good news. In fact the need for a sequel to Capcom’s long-overlooked supernatural fighting franchise has been a hot topic of discussion in the office ever since we first got our hands on Street Fighter IV.
So far the game is only a bullet-point on Ono’s wishlist but this is the internet, and as we all know, on the internet conjecture, rumour and vagueries only ever mean that something is unassailable fact and will happen. So by internet logic, Ono has already been working on Darkstalkers 4 for at least two years and Capcom will be releasing it next month. That in mind, we’ve been thinking about the new character-types we want to play when the inevitable review code comes in next week. And so far, we’ve come up with these three:
A massive rock Golem
Not the spindly git from Lord of the Rings, you understand. No, we want a massive, three-quarters-screen-filling, stony faced violence-mountain. With a big rock club. He’d be imposing to the point of making the hulking Frankensteinian Victor look like a soggy pipe cleaner, and pack a punch like being headbutted by a planet.
How he’d play:
One word: Tank. Our currently un-named granite guy would be your classic powerful slow fighter. We’d drop the predictable Zangief-style trade-off of pace against grapple power, instead balancing his arthritic-snail’s movement speed with powerful but easy-to-read long-range club swipes. He’d be a big target, and fast unpredictable characters could make gravel out of him if used properly, but when played with tight rhythmic offense, his sheer size and reach would make him a beast in terms of corner-trapping.
Don’t laugh. We’re not talking about Link, or some rosy-cheeked, tinsel-whipping slave of Santa. No, we want a dark, nasty interpretation of the magical woodland-dwellers, similar to the vicious, conniving version depicted in Terry Pratchett’s novel Lords and Ladies. Sharp, pointy, underhand, and pure bloody evil. That’d be great.
How he’d play:
Sort of somewhere between Vega and Fei-Long. We want sickening speed and acrobatic wall-jumps, feints and evasions, coupled with some rapid mid-range pokes. His game would be centred around mid-to-close-range offence, with plenty of weak but rapidly chainable toe-to-toe comboing and a couple of unpredictable Fei-Long/Guy-style step-in moves. His overall damage and defence would be rubbish, forcing higher-level creative technicality, but chuck in a nasty but hard-to-combo command throw and he’d be horribly fun to play. As long as you enjoy playing like a bastard. Which we do.
This guy would be a middling mid-ranger, but his real powers would dwell within the dark arts rather than in his physicality. With magical power over life and death, he’d summon the dead, sap life force, and generally stink the place up with rotting, corpse-ridden tomfoolery.
How he’d play:
He’d have barely anything in the way of physical special moves, and his close-up game would be average at best. But like Rachel from BlazBlue, his real strength would be in magically dominating screen space from afar. He’d launch skeletons out of the ground like rockets. He’d have a ground-based missile attack in which zombie hands would sprout from the turf and scoot along towards his opponent, giving them a good bashing or even briefly restraining them as he moved in to follow up.
He could even have a Super move which involved draining his opponent’s essence, leaving their health bar intact, but reducing their attack power temporarily. For fairness, it’d have to be a tricky-to-land command grab, but it could be a killer way to score a bit of breathing space during a tough fight.
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