We take a closer look at the Japanese version of Capcom's upcoming PSP fighter with exclusive media and an interview.
In the wake of Sony's jaw-droppingly good news with regard to the PSP's retail price in Japan (well, it's good for some, anyway, because we can't imagine anyone high-fiving over at Nintendo) and in the spirit of Halloween, we've decided to take another look at Vampire Chronicle: The Chaos Tower. The game is a 2D figher from Capcom that's shaping up to be a historic moment in gaming for both Capcom and portable. While this may sound like a load of hot air, consider this: Capcom's Vampire franchise will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year in Japan, and it will be the first 2D fighter for Sony's new handheld platform, as well.
Oh...and Vampire Chronicle happens to support Wi-Fi multiplayer, which is hardly a common occurrence. While some gamers may be familiar with the series, which, while not achieving the mainstream success of Capcom's other fighting franchises--such as Street Fighter and the Vs. series--it has gained a loyal following in the US nonetheless. To bring everyone up to speed on the franchise and to offer a bit more insight into the slick, upcoming PSP game, we offer the following primer.
Back in the days when the Street Fighter juggernaut was going at full bore, the fighting gurus over at Capcom tried their hand at a very different fighter that was, in many respects, a testing ground for fighting mechanics that would emerge in its later brawlers. The game was Vampire, and it offered a significant change of pace from the fairly straitlaced SF series. Its cast couldn't have been a farther cry from the world warriors in SF that represented nations from across the globe. The game's roster of fighters was made up of a sampling of mythical creatures that leaned heavily on an undead theme. A Frankenstein-like golem, a succubus, a vampire, and a werewolf were all on hand, along with additional fantastical creations that drew inspiration from fantasy but were given a very Capcom-esque twist.
Besides its eclectic roster of beautifully designed characters, the game stood out due to quicker-paced gameplay that favored chain combos, introduced supermoves, and presented smooth animation that was heavy on frames. The game also offered a promising start to the series that would evolve over the course of two more arcade entries in Vampire Hunter and Vampire Saviour, which both featured two follow-ups that included new gameplay enhancements and balance. Unfortunately, following the last Vampire upgrade in arcades and in subsequent ports to the PlayStation and Saturn, the series appeared to be headed to that Valhalla reserved for fan-favorite franchises (which is currently occupied by Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men: Children of the Atom, and the Street Fighter Alpha series).
However, as luck would have it, the tail end of Sega's Dreamcast saw the release of the Vampire Collection, a tasty compilation-style entry in the series that not only let you play with all the characters in the series, but also selected which of the unique fighting styles seen in each entry that you would use. As if that wasn't enough to please fans, Capcom even made the game playable online. The only downside was that the game never saw the light of day in the US and was only ever available via Sega's online D-Direct shopping service for its console.
And just as it looked like the franchise was going to resume its march to Valhalla, Capcom announced Vampire Chronicle: The Chaos Tower for its upcoming PSP platform. Now, everything old has become new again. We got our first peek at the game at this past E3 when a short snippet of footage from the game appeared in a montage of titles set to appear on the platform. This peek was followed up by our first hands-on of the game at this year's Tokyo Game Show, where Capcom had The Chaos Tower in its booth so its representatives could reveal more information on the game, in addition to setting the record straight on just what the heck the game is about.
- Downloadable Game