Insert Disk collects Vampire Savior for the Sega Saturn.
Welcome to Part 9 of 11 of this Sega Saturn Capcom Fighting games mini series.
We will be taking a look at all of the major Capcom fighting game releases from Street Fighter, Marvel, Street Fighter Vs and Darkstalker series. These retro gaming classics form a large part of the Sega Saturn’s lasting appeal and of particular interest to collectors of Japanese Sega Saturn collectors.
Part 9 sees the launch of Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3) for the Sega Saturn.
Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. You join us in part 9 of the Sega Saturn Capcom Fighter Mini series. We’re taking a look back at Capcom’s fighting games for the Sega Saturn. Expect Street Fighter. Street Fighter Cross-overs. Marvel and Darkstaklers all battling it out on behalf of Capcom.
In the last episode we saw how Capcom were able to cross worlds with the epic X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Street Fighter and Marvel were now quite literally going head to head. Capcom’s other franchise of Darkstalkers was bubbling along nicely in the background. April 1998 saw the release of Vampire Savior: Lord of the Vampires on the Sega Saturn. The game features 18 characters all with a monstrous style. The original cast are back but with a new collection of even stranger characters.
Its predecessor Vampire Hunter was a great game, simple and fun. Vampire Savior really ups the presentation and energy levels. Characters have wider move sets, blocks and most noticeable the combo system has been reworked. To power all of this the game also makes use of the 4mb expanded memory cartridge. So if had previously bought X-Men Vs. Street Fighter you’re already reaming the benefits of superior games. The plot to Darkstalkers does continue in this game although not particularly relevant save for the cut scenes at the end of each play through. It revolves around the villain Jedah looking to rave the world by creating a new dimension called Majigen. It’s all a bit far-fetched. Needless to say the fighters of the underworld have various interests in ensuring that the world as they know it doesn’t end.
Much like Vampire Hunter the game keeps to what it does best and that’s engaging high speed fights very much relying on its theme to differentiate itself. As much as I enjoy Vampire Hunter, Vampire Savior is by far the better game. Real thought has gone in to the planning this time to deliver an experience that feel much more like a game that wants to be seen. It’s always difficult to know whether to recommend a game or not. If you do enjoy 90’s fighting games than I think you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for. The game play is nowhere near as technical as Street Fighter and much darker in tome than the Marvel games.
Vampire Saviour is a game that I will happily come back to again and again though. It’s very easy going and very easy to pick up. There’s enough challenge and variation though to keep you entertained for some time. Whilst the game is guilty of having a rather pixelated aesthetic there is no denying that the character designs themselves are perhaps some of the best from the era. For that alone I would suggest investigating this title. It’s a real shame that Darkstalkers never really hit the mainstream when it was first released. Of all the characters Morrigan has enjoyed the best notoriety being featured in anime and various other Capcom cross over games.
With Vampire Savior not really packing much of a punch on the Saturn outside of Japan Capcom looked to fall back on another Vs. game. This time around it wasn’t just X-Men, it was Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. Join me in the next episode as we look back at how this now fully fledged cross over world took the next step in reaching a wider audience and influencing Capcom’s later games.