Has the real next generation started yet? We’re still not quite sure. The PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii have been around for a few years, true, and it’s now possible to render high definition environments that actually walk and talk (and die), but I don’t know, there still seems to be something missing. What could it be?
Ah, that’s right. It’s the ability to finish off an opponent, any opponent, by transforming him or her into a cute little maiden and downing the unfortunate waif’s fragile soul like finest pear cider. And only one franchise can bring that kind of pain: Capcom’s Darkstalkers series.
Unfortunately, such feats may lie beyond the capacities of present-day 3D rendering technology. Or so suggests Ryota Niitsuma, Producer on Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.
VGD’s resident virtual fisticuffs expert Rupert Higham went hands-on with the latter at a preview event recently, and couldn’t help but notice that while a couple of Darkstalkers mainstays – Morrigan and Felicia – had made it into the roster, the mighty Demitri, he of the sex- and age-changing super moves, had not.
When Rupert bewailed this omission to Niitsuma in a subsequent interview, the Capcom veteran pointed out that creating a schoolgirl version of every character model in the game ‘probably isn’t time well spent’, and that in any case, the notion of an Incredible Hulkette or Wolverina wouldn’t sit well with Marvel’s lawyers.
There’s a programming knot to unravel here too, though.
‘Darkstalkers characters are all complete memory hunger-mad characters because they constantly transform into things,’ Niitsuma went on. ‘They can’t just walk – they have to change into something when they move and it just uses a lot of data. Even just having these two (Morrigan and Felicia) is a big deal. To put Demitri in we’d have to have time to make a whole other game.
‘Doing that in 3D is a big issue,’ he reflected later. ‘Maybe it was one of those things that we could only do because it was 2D. But fighting games have started to catch on again so perhaps at this rate… you never know.’
Boo hiss. VGD has kept its fingers firmly crossed for a Darkstalkers sequel announcement since Street Fighter IV Producer Yoshinori Ono told us he was ‘desperate to make this game’ in April.
The full interview with Niitsuma will be live shortly. In the meantime, this is what Rupert thinks of Street Fighter X Tekken. And here’s a question for the thread: how the hell does Morrigan’s top stay on?