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I know I told myself I wouldn't pick up anymore fighters. I know I'll never get deep enough into another one to really appreciate it. I know it's always a waste of time...

But dammit, Darkstalkers let's me play as a motherfucking Pharaoh.


- Holy shit, my chevrons are locking.

I can't say much for the mechanics of the game, but I LOVE the cast. An all-star collection of movie monsters and folklore legends all beating the snot out of each other for typically nebulous fighting game plot reasons. It's glorious. Seriously, why did this game never catch on like so many other fighters? It's like Capcom was secretly Arksys before Arksys was Arksys.

All the greats are represented. Vampires, wolfmen, yeti, sexy-vampire ladies, robot-golem dudes, the roster reads like the liner notes from my high school garage band's unproduced, unrecorded, partially written, and wholly under-appreciated debut album. But as I was tooling around the character select screen, I couldn't help but notice a few absentees, some notable monsters that are missing from the mash. If you're gonna have a game based on monsters fighting each other, how can you miss the best?

The Gelatinous Cube >



It's just not a party without a Slime Monster of some sort, and what better choice than the iconic D&D lethal cube of Jello? Now granted, as a fighting game character the Gelatinous Cube leaves a bit to be desired. It doesn't have any arms or legs to punch and kick with, and as far as I can remember the Monster Manual never mentioned anything about fireballs. The Cube's normal modus operandi is to slowly roam narrow hallways and rooms, hoping to absorb any slow or possibly crippled adventurer into it's mass where he will be slowly (and agonizingly) dissolved. So, its big, slow, and can kill you with one touch if it gets too close. Can you say best grappler character ever? Like Zangief, but with more right angles.

The Krampus >



In some cultures, Santa leaves a lump of coal to humiliate naughty children. In Germanic folklore, his sidekick the Krampus snatches them up in his kidnapping basket and whips the ever living shit out of them with a switch of birch branches.

Thanks for the future-trauma of my children Germany!

We need the Krampus in the next Darkstalkers game if for nothing else than the super creepy fanart he'll inspire.

King Kong >



So Darkstalkers has a bunch of the big Universal monsters. Mummies, vampires, Frankenstein's monster, even a swamp-creature. Sure, that's great. But are they really gonna sit right there and tell us they forgot about the big dog? Or should I say the big gorilla?

It is a well established fact that I want to fight an ape. Trotting out all these classic monsters while denying me my destiny is just insulting. Step it up Capcom. His super move can be snatching a old timey bi-plane out of the sky and hucking it at his opponent; burning wings, screaming pilot and all. There, that one was free Capcom, GET TO IT.

The Invisible Man >



Speaking of classic Universal monsters, where is the Invisible Man? Really, where is he?

Get it? Because you can't see him? Dear God I hate myself...

The Invisible Man would not only be a great reference for classic horror fans, it would also be a good cost saving solution for Capcom. Have him toss the coat and hat away as part of his pre-fight intro and the rest is free. Really save on that animation budget.

Don't look at me crooked. This is the same company that built an entire empire out of a group of identical karate dudes in different coloured gi. They know how to save money.

Ogopogo >



The Loch Ness monster is all played out these days, the real tourist trap- er, cryptozoological discovery is Canada's own Ogopogo.

A giant sea-serpent said to haunt Okanagan Lake in British Columbia. Ogopogo has the distinction of appearing in a small number of poorly focused photographs and suspicious "home-videos" and on an inversely numberous truckload of kitschy travel sovereigns. He's a hometown favourite, even if he probably, sorta, likely, doesn't actually exist.

But hey, some researchers have postulated that it might be real and might be a type of primitive Basilosaurus, a goddamn dinosaur whale. How cool is that? It's like a two-fer, dinosaur and sea-monster.

Now I'm not saying Ogopogo should be in a Darkstalkers game to test the waters on a Dino-Crisis reboot. I'm just heavily implying it.

Blackula >



Immortal King of the Night, Eternal King of my heart. Blackula could Midnight Bliss me any night of the week.

* - A great review/retrospective of the new Tomb Raider and the difficulties of trying to reboot a character from the dung ages of video game advertising.

* - Isay Isay's love of Dtoid stems mostly from a shared love of snarkiness. Seems about right.

* - Word up. So often it is a total drag to read through a gender issue blog, or worse yet, the comments. Glowbear nails the reasons why straight on the head and continues through to make some more fine points in this zero-fucks-given venting blog.

* - Get out your Quija boards and scrying skulls, it's time to make some predictions on the future. JaMoMan does some great prognosticating and tells us in advance the review scores for some of biggest upcoming titles.

* - Phil shouts out half the community in this touching blog about his time with Dtoid. You know, everyone but me. NOT BITTER AT ALL DUDE.

A - A critical look at reviews. This blog spends a lot of time bogged down in the minutia of a few games to get to the point that reviewers don't cover things in enough depth. Personally, what I do these days is find reviewers who's taste in games seem to generally match mine and write/record meaty, but not necessarily laborious reviews. It seems like a good shorthand. You get an idea if you'd like the game without having to make the reviewer produce a Bachelors Degree in Roll-Cancelling-Supers with a minor in Active Reload (Torque Bow Studies).

A - I want to be a Nacho Man. Also, this podcast features some tunes from the Talking Heads, so it has my heart-love.

S - Azudarko continues the gay-mer series with an excellent look at the lack of gay protagonists or even secondary characters in games. It's a shame that when gay characters are present, it's often in the form of a joke or a twisted villain you're supposed to hate.

P - Nabokovfan87 finally watches some Teenage Pokemon and finds out the show is loco-crazy.



- Midnight Bliss is one of the strangest/greatest fighting game moves ever. It combines my love of custom one-use sprites with my passion for inappropriate vampire love.

A - Fuck yea, Transistor is already getting fan art. Gonna be keeping an eye on this one, Bastion was one of my favourite games of the... one of my favourite games ever.



F - I am totally convinced that all these "game dev student" blogs are some kind of mandatory requirement from shitty schools trying to conduct some kind of stealth marketing through their students. Sorry to any earnest young game makers who want to share their journey, but I'm just failing these out of hand now.

F - Welcome to failblog.

F - Don't take my failing you personally, just my new policy. If you feel down just go surfing and drink a few crazy tropical drinks with a super model to take your mind off it.


-Wrenchfarm

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