[Note: The following is part one of a series that was planned from the moment the site launch was announced. In the World Warriors Introductory Series, top players are given World Warriors as a platform to explain, however they see fit, why the legacy games we support here are still compelling and viable in 2018, in some cases over two decades after their initial release. In this installment, Kyle W, both a top player and a vital community builder in the Vampire Savior community, lays out seven reasons why you should give Vampire Savior your consideration. -Patrick Mifflin]
Accessibility & Depth
Vampire Savior is easy to learn, yet tough to master. Chain combos and strong anti-airs make VSav an accessible title for newer players just learning the system (or fighting games as a whole). The subtleness of delay-attacks (“Zurashi”) and the unique execution hurdles of each character allow dedicated competitors to stay engaged while always focusing on aspects of their play. Characters have depth: the best players can only master one character. This is in direct contrast to other titles, in which players are incentivized to compete with numerous characters.
Capcom and the Dirty Beret development staff went on to produce many other titles which are staples in today’s FGC events. VSav fosters the skillset for most fighting games; Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, and BlazBlue all have invested roots into the system mechanics of VSav. Additionally, some legendary players have maintained a highly competitive agenda for Capcom games since starting with Vampire Savior. Did you know that Haitani, Daigo Umehara, and Sako Noko all started their careers here? There is a tremendous number of other high-level Japanese players who are still competing today.
12 of the 15 characters are competitive at a high-level of play, and have won major events in the past. Technically, 14 are competitive in the US as MightyMar still successfully competes with Anakaris. A 93% competitive roster in the US is unheard of with other titles. In Japan, the competitive roster is a still-astounding 86%.
This game’s speed is exhilarating. The execution and decision-making manages to hover just barely beyond the threshold of human reaction, so “reading” the opponent is critical to success. “Turbo-3” is just fast enough to manifest your habits and natural tendencies into the match. A twitch, tech-hit, hesitation, a lapse of mental toughness, or a break in concentration will hinder you from properly defending against a Q-Bee or a Jedah.
I feel that VSAV hits a sweet spot in the relationship between the speed of the game and the size of the arena. Matches can be over in as little as 30 seconds or last as long as ~3-min, 20-secs. The 2nd bat (lifebar) starts where the 1st Bat completes. Stage width is relatively short, so transitions from mid-screen to corner advantage are frequent. All of these factors enable the pace to feel speedy yet responsive. It’s just enough to force confrontation while still allowing some characters to play defensively & control space as their game plan; Jedah, Anakaris, Hsien-Ko etc.
Animations & Art Style
At its core, VSav is Universal Monsters: “Classic Horror” monsters reimagined in a colorful yet humorous visual tone. Additionally, there are so many unique animations and interactions you will find yourself enjoying content years after you began playing.
Modern games are in a constant state of meta-shift with system updates and patches being released annually or faster. Additionally, in some delivery methods, characters are exclusive to hardware or regions. VSav doesn’t change from underneath you. All of the variables are well defined and explored. You can pick up Vampire Savior and enjoy it with expectations of it giving the same results in many years to come. -Kyle W
Where To Begin:
As with most 2D Fighters of the 1990s, Fightcade is a readily available and effective option for testing the waters with Vampire Savior. The game also enjoyed a re-release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013 as one half of Darkstalkers Resurrection alongside its predecessor, Vampire Hunter, if you still have seventh-generation hardware kicking around, and every sale it can get sends and important message to Capcom even five years after the fact. Unfortunately, it has not joined the Xbox One’s backward compatibility selection as of this writing, despite the program’s evident love of classic fighters.