I tend to shy away from 2D fighters on the PSP as the system's controls aren't very good for them. Older Capcom fighters tend to be OK since they don't require complicated combos or elaborate special moves to play at a decently high level, however, and that's the case with Darkstalkers Chronicle.

I'd like to say it's "ported well" too, but that's not entirely accurate. It's basically the assets of the whole franchise up to this point blended together into one game rather than a compilation of previous games. It plays as well as any previous installment, however.

Arcade mode is basically the Japan- and arcade-only Vampire Savior 2 warmed over, except with a larger roster now. The big new draw is the Tower, a challenge that spans 100 floors that consist of one match each. These matches may have special limitations, like no jumping or no punching, or may have special finishing terms that advance you a few extra floors if you meet them. You also gradually unlock concept art as you work through it. You bring in a team of three characters, and pick one before each fight. Health lost in each fight replenishes very slowly, and if a character loses a round they're out for good.

So it plays very well, looks good and sounds good ... but considering it's all recycled assets, that might not be enough for series vets. I mean, you're basically getting Darkstalkers 3 again, just with a few little tweaks and enhancements (and without the ability to create your own custom character colors).

If you're a big series fan and just want a portable version for the PSP/Vita that you don't have to emulate, though, then it's a very solid choice. It's also welcoming enough to be a good launching point for newcomers to the series.

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