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When it comes to fighting games the Wii doesn't seem to be the ideal system to play due to its funky controller. In Tatsunoko vs Capcom we however have proof that the concept of having a hardcore fighter on Nintendo's machine isn't as crazy as it initially sounds. This game is a 2D fighter akin to Streetfighter 2 which was huge back in the sixteen bit days. The genre however died out somewhat during the transition to 3D with titles like Virtua Fighter and Tekken taking over. I've always been more of a 2D fighting man myself so it is good to see that these games are back in fashion after the success of Streetfighter 4.
The reason this game works is because it offers four different control systems which should keep everyone happy. If you are a fighting game purist you can play with the Gamecube or Classic controller to have maximum control over your characters. You get a button for strong, medium and light attacks along with the joy of pulling off special moves via zany button combinations. If that sounds too complex you can opt for the Wii mote (either with or without the nunchuk) which is more newbie friendly as you have less buttons to worry about (one for regular attacks and the other for special moves.)
Story wise there isn't much to say. From the brief intro movie it seems like characters from various Capcom games and Tatsunoko anime shows have been transported to our world. For no apparent reason they decide to team up and duke it out before facing the giant spherical boss called Yami who seems to be responsible for transporting the cast away from their homes. The meat of the game comes in the arcade mode where you pick a team of two characters and fight through eight battles against the computer. Beating the game rewards you with an ending for the character who lands the final blow on the boss along with zenny (the currency used at the shop for buying stuff such as artwork, movies and different colour schemes for the characters.)
Fights in most cases take place between teams of two characters. You control one guy (or gal) and hit your opponent enough times to deplete energy bar which will knock them out. You can switch between the two characters at any time which is advisable when someone is badly hurt as they recover some health whilst off screen. Partners can also come in and perform a quick attack which may catch an opponent off guard. As you dish out pain and take damage your hyper combo bar fills up. Providing you have enough power stored you can unleash hyper combos (supped up versions of your special moves) to do massive damage.
The game boasts a roster of just under thirty characters each with their own fighting style and moves. I must confess that despite being an anime fan I didn't recognise most of the Tatsunoko guys aside from the three combatants from Gatchaman (aka Battle of the Planets) but that didn't matter as all the characters are fun to play as. More well known is the Capcom side of the roster which features Ryu/Chun Li from Streetfighter, Megaman, Viewtiful Joe, sexy Morrigan from Darkstalkers and Dead Rising's Frank West.
I should also mention that the character list includes two giants (Gold Lightan and PTX-40A.) If you choose to play as either of them you don't get an partner to help you out. Two against one may not sound fair at first, but when you see the size of these guys in-game you will realise this is a balance issue. Lightan and PTX are pretty powerful and don't flinch when hit (although they can get stunned if they take enough damage.) I personally preferred playing as the humanoid sized fighters which move faster, but it's cool that Capcom tried something a little different by adding these mid-bosses into the character selection screen.
Graphics and sound are top notch as the Wii's lack of power isn't noticeable in a game like this. The characters and backgrounds resemble a three dimensional cartoon, but as this is a 2D fighter you can only move forwards and back (no sidestepping around the arena like in Soul Calibur 2.) The music and sound effects are all of a high standard, but be aware that the voice acting (with the exception of Frank West) is all in Japanese. Not a big issue in a game devoid of story, but it does seem a bit lazy not to have made more of an effort to localise this.
What little I played of the online multiplayer seemed to work well enough (I got scared off after an hour of getting pummelled by pros who perform mega combos and cheap players who run away spamming special moves.) The online is playable unlike Smash Brothers Brawl which, in my experienced, is plagued by terrible lag. I didn't have any issues with slowdowns when I played although you have to accept that performance will vary wildly depending on the internet setup of the person you are pitted against and their location.
The arcade mode takes around twenty to thirty minutes to best depending on the difficulty setting you choose. That doesn't sound like a lot, but bear in mind that you have to replay this many times to see all the endings, earn enough cash to buy everything in the shop and unlock the six hidden characters. Speaking of endings I was somewhat disappointed to see that they are presented via three still pictures. I understand that the Japanese version had animated endings so I have no idea why we Europeans have been short changed in this department. Ah well it isn't a huge deal, a quick search of Youtube is all you need to see the "complete" endings we missed out on.
If you grew up enjoying Streetfighter 2 I highly recommend that you check out Tatsunoko vs Capcom. Hardcore fighting game fans who own a Wii should place this at the top of their shopping list as it gives them the opportunity to battle fellow beat em up enthusiasts online. At the time of writing I still found it easy to find match ups even though I imagine many people may have switched over to the newer Marvel vs Capcom 3 on the PS3/360. The game is also accessible to casual players via the simplified Wii mote controls and by tweaking the difficulty setting to the appropriate level. Thank you for reading and until next time SHORYUKEN!
Review originally posted on Ciao (March 2011)
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Altimate All-Stars
In 2008 Capcom released (developed by Eighting) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, the idea was a cross over beat 'em up in the image of Marvel vs. Capcom/ Capcom vs. SNK/ Capcom vs. whatever blew their skirt up at the time. At the time of release many people believed that the game would never see the light of day outside of Japan, forgetting the fact that most people in the West don't know what or Who Tatsunoko is there was the legal nightmare of property rights for Tatsunoko's characters outside of Japan. Well in 2010 Capcom proved those fears wrong with the release of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Altimate All-Stars (from now on TvC... I'm not writing that every time). For those of you who don't know Tatsunoko just consider them the Japanese equivalent of Hanna-Barbera (what do you mean who is Hanna-Barbera? Fine). Tatsunoko Pro. are a Japanese animation company who dominated the television screens of Japan for years, and all of their characters in this game come from their catalogue of anime.
Okay so the story, there isn't one or rather it's pretty much non existent as you'd expect from a fighting game. Basically some evil force is merging the worlds of Capcom's and Tatsunoko's characters, that's about it. Obviously the story is poor, very poor but that's not why you buy games like TvC, you buy them for the gameplay.
As far as gameplay goes there isn't too many things to find on the Wii that will stand up to TvC. First of all TvC is really the Marvel vs. Capcom series with Japanese cartoon characters instead of Western comic book ones, for anyone who played and enjoyed the classic series you'll feel right at home playing this game. Any of you unaware of the brilliance that is Marvel vs. Capcom I would recommend you buy MvC 2 as soon as you finished reading this review (oh why wait just buy it now), the game is in essence the same as any other fighting game however in the case of TvC your senses will be assaulted (in the best possible way) by bright lights, screen consuming special moves and outrageous golden lighters that turn into giants robots. The pace of matches in TvC is a lot higher then most fighting games, the control scheme is a simple three button set up, a light, medium and strong button for each character. For fighting fans that might be a little alarming but despite the easy accessibility there is a big level of depth for those that want to look for it, a beginner will be pulling off air combos and decent length ground combos after a day or two and that's the idea, if that's how far you want to go then that's great but for higher level players more advances mechanics like "cross over air raids" and "baroque" combos will have you demonstrating eighty plus hit combos. There are several modes on offer in TvC too, there are the obvious classics like arcade and time attack modes but there's also an extra unlockable top-down shooter mode called "Ultimate All Shooters" which in itself is surprisingly fun to play. The final big mode is the online multiplayer, while the quality of your experience online is down to your connection it must be said that even without a Wii LAN adapter this game plays well, there may be some lag and every now and then you will have to endure a match which isn't up to the mark but for the most part it's very enjoyable especially when you consider certain other titles (I'm looking at you Smash Bros). Let's not forget the ultimate form of multiplayer fun though, that's right, getting some friends or family around and
giving them a real pasting. By the way it's compatible with the Wii remote and nunchuk or a Gamecube pad, go for the Gamecube pad since the game is scaled down for the lack of buttons on the remote limiting the enjoyment.
Graphics is another department where TvC excels, it's one of the nicest looking games on the Wii, it's 2.5D cell shaded characters and environments are vibrant in colour and movement, they're fluid and realistic with uppercuts from Ryu looking like they really are hitting Joe the Condor pretty hard.
Like I said before there's plenty of stuff going on during a match with big bright hyper combos covering the screen so nothing ever looks dull, music is similar in the sense that it's plenty up beat and up tempo but other then that for most you'll either take it or leave it.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Altimate All-Stars is a great game, for all the crappy shovel ware out there on the Wii that claims to be universally entertaining, fun for the whole family, the truth is that TvC is one of the few games on the Wii that actually lives up to that label. Considering the lack of AAA titles on the Wii there aren't too many reasons not to buy this but here goes, if you don't like fighting games or good games then don't buy this, if you do like fighting games or are just looking for something to play on the Wii then definitely buy this. You may not know all the characters in this game but don't let that put you off, with all the fun you'll be having you won't notice.
At A Glance.
Gameplay ~ 10/10
Story ~ 5/10
Sound ~ 6/10
Replay Value ~ 10/10
Final Score: 40/50
I've always been a fan of the fighting game genre but often times found I got discouraged by the unfriendly controls and didn't put enough time and effort into mastering the controls so my skills were pathetic in higher difficulty modes or against other players. Tatsunoko vs Capcom changes all that. It merges the complex aspects of a fast paced Japanese fighting game that will appeal to hardcore gamers but also the easy control scheme of a game like DBZ Budokai Tenkaichi.
Basically people of any skill level can jump right into this game and pull off wicked combos with very little effort. You can really learn quickly here which is why I think this is a great game for people formerly intimidated by the genre. The game is compatible with the Wiimote (either with the nunchuk which makes the controls insanely easy or by itself sideways), GC Controller, and Wii Classic Controller. Even with the Wiimote which I've been using, the controls are pretty solid and easy to handle. I thought they'd be the worst of all the options but I find that I can barely do any basic combos if I try with the GC controller. The Wiimote + nunchuk control settings seem to merge a lot of functions into a few buttons so you can execute fancy moves effortlessly.
I read some stuff online where people were skeptical about the game since 1/2 the roster was relatively unknown to players outside of Japan but I don't really see that as a valid complaint. I'm in my 20s so I at least know about the G Force characters from the Tatsunoko side but even though I don't know the rest, the game is still awesome and I'm motivated to do research on them. I think in the end this game'll deliver a big boost to the Tatsunoko anime franchise because it introduces all these characters to a massive new audience.
You've got a huge arsenal of characters to select from, plenty of unlockables (art, stages, other characters, new character colors) and Wi-Fi compatibility to challenge other players and see how you rank against the rest of the TvC community.
If you pre-ordered the game it included a sealed pack of 8 limited edition TvC cards which is already selling for a high price on eBay.
Wii fighting games have been one disaster after another with Super Smash Bros Brawl being the only exception but now TvC being a Wii-only game, really throws in a much needed excellent game for the genre.
You won't be disappointed at all with this game. I've been playing with Chun Li and Ryu and am totally addicted to this game. Can't wait to unlock Zero from the MegaMan X series. If you have a Wii and like fighting games like the Marvel vs Capcom series, you NEED this game.