Tuesday, 17 August 2010

REVIEW: Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
[Wii] [8ing/Capcom]
Back in 2008, Capcom released a fighting game for Wii in their Capcom vs series of games. It was called Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes and was unfortunately only released in Japan, and for good reason: Who the hell are Tatsunoko? Allow me to explain, Tatsunoko is a Japanese anime powerhouse that has released several popular cartoons over the past 50 years. While Tatsunoko is essentially the Disney for Japan, it hasn't got quite as much recognition over here in Europe. If you asked a British bloke who Ken the Eagle is and not allowed him to refer to Wikipedia, his answer would probably be "An Eagle called Ken?". With this in mind, Capcom would have to be totally insane risk-takers to release Tatsunoko vs Capcom over here. Well guess what? Capcom are totally insane risk-takers, and they did make the decision to release their completely unknown fighting game to our shores. And not only that, they've also included many new improvements over the original game and dubbed it 'Ultimate All-Stars'. I guess that's for the best really, I mean, does the title Cross Generation of Heroes even make any sense? I think Capcom made a solid move by releasing their top Wii fighter outside of Japan. At the time of writing, I believe that Tatsunoko vs Capcom is the best 'proper' fighting game on the system, unless you count Brawl.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom is the latest game in a long line of Capcom 'vs' titles, which involve tag-team fighting. The player picks two characters out of a large roster made up of characters from two different franchises (in this case it's Tatsunoko and Capcom, obviously) and duke it out on a stage. During fights, players can switch between their two fighters to make for an interesting fighting system that works. TvC is the first game in this series to hit the Wii, and it's certainly up there with some of the best vs games. You could call this the Wii's answer to Street Fighter IV, only a whole lot better game-play wise. TvC takes Street Fighter and turns up the insanity dial as far as it can go. Dare I say it, it's even better than the PS3 and 360 fighter. And with that, let's get into the review.

Successfully trigger Joe the Condor's counter-attack move and you get this cool visual effect.
As I mentioned earlier, TvC's gameplay involves 2 vs 2 battles. You can pick characters from the Tatsunoko side, the Capcom side or a mix of both brands. On the more well-known Capcom side, you've got the regulars like Ryu and Chun-Li from Street Fighter as well as the PTX-40A robot from Lost Planet, Mega Man Volnutt and the hilarious Frank West from the Dead Rising series, among many others. On the Tatsunoko side, there's a selection of Japanese characters from franchises you may not have heard of, but that honestly doesn't matter. I wouldn't consider the fact that the vast majority of people won't know half the character roster in this game a problem, as the completely insane, extremely Japanese nature of TvC makes up for it. The fighting system is perfect, the characters are cool and unique, and the special moves are utterly insane. Each fighter has several special moves known as Hyper Combos, most of which can be used by pressing two of the three attack buttons at once after moving the control stick in a certain way. After entering the command, your character will use one of his or her Hyper Combos, which do massive damage to your opponent if it successfully hits them. One of the great things about TvC is picking a character and checking out their Hyper Combos simply because they're awesome. Ryu for example can use his signature 'Shinku Hadouken' move on enemies as a special move, shooting a massive blue laser into the opposition's face. If the move hits, of course.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom controls with ease. You can use the Wiimote, Wiimote and Nunchuck, the Classic Controller or the Gamecube Controller to play the game, and the button layout for each control method is fully customisable. The Wiimote/Nunchuk controls are a bit rubbish though, so the game requires either a GC or Classic controller to be played properly. I personally use the GC controller, as I don't have my hands on a Classic controller yet. The game is also extremely playable, even for fighting game noobs. There's no massive moveset for every character, only basic moves, special moves and the Hyper Combos I mentioned earlier. Yes, there's several tricks for the experts to master such as Baroque combos and various crossover moves, but this stuff won't matter if you don't want to use them. There's also a hefty 8 different difficulties to select to fit with your level of skill. Not to be boastful, but I go with the highest difficulty!

I might as well mention Tatsunoko vs Capcom's rather large problem right now: It could do with a little more variety. There's several game modes, but Arcade and Time Attack are essentially the same, and there's nothing but an unlockable mini-game (and a pretty good one at that) to mix things up a bit. If you narrow it down, there's about four game modes: Arcade, Survival, Versus and the rather awesome online mode. It's a brilliant fighting system for sure, but the fact that that's all there is makes TvC seem a little shallow. Still, the multiplayer modes are brilliant, especially when playing online. Before playing wifi, you need to create a username to enter the TvC online community. When you've done that, you can select to either do 'Domestic' battles, which involve you online fighting players from your country, or the worldwide mode, which lets you fight players from all over the world. I'd go with worldwide, as not a lot of people actually own TvC here in the UK. What makes the online mode so addictive is the Battle Points system, which involves you snagging points by winning fights against other players, and later on when you reach higher ranks, losing points for losing against opponents. However awesome the online mode is though, there are a few minor problems. Firstly, if you're a complete fighting noob and you head on the online mode, you'll be beaten almost instantly by some insane Japanese fellas. The other issue is to do with the players themselves. On more than one occasion I've come across a player that I successfully beat, only to have them reset their Wii so they don't lose any points, and I don't gain any points. It's a bit annoying, but the majority of players in the online community do play fair. Apart from it's minor issues, TvC is near the top of the online Wii library. It's really that good

Tatsunoko vs Capcom is a really good example of a brilliant fighter. It's got a great roster, customisable control schemes, a great online mode, and most importantly, it's accessible. If you're interested in getting a 'proper' fighting game for the Wii, this is the one to go for. Ever since I picked it up a few months back, TvC has become one of my most beloved fighting games of all time. Despite it's few flaws, it's a definite must buy for the Wii.



Noodle said...

Something's wrong with Blogger. I can;t seem to change the font size! I'll sort it later.

Noodle said...

Now it's even worse! What the hell is up with Blogger? The more I try and sort it out the worse it gets, so maybe I should leave it and try again later. Anywho, have a read.