Review: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)February 6th, 2010 | Written by Danreb Victorio | Topic: Reviews, Wii
Street Fighter IV put fighting games back on the map when it was released on current-gen consoles early last year. The game allowed for veterans to once again relive the glory days while it was also accessible to newer players. As soon as that game came out, it seemed that every other fighting franchise released pure quality. Now Capcom has jumped the gun by unleashing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, a game that nobody thought would leave the Land of the Rising Sun.
The premise of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is not unlike any other all-star game Capcom has released over the last decade. Capcom vs. SNK pit two of the most robust labels against each other, while Marvel vs. Capcom allowed known Capcom characters to duke it out against the well-known heroes and villains from Marvel Comics.
Tatsunoko is rather interesting because while they do have a known entity in Japan, their prime was with anime during the ‘70’s—after all, the most popular cartoon they’ve produced is Speed Racer (who doesn’t even appear in the game). On the Capcom side of things you have Street Fighter favorites like Ryu and Chun-Li, but other characters hardly even count as “all-stars.” Some Capcom characters include Roll, Mega Man’s sister who fights with a broom; Frank West, a random entry from Dead Rising; Mega Man, from the lesser-known Mega Man Legends; and there’s even Viewtiful Joe, no explanation necessary. So while players probably won’t know half the cast in the game, its surprisingly deep and easy-to-learn gameplay should moot that point.
TvC has to be one of the most accessible fighting games in years. Because the developers at Eighting have given players multiple ways of playing the game, almost anybody can pick up and enjoy duking it out. Those not hardcore enough to use a fight stick (which you can buy from MadCatz for $79.99) will be glad to know that you also have the option of using the Classic Controller accessory as well as the GameCube. Combos and button layouts have hardly changed over the years, so it’s something fighting enthusiasts can easily get used to. Casual players should also be pleased to know that you can use both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, or simply just the remote on its own.
So how does the latter option of control work? TvC’ control scheme is mapped by a 3-button system (weak, medium, strong). The speed of each strike depends on how strong attacks are, with the stronger attacks of course being the slower ones to perform. Like Marvel vs. Capcom, fighting is a lot more fast-paced than any other fighter Capcom has released, so you can rest easy knowing that strikes will be made as soon as every button is pressed. Players who find themselves using the Wii remote on its own will find it extremely easy to execute combos. The 1 button could be used for basic melee and juggling strikes, while the 2 button is used for more specialized strikes. Sometimes it’s actually cheap because that button alone can cause for some out-of-nowhere hadoukens and shoryukens—which can make button-mashing quite an issue. It’s also a little alarming to know that players using just the remote just have to hold both the 1 and 2 buttons to unleash their super—a character’s signature attack that should account for at least 15% damage to health bar.
While the control scheme is extremely easy to learn, mastering it is a totally different beast. It may seem that veteran players are at a disadvantage because of the time it takes to unleash some of the moves, but at the same time, they’re also in the most control of their character, making it easier to execute assists or tag the other character. The end result for either character is pretty hard to describe. The game is definitely a brawler, but when in the hands of a newbie or someone using the Wii method of control, the game actually plays a lot like Super Smash Bros., and that’s the amazing thing with this game. With each different method of control you use, the game feels different, leaving room for all sorts of possibilities.
The game has the standard modes you’d expect from a fighting game. Arcade mode forces you to fight around 7 matches before reaching the game’s final boss, who ends up being Yami from Okami—again, good homage to a great Capcom title. All the single player content earns you Zenny, the currency that you can use to unlock items from the in-game store. You also have a Survival mode to see how long you can last against all the all-stars, a Vs. Mode for multiplayer bouts, and you can even fight against players online. If you can get passed the lame Friend Code system that Nintendo’s known for, you’ll find the leaderboards and online matches quite impressive.
One of the more pleasant surprises with this game is the amount of extra content you have access to. Aside from the usual suspects like unlocking new costumes, colors, or new characters (Zero being the coolest one), there are actually quite a few fun minigames. Among the most impressive is Ultimate All-Shooters, which allows players to control Ryu, PTX-40A, Ken the Eagle, and Tekkaman in an all out war from top-down view. The minigame includes lengthy levels, mini-bosses, bosses, and MEGA bosses that you’ll run into with the minigame’s many branching paths. This game alone is worth the cash you’ll pay for a digital download, so these minigames are quite a welcoming addition to an already impressive mantra of enjoyment.
The visuals in TvC are superb. Like Street Fighter IV, the action takes place on a 2.5D environment where the models are all in 3D. None of the game’s stages or environments are interactive, but during long chains of combos or Supers, the camera view will shift to the side to create a more dramatic effect. All the action, however, takes place on a two-dimensional plain, which simplifies the gameplay. The game looks great in standard definition, but when playing on wider display, there are a few jaggies that are noticeable, but with so much action happening at one time, it’s okay to see that.
TvC also sounds great. The voice acting, especially Joe’s, is lame, but that’s how Capcom’s fighters usually roll. Unlike Tekken, the Vs. games are hardly about presentation. The soundtrack is rather random—you’ll see why with the ending credits, but that’s what makes the game sound so bizarrely awesome.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is a game full of surprises, even before anybody can pop the disc into their Wii. First of all, this game shouldn’t have even made it stateside. Tatsunoko is definitely not a commodity in the United States, so it’s surprising to think Capcom took the risk and brought it here—on the Wii no less, a console that has unfortunately lived with the stigma of being for casual players only. Within minutes of playing, however, players of all types will undoubtedly find something to enjoy with this title. This is the spiritual successor to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and you owe it to yourself to pick this one up—maybe it’ll influence more third parties to actually put some effort into the Wii.