The Wii is not known for its fighting games, but Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is released, all that will change. The spiritual successor to the Marvel Vs. series is coming stateside at long last, bringing a combination of the familiar and the strange, accessibility and depth. And you almost never saw it.
Released in Japanese arcades in late 2008 under the name Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, the 2d fighting game harkens back the days of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Shortly after the arcade release, the Wii-exclusive port became a must-own in Japan. While the game proved a success on the other side of the Pacific, a plethora of licensing issues bound the game in red tape. The miracle of the internet, and an insatiable fan base, kept the game well-covered by video game media outlets and the goldmine of information that is the Capcom-Unity blogs (headed by Seth Killian) kept those interested in the game’s status up-to-date. Obviously, things have worked out, and the game is now coming stateside.
The game is largely based off the Marvel vs. Capcom series, which featured “Street Fighter Lite” gameplay, with over-the-top supers, massive combos and fast-paced, high-flying, tag-team action. It sets itself apart from Street Fighter titles by using just three attack buttons (light, medium and hard), with a fourth button assigned to tagging. No six button configuration here, which simplifies things a bit for newbies (though there’s still plenty there for the serious player). Assist attacks, naturally, add a whole new dimension to the game. “Variable Assists” call in a partner to throw out an attack, while a “Variable Attack” has them flying in with a quick attack. A “Hyper Variable Combo” allows a team to combine their Super moves, while a “Delayed Hyper Cancellation” allows you to tag out mid-super, while the other character flies in with guns blazing. Some new techniques introduced in TvC include the “Variable Aerial Rave” allowing you to switch characters during an air combo. There’s also the “Mega Crash,” which can be used in a pinch to knock back your attacker (similar to the Burst in Guilty Gear XX). There is also the Baroque, which allows you to extend a combo.
The game has its own visual style, with a less artsy approach than Street Fighter 4, but a unique 2.5D look that keeps it in tune with a typical 2D fighting game, and gets accompanied by fluid animation. The past Marvel vs. Capcom games are renowned for their ridiculous, over-the-top supers and quirky presentation, both of which make a return in TvC. The game manages to provide fast paced action, while maintaining the stylized combat that doesn’t just become a blur of lights and sounds. Great care has also been taken to faithfully translate the twenty-plus characters into an all-new game, with some mixed-and-matched movesets and other fine details like bringing in the characters’ classic voice actors.
E3 brought us many new details for the game’s American release. Aside from the standard Arcade and Versus mode, there will be an assortment of mini-games to…well…ignore. An online mode has, thankfully, been confirmed. A Capcom rep on the show floor said that we are “likely” to see exclusive characters added to the game, exclusive to the American release. While there is no word on who could be added (though obviously everyone wants Dante from Devil May Cry and Zero from Mega Man to make the cut), the source-in-question said that Tatsunoko characters would be far more difficult to push through, thanks to the red tape thrown up by the Japanese branches of both title companies. At this point, though, we just have to take a wait-and-see approach, but this is something to look forward to.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is currently scheduled for release this the holiday season. And with the opportunity to play with favorites like Viewtiful Joe and Mega Man, this is a game to anticipate.