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Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars review

Excellent

Even though we adore Street Fighter IV, it didn’t make many concessions to gamers who were new or just returning to the fist-meet-face genre; complicated combos demanded perfect timing and spacing, and we dare you to find anyone on your friend list who actually completed all of the excruciating trial challenges. Capcom attempts to address that issue with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars; simpler controls, easier combos and even more ridiculous super and hyper moves present a far more approachable and light-hearted option for potential fighting game fans put-off by SFIV’s hardcore dedication.

As is the vs. series tradition, individual blows do very little damage and must be strung together with flashy (i.e. screen-filling) super attacks to deal significant damage. Fortunately, the energy bars needed to unleash these super moves charge up very quickly, so there’s barely a moment when one (or both) fighters aren’t blasting each other with supernova-sized blasts. Even better, almost all super attacks link into combos; Ryu can easily chain his super Hadoken into almost any combo, for example. Despite this relative simplicity, TvC could have benefited from a trial mode a la Street Fighter IV to help explain some of the game’s more advanced features and unorthodox characters. Instead, players must make do with a typical practice mode against a dummy.

As with any fighter, tight gameplay is essential, and as long as you’re not playing with the Wii Remote, TvC definitely feels solid. Anyone even remotely serious about this game will need a Classic Controller, GameCube controller or even a $70 joystick to enjoy it. The Remote is obviously awkward and not intended for this type of game, plus it doesn’t have enough buttons to cover the basic attacks. Thus, it simplifies the controls even further, allowing for one-push special moves; just try not to pull your eyes out of your skull when Grandma busts out Level 5 Metsu-Hadokens with the flick of a wrist.

 

Above: Wii-waggle makes these eye-searing moves a chore – use a controller!

The arcade board for TvC was actually built with Nintendo’s console in mind, so this is no cheap Wii port. The character models and striking design are powerful without any HD delivery, easily making this one of the most gorgeous and unique-looking titles on the system. Partly to thank for its standout appearance is Capcom’s cast of characters, ranging from Street Fighter, Mega Man and Viewtiful Joe superstars to Rival Schools: United By Fate also-rans. Tatsunoko’s roster on the other hand, is pretty much a big question mark to anyone who didn’t grow up in Japan circa 1970-90 (though our extensive guide to the characters will help clear things up).

Capcom has done a fine job with the localization and has included exclusive original characters like Dead Rising's Frank West for the western release, as well as a bevy of other content. Each character has a unique, if nonsensical, ending with a few still images drawn by comic book heavies Udon, and believe us, these drawings are infinitely more pleasing than the horrid Afghanistanimations SFIV was saddled with.

Like all fighting games though, multiplayer is the meat and potatoes, which is where Wii's shortcomings are most apparent. TvC has gone to great lengths to overcome the awful Friend Code system by allowing players to make individual friend and rival lists using unique TvC ID codes. Finding and distributing your code is straightforward, and adding rivals and friends substantially streamlines the Wii's online process. The latency of the matches we played online varied in quality, from no noticeable lag at all, to a few seconds, which is the kiss of death for online fighting games. Unfortunately, the game's matchmaking system doesn't allow you to preview your opponent's connection speed as with SFIV, making it difficult to avoid lagged matches when playing with people outside your friends list. Finding a group of friends with solid connections and speeds will definitely make the online more consistent and enjoyable. If you’ve got some friends and a couple classic controllers lying around though, TvC’s local multiplayer is always great fun.

To say that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom faces an uphill battle is a gross understatement. Despite the massive success of Street Fighter IV, fighting games tend to be a niche genre populated with hardcore devotees who will inevitably spend hours playing and learning every facet of the game. For them, Tatsunoko is a no brainer; it looks good, plays excellently and offers a fresh, fun take on the combo centric play of the vs. series. For everyone else, it’s a newbie-friendly fighting game on a console with no fighting game fans, populated with unknown ‘70s anime characters. No matter what happens at retail, Capcom should be applauded for having the confidence to bring TvC to the states - it’s an excellent fighting game that deserves to be played despite its commercial handicaps.

Jan 25, 2010

More Info

Release date: Jan 26 2010 - Wii (US)
Jan 29 2010 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Capcom
Franchise: Street Fighter
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:
12+

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25 comments

  • RebornKusabi - January 26, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    Looks awesome, plan on getting it when I get a chance to!
  • John-117 - January 26, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    Hopefully your article about games doomed, specifically this one is wrong. It seems really fun, and with a rich character roster I hope it finds a big audience over here.
  • OmNomRomRearghNergh - January 26, 2010 1:04 a.m.

    Please God let this sexy game make a profit and give some company's hope on the Wii. Unlikely.
  • Metroidhunter32 - January 26, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    Not the biggest fan of fighting games, so this isn't an auto buy for me. However it does look unusually good so I'll probally rent it. This encourages me though. If it's as good as you say then I'll probally buy it later though. Also, I figured this would be a super review, as much as you've talked about it.
  • Cyberninja - January 26, 2010 1:26 a.m.

    my friend is getting this tommorrow so i will be able to play with him until i get some money.
  • linkganon - January 26, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    obiously will be bad if the opposition is using the nintendo wi fi connection. pay for wireless internet from your service provider and it will at least be better for you. actually, my wii has faster speed ever since i found the security code.
  • AyJay - January 26, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    Good review, but I was expedecting a Super Review. Will get.
  • linkganon - January 26, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    sorry about the second comment, i forgot to add this. hey, now if ken is not on this game, you can write something about both of them online saying and still everybody is playing as ken on street fighter 4 and on this one, nobody is because he is not a part of the game. hell yeah, zero, oh wait, i knew this months ago. yes, it is classic controller compatable, i am buying this game. heck, when will we ever see a game with a 9/10 for the wii again that is third party.
  • Kenzo - January 26, 2010 6:08 a.m.

    *sigh of relief* I'm so glad this is classic compatible, even the games where they actually get the motion controls right can get a little tiring after a while. It's good to have some games where my fate doesn't rely on a "just right" flick of the wrist.
  • aion7 - January 26, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    Oh come on. TvC requires lots of dedication to get good at, and SF4 made far too many concessions for new players* (ultras, wide reversal windows, ridiculous shortcuts (which ended up disastrous), autocorrect, etc.). TvC has careful zoning and timing required to play it. It's no MvC2, but it's not a breeze. *I still like it, and play it though. It's currently my second most played fighting game (after MvC2, obviously). I play Balrog and get my fight money, or occasionally Seth, Ryu, Akuma, or my latest project, Sakura (Sabre vs. Valle inspired me).
  • freecasino - January 26, 2010 7:18 a.m.

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  • mEgAzD - January 26, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    aion7: I hear ya man. That Sakura(Sabre) was mind blowing. Back to the game. Will definitely pick this up. Looks really good. Does the control scheme using the Wii remote feel like Brawl?
  • Bossco - January 26, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    I hope they bring it out on the 360. This game is wasted on Nintendo's little white shitbox
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - January 26, 2010 6:04 p.m.

    @aion7 I wasn't trying to say the game is too easy or simplistic, someone that's talented will still murder a newbie, it's just much easier to pull off basic combos and specials. As a result it's more newbie friendly. Like any good fighting game though, it rewards practice and high level play is far more complex and demanding than just button mashing with friends. Bonus video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAP1CHiiqSY
  • Metroidhunter32 - January 26, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    @Bossco I doubt it, either it will do well enough they don't need more profit or it will do poor enough that they'll decide biased fanboys like you wouldn't buy it either and it's not worth the porting effort.
  • linkganon - January 26, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    bossco, i wouldn't complain if i was you, xbox 360 have street fighter 4, wii doesn't, so they have the right to refuse to release it for the 360, and make all the companies even. if they do that, they would release it on the ps3 also since they'd think this game was that good and would have to release street fighter 4 for the wii. that and i'm sure nintendo paid to make sure it was exclusive. if they did pay and they went and released it on another system anyways, it would be blackmail which would place them in a bad situation.
  • Bossco - January 27, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    @Metroidhunter32 I'm not a fanboy. This looks like a good game and I would buy it if it came out on 360 or PS3. I can't justify Paying £200 for a Wii when there are only a handfull of decent games to play on it. We all know that this game will die at retail when games that involve dressing up babies or hosing down horses will sell in their millions. It would be a shame if this game was not released on the consoles where there is a genuine market for it.
  • Cyberninja - January 27, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    @bossco its not wasted if fanboys like you are the reason its going die which it wont.
  • Bossco - January 27, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    It's funny how defensive some people get about the Wii and yet I am a fanboy? I hope this game does well and makes Capcom a pile of money. Maby then more and more 3rd party developers would take a punt on the Wii, then it might be worth buying one.
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