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Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom in under 500 words…

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom for Nintendo Wii ©  CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
looks pretty. It has a diverse selection of characters that fit any player.  It’s easy to learn, but hard to master.  The special attacks are cool.  That’s great and all, but the same could be said for almost every fighting game from the past two years.  Besides being a Wii exclusive, why should people buy this clash between Capcom and an animation company best known in America for Speed Racer?

TVC is the descendent of the Marvel Vs. Capcom series. Players assemble a tag team out of 26 fighters divided between Capcom’s stable and Tatsunoko’s Golden-Age-styled superheroes.  The controls are simple compared to Street Fighter with three attack buttons and a fourth for switching partners and assist attacks.  Any idea of conservatism is tossed out as well as characters cover the screen in one dash, launch foes into the sky, and can combo anything into anything.   

While there is instant gratification, TVC rewards players for exploring the system and maxing out their offense.  Casshan can use his robot dog's flamethrower to cover him as he charges an unblockable punch.  Meanwhile, Viewtiful Joe can keep attacking even after landing his strongest Hyper Combo.

Team chemistry is also important. Is Ryu’s fireball the assist a powerhouse like Alex needs to get into close range?  If Tekkaman Blade needs to recover health, can he link into Saki’s Hyper Combos to escape?  Your two favorite characters aren’t always the best team. Then there are giant characters Gold Lightan and Lost Planet’s PTX-40A, who fight alone but tower over opponents and plow through most attacks.

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom ©  CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010

TVC recaptures the pace of the Marvel games, but also borrows mechanics pioneered in later fighters like Guilty Gear.  Advancing Guard pushes back foes during blocks, Mega Crash lets fighters escape combos, and Baroque Cancel stops a character mid-attack to extend an assault or avoid one. 

These additions add more depth while countering the one-mistake-you're-dead matches that frustrated some players in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.  It doesn’t guarantee a balanced roster, but it gives every character more ways of escaping bad situations.

TVC is not for everyone.  It still takes only one mistake to slice a health bar in half or worse. There is no character who can survive without learning some dexterous combos, and escaping a good offense or breaking a good defense takes patience and good reactions.

While you can play with special Wii-mote controls, you’ll need at least a Classic or GameCube controller to get the most out of the game.  TVC offers a lot of online features, but the lag is so bad it’s impossible to play seriously.  There’s no substitute for head-to-head play.

In the end, TVC is an excellent choice for those who want the team-based fighting of the Vs. games with lessons learned from later titles.  Don’t use the fact that the Wii grandma stereotype knows more about Gatchaman than you do as an excuse for not trying this game.

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom in under 250 words…

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom Gameplay ©  CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010

In 1996 X-men vs. Street Fighter gave us Cyclopes vs. Ryu, a match-up no one thought would happen.  In 2010 Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars for the Wii gives us Ryu vs. Ken the Eagle from Gatchaman, a match-up few Americans would care happen. But this cross between the makers of Street Fighter and Mega Man and the studio behind Japan’s classic superheroes brings back the possibilities of the Vs. series with the lessons from newer games. 

TVC hits the marks of a modern fighting game: Appealing graphics, a diverse roster, and dynamic matches thanks to tag-team matches and screen-covering special attacks.  Simple controls and a liberal combo system also makes it easy to get into. 

Where TVC shines is in the freedom of experimentation.  There are always ways to extend combos, and team chemistry makes individual characters that much better.  Innovations from games like Guilty Gear such as Advancing Guard and Baroque Cancel expand the system while discouraging the imbalances the Marvel games were known for.

There are some issues. For casual players the game needs at least a Classic or GameCube controller for the best experience.  At higher skill levels you’ll need to execute long combos to stand a chance, as well as have the reflexes and patience to escape from them.  And the scattershot online play means you'll need friends who enjoy TVC too.

Who is Ken the Eagle? He’s a science ninja. What more do you want?      

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom in under 100 words…

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom ©  CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010

Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars for the Wii resurrects the chaotic tag-team battles from the Marvel Vs. series. Players can team up 26 characters from Chun Li to Japanese superheroes like Tekkaman. 

The controls are simple for the genre, but allow combos and team strategies that turn Training Mode into a laboratory. Techniques like Mega Crash preserve the flavor the Vs. series is known for while deterring balance issues the series is also known for.  Online play is disappointing and some won’t like half-life combos, but TVC is a great mix of old-school fighting and modern mechanics.   

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom in under 25 words…

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom ©  CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010A decade after Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars revives frantic tag-team fighting while injecting balancing lessons from later games.