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Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes Impressions
by Jeff Gerstmann on
Capcom's latest crossover fighter to storm Japanese arcades and the Wii simultaneously this December.
If you've played a Capcom versus game before, you have a decent idea of what to expect. The game has launchers and air combos, characters can double jump, and everything has been pumped up a lot, giving you screen-filling fireballs and faster, more-intense action. But it doesn't feel quite as over-the-top and wild as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was. The controls also initially feel inadequate. It's a four-button game with light, medium, and heavy attack buttons that don't differentiate between punches and kicks. The fourth button is a partner assist button. This is a tag battle game, so tapping the button will bring out your partner for a quick attack. Holding back and hitting the button tags your partner in to take over the fight. While not having punch and kick buttons instantly seemed like a bad idea, after I played a few rounds it felt just fine. Considering how wild the versus games can get, is there really even a meaningful difference between your fists and your feet? JUST KEEP HITTING DUDES. The game also adds some more technical stuff with an advancing guard that can be used to repel opponents, a move marked "baroque" that trades your red, recoverable life meter for a more powerful attack, and more.
The game looks pretty good on the Wii, and while I haven't seen the arcade version running, it sounds like both versions will be practically identical, as the arcade game is running on modified Wii-based hardware. That's probably what made it so easy to bring to the Wii and why the game is launching simultaneously in arcades and at home here in Japan. While you won't confuse the game's graphics for those of Street Fighter IV, the models look good and the various effects, from the big fireballs to the crackling lightning that shoots across the screen when you end a fight with a super all look pretty nice. Also, the game plays just fine with a Classic Controller attached to your Wii Remote. The game will be playable without one, but that seems like it's the best choice available.
The roster is also interesting, even if you don't really have any idea who all these Tatsunoko cats are. I was pleased to see Batsu from Rival Schools making a long-overdue return to Capcom's fighting rosters, and he's fun to play. While the game is a tag-focused experience, each side also has one giant character that fights alone, has one double-long lifebar, and does huge damage, but can't block. The Tatsunoko side gets Gold Lightan, while Capcom aficionados can use a V.S. from the Lost Planet series--PTX-40A Ivan, to be exact. The big guys are kind of cool, and the Lost Planet suit has supers that utilize its built-in chainsaw in very cool ways.
Of course, the biggest question has to do with the game's release outside of Japan. At the moment, Capcom hasn't made any announcements about bringing the arcade or the Wii version to the States, and it sounds like licensing all of these different anime characters in other countries is a difficult--but not impossible--problem. So it sounds like the company would certainly like to bring it elsewhere. We'll have to wait and see if they can maneuver the tricky tangle of paperwork to make that dream a reality. In the meantime, I think I might finally pick up a Japanese Wii while I'm here in Tokyo so I can be ready when this comes out later this year.