Friday, 19 February 2010

Tatsunoko vs Capcom - Wii

While all gamers know the Capcom name thanks to titles such as Street Fighter and Resident Evil, a lot of people will never have heard of Tatsunoko. That's because Tatsunoko is a Japanese animation company, whose closest links to the Western world lie in Seventies series Battle of the Planets.

Fortunately, despite a range of unfamiliar characters, you don't need to know anything about Tatsunoko to be able to enjoy this fabulous tag team fighter.

Just three attack buttons are used: light, medium and heavy, and together with directional inputs introduce a host of moves to experiment with. A fourth button is used to call a second character into the fray. This substitute can either be called in for a quick attack, or can be swapped on the fly. It's a simple and elegant control system, allowing players to input quick-fire combos with ease.

Each time your character unleashes an attack or receives a punch in the guts, the Hyper Combo Gauge fills. This bar can be topped up to a maximum of five times and can be triggered to deliver a potent series of special moves. If the bar is filled to capacity, each fighter can pull off a visually spectacular and devastating attack.

Just because unleashing flashy combos is easier here than, say, Street Fighter IV, it doesn't mean the game is shallow button-mashing nonsense.

While novice players will be happy to hit any old button and hope for the best, there's more than enough to keep fighting game veterans happy. Cross-over assists, hyper combos, cross-over air raids, and Baroque combos are just some of the special moves to be learned.

The riotous action is made all the more special thanks to the brilliant and colourful cast. There are more than 20 characters to select from the start, while more can be unlocked as you progress.

Well known Street Fighters Ryu and Chun-Li lead the way for Team Capcom, but there are some wonderful characters from the company's games represented here - Mega Man, Darksiders' Morrigan, Viewtiful Joe and housecleaning Mega Man robot Roll take center stage - look out for her amazing special moves. Even square-jawed journalist Frank West takes a break from mass zombie killing in Dead Rising to put in an appearance.

On the Tatsunoko side, the most recognisable pair are Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan from classic Seventies series Battle Of The Planets. Joining them is an assortment of truly off-the-wall characters. Chief among them is Doronjo, who along with her Dorombo gang, unleashes havoc with bombs and mechanical gadgets.

The bold slabs of colour used and fantastic animation add to the visual polish, while the game's slick framerate remains constant throughout. It really is a gorgeous game and one of the best looking titles on the Wii.

Along with the default Arcade Mode, there are a variety of play modes to explore and even a shop where artwork and extras can be purchased with in-game currency.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom can even be taken online, although the experience for me was slightly laggy, but certainly nothing game breaking.

The stilted slide show rewards for completing the game with each of the characters are a bit of a let down. I was hoping for slices of animation and some worthwhile rewards. It jars slightly as the rest of the game is such a visual treat.

Various control methods have also been added, including support for a Gamecube pad. I played with the Classic Controller, which proved to be more effective than the standard Wiimote/nunchuk set-up.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom manages to cater for hardcore fighting fans and beat em up novices, with enough content to keep players going for months. It's accessible and a joy to play. Snap it up and experience something a bit special.

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