Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars (North America)

by Neal Ronaghan, Senior Editor - January 30, 2010

9

There's some Brawl in my Street Fighter.

When Tatsunoko vs. Capcom comes up in conversation - whether among die-hard or casual gamers - the first question that arises is usually, "What is Tatsunoko?" After playing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, I can say that that question will not matter. The game is a fantastic 2D fighter whether you know all the characters or not.

In this latest iteration of the "Vs." series, you pick a pair of characters from a roster of 24, or choose between two giant robots. For the uninitiated, this series has you picking a few fighters – two in this version – and dueling against a team of two other fighters. You can only play as one character at a time, but you can have the other character jump in and perform a quick attack, or you can switch between the two whenever you want to. TVC also features two giant robots that can fight by themselves. In other words, you can have Tatsunoko's humongous Gold Lightan square off against Capcom's Viewtiful Joe and Mega Man Volnutt.

The roster is split down the middle with 13 from each property. The Capcom side includes Ryu, Chun-Li, and a mess of awesome obscure characters, including Dead Rising's Frank West, Mega Man's kid sister Roll, and Rival Schools' Batsu. On the Tatsunoko side, there are a lot of teenagers who wear power suits, three members of Science Ninja Gatchaman, and three representatives from the wacky Yatterman series. Each character is truly different, with some of them being really off the wall. Never did I ever think that Frank West would be in a 2D fighting game, don a Mega Man suit, and fire off a huge mega buster shot.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a wonderful mix of over-the-top fighting games, such as the Super Smash Bros. series, and hardcore fighters. The varying control schemes help blend the two styles together, with some of them (Wii Remote; Wii Remote and Nunchuk) featuring simple Smash Bros.-style controls and the others (Classic Controller; GameCube controller; fighting stick) using the tried-and-true button combinations that revolutionized the genre in Street Fighter II. It creates an extremely accessible game that can pair advanced players against beginners in a fair and balanced manner.

Still, there are some big differences between the two types of controls. In the simpler scheme, one button performs normal attacks, and another performs special ones. The two buttons can be modified by the analog stick, and you can chain combos together by pressing the buttons repeatedly. Additionally, Hyper Combos, moves that will remind Nintendo fans of Brawl's Final Smashes, are easily performed by pressing the two buttons simultaneously.

The other one feels familiar if you've ever played any of Capcom's fighting games. You use quarter-circles, half-circles, and more to perform all sorts of moves, and you can perform a variety of combos using the three different attack buttons. Obviously a fighting stick would be the best for this setup, but a Classic Controller fills the slot nicely for gamers on a budget.

TVC's gameplay holds a lot of depth. There are numerous types of combos (Chain and Baroque), a variety of partner-based attacks , some defensive maneuvers (Mega Crash), and all sorts of Hyper Combo combinations. Some players may never use these effectively, while others might work them into their fighting style and see great improvement. The game encourages you to experiment in its Training mode, but it doesn't require you to know the ins and outs of every character and control scheme to have a great time.

Along with Training mode, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom offers a few other modes: Arcade, Versus, Survival, and Time Attack. You'll likely spend a lot of time in Arcade mode, especially since you have to plow through the mode over 10 times to unlock characters. Luckily, it's only eight matches long, so it's not too long of a chore.

The online component, the big new addition to the North American release of the game, is solid, but still has the standard issues that plague most online fighting games. There is occasional lag, but it's not enough to ruin the experience. There are both ranked and unranked matches, with the ranked ones contributing to your battle points and providing you with different titles. You can play against your friends and rivals, or play against random people. As long as both competitors register each other, they can play each other again using the rival feature, which is a really nice addition and a great band-aid for the friend code problem.

There's a good deal of unlockable content, including art galleries, alternate character colors, and videos, but the biggest hidden feature is the lone mini-game, Ultimate All-Shooters. Unfortunately it's more of a distraction than anything of substance, as you pick one of four characters and take them through some levels of top-down action. You can romp through this with three friends, which adds to its replayability.

With zany characters and gameplay and a low barrier to entry, TVC is fantastic for the fighting game novice. On the other hand, there is also a deep fighting system for veteran fighter fans along with a solid online setup. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is an amazing 2D fighting game that is tailor-made for the Wii and its audience.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
9 8 9 9.5 8 9
Graphics
9

The game is crisp and colorful. The animations of each character are fantastic, as are the backgrounds, the Hyper Combos, and everything else.

Sound
8

The fast-paced and crazy sound fits the game very well. Each character features voice acting, though it's almost all in Japanese. The sound effects are reminiscent of the games the characters hail from. It's always fun to hear familiar Mega Man sounds while playing as Roll.

Control
9

Making use of every control scheme the Wii offers, the controls are great. While the GameCube controller is almost unusable due to its small D-pad, the Classic Controller's D-pad is just fine. The Wii Remote and Wii Remote/Nunchuk controls are great for beginners, or players who aren't adept at D-pad combinations. It's also a breeze to switch between control styles on the fly.

Gameplay
9.5

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is easy to learn yet difficult to master, with all sorts of depth. Some players can hop in and feel like they're doing something magnificent with the flashy, easy-to-perform Hyper Combos, while others can learn the intricacies of the game. It's the most accessible Capcom fighter to date.

Lastability
8

Your time with the game will go on for as long as you have people to play with. If you have people around to play local multiplayer with, you'll have a blast. If you don't, then the online mode is there with easy ways to find foes of similar skill levels. The online isn't without its flaws, but it gets the job done.

Final
9

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom rivals Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the preeminent fighting game on Wii. It's incredible for both long-time fans of the genres and newcomers with splendid characters, gameplay, and fun.

Review Page 1

Summary

Pros
  • Very accessible
  • Wide variety of control schemes
  • Fun, bombastic gameplay
  • 26 distinctive characters
Cons
  • Method for unlocking characters can be tedious
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Wow. I am actually...thinking... of buying my first ever fighting game. (Smash Bros. doesn't count!)

Just got it last night, played for a little while. LOVED IT.

BlackNMild2k1 January 31, 2010

Quick question.

Is it better to play with the wiichuck or the CC?

Toruresu January 31, 2010

To me it seemed like Wii-Nunchuck was like CvsSNK2 on the GC using the GCism. Using the CC makes this game seem like a pro fighting game, so, awesome :D

BlackNMild2k1 January 31, 2010

I've only played MvC in the arcades so I'm not 100% sure what you just said in that post.

But CC sounds like the way to go.

I only ask becuase I was about ot let my boy borrow my classic controller since I gifted his son SMW from the VC not knowing that they didn't have a CC. I guess he will just have to buy his own since I should be getting this game on Monday.

I personally prefer the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combo, but if you're more familiar with Street Fighter/Marvel vs. Capcom, then CC is your cheapest and best option.

BlackNMild2k1 January 31, 2010

I don't mind wiichuck as that is kinda what I would prefer to learn(pick up and play, no looking for attachments), but if its was much better to play with the CC then I just wouldn't lend it to my friend like I planned. I'll feel bad that my boy's son can't play SMW, but he has 2 parents and they can go buy a CC for him eventually.

I found that playing on the CC and GC controllers, you do not have the option to turn on the simpler "Smash Bros." control style. That option seems to be available exclusively for the WiiChuck control scheme. When playing on the CC/GC, the game feels much more like a "proper" 2D fighter in the vein of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 or Street Fighter IV. I haven't tried the Wiichuck scheme yet, but I probably will tonight.

The instruction booklet is impressive in that it seems like there's a whole lot of depth to this game that I have yet to discover.

Maxi January 31, 2010

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

I've only played MvC in the arcades so I'm not 100% sure what you just said in that post.

But CC sounds like the way to go.

I only ask becuase I was about ot let my boy borrow my classic controller since I gifted his son SMW from the VC not knowing that they didn't have a CC. I guess he will just have to buy his own since I should be getting this game on Monday.


To clear up what Toruresu said last gen on the GameCube there was a Capcom Vs SNK2EO game. In the game when you played the game there was a option to have simplified controls or traditional controls. The simplified controls had you use the C stick for everybodies moves. While the traditional controls had you inputing the moves yourself much like in Street Fighter 2.

KDR_11k January 31, 2010

There are some moves where I'm wishing for simplified inputs or Bleach DS's touchscreen supers like Polymar's drill hyper (LM,LM,MH, tendency to trigger other moves while you're inputting that and not register that you're trying to enter that move) since they're extremely hard to trigger properly and the simplified controls make them all equally easy. Also a bit annoying that the character change requires pushing back and fails if you didn't notice that your relative position to the enemy changed (e.g.when he's airborne and you are not).

IMO the game is so awesome it deserves a higher score than 9 even.

Toruresu January 31, 2010

Quote from: Maxi

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

I've only played MvC in the arcades so I'm not 100% sure what you just said in that post.

But CC sounds like the way to go.

I only ask becuase I was about ot let my boy borrow my classic controller since I gifted his son SMW from the VC not knowing that they didn't have a CC. I guess he will just have to buy his own since I should be getting this game on Monday.


To clear up what Toruresu said last gen on the GameCube there was a Capcom Vs SNK2EO game. In the game when you played the game there was a option to have simplified controls or traditional controls. The simplified controls had you use the C stick for everybodies moves. While the traditional controls had you inputing the moves yourself much like in Street Fighter 2.



Yeah, what he said!

I toyed with giving this game higher than a 9, even briefly considered handing out a 10.

My main issue with it is that the lastability depends so much on if you have people of a similar skill level to play against. I loved romping through the arcade mode a few times, but by the time I unlocked the last character, I didn't have much interest in going back to it. If there was a more involved single-player experience, it would've probably gotten a 9.5 or a 10.

Still, I see your point in thinking that it might deserve something higher than a 9. I just didn't give it more than 9.

KDR_11k January 31, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal
My main issue with it is that the lastability depends so much on if you have people of a similar skill level to play against.



Considering there's an online mode that doesn't seem too difficult.

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: NWR_Neal
My main issue with it is that the lastability depends so much on if you have people of a similar skill level to play against.



Considering there's an online mode that doesn't seem too difficult.



Online's not flawless, sir.

I experienced some pretty crippling lag.

WuTangTurtle February 01, 2010

got this one and already found some guys at the office bringing theirs in.  Buddy at work had the Arcade Stick, nice to use but since the games moves are pretty simplistic for the most part an arcade stick is a bit overkill.  I did however find it a lot more comfortable after getting used to the joystick and button layout.  Only got about an hours worth using the Arcade Stick and didn't notice any input lag or anything....however if you played it online I have no idea if that would even work well.

Love the game so far though, any Street Fighter fan should definitely give this a go.

KDR_11k February 01, 2010

Online's been flawless though a bit low on opponents for me.

thatguy February 01, 2010

I've only played online for a few fights, but against someone who's only a few miles away from me, though noticeably worse at traditional Capcom fighters.  I lost the first fight, but from that point on, things went very smoothly for me.  In such a short range, there was lag, but it was easily overcome.

Aside from that, though, I'd have to say that this is one of the best-feeling Capcom fighters I've played to date, and definitely the best Vs. title, so far.  While I like the cast of characters better in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the gameplay here has been both simplified, yet grown deeper.

Every character can now double jump and air-dash, something you'll miss if you go back to MvC2.

What would be appreciated?  A better chance to know the Tatsunoko characters.  For me, and probably most of the North American audience, I've got no idea who most of the Tatsunoko representatives are!  Nearly every character's ending is generic, and provides very slight background to whomever was used to beat the game.  Beyond that, there's the dialogue in-between characters in-between fights, which shows some personality, but not even very much in that respect.

My biggest qualm with the game is that it's easier to learn to do combos, thanks to the simplification and streamlining of attack buttons into generic attack buttons, rather than punch and kick.  Why?  It's made it possible for me to pick up how to play, and thus made me a fierce player in only about an hour of training-mode time.  Because of this, I consistently crush my roommate, and now he grows angry every time we play.  Too bad Capcom didn't make these controls a bit more difficult, because then I'd have no chance for a consistent win, and my roommate and I would be much more peaceful people in general.  Way to ruin a happy home, Capcom!

Peachylala February 01, 2010

NO SAMURAI PIZZA CATS.

D8

Quote from: Peachylala

NO SAMURAI PIZZA CATS.

D8



That's the reason why the game didn't get a 10. WTF CASPCOM!?!?!?

...I kid.

Peachylala February 01, 2010

The game is great, but still, I'm pissed at having no Pizza Cats.

KDR_11k February 01, 2010

Well, I just had a BIT of lag in an online match, three framerate hickups over the entire course of the match.

My online experience ran the gamut from awesome to crap. More often than not, it was pretty solid, but still.

Also, practically every time I went to a ranked match, I got destroyed because I'd get paired up with someone a rank above me or higher. This is the first week the game came out. You'd think this might be the time where the most people of varying skill levels are online.

Outside of playing with people like Zach or other people who aren't way better than me from the forums, I don't know how long the online will remain fun.

As is the case with virtually every online game I play (Mario Kart Wii is the shining exception).

KDR_11k February 02, 2010

Pffft, runs way better than Modern Warfare 2.

BwrJim! February 02, 2010

I've been playing this game from release, aside from unlocking a few characters I have been playing almost entirly online and out of all the matches (too many to count) I have only had a very low low percentage of lag fights.  If I was going to play 100 games right now, I would guess that based on my experience, 90 percent of them will be lag free.

So I am enjoying it.  I may not be the best in the world, but I have a damn good time trying to prove it.

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Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars Box Art

GenreFighting
DeveloperEighting
Players 1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

NA: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
ReleaseJan 26, 2010
PublisherCapcom
RatingTeen
JPN: Tatsunoko Vs Capcom : Cross Generation of Heroes
ReleaseDec 11, 2008
PublisherCapcom
EU: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
ReleaseJan 29, 2010
PublisherCapcom
Rating12+
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