It’s certainly lacking in some departments, but if you have someone to play with, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom is a fighting game that will give you endless hours of entertainment.
Some of my favorite fighting games were made by Capcom and despite not being particularly good at it, the Capcom Vs. series has always had a special place in my heart. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom has some of the trademarks of the series, including an unconventional roster of characters, a simplified yet captivating tag-team gameplay and signature moves from both Tatsunoko and Capcom characters. It’s certainly lacking in some departments, primarily the single-player content, but if you have someone to play with locally, this is a fighting game that will give you endless hours of entertainment and some memorable matches even if you’re familiar with just half of its roster.
As far as versus games go, I never expected Tatsunoko and Capcom to team up for a crossover fighting game and the fact that the game made it to America is a surprise in itself. On top of that, the game made it with a fully functional online mode, as well as additional characters which is definitely a plus. Speaking of characters, if you’ve played video games, you’ve most likely heard of Ryu from Street Fighter, Zero from Mega Man X and Morrigan from Darkstalkers, but the characters from anime powerhouse Tatsunoko are less well-known around these parts. Outside of Japan, not a lot of people have heard of Yaterman-1, Casshan, Doronjo or Gatchaman, but luckily, being familiar with these characters isn’t a requirement to enjoy this fighter.
Roster details aside, how does Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom play? After all, the Wii isn’t a platform that comes to mind when you think of fighting games, right? Some concessions needed to be made to put out this game on Nintendo’s console, but that ended working in the game’s favor. For one, controls have been simplified drastically: there are three types of attacks (light, medium and strong) and you can enhance them by adding a directional input. But while performing certain attacks is simpler in this game, there’s still the matter of reading your opponent, execution, footsies, finding openings, maximizing your combos and other elements that are an important part of fighting games.
In this tag-team based fighting game, you select two characters and each of them has his/her life gauge and when it’s depleted, the reserve character shows up. Of course, you can switch these characters on the fly to connect attacks and execute some insane combos and the character that’s in the reserve recovers health. There’s also a hyper combo gauge that fills up as you attack or receive attacks from your opponent and when it’s full, you can perform some special attacks. As in most fighting games, the more you keep playing, the more techniques come into play. You’ll soon discover cross-over attacks, air combos, baroque combos, chain combos, hyper combos and so on. The game’s lexicon can be overwhelming at first, but when you get to play it for a while, Tatsunoko vs Capcom reveals a layer of complexity that makes the game deeper and rewarding. Even if the controls are simple, there are several mechanics to take into account and the game doesn’t illustrate most of them in a clear manner. So if you want to understand how mega crush, hyper combos or some special moves work, get ready to read some guides or watch some online videos.
I enjoyed playing Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom a lot and while I’m not that familiar with half of the game’s roster, I ended up liking most of the Tatsunoko characters. But something that I feel definitely feels empty is the game’s modes or should I say lack thereof. The game includes an arcade, versus, training, survival, time attack, shop, gallery and online modes and all of them are pretty self-explanatory and that’s kind of a problem because there are no surprises of any kind. Developer Eighting didn’t take a risk when it comes to modes, so don’t expect a weird story mode that explains why these two universes are mashed together or a cooperative mode to share with a friend. On top of that, the training mode is as barebones as you’d expect and if you intend to play on your own, you’ll probably end up playing arcade mode a few times, unlock some characters or endings and get bored with that the game has to offer.
If you have a like-minded friend who’s into fighting games and an extra controller, you can spend a lot of time with the versus mode. It’s easy to jump into the versus mode and have fun experimenting with different combos and the gameplay is so flashy and ridiculous that it’s difficult not to be mesmerized by what’s happening on the screen.
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom is one of the most exciting fighting games I played in quite some time and one of my favorites in the Capcom versus series. It achieves that thanks to a deceivingly simple gameplay that reveals more layers as you keep playing and an unconventional yet colorful roster of characters. The lack of modes, poorly explained mechanics or something extra to keep lonely players entertained for more than a few hours would have been more than welcome, but even if this package feels somewhat incomplete, this game’s more user-friendly than Marvel thanks to the two-on-two battles and the slower pace of the battles.