TGS 2008: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes Hands-On

We try out Capcom's fantastic Wii conversion of its upcoming arcade fighter mashup.

TOKYO--We've been fiending to play more of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom ever since we got word of the crazy fighter mashup earlier this year. For those unfamiliar with the game, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom pits characters from various Capcom titles against characters from anime giant Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd. The end result is a Marvel vs. Capcom 2-style brawler that features over-the-top visuals married to tight gameplay. Originally announced only as an arcade title, the game has since been confirmed for the Wii. Capcom had an early, work-in-progress version of the game running on the Wii at this year's Tokyo Game Show, so we naturally had to get our hands on it to see how it was coming along.

The playable demo was your basic versus mode that pitted you against AI opponents on randomly selected stages. The modest battle selection was buffed out with a roster of eight selectable characters from both Capcom and Tatsunoko universes. The Capcom side featured Street Fighters Ryu, Chun Li, and Alex from Third Strike, Morrigan from DarkStalkers, Batsu from Rival Schools, Soki from Onimusha Dawn of Dreams, Rock Vonutt from Mega Man Legends (basically Mega Man), and PTX-40A from Lost Planet (one of the vital suits from the game). The Tatsunoko side of things featured a mix of characters who may not be familiar to everyone in the states. Arguably the best-known character is Ken the eagle from Gatchaman (better known as G-Force in the US). The others, as best as we can tell, are Casshern, Tekkaman, Yatterman, Hurrican Polymer, Doronjo, Karas, and Golden Lightan. The demo let you pick a team of two fighters to use in battle.

Each of the characters has an array of special and super attacks that you'll pull off via a mix of D pad motions and button combos. A fair chunk of the moves follow the standard Street Fighter model of quarter- and half-circle motions and button presses, with some charge moves thrown into the mix as well. Super attacks require your super meter to have at least one charge on it as well as a more involved controller input. Once you get the hang of the timing you'll also be able to stack supers and do team supers for maximum onscreen craziness.

Street Fighter characters such as Ryu and Chun Li show up alongside Tatsunoko classics like Casshern.

Tatsunoko's basic combat system uses a four button system that breaks down into light medium and fierce attacks as well as a partner assist button that calls in your teammate for a quick attack or lets you swap fighters entirely. You'll be able to dash by double-tapping forward or backward and perform a super jump by tapping up and down on the D pad quickly. Speaking of the D pad and the game's control scheme, the game is playable with either the remote and Nunchuk or the classic controller. We tried the remote and Nunchuk combo briefly and, while it's entirely possible to play with that control option, we reckon fighting fans will be reaching for the classic controller just as we did. While the classic controller isn't a replacement for a proper arcade stick, it's a more comfortable fit.

The visuals in the game are almost arcade-perfect from the look of things, which isn't too surprising considering the arcade hardware it runs on is based on the Wii. The characters sport a fair amount of detail and make the most of their modest polygon counts. The same holds true of the environments, which feature a nice array of detail and moving objects. The rest of the game's polygon budget gets lavishly spent on the super moves, which are over-the-top, eyeball-spinning light shows of madness. Much like the old 2D Versus games, Tatsunoko's supers feature over-the-top visuals. Ryu's super fireball is a massive screen-filling blast, while Morrigan's Darkness Illusion features a host of visual fireworks as she pummels her target. At the moment our favorite super is probably Ken from Gatchaman, as it involves slamming his opponent with the fiery phoenix seen in the anime. Finally, we have to call out the good dose of crazy--in the form of some of the larger characters such as Gold Lightan and PTX-40A--being tossed into the mix. Gold Lightan was actually playable on occasion in our demo when we picked our fighters through random select. When Lightan came up we didn't get a partner to use in battle, which was fine since Lightan literally takes up an entire screen.

The game's audio is definitely in the same spiritual family as the Marvel vs. Capcom games and gets a lot of mileage out of the familiar themes from the different properties. You'll hear the various character's theme songs weave in and out of the battle tunes. Better still are the various sound effects that serve as pitch-perfect complements to the goofiness. This is especially true during the over-the-top super attacks.

Based on what we played, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a winning sign that Capcom's developers are well on their way to finding a new 3D groove. The game is fast, fun to play, and looks great. While it may lack the high-gloss sheen of Street Fighter IV, the game more than makes up for it with its lively personality. Anyone who's been hankering for another Capcom "versus" title in the vein of Marvel vs. Capcom or Marvel vs. Street Fighter needs to keep an eye out for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. The horrible twist to all this is that anyone interested in the game will want to keep an eye out for the import release of the title, which is set to hit Japan this December. From the sound of things, the odds of the game being released stateside fall somewhere in between "slim" and "none" due to the licensing briar patch caused by all the Tatsunoko characters. That said, we can't think of a better reason to import a Wii in 2008. Look for more on Tatsunoko vs. Capcom in the months to come.

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Discussion

63 comments
axelviiii
axelviiii

It would be really sad if Joe wasn't in this game. I mean, he'd fit right in!

DeadEndPanda
DeadEndPanda

lol some of ya really underestimate the wii XD its by far better then the last gen consoles so its basicly a half generation furture,it isnt last gen ;) this game look awesome, i just hope it comes to europe.

hanschua
hanschua

Just got the game and honestly. I didn't expect the game to play smoothly in wii. I'm impressed with the audio visuals... it would have looked good on a HDTV. It's a must buy for those who love the classic style fighting games.

BinariuS
BinariuS

The one million $ question is.... When will it be available for US consoles!? Would be very nice to 'hadouken' as in Budokai Tenkaichi 3

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Retrofraction I don't think the wii can run SF4 with out doing some major downgrading on the graphics. It wouldn't be the same game on the wii just like every other cross-platform game that includes the wii...the wii version is always chopped up and clunky.

alasaga
alasaga

too good to be true ^_^

narutoquest
narutoquest

They didnt say it but I hope the gamecube controller will also be an option.

thetoondevil
thetoondevil

I hope it comes to Wii in America. I could careless of the Anime characters but I want to play with Chun-Li in another fighting game again. Noway I'm importing another wii console to play this game. Come on Capcom, give an American a Wii Fighter. American Nintendo fans needs more better fighters then SNK.

retrofraction12
retrofraction12

well they would make Marvel vs capcom 3 ,but EA and activison have been buying out the license. hopefully this is going to come to America to make up for the fact they didn't put st4 on the wii.

BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

@Crono_07 and diggyman I don't see how Street Fighter 4 is going to be better, but I just prefer this that SF4, if there's more characters, the better, plus this game will have tag teams and tag specials! I don't think SF4 will though.. even the specials in TvC looks way detailed and overly hyped better than SF4, plus the character look on some character in SF4 looks odd... It's always better when fighting games got mixed characters instead of a single brand fighting game. Like JUS vs Clash of Ninja! Which one's better? And Marvel vs Capcom is AWESOME!!! The point of this being better is because it might have better gameplay!

elozl
elozl

Bring it on!! Thanks capcom!

airboygt
airboygt

After seeing that disappointing P.O.S that is Street Fighter EX IV, it's nice to see a REAL next gen 2D fighter emerge.

AV-98
AV-98

At last a game to get excited about. Though I hope it's nothing like Marvel Vs Capcom 2 (which was a poor outing for the Capcom cast). Now bring me an X-Men Vs Street or Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter (even Capcom Vs SNK on the DC) those are fighters to want. Maybe they can bring back the Sega Saturn too ... if only mine hadn't broken last month :(

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Why is Ryu punching Chun-Li in the head? Is this one of those "This is my fight, $%@, stay out of it!!" deals?

smbius
smbius

Finally. A real Wii game.

Spektre41
Spektre41

Who needs a badass fighting game when we have THRILLING SHOVELWARE!! For the love of God Capcom. Bring this over. Please!

Odnomiar
Odnomiar

Leave it to capcom to bring my love for Fighting games back... who else could've I ask you? this is looking every bit as lovely as you'd expect. shame it's only gonna be import though

khamla1
khamla1

Marvel vs Capcom 3 still is a possibility. EA no longer holds the rights to Marvel games. From my understanding Marvel is still a free agent. If Capcom was smart they capitilize on this!!

diggyman
diggyman

Marvel VS Capcom... They KNOW that's what a lot of us want. That's why they even CONSIDERED making this one. You're not going to see a M vs. C anytime soon though, for licensing reasons, but still, if it plays anything like M vs C (3 on 3 battles, swapping out, mid combo, high speed, yet fluid controls), this game should kick. I don't know ONE Tatsunoko character, though.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

I am not to familiar with the tatsunoko charachters, but I hope this game will hit the local arcades.

maaly81
maaly81

hope this makes it to America via the 360

Rodlikespants
Rodlikespants

marvel vs capcom 2 is put on a pedestal because people (pros too) love to play it and still play it today. It's not the best, but it's still popular. Mugen...really. If you want to play a game that actually has depth and balance, then find a decent fighting game. If you want to use some hodge podge broken frame dropping glitched out program so you can post youtube matches of Goku(CPU) and Mario(CPU) vs. Peter Griffin (CPU) and Sailor Moon (your little sister), go right ahead.

axelviiii
axelviiii

I want this so bad. Honestly I'll take any Capcom VS. game for the Wii. Provided it supports gamecube controllers.

cap_z
cap_z

ck02623 if u look at my commit correctly i said its the greatest fighter to ME. and yes some games back then was 40 bucks but i too got it on the lanuch and some was 50 bucks so yeah nice try buddy

MoK86
MoK86

yeah and why buy classic nintendo games on the wii when you can use emulators and get them for free?

NightKiller34
NightKiller34

Why buy this when I can play Mugen for free?

ck02623
ck02623

@ cap_z: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 isn't the greatest fighting game ever made, it's just been put on a pedestal because it's hard to find. And it didn't cost $50 new, I bought it on launch day. It was $39.99.

cap_z
cap_z

hmm well okay i guess i will check this game out hope its online i didn't read the whole thing if the article says it will be. i just wish capcom didn't lose the marvel license MVC2 IS THE GREATEST FIGHTER OF ALL TIME TO ME. and its cost around 60.00 to 80 bucks now compared to the 50 bucks it cost when it first came out. MVC3 I WISH but this new one should do fine even though i never heard of tatsunoko but okay

irongutvi
irongutvi

damn those licensing issues!!! it's ok capcom usa, we still thank you for trying to bring it to the states.

diggyman
diggyman

but I don't agree with BluFAlcon, either...

diggyman
diggyman

to Crono_07- BLASPHEME! Marvel VS. Capcom 2 Is one of the greatest fighting games ever made. The Characters aren't horribly unbalanced. You just have to know how to use them. I've destroyed countless players using 'Roll.' Capcom always keeps balance in mind when they make fighting games. Variety is the spice of life.

taddia
taddia

dont pimp my hope to play a bs title and say at the end this game will be japan only -.-

Crono_07
Crono_07

@ BluFAlcon: Just because a game has better graphics or a lot of characters doesn´t mean it´s better... just look at the horribly unbalanced Marvel vs Capcom 2; about 8 of 52 (54) characters are usable in tournament/competitive play.

Gocrunks
Gocrunks

I actually do hope that this game appears on more than just the Wii.

BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

dude, this game beats Street Fighter IV, this has more characters in it! and the graphics are like the same! Except this is 2-d, but 2-D's fighting style is better

TexasAnMGrad2K
TexasAnMGrad2K

G-Force, Battle of the Planets...stuff brings back a lot of memories. Hope they eventually decide to bring stateside.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@johndoh4 - no chance there. The game is based on the Wii's hardware. The PS2 wouldn't be able to handle it.

johndoh4
johndoh4

*Crosses fingers for a PS2 release*

beanofengland
beanofengland

that last comment just crushed my hopes of ever playing a new, solid fighting game on the wii... damn you legalities!

RockmanSRD
RockmanSRD

It would be nice if this saw a multi-platform release in the US. I don't want to have to buy games to play on my friend's wii, but I'll do what I have to.

DefianceNJ
DefianceNJ

Marvel vs Capcom 3 is never going to happen because EA now owns the rights to Marvel. All we can do is keep dreaming.

omnifas
omnifas

This game will not come to the USA...like Ninja below me said there are licensing issues. More likely is Capcom Using the engine to make MarvelvsCapcom 3 than this coming to the US.

ninjavelmor
ninjavelmor

to 9th_SolBadguy: It's not a matter of people knowing the Tatsunoko line of characters. it's that in the US these anime characters are owned by different companies. That poses a huge problem (look at the jump ultimate or robot taisen games). Your best bet is to "twilight" your wii, or freeloader.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

i just hope it gets to this side of the planet

9th_SolBadguy
9th_SolBadguy

This has to be the worst line up of characters i've seen thus far, why Alex instead of Sean, why only Batsu and not another rival school fighter BESIDES Sakura (im tired of seeing her), why Megaman and not Megaman X, why Gold Lightan and not some one like Generator Gawl or some one else finally why a slim to none release state side are u afraid no1 knows Tatsunoko characters who doesnt know G-force or Speed Racer? the SF4 line up is exceptional besides Dan and Sakura