Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars Hands-On

We took Capcom's next "vs." fighting game for a spin at GamesCom, Cologne.

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The "vs." Capcom series has seen the developer go up against both Marvel and SNK, and now Japanese anime outfit Tatsunoko is next. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom has been released in Japan in both the arcades and on the Wii, but Capcom is set to bring it to Europe and the US with new characters and features. We got to play the game at Capcom's GamesCom booth, as well as talk to producer Ryota Niitsuma.

The headline feature for the Western release is four new characters, two from Capcom and two from Tatsunoko. These characters will be revealed in full at the Tokyo Game Show, and despite how hard we tried, we couldn't get Niitsuma-san to reveal the lineup. He did, however, say that the online matchmaking will be improved over the Japanese release, with better filtering according to skill, and US/European players will be able to play against all other territories around the world.

Niitsuma-san fully admits that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is more accessible than Capcom's other fighters. "We wanted to do something really wacky," he said in our interview, "and fill in the space for a Wii button masher." That actually does the game a disservice in our eyes--after playing it, it's clear there's a lot of depth to the characters and the way they interact. We love the fact that you can either have two characters or go all out and have one huge character with double the energy. "It's ballsy--it allows players to make a statement," admitted Niitsuma.

The game was built using a new engine that allowed Capcom to get the most out of the Wii, and the results speak for themselves. It's a supremely well-animated 2.5D brawler, moving at what appears to be a solid 60 frames per second, and the special moves are explosively spectacular. We particularly liked Viewtiful Joe, whose trademark movie-framed special moves appear intact. We also liked Roll, the tiny cleaner girl from the Megaman series, who throws buckets of water at her enemies.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is launching exclusively on the Wii, and a release date will be announced by the third quarter of 2009. We'll bring you any new info we get on the game in the run up to release.

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