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Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes
 

 
REVIEWTatsunoko VS Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes is dubbed the "seventh" installment in the VS. series by Capcom, following in the footsteps of arcade smash hits like X-men VS Street Fighter and Marvel VS Capcom 2. Capcom favorites from a variety of popular games like Street Fighter, Megaman, Viewtiful Joe, and Onimusha take on Tatsunoko's more prominent anime icons from the likes of Gatchaman, Casshern, and Yatterman... Shinkiro is the official artist for the game, and I must say his renditions of these iconic characters are simply awesome this time around. Brilliant work Shinkiro!
 

The VS series has returned... with Japanese superheroes to boot!

 
Eight years later, and Capcom's spiritual successor to the fan-loved Marvel VS series has finally arrived. It's been quite a long time since I've played a game with such fast & solid gameplay, overly-flashy graphics, and dramatic tag team action... besides Marvel VS Capcom 2 of course (just played that yesterday).  On that note, some of the characters of TVC seem to somewhat "take the place" of several favorites from the Marvel VS series, for example: Saki = Cable + Balance (), and Doronjo can use her two assist goons much like Captain Commando used his gang.

The new characters introduced in TVC have their own respective and entertaining fighting styles, and are as cool as they are diverse. All characters have a decent variety of special moves & super moves, though some movesets definitely come off as "stripped-down"... but comparatively, the character movelists in TVC are superior to many characters that we remember using in MVC2.
Even though the character roster is on the smaller side, the "quality" of characters we're getting is simply superior in most cases. What do I mean exactly? Well, on top of a good selection of specials, all characters have at least 2 regular super moves, and then an epic "level 3" super that requires 3 bars!

Speaking of epic, pretty much everything about this game is epic. From the superb, highly entertaining voice acting, to the awesomely designed "fan-service" backgrounds, to the character specific BGMs that initiate when a certain character tags or is KO'ed, to the way you get an epic close-up view of characters as they prepare for a hard-hitting super move! Can you say ouch factor?  I guess I could just say the overall look and design of this game is simply feng shui The Tatsunoko & Capcom characters mesh surprisingly well together, and some of the fully animated ending sequences are simply epic and/or hilarious as well (as short as they are). Yes, the endings look much like the game's intro, which appears as if it's right out of an anime... not bad at all. Flashy visuals aside, this game has style... and I'm talking about the gameplay of course!

 

What's a Capcom VS game without Street Fighter?

 
The gameplay is most comparable to the earlier VS series, like the first Marvel VS Capcom for instance, but now with a "4 button" layout... Light, Medium, Fierce, and 1 button for both assist & tag. It takes some getting used to at first, since "P" and "K" are out the window. A specific directional movement (like your classic fireball motion or dragon punch) plus either a Light, Medium, or Fierce will usually perform the same special move, but at a different range, direction, and/or height (and in some cases the move is completely different, even though the command is the same). The only downside of the new button layout is that basic priority attacks are much more limited now, but thankfully several command attacks for each character are available, and can be initiated by holding forward or back with specific buttons. The alternate priority attacks are usually imperative to playing a character properly, and conveniently extend those combos!

Fear not, 6-button lovers... as odd as it may sound, it actually ends up working out in the end and suits the game. Besides the lack of priorities on a few characters, overall, I don't have any complaints about the new layout because the game controls are simply rock solid... when using the right controller of course. Wii-mote controls on easy FTW!!! ...you better believe I'm kidding. So far, for TVC I've used an Exar (TVC) arcade stick, a Wii classic controller, an off-brand Gamestop Gamecube controller, and a regular Gamecube controller (which I dusted off in disbelief and laughter). I do prefer the Wii classic controller and Gamecube controller due to the 4 button layout, even though using the arcade stick is a lot of fun and of course, cooler. Thankfully though, there are options to playing TVC, and it shouldn't be difficult to finding a pad or stick that you'll enjoy using for this game... just don't be a noob and use the Wii-mote.  

This isn't some re-hashed 3D remake of an old gameplay system... TVC introduces a handful of new elements that were added to the fast-paced tag team gameplay that we remember from the Marvel VS series. Each player selects a team of two characters with the ability to switch teammates at any time. However, larger characters such as Gold Lightan and PTX-40A fight on their own without a partner, making for some epic and diverse battles.
 

The return of the assist attack... ohh how I have missed thee.

 
Returning from the VS Series are huge (and cancelable) super moves, double team supers, super jumps, and push blocks. Other tag abilities like variable assist, variable counterattack, and delayed hyper cancellation (super move cancels) have also made their long-awaited comeback. As you might have expected, TVC is very combo-friendly, featuring an open-ended and flexible combo system - which also requires skill & ultra precise timing to nail those lengthier, flashier, and more damaging combos. There are indeed some sick combo possibilities in TVC, and they're quite fun to pull off.

New gameplay elements include the "Mega Crash," which is a technique that can break a combo and/or push your opponent back, but sacrifices a part of your character's life and uses up two super bars. "Variable Aerial Raves" have been introduced for the first time in a fighting game, and allows your current character to switch with their partner during a mid-air combo. "Baroque" is a mode where the character glows in rainbow color while sacrificing the red portion of the character's life. Activating Baroque cancels the current attack animation, allowing the player to extend combos and deal more damage relative to the amount of red life that is sacrificed... Baroque ends when the character doesn't do anything or when the character performs a Hyper move.

The "snapback" from Marvel VS Capcom 2 has also returned, which is a single move that knocks your opponent off-screen, forcing them to tag. Unfortunately, snapbacks are character specific and it seems like only a few characters can perform snapbacks (Alex, Hakushon, Gold Lightan, and PTX). Whew!   That enough gameplay elements for ya?!? Rest assured, the 2D fighting mechanics are as fun as they are deep once you learn the new system (which might take some time & commitment of course). TVC is yet another awesome and exciting game that proves 2D fighting games are far from dead.

It does seem like new 2D fighting games with "2D graphics" are far & few between these days, but let me just say that the 3D appearance of this 2D fighter is no disappointment. The majority of character models are well done and do plenty of justice to each character, but aren't the smoothest 3D models we've seen, since the Wii's graphics do have their limitations. There are some pretty jagged edges on the characters & backgrounds when you look close, but sit a few meters away from the TV and you won't even notice them anymore. On a side note: If you're looking to get the best quality picture, try using Monster (or other high quality) component cables with your Wii on an HD television... the colors in particular are possibly the game's best visual feature, along with the flashy seizure-inducing effects!
 

I don't know what you're saying... but you're a hottie Miss Doronjo.

 
The in-game menu is slick as well as hilarious... Doronjo and her two goons are your "menu hosts," usually rambling about something (in Japanese) on each menu selection that most U.S. players won't understand (although it is rather easy to get "Arcade Mode" out of  "Arrrcaadomodo yo!"The Japanese menus are tricky to navigate at first, but just memorizing the first "kanji" of every selection will allow you to browse the menu like a pro in no time. Several things are thankfully in English though, including Options and Practice mode! Controller configuration is another story though. Players will have to memorize some really-hard-to-read tiny-ass kanji (not too hard, lol). As you'd expect from Capcom, all the essential game modes are there: Arcade, VS, Survival, Time Attack, Options, and a solid Practice mode.

Like in any fighting game, there are a few imperfections worth mentioning, and if you didn't know... these "nitpicks" come from a fan of Capcom's VS Series since the very beginning. First off, each character in TVC only has only one assist, similar to that of Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter. It's not a terrible flaw, since it does successfully prevent some potential infinites and "cheap" combos, but maybe some assist variations wouldn't have hurt. Once again, the character roster is just a bit smaller than I would have hoped for, but 22 characters in the "first game" of a new series is nothing to complain about. Overall, the characters who made the cut were very good choices, and besides the two big lugs... I enjoy using nearly every character in the game.

To finish up my nitpicking... if a final KO occurs by an assist or team attack, I also would've liked to see the character that performs the assist (or tag team super) stay on screen & strike a win pose with the lead character (like in MVC2). Unfortunately, they bashfully jump off-screen after scoring the winning hit.  The "shaky/breaking ground effect" used during certain super moves also looks kinda lame (due to the poor texture quality) and takes away from the action. I suppose they used that effect to nullify animation slow-down, which probably would've occurred during those epic super moves if they left the detailed 3D backgrounds intact (due to the Wii's graphical limitations).

Finally, my last complaint, as silly as it may be, is that every character only has one win pose.  When you plan on playing a fighting game as much as I do, variant win poses (and such) are a nice change of scenery to say the least. However, the good news is: just like in the Marvel VS Series, you can still press "start" after you win and beat up on your downed opponent, or just dash around and do as you please for a few seconds... so I guess that makes up for it, since you can pretty much create your own "win sequence." Heh... 

The sound effects are satisfying, and the character BGM's are very good for the most part, but some of them are a bit too "cheery" and midi-sounding for my tastes... Tekkaman's BGM has to be the worst, but thankfully most soundtracks in the game are simply a joy to listen to and will get stuck in your head for days!!! I noticed nearly all of the Tatsunoko "hero" themes include the name of the respective character in the chorus...  *sings along* Daa da da Cassherrrrnnnn, la la la la Gatchaaaa maaaan, hmmmmmm Yataaaaman. Okay, you get the point.  And I thoroughly enjoy the remixed tunes on the Capcom side... Morrigan's, Batsu's, and Viewtiful Joe's are among my top faves! Awesome soundtrack (and actually better than the sequel's soundtrack, IMO).

 

Page Updated: July 10th, 2014
Developer(s): Eighting
Publisher(s): Capcom
Artwork by: Shinkiro
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii
Release Date(s): Dec. 2008                 ( Arcade)
Dec. 11th, 2008
     ( Wii)
Jan. 26th, 2010
      ( Wii - as TVC: Ultimate All Stars)
Characters Ryu, Chun-Li, Batsu, Alex, Morrigan, Megaman, Roll, Soki, PTX-40A, Eagle Ken, Swan Jun, Tekkaman, Casshern, Yatterman, Doronjo, Hurricane Polymar, Karas, Ippatsuman (Wii), Viewtiful Joe (Wii), Saki Omokane (Wii), Hakushon Daimao ( Wii), Gold Lightan, Yami

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All Stars, Tatsunoko Fight, X-Men VS Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom, Marvel VS Capcom 2, Marvel VS Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3
  

Gameplay Engine  9.0 / 10
Story / Theme  9.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  9.5 / 10
Customization  7.5 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  10 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.0 / 10
Characters  8.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 9.0 / 10

 Review based on Wii (Japan Import) version

 

Final Words:

TVC is the best 2D fighter I've played in years. While the roster is small compared to other fighters, TVC has heart and soul... which is immediately noticeable in the artwork, stages and character BGMs. TVC's control scheme takes a little while to get used to, but once acquainted with the controls, any fan of the Marvel VS Series should fall in love with the way this game plays!

Some people will say that Tatsunoko VS Capcom is a bit too "combo friendly" - and they might be right, but there are enough gameplay elements to separate the noobs from the pros.  The frantic, fast-paced, and air combo/air-dashing friendly gameplay is one of the most fun fighting game styles I've ever experienced, and Tatsunoko VS Capcom brings it all back after 8 years of waiting. Complimenting the gameplay, a sharp visual 3D makeover, a killer soundtrack, and some innovative new gameplay features.

TVC is an epic crossover in its own right... and for those who aren't as familiar with Tatsunoko characters, I think Tatsunoko may have just increased their fan-base by teaming up with Capcom. As someone who wasn't very knowledgeable about the Tatsunoko franchises before this game, I ended up doing my research over time and eventually found several new favorite superheroes/villains! Graced by the hand of Capcom, the Tatsunoko icons have never looked better in a video game, and are beyond awesomely portrayed in this game, both in terms of looks and fighting style!

The US version of Tatsunoko VS Capcom was announced nearly a year after the initial Japanese release, under the new title Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All Stars. The sequel adds Online Mode & 5 new characters! Also be sure to check out my full review of TVC: Ultimate All Stars ~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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Click here for all character art!

 

 
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THEATER MODE / MINI GAMES
 
Tatsunoko VS Capcom also features a cool Theater mode where you can view 3D character models, artworks, videos, and listen to BGM's. All of the bonus content can be purchased from the in-game Shop using points acquired during gameplay and mini-games! A wide variety of Wii mini games are also included in the home package, all of which are Wii-mote enabled... so expect a lot of shaking, twirling, button mashing, pointing & shooting, and even math challenges that you and some friends can have some fun with... for a little while at least.
 

Hadouken that shit...  Wiimote style.

 
Most mini-games do get old kinda fast, but there is one mini-game themed for every single character in the game, which is good because you probably won't want to stick with any particular one for too long. The variety is there, but the graphics in some (most) of the mini-games are on the bland/boring side. Overall they do their job as mini-games, and there are some rather fun & entertaining ones that you might even find yourself coming back to to break that high score!  Playing the mini-games is also the key to unlocking the third player character colors! Nice. All in all, the mini games add a nice touch of personality to the title. ~TFG Webmaster

 


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