Having played this game since launch, it’s amazing to see how much Capcom has progressed in the fighting game genre since Street Fighter 2. Street fighter 4 was, with all due respect, a disappointment. Striving too hard to bring “balance” to the series, they removed a lot of what made it enjoyable as a game. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom thankfully allows you to play however you want, and even categorizes you as a Fire, Ice, or Lightning-type fighter depending on what kinds of moves you use the most! As a result, there are a near infinite amount of customizable combos and strategies available. No two Ryu players will be the same, no two Tekkaman players will use the same combos. Also, thanks to the Baroque cancels introduced in this game, you can pay your red-health to extend any combo into another, allowing someone on the brink of loss to pull a death-defying stunt and capture a dramatic victory!
Having said that, it’s hard to say what would exactly make this game better, other than the obvious (more characters, stages, music, extras, and so on). Tatsunoko and Capcom both went the distance to bring a fully realized fighting game to the hardcore audience, and when you have an audience of pretty much every gamer in the world (what are we up to now, 75 million Wii users, 40 million of them online?), you want to make them happy. Figuring that the non-Japanese players would have looked up the animated character-endings on Youtube, they developed an entirely new set of manga-style endings for the worldwide release of the game, giving players both in Japan and out, TWO sets of endings to enjoy for each character. They even threw in a completely new project, “Ultimate All Shooters,” a side game that you can unlock by playing ANOTHER included minigame during the credits, and collecting glowing letters that spell out “THANK YOU FOR PLAYING.” Both games are enjoyable as a “cool-down” between fighting sessions, and believe me they are needed! Even after all this play-time, I still find myself shaking after every match, and having trouble writing down the notes I needed for this article. For Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom 2 for the Wii (Or Wii U now that it has been announced), this is what we’d like to see:
Let’s start with the obvious…
Add Characters, and Don’t Get Rid of Any Characters: Sure, the balance of Tatsunoko characters is slightly skewed towards Yatterman and Gatchaman (a.k.a. “G-Force,” or “Battle of the Planets”) with 3 from each, with the Capcom side being somewhat MegaMan and Street Fighter oriented (although somewhat less, since the characters debuted in different games of the series) but there’s no reason to remove characters for the upcoming game, especially since all the Gatchaman characters play uniquely, unlike say, the Shoto-clones Capcom fighters are famous for. Even so, who could resist Morrigan’s Charms? And who could deny themselves the dopamine-rush of unleashing a Shinku Hadoken?
Speed Racer – For many western fans, Speed Racer was their most memorable offering of Tatsunoko’s. Episode after episode of frantic racing adventure, the theme song ringing in their ears, “Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer Goooo!” I started watching this series in the middle, so I was always a little bit lost on the in-between episode details and backstory. Seeing any combination of Speed, the mysterious Racer X, or even Trixie showing up in this series would be a welcome sight.
Samurai Pizza Cats – Whether Speedy Service (pronounced like “Sir-VEE-chay”), Polly Ester, or Guido Anchovy, or even Lucille or The Big Cheese, there’s plenty of powerful, wacky, and interesting characters to draw from in this franchise. I heard a rumour that they really meant what they said in the English Theme song, and that the writers had never received a script for this show from Japan, so they had to make up just about everything on the spot! That would certainly explain some things like references to Garfield, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other western-developed shows. Either way, they did a bang-up job in making a heck of a series, let’s hope they make the cast for what’s gonna be a heck of a sequel to Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom.
Megaman Zero / 4 Guardians – Who wouldn’t love to see the playful Fairy Leviathan added to the lineup? Or how about the tragic Phantom? I’d be happy to see Inticreates’ M.M.Z.-style Zero show up to slash the giant green nipples off of X-style Zero. Overall, there are a lot of options, and Inticreates has definitely given enough personality to each of the characters in the Mega Man Zero series to allow any one (or more!) of them some time in the spotlight.
Felicia – It seems like it’s always the girls of the Darkstalkers franchise that get all the popularity, but with Dimitri, The Abominable Snowman, and Anubis all seeming very generic by comparison, how could they not? That said, this ball of agility and fluff would fit right in with the action of Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom 2. She can put the pressure on up close, or play a distance game, and move in between however she pleases. Of course, the potential for fanservice can never be ignored (Sorry to those readers who don’t like scantily clad girls in their games! I am a male of the adult persuation, and it’s unhealthy for us to ignore what our instincts tell us) 😀
Arthur, of [Ghouls and] Ghosts [and Goblins] – Oh my. Speaking of fanservice, here’s something for the fans of the mans out there. If you’ve ever played Ghosts and Goblins, or Super Ghouls and Ghosts, or any game in that series, you’ll be familiar with Arthur. The frustratingly difficult gameplay was broken up by the hilarious fact that Arthur’s armour was made entirely out of popsicle-stick-bombs. The moment he takes a single hit, POW! His armour shatters, leaving him to fend for himself in nothing but a pair of heart-print boxers. It’s a good thing that heart-print-boxers were invented back then. Arthur would make an excellent counter to other range characters like Saki, although he could probably be demolished by his own projectiles when going against reflectors like Yatterman-2 (Submitted by ECM in the comments!)
Stage Modes (Day/Night, Clear Skies vs. Storm, etc.) selected in the same way as character colours are selected: It’d streamline the stage-selection process if you wanted, for example, to pick the stage first, and hit ‘L’ or ‘M’ for daytime, and ‘H’ or ‘P’ for night.
Rival Registry without declining rematches: This one’s pretty self explanatory. If you want to add someone to your rival registry, you have to decline them a rematch. It’d be nice if you could do that even after you accepted a rematch with them, although I can see how it could be a problem if:
a) …it asked you after every rematch, if you want to add someone to your rival roster, or
b) You decline once, and it doesn’t ask you, but you decide after 5 rematches or so that you want to add them but there’s nothing you can do.
Perhaps adding an option in the rematch question itself. Yes / No / Add-to-rivals. That option could appear below the Yes/No options so that the player can hit ‘Down’ to highlight it, press ‘a’ to accept, and hit ‘up’ to go back to the Yes/No option and decide on whether or not to get a rematch. Similarly, if someone’s already your rival, pressing down to get to that option and hitting ‘a’ would un-rival them.
Browse High Scores while searching for matches: In addition to that, being able to flip to a specific page of the ‘waiting room info’ (for example the explanation of fire/ice/lightning type players) would be a lot better than just sitting through them. Adding interactivity like this might cause people to accidentally drop while hitting the ‘b’ button or something (I’ve definitely dropped once without meaning to, just by practicing the button combinations for my Variable Aerial Rave combo) so make it a button that’s more difficult to press accidentally, like ‘-‘, or make it so that you have to hold ‘b’ for five seconds to drop.
DS Connectivity: I think it’d be just groovy if you could download Ultimate All Shooters to your DS, and take it with you to earn zenny on your daily commute. Come back home, upload your score back to TvC2, and hit the shops for your extra colours and artwork!
Save Replays to Youtube, or S.D.Card: The Wii has infinite storage capability, thanks to the SD Card slot built right in. With SD Cards of varying sizes and prices, you can store any amount of data on an affordable card. Some games (and even built-in Wii channels) take advantage of this by allowing you to stream your own music, like Excite Truck. Other games let you download extra content directly to the card, as the Guitar Hero series has shown. Tatsunoko and Capcom could let you save your favourite battles to the card, for turning into GMVs, uploading to Youtube or the video-streaming site of your choice, or even allowing you to upload your fight to either Youtube or a Capcom-hosted video-site directly from the game!
Unlockable Clips from Tatsunoko anime: A franchise like Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom is a golden opportunity for Tatsunoko Productions to get their name out to the world. Giving us a short, sub-titled clip from some of their shows would be a very good way to get the word out about the original or current-running anime that the characters come from! Just completed the arcade mode with one of the Yatterman cast? “Yatterman clip-1 became available in the Shop.” Smashed through the roster with Mega Man Zero? “Mega Man Zero Collection commercial became available in the shop.” Yes, it can even work for the Capcom side of things! Free promotion for upcoming big-name Wii and D.S. games from Capcom!
Dual Voice Release or Subtitles: I’m happy to see that they didn’t mess with the Japanese voices. However, some gamers might be thrown off by the fact that only one character has spoken English lines. Taking a page from the Soul Blade/Edge/Calibur series, Tatsunoko and Capcom could call up some of their English voice crew to speak some life into the characters for worldwide release, or if that’s too much, then they could simply subtitle the characters’ spoken dialogue. In other games, when the option is available, I’d usually switch between the voices, just to to see how a Japanese cultural reference translated over to English, or how an aptly placed English gag was originally done in Japanese.
Expand on Ultimate All Shooters. It’s fantastic having an included minigame to act as a palate-cleanser between heated matches. On top of that, it’s cooperative, allowing you and your rival (and two more) to join in and fight together against the enemies. That said, it’d be nice to see every character in the main game have an “Ultimate All Shooters” version that is playable, and have the game balanced so that even the seemingly worst character could be the best in the right hands. Taking this idea and running with it, you could include more minigame modes such as “Ultimate All Strategies,” “Ultimate All Puzzles,” whatever basic idea can be implemented in a fun and immersive way for all the characters and settings. Eventually, this series crossing over two of Japan’s bigger entertainment companies could end up the “Ultimate Game,” literally!
Until TvC2 releases, I’ll be playing Tatsunoko vs Capcom, enthusiastically yelling out GOOOLDO LIGHTAAAAAAAN!
Points that will not be addressed in this article:
“Fix” the Online: Regardless of what you’re playing, the online depends entirely on your internet connection. I have a pretty low-tier broadband, but I can still buffer movesets decently and air-combo my enemies. On top of that, I’d almost go so far as to say it’s “too fast,” since I barely had time to write notes between calling up a rematch, selecting a stage, selecting characters, and starting the fight.