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Matthew Kaplan's picture

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Screenshot

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a great game. Too bad it's on the Wii.

I consider myself a big fan of Capcom's Vs. games, a series that pays tribute to 2D fighting fans with fun character offerings and over-the-top moves. They're arguably larger and deeper fighting games than Capcom's mainstay, Street Fighter, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is no exception. It's a deceptively simple fighting game whose enjoyable roster possess a wide range of custom-tailored combos and super-moves. Fans of the outstanding Marvel vs. Capcom 2 will feel right at home.

Unfortunately, extended play raises several questions about Capcom's decision to port its arcade game to the Wii back in December of 2008 (and to the US this past month): Why put a major fighting game on a platform whose online system is crippled by nonsensical Friend Codes? Why dumb down the already simplified four-button "Vs." series commands to three buttons, and then force that system onto the Wiimote (or Classic Controller, or Gamecube controller) with confusing results?

Perhaps most disappointing is the question as to why Capcom would cram what is potentially an artistically beautiful game into the confines of the SD-only Wii without also offering gamers a chance to play it in high definition on the Xbox 360 or PS3. It's an obvious step backwards in the graphics department compared to Street Fighter IV; imagine if Capcom had brought Okami to the Nintendo 64 instead of the Playstation 2 and you'll understand my dismay.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom does many things well, but none of them are related to the Wii. If anything, the fact that the game is on the Wii sours what is otherwise a terrific experience. Reviewers have largely praised the game, calling it a standout fighting game on a system lacking good fighters.

But there's a reason the Wii has few good fighting games: It's not the right console for them. Nintendo certainly didn't design the Wii with fighting games in mind (the Neo Geo it's not), and surely Capcom, the king of fighting games, understood that.

It's also not the kind of family-friendly, general-audience game that sells well on the Wii. It has sold less than 100,000 units in Japan since its 2008 debut and I doubt it will achieve any greater success in the US and Europe. So why on Earth did Capcom take this gamble?

I've been searching online for an answer and have yet to come up with one (other than the vague notion that the arcade version used "Wii-compatible" hardware, whatever that means). If you know the reason, please let me know. It simply seems to me that 3rd party developers have yet to realize just how hard it is to sell a quality hardcore game on the Wii; many are still stuck in bandwagon mode, even if the choice to bring a game to the Wii makes little sense. The Wii is the obvious home to Nintendo properties and a good fit for motion-heavy titles (even if, as I stated my previous blog post, the implementation of such controls is often superficial)... but not much else. Know thy console, developers.

It's a shame that few people will probably play Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. On a more fighter-friendly system, the game could have been stellar.

Category Tags
Platform(s): Wii  
Developer(s): Capcom  
Genre(s): Fighting   Online/Multiplayer  

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I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you said here.

When you look at the still shots of the game on the internet or in a magazine the game looks great. At home on a 40+ inch 1080p TV the visuals start to break up.

The zombies in the background of the Dead Rising mall stage looks really pixelated. I am not a huge graphics person, but I hate blurry, jagged graphics in a modern game.

Hopefully there will be a Tatsunoko vs Capcom 2 on a HD system

Some problems I have with this article (warning: lengthy post)

Reading the article, it seems to me the Subhead would be better written as "Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a great game. Too bad it's only on the Wii." That and some other choice language make it appear that you have a problem with the game even being on the Wii in general, as if the Wii isn't deserving of such games.

For the most part, I don't understand the complaints of the article. You ask "why put a major fighting game on a platform whose online system is crippled." Yes, the Friend Code system is a major annoyance on Wii and will remain so until Nintendo creates its next system. We get it. The problem is, as funky as the Friend Code system is, that shouldn't preclude the Wii from having a quality online experience even if it lacks the accessibility of something like Xbox Live. Smash Bros. Brawl had a solid online experience regardless of Friend Codes, hampered not by the system but by poor online coding that created major lag problems. The Conduit, as poor->mediocre as that game was, had a solid online system once again hampered only by poor coding leading to lag and abuse by hackers.

As for the complaints about "dumbing down" the controls, I really don't see the big deal. Granted, I'm not a big fan of fighting games, but that's largely because I find them impenetrable as a genre. The reason I love the Smash Bros. series is that for all the chaos that's happening on-screen, I only had to worry about 2 attack buttons combined with different analog stick combinations. It was simple and accessible, as opposed to throwing in a "true fighting game" like Street Fighter where there can be 4+ attack buttons and I just can't keep track of it all. The last major fighting game I enjoyed was BlazBlue, which also used a simplified fighting system with 2 major attack buttons and a character-specific special attack button, so this sounds like a game up my alley.

Next up, I agree that this game should have gone multiplatform to achieve the largest audience possible given the obscurity of half its cast, but there's nothing wrong with the Wii having a good exclusive game. Also, a beautiful game is a beautiful game regardless of whether it's in HD or SD if the art design is strong. I was just recently replaying Final Fantasy X on my PS3, playing an SD game on an HD console and the game still shines graphically from strong art design.

Quote:

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom does many things well, but none of them are related to the Wii. If anything, the fact that the game is on the Wii sours what is otherwise a terrific experience. Reviewers have largely praised the game, calling it a standout fighting game on a system lacking good fighters.

So because it doesn't do anything Wii-specific (presumably with motion controls) it doesn't deserve to be called a good game? What exactly about being on the Wii makes it a bad game? I don't think you've answered that question. Instead, I see complaints that there are aspects of the game that could be better with the features of the HD consoles. Indeed they could be, but that doesn't make the game on Wii bad in itself.

As for your final comment on the futility of bringing quality core games to Wii, developers need to keep trying. 3rd parties have treated core gamers on the Wii poorly since the Wii launched, tossing us a few table scraps every year while they chase the Casual Dream. The end result after years of cheap spinoffs (many in the lightgun genre) and quality products sent out into obscurity with no marketing whatsoever is a lack of trust in 3rd parties to deliver a quality core experience, and sales suffer. That won't change until 3rd parties show that they are willing to consistently put the AAA effort into their Wii titles that they would put into an HD title. How can there be a user base for quality core titles on Wii if 3rd parties do not release quality core titles on it?

Response

Thank you, Broodwars, for taking the time and energy to write that lengthy response. I appreciate your comments and I think you make some excellent points.

In fact, your response gave me pause and made me wonder which I really did mean: "This game shouldn't have been on the Wii" or "This game shouldn't have ONLY been on the Wii." But even after pondering this, I came to the conclusion that it's a little of both.

I should take a moment here to repeat something I've said before on my own blog, that for all the problems I have with the Wii and many games for it, I enjoy the system and some of my favorite games in recent years were made for the Wii.

And it's probably my own mistake that this post reads like I have a problem with Nintendo and not Capcom. True, the Friend Code system is Nintendo's fault, but I treat that more as a matter of fact than as a complaint at this point.

Rather, I think Capcom's fighter is just a poor fit for the system. It doesn't play to the Wii's strengths, but even then, it's just unwieldy and grainy-looking. I'll clarify what I mean about the controls: I have the Wiimote (obviously), but I also tried the game out with a Gamecube controller and Classic controller, both of which I also own. I found all three to be cumbersome and confusing ways of controlling the game (which should be no shock; the Gamecube wasn't exactly the best system for fighters either and the controller had a lot to do with that).

That said, you are completely justified to say that the Wii and its owners deserve just as good games as other systems do. If I owned only a Wii, I'd be delighted to have a great game like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom on the system.

But if you look at it from the perspective of someone who really appreciates a good Capcom fighter, I think you'd understand that I simply feel the game in its present state fails to live up to its potential. It's a great game, and I'm happy that Wii owners have a chance to experience it... but even if it existed in PS3 and Xbox 360 form, I believe consensus would claim that the Wii version would be the inferior one. That's not a knock on the Wii as a piece of hardware or Tatsunoko vs. Capcom as a game, but rather a complaint coming from a Capcom fan and owner of all three systems that things turned out the way they did.

Super Smash Brothers Brawl

Super Smash Brothers Brawl sold pretty damn well, I see this game being a good match for those players. Personally I'm glad this is on the Wii, although it is more like "a consolation prize" of sorts, since other consoles got SFIV and SSFIV.

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