Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars Preview: Ken's Still My Favorite

Tatsunoku vs. Capcom promises to let you play as some of your favorite characters from Japanese animation studio Tatsunoko, makers of G-Force, but it also threatens to be slightly too casual for fighting fans.

So which is it? A casual pass, or an anime fans must have?

What Is It?
Released in Japan in December 2008, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom is Capcom's seventh versus fighting game, this time featuring characters from animation studio Tatsunoko Productions, including G-Force.

What We Saw
I played several matches with Seth "S-Kill" Killian (beating him by distraction once).

How Far Along Is It?
The Wii-exclusive appears to be complete and is due out this winter.

What Needs Improvement?
Complexity: This is really a nitpick, and only one that would come from a hardcore fan of Street Fighter, i.e. me. As much fun as I had playing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, I couldn't help but wish it was a little harder to pull off those specials. It's no easier to play the game than most of Capcom's vs. titles, but that's why I've never been a huge fan.

No Online, Yet: True, Capcom first announced that Tatsunoko was getting WiFi support and then later rescinded the announcement, but until it's official we have a right to complain. It's a fighter, you need to be able to play this game online.

What Should Stay The Same?
Characters: Even if Tatsunoko vs. Capcom doesn't get those rumored five new characters the game's line-up is pretty impressive. Having grown up watching G-Force I'm most partial to Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan, but there's something there for everyone. You can even play as some interesting Capcom characters, like Yami from Okami and Viewtiful Joe.

Art: While the game is fun to play, it's almost more fun to watch. The art style and animations do a fantastic job of capturing the essence of each character. It's a brutal stroll down memory lane for those of us who watched some of Tatsunoko's classics as kids. Artistically, this may become my new favorite fighter.

Attacks: The game's special attacks are spectacular, screen-filling animations that are as fun to watch as they are to deliver.

Controls: I know I just complained about the game's simplistic controls right up there, near the top of the page, but they are very responsive. If you can accept how easy it is to pull off attacks, then you're going to love the controls. You only use four buttons to play (assist and weak, medium and strong attacks) the tag-team matches.

Friggin Tatsunoko: Seriously, Tatsunoko.

Final Thoughts
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a mixed blessing for me. On the one hand I'm a stalwart supporter of Street Fighter and more than just a bit of a fighting game snob. I like complexity and a level of unapproachability in my fighters. But I'm also a huge fan of G-Force. I'm such a big fan that I forced myself to spend a bit of time with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom just because of the animation, and what I found I liked.

I suspect I'm not going to be the only one who is willing to overlook Tatsunoko's easy gameplay because of its incredible animation. And, lets face it, it is a blast to play.