Hands-On With Frank West And His Zombie Horde

Dead Rising's Frank West can beat down opponents with golf clubs and baseball bats in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, but it's his ability to call on shambling zombies that makes him a formidable opponent.

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, with its colorful cast of Capcom characters and throwbacks from Japanese animation company Tatsunoko productions, is almost more about over-the-top and fun fights than it is about skill and tactics. Almost.

While the game limits moves to three buttons, weak, medium and strong attacks, a skilled fighting player can still squeeze quite a bit out of the title.

Earlier this week I sat down with Capcom's Seth "S-Kill" Killian to chat about Super Street Fighter IV and play a bit of Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.

The event, held on the 48th floor of a downtown New York hotel, gave me a chance to check out a handful of new characters for the upcoming fighter including Joe the Condor, Tekkaman Blade and Zero. But I spent my time with the game playing an almost emaciated looking Frank West from Dead Rising.

West's main attacks include swinging a baseball attack into the mid-section of an opponent and slapping enemies with a golf club in a giant, low-to-high swing. When not engaged as the main character in the tag-team battles, he can also be called on to hop into quickly and stun an opponent with the flash on his camera.

But as we all know, Frank West's real skills involve zombies.

West can call out a zombie from either side of the screen or drop one from the sky into the middle of the battle. The twist is that once the zombie starts making its way across the screen, it will attack anything in its path, including you.

Fortunately, West has his bat and golf club, which he can use to smack the zombies across the screen at enemies. He can also call on a zombie to shoot from one side of the screen to the other in a shopping cart.

West is a fun character to play in the game and his unusual abilities add a nice change of pace to the title. The best part of playing Frank West, though, are some of his super attacks.

One involves him dressing up as Mega Man and blasting away at an opponent, but my favorite arms West with a Servbot helmet. It's hard to pull off, but if you land the attack, West slaps it on his opponents head and then pushes him through a massive crowd of zombies.

So fun.