|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eighting||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.26, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The roster also offers a variety of fighting styles. G. Lightman and Lost Planet's PTX-40A are huge (more than twice the height of most other characters) and slow, and they're so powerful they don't get partners. Roll is fast and furious, but due to her small stature, her basic moves have almost comically short reach and she can't jump very high. Tekkaman has great reach, but he's a big target for long-range attacks. Viewtiful Joe fights pretty much the way he does in his own games; a lot of button mashing, combined with a little timing and some style, will get you a long way.
Of course, many to most fighting-game fans are in it for the multiplayer, and Tatsunoko delivers in spades. The game plays very well locally, and we expect countless friends and siblings to spend a lot of summer afternoons beating the virtual tar out of each other. The online mode isn't flawless (we experienced lag here and there), but it certainly works, and the matchmaking system is great for everyone who hates dealing with friend codes. It even punishes players who quit fights whenever they're losing (by matching them up to each other). You'll encounter some fireball spammers, and some players abuse the big characters, but we haven't found anything game-breaking yet.
The presentation here is top-notch. Though the fighting is 2-D, the characters are rendered in three dimensions, and the backgrounds and animations look as good as anything else on the Wii. The sound effects can grate when you're losing, but they're up there with Capcom's best work, and the music creates an arcade feel without being annoying. The story is lame, but that's to be expected, and you can skip it anyway.
We have few complaints about the game, but here's a big one: unlocking everything is a royal pain. You have to beat the single-player game with 16 different characters (eight Capcom and eight Tatsunoko), meaning that 16 different characters must deliver the final blow to the boss, not just be on your tag team. This goes on much longer than it should, especially for those itching to dig in to the multiplayer action.
Also hidden is an arcade-style shooting game. The developers have played it up as worthwhile in its own right and, aside from the obnoxious sound effects, they're right to. The problem is, unlocking it requires you to play a mini-game during the end credits perfectly, which is nearly impossible. It becomes easier if you beat the game with Roll or wait until you've unlocked everything else, but every time you fail, you have to beat the whole game again to get another chance. It's infuriating and time-consuming, and frankly, we can't believe it never occurred to the developers to make the credits an unlockable game in themselves.
Even with this significant problem, however, Tatsunoko remains a must-buy for fighting fans. Its balance, variety, accessibility, and depth are unmatched on the Wii, and it gives even fighters on other consoles a run for their money.
CCC Freelance Writer