TvC takes a lot from its most successful predecessor, that being Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the Sega Dreamcast, and institutes a lot of extras for the players to strive towards. Playing any of the modes in the game will allow the player to earn an in game currency called "Zenny". You can earn Zenny in a number of ways, playing a match, completing the game, even "participating" in the credits, which I will leave for you to discover on your own. That money can then be used to purchase items from an in game shop which includes things like art for the art gallery, character profiles, stage profiles, and alternate colors for all playable characters.
While the Japanese version required you to purchase the hidden characters in the game, the new version does not. You will simply need to fulfill some varying requirements in the Arcade mode to unlock them and make them immediately playable. Players will have to unlock their profiles and additional outfit colors though. Even though it isn't a ground breaking edition, this is a tried and true feature that keeps gamers coming back for more with a purpose. There is also an additional shooter / adventure game that can be unlocked as well. All of this adds to both the longevity of the game and offers a change of pace, all of which is welcome by the gamer.
Now, aside from the technical aspects of the game lets look at the most important part of any fighting game: the roster. I think that the roster that Capcom has included in TvC may be the best fighting game roster ever assembled. It is very apparent that Capcom was going for quality over quantity here at the final tally ended up with "only" 26 characters. I use the term "only" because some of the Vs. games in the past had upwards of 50-60 characters. Having a large roster such is those is a nice feature and looks good on the surface, but it is all for nothing if the roster isn't balanced and diverse. Look at the Mortal Kombat series for example. Sure some of the games had 30 characters, but that often included 2-3 sets of palette swapped characters which ultimately eliminated any diversity in the game. That is not a problem that TvC has to worry about. While there are a couple of characters, namely on the Tatsunoko side, which resemble and are based off of one another, they all control and play drastically different.
Every character included in this game plays and controls drastically different for that matter. On the Tatsunoko side of things, it is pretty much all new faces because most people are not familiar with these characters. You will see assorted characters ranging from a girl using a yo-yo as a weapon (Jun the Swan) to highly powered android robots with guns and lasers (Tekkaman and Casshan). To call the roster diverse is really an understatement. Capcom also made a very smart decision on their side of the roster too as half of the characters are new to the 2 dimensional fighting world. The traditional fighting staples are here like Ryu and Chun Li, but they also throw in the likes of Kaijin from the Onimusha series, Batsu from Rival Schools (making a 2 dimensional debut), and Viewtiful Joe. It really gives the game a truly refreshing feel when about 20 of the game's 26 characters (including hidden fighters) are completely new and playable in the hands of the players for the first time.
It may sound like I don't have anything bad to say about the game... well, honestly I don't. There are a few things that I do take issue with, such as the lengthy matchmaking process and the simplified control option available for Wiimote and Nunchuk users, but these aren't things that fundamentally break the game. I have faith in Capcom's ability to resolve the online issue(s) and I just don't use the control scheme that I spoke of... out of sight, out of mind.
Just a year after reviving my faith in the fighting game genre with SF4, Capcom manages to deliver what I consider to be the best fighting game in a very long, long time. This is easily the best fighting game since MvC2 and time may prove it as the better of the two. Fighting game fans should be flocking to the Wii to get their hands on this title. If you have a Wii and have complained at the lack of mainstream / hardcore games, look no further as Capcom has you covered with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars. TvC may be the most complete package available on Nintendo's console right now. This is simply a phenomenal game that I think that fighting fans and gamers in general will thoroughly enjoy...
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