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TGS 2009: Hands-on: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom vs. that guy from Dead Rising

My usual delight in playing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars was tempered by a note of skepticism at TGS. I knew that the build being offered would include Frank West. He's an admirable character, to be sure, and skilled at using retail goods to fend off hordes of zombies, but I wasn't sure his improvisational violence would translate well to the hand-to-hand, superhero-vs-superhero combat in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

Let's face it, the cel-shaded Frank in this game doesn't look great. All the other characters look like excellent 2D sprites, but Frank looks like a weird 3D model. However, Capcom has made a respectable fighting-game character out of Frank; one that borrows from an obvious source in Capcom fighting game crossover history: Marvel vs. Capcom 2's Jill Valentine. Frank shares Jill's ability to summon a zombie from either side of the screen, which will grapple with the opponent (or Frank) upon contact.

Frank's other abilities make sense both in terms of Dead Rising and as attacks in a wacky fighting game. He can roll out a shopping cart, attack with a bat and, of course, use a Servbot head or a Mega Man costume in special attacks.

Most importantly, Frank feels like a Capcom fighting character. His moves are all mapped to basic quarter-circle, Dragon Punch and half-circle movements like Street Fighter's Ryu and several hundred other Capcom fighting characters. But Frank also feels a bit different from the average cut-and-paste character, since he doesn't have a true projectile or jumping uppercut-type move (despite having the controls traditionally mapped to Ryu-type characters).

Overall, I must say that Frank is fitting in with the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom crowd much better than he did in the setting of his last appearance in a Wii game. Plus, he gets to use his camera again! (Albeit as a taunt.)

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