Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick

After months of waiting, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is finally arriving in North America for the Nintendo Wii. The pits Japanese anime characters from Tatsunoko Production against those from Capcom’s largest franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, and even Dead Rising. To accompany the game’s release, Mad Catz has produced the first fighting game peripheral for Wii, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick psp games.

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The Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick retains the same core design of the original FightStick design for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 save for a few notable exceptions. Firstly and most recognizably, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick features original art produced in collaboration with Tatsunoko Production, Capcom, and Mad Catz. The art on the top panel now comes in a matte finish, unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 variations which are glossy. Outside of the art, however, the aesthetic remains largely unchanged. Regardless of whether you pick up the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or the new Wii FightStick, the casing, joystick, and control interface are all white, and only a few of the buttons have now been made blue to match the Wii color scheme.

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As the first FightStick from Mad Catz to be made exclusively for the Wii, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick has a few inherently exclusive features; primarily that it utilizes a dongle system and the button designations are labeled differently to match the Wii controller designations. Mad Catz has also beefed up the weight of the FightStick design, adding some extra weight to the device. According to Mad Catz, the internal components have been revised but still incorporate the genuine Sanwa components of the original design. Like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 variants, the Wii FightStick incorporates a turbo function that can be assigned to any of the fighting buttons and the joystick can be designated the same functionality of the right thumbstick, left thumbstick, and D-pad. Similarly, the lock switch remains a standard feature, which disables the home button, and for the first time, the start and select buttons on the back panel of the stick.

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Watch as we unbox the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick.

While the wireless connectivity will remain exclusive to the Wii FightStick, the weightier components and expanded functionality of the locking mechanism will be implemented in new productions of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 FightSticks.

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Performance-wise, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick is on par with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. The buttons sturdy and responsive, but the joystick is a little stiffer than the FightStick’s big-ticket sibling, the Tournament Edition FightStick. As a genuine Sanwa joystick, the control mechanism is a traditional 4-way mechanism, unlike western sticks which use an 8-way system. The 4-way design will appease fighting game purists, but will take a little getting used to for newcomers.

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When we first heard about the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom’s wireless dongle system, latency was obviously a huge concern. Fortunately, because the system taps into the Wiimote’s Bluetooth communications, we experienced absolutely no lag during use. Like any other Wii add-on, having to have a Wiimote dangling from a cord is less than ideal. Nevertheless, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick is intended for lap or table use and in most cases you won’t even notice the Wiimote laying off to the side. Our other big concern about the dongle system was that it would be a sizable drain to the Wiimote’s battery, but surprisingly, battery life seemed largely unaffected. Outside of the LED indicators for turbo mode, the FightStick only sends enough current through the controller to detect button depressions and joystick motion, as a result, battery life shortened by less than an hour during prolonged use.

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Overall, the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick is a solid Wii fighting game peripheral. The Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick is available now at Mad Catz’s store and will be available in stores nationwide next week for $79.99.

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