(Side question: Does anyone know how I might go about getting screenshots from my Wii? Obvously, since it sends a video signal to my TV, it is theoretically possible to run this information through a device capable of capturing it. Some quick googling doesn't turn up anything, but I assume that this is a solved problem. Can anyone point me at the answer or at least in the right direction?)
This past summer, I was looking for more two-player games for my Wii other than Wii Sports, which at that point was pretty much all I was using the Wii for. I messed around with it a little bit myself when I first got it but then didn't touch it at all until last weekend when jaq and I played a bit, with neither of us doing much more than mashing buttons. So, yesterday, I decided I would explore the game some more. It's been a long time since I've played a fighting game, and they certainly seem to have come a long way.
To start with, I noticed the "Kreate a Fighter" option in the main menu. My first major decision was what color to make my character's skin, and as soon as I saw what my guy looked like in green, I knew I had to make The Incredible Hulk. As I went about customizing my character, I noticed that some options had a point value associated with them and that I wasn't able to pick these. I wasn't yet sure what this was, but it became pretty obvious that you must get money from playing the game with your character and that you could then spend the money on new bling for your character. Luckily, the Hulk is a pretty simple guy, and the basic shorts looked OK. Of course, then I saw the torn jeans, and I knew what my first purchase would be. When I was happy with his look, I went to see what else you could customize.
You can customize the whole fighting style, what every button combination does in both your hand-to-hand and weapon fighting style. There are a few attacks of each type that are free, but there are many more attacks that cost money. As you scroll through the list of attacks, it shows you what it looks like with your character, so you get some idea of what the attack does. What it doesn't do is show you how your opponent reacts to your attack, so there is still some experimentation to do to figure things out. For example, when I finally got some money and bought some attacks, I assigned the attack "Pucker Up" to the combination A3, A3 (my own shorthand notation for "Attack 3", which corresponds to pressing the down arrow). When you do this in battle, the first A3 does whatever is assigned to A3, and then the second A3 actually does the "Pucker Up". The latter is a high kick, and the former I had assigned to a low kick. However, when I started playing with the character, I noticed that the first kick was always making my opponent trip a little, ducking under my high kick. So I had to try to find a low kick to assign to A3 that didn't cause the opponent to duck under my high kick. After a few tries, I found "Funny Boots", and I was all set.
In summary, once you get some money, you can customize your character's fighting style to an amazing degree, which I've only begun to scratch the surface of. I'm really excited about this. The only thing that would make it better would be if I could play against someone who has also created their own character. Alas, it looks like this isn't possible. You can have multiple characters, but only one of them can be loaded at a time. So, when you play two-player, only one of you can play with a customized character. There is also no Internet play for the Wii version (I'll omit the rant about how Nintendo should have had the online-play stuff implemented from the beginning).
This is getting long, so I guess I'll make this Part 1. Next time, I'll talk about the actual gameplay.