Review by MomoPSO

"Capcom delivers a game thats just..VIEWTIFUL"

Henshin a GO-GO baby!! “Henshin-a-wha?”you say. Henshin means 'transform' and it is a popular phrase you will be hearing a lot in THE extremely cool action title, Viewtiful Joe. Haven't heard of Viewtiful Joe? Well let me tell yall about the BEST gamecube action title to come out this year.
Viewtiful Joe came out Oct 8th, 2003 and it was created/imagined by the makers of steel battalion (XBOX) and Devil May Cry 1 (PS2). The game is homage to the action games of yore that relied on heavy action with challenging bosses and fun, engaging game play. In the game Viewtiful Joe, you play as Joe: an average guy who loves to watch movies (esp. movies staring his favorite superhero, Captain Blue). One day while taking his girlfriend, Silvia to the latest captain blue flick, something terrible happens. The main villain defeats captain blue and strangely grabs Silvia right out of her seat and sucks her into the movie! Joe gets sucked in as well and he gets caught up in a crazy, stunt-filled action movie world in order to rescue his girl from the clutches of evil! Throughout Joes ‘movie’, he soon is blessed with VIEWTIFUL super powers (VFX powers) that allow him to warp time and clobber armys of enemies. With out further ado, my review:

GAMEPLAY:

Viewtiful Joe is all about traditional 2D- game play goodness [really its 2.5D, ill explain later]. And let me tell ya, this game is about 85% action, 15% puzzles. First of all, the game controls perfectly on the gamecube controller. The controls are very responsive and intuitive. You first start out as regular Joe who has a flurry of punches and kicks. As you progress through the 7 stages you earn new VFX powers. Besides punching and kicking you eventually are able to slow time, speed up time, and zoom in for some very creative moves. The game is set up in a movie universe so each stage and respective BOSS as its own movie 'theme'. Once you become viewtiful Joe you learn how to double jump and your VFX meter (it allows you to do special moves) is fueled by collecting v-points. [Every 50 you collect makes your VFX meter longer, thus allowing you to use more VFX fighting skills]. It automatically fills up over time, but it will also go away if you use it too much. The VFX meter is a huge part of the game and it is very open ended- in other words you can dispatch of enemies in a creative number of ways. Your VFX moves are as follows:

Slowing down time- besides solving puzzles, slowing time allows you to dodge attacks [matrix style], avoid speeding bullets, and perform more powerful standard attacks.

Speeding up time- besides solving puzzles, speeding up time allows you to hit multiple enemies on screen at once with your speed. If also used long enough, it turns you on fire -making you temporality invincible and very strong.

Zooming in- allowing you pull off more devastating moves that are the most powerful. For example, When used with jumping you can pull off an impressive ground pound move or you can use it to spin kick.

After each section (7 stages are normally set up in 2 sections with a boss fight each) you get to save your game, or go to the shop and buy new powerups/ moves/ lives etc.

The game has two game play modes from the getup. Kids mode (strongly recommended) and adults mode (hard difficulty). The game is difficult at first because each enemy has its own patterns that can really only be learned by experience. The game in general isn’t too hard though- it’s certainly not frustrating.

The boss fights are AWESOME!! Each boss has its own unique stage and patterns. Some bosses at first are just downright difficult but once you learn the patterns they can easily be brought down.

The length of the game is also nice; I beat kids mode in around 6 1/2 hours. I just started adults mode and the main difference is that you have much less health (although you can buy more health later in the shops). I hear there are two more difficulty settings that open up once you defeat the adult mode. (And ULTRA v-rated difficulty and an unlimited VFX mode difficulty). There are also rumored to be two extra characters that open up later as well :) [Each which his or her story lines].

The puzzles are fun as well. And if your ever stuck on a part in the game just remember that 98% of all puzzles are connected to your VFX powers (zoom in, slow time, or speed up time). VERY intuitive :)

The game is also very stylish. Like most recent capcom games, you get rated [D,C,B,A, or V] for your performance with defense, style, and time. The higher your rating, the more points you get allowing you to buy better upgrades faster. The only downside is that you may find the game to be challenging at first (but its really not that hard).
9.8 out of 10

GRAPHICS:

The graphics are …what can I say… VIEWTIFUL! Even thought the characters are cel-shaded the game still has a very unique feel to it. The game is in a comic book / movie setting. The backgrounds look like a mosaic of paintings (they are in fact 2.5D). The game looks 3D but you fight /platform on a two dimensional frame only. The enemies are very cool and well animated. The special effects are spectacular!! When you slow down/speed up time/ or zoom in time the effects are breath taking and the game runs ALWAYS at 60 + fps. NO SLOWDOWN (unless its intentional hehe) . The colors are also very vibrant and fun. Joe himself (and his shinobi scarf) has very fluid animations and is designed well. The bosses are well designed as well and have their own hilarious personalities. People say this game will come out later for ps2 (note a rumor) but... I can tell ya with confidence that the ps2 could not do this puppy justice [esp. with the frame rate]. Also the cutscenes are nice J
9.5 out of 10

SOUND:

Great sound effects and the voice samples are great. Joe has a really cool voice and Silvia (his gf) is adorable. The bosses are very very funny as well. The music is fun and very atmospheric. Also once you beat the game on the kids mode you unlock a music video! (Its hilarious) - that actually is kinda catchy [even though its in Japanese]
8.5 out of 10

CONTROL:

Um perfect. L to slow down time. R- to speed up time. B or c-stick to zoom in, a to jump, x to punch, and y to kick. You can control Joe with the analog stick or the d-pad. There is not a block button. IN the game you dodge attacks by using the slow down feature or by simply jukeing up or down (by press up or down on the analog/d-pad) to dodge moves- *note its also a key to getting a high rating* Very well done. Did I mention that the controller is fully customizable too?
10 out of 10

REPLAYABILITY:

The game is all about game play- which is extremely fun so this game will be in my gamecube for a while. With all the unlockables and extra characters this puppy has plenty of replayability. The game is like DMC, in that it’s just a lot of fun to dispatch your enemies. You have a large combo driven move list and you can mix up combinations any way you choose. It’s very user friendly and fun.
9 out of 10.

OVERALL:
yall, this is a must BUY GAME (if you cant afford now, make sure you at least rent it). This is arguably the best action game available on next gen systems and a terrific exclusive [for now] for the gamecube. It plays like your favorite snes/gensis action game on steroids. THIS IS 2D DONE RIGHT!! Thank you capcom. A very strong candidate for gamecube game of the year!

OVERALL: 9.7 out of 10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/14/03


Would you recommend this Review? Yes No You must register to leave a comment.
Submit Recommendation

Got Your Own Opinion?

You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.