Review by alphablitz

Reviewed: 09/09/03

Capcom Reinvents 2D

Short review:
Buy Viewtiful Joe.

Long review:
Ten minutes into Viewtiful Joe, I think to myself, ''You know, it's titles like this that remind me why I started playing video games in the first place.'' Let's break it down.

VJ is a 2D sidescroller. You go around beating up robots with crazy combinations of punches and kicks. There's plenty of power-ups to collect, and Joe's double jump gives you the air you need to get there.

Graphics 10/10:
Wowee. Seeing screen shots of VJ is one thing, seeing it in action is another. It feels like I've plugged my Wavebird into a comic book. The backgrounds all have a neat water color, comic thing going for them. It seems that getting away from complex 3D allowed the artists to pay more attention to detailed drawing. And the animation is ridiculous. I wish cartoons looked this good. Every punch and kick Joe throws is different. So even though all you're doing is smashing on the punch button, Joe is doing some crazy things to hapless robots. Good graphics. Good animation.

Sound 9/10:
Action video game music that you'd expect from the makers of Megaman. Good stuff. But the voice acting is what's great. Joe's cool, and all the bosses are genuinely entertaining. None of that second-rate Engrish for which Capcom is infamous. A pleasure to hear.

Gameplay 58/10:
So good. So good. I don't even know where to begin. First, dodging is an important factor in the game. The evil robots enjoy surrounding you, so while you're pounding on the guy to your left, you might have to duck a punch from the guy to your right. If that's a little too fast for you... why, you can simply slow time. Time control is what makes this game great. And it's not like Blinx, either. In Blinx you'd do some crazy time trick like three times a level. In VJ, you are almost always doing something to time. PLUS in slo mo, you can rack up giant combos that give you Viewtifuls (i.e. coins) that allow you to buy better moves for better combos for more coins! It's like there's a party in your wallet, and everyone's invited! The designers made liberal use of the whole time thing for the little puzzles you have to solve, too. Helicopter getting on your nerves? Slow down time, so the propellors don't go fast enough, and the whole thing crashes. Door closing too fast? Speed up time and run through it in a red blur. And THEN there's the close-up mode that allows certain special moves when combined with some time technique freaking rock the opposition. It's a thing of viewty.

In fact... you have so much control over everything that it's almost hard to believe that the game could be challenging. Which brings me to my second point. The game is challenging. Capcom sidescroller. Of course it's going to be impossible. It keeps my infatuated butt coming back for more.

Fun Factor */10 (where * equals infinity):
Okay, maybe it's not the absolute end-all of games, but it hit a nostalgic, sidescrolling chord with me. I love Viewtiful Joe, and Viewtiful Joe loves me.

Closing thoughts:
This game's got such a cool style. This is the birth of a franchise. Get in now. You know the first couple titles of the series are going to be better than the later ones (see Megaman, Megaman X, Resident Evil). Okay. Now go buy this game.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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