Review by HyperNexus

"Strage name... Simply Amazing Game."

Viewtiful Joe, Capcom's newest Gamecube venue, reached America, and has been accepted with wide open arms (despite the weird title!). Why? Let's see....

The control in this game is very tight. Joe has a number of combat moves availible to him. There's a jump button, a punch button, and a kick button for doling out punishment. But your greatest assets are the VFX (Viewtiful Effects): Slow, Mach Speed, and Zoom. Using one of these powers depletes your VFX meter, and if it empties, Joe turns back into his normal self, equaling unprotected. Once you best Captain Blue in the 3 separate trails he presents you with, he will teach you a new FVX power as a reward. Slow, the first power, is initiated by pressing and holding L. Joe and all enemies and projectiles move at a slower pace. In this mode, Joe can dodge projectiles (Matrix-style, almost), and he can make an explosion much more devastating to a foe. The second power, Mach Speed, is activated by holding down R. In this mode, Joe moves at a greatly accelerated pace, as do his enemies. This power is best used to quickly wallop a pack of fiends, or to quickly reach a target area within a time limit. The final power, Zoom, is performed by pressing up on the C stick or pressing B. It, obviously, zoomes the camera in on Joe. This power can be used alone or with Slow or Mach Speed, opening a wealth of combat maneuvers. It does leave you a tad blinded as to what's happening around you, however. The diversity in these controls, plus they fact that the game responds very well, merits a perfect 10.

Admittedly, the plot is a bit thin. At the outset, Joe is taking his girlfriend Silvia to an action movie for a date. Joe wants to watch the movie, but Silvia wants to do something romantic. Suddenly, Joe's action movie hero, Captain Blue, is defeated in the movie. Then the villain reaches out of the movie screen and grabs Silvia! Joe jumps in after her, only to find that she and her ominous kidnapper are gone. Then he meets Captain Blue and starts training to be a superhero. After that, there's not much going on with the story, except for one or two little mysteries presented that await to be resolved at the game's conclusion.

The art in this game is simply sublime. It deserves to go in an art museum. Capcom has gleaned inspiration from anime, comic books, and funny little flat cardboard backgrounds. Eastern and Western art styles meet, and lock in perfect harmony. The sound is no slouch, either. All of the music and sound effects feel appropriate. Some bosses have really cool music. It's really difficult to truly describe the awesomeness of the graphics and sound- just go see and hear the game for yourselves.

When you rev up a new game, you are asked to choose a difficulty level, either Kids or Adults difficulty. V-Rated and Ultra V-Rated difficulty levels are unlockable. The only problem is that even on Kids mode the game relishes in handing you your booty in a sack. Overall, however, the game is difficult, but doable, and puzzling, but decipherable. The overall difficulty curve isn't terribly bad, but be warned- you will die often.

Replayability Factor:8/10
So, what does this game give that makes players beg for more? Let's see...a music video, 7 characters, and 2 extra difficulty levels. The characters are somewhat worth it, and once you have everybody, you can earn their Super version, which has infinite VFX. The only trouble with all this is the game's immense difficulty, even on the lowest setting. If you've got game, then go for it, but if you barely scraped through Kids mode, it may not sound to appealing.

Rent or Buy?
So, is this game Viewtiful enough to warrant a purchase, or is the beauty only skin-deep enough for a rental? Well, to answer the question, I'd have to say BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT! Despite some admitted shortcomings (cough, the difficulty level, cough) this game has astounding graphics, sound, gameplay, and an err... okay story. To heck with the story! The part we actually play is what matters, and that part of this game couldn't be better.

Review of Scores:
Replayability Factor:8/10

OVERALL SCORE: 9/10 Viewtiful!!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/13/03

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