Review by Big Bob

"You should never judge a game by its cover...especially this one."

Viewtiful Joe, the second of the Capcom 5 announced months ago, is a wonderfully unique and innovative game that belongs in every Gamecube owner's hands. Everything about the game is great, except for some difficulty problems. You have to see what this game is like to truly appreciate it.

Story 7/10
So one day Joe and his girlfriend, Silvia, decide to go see a re-release of an old movie. Silvia is mad at Joe for finding the movie more interesting than her. After attempting to seduce Joe, a hand comes out of the screen and grabs her. Soon Joe is also brought into Movieland and begins training with his hero, Captain Blue. Trust me, it's more entertaining than you would think

Graphics 10/10
Although Capcom has gone a little overboard with cel-shading lately (Auto Modellista, Mega Man Network Transmission, and the upcoming Killer 7), these are still truly kick-ass graphics. Every character has a very detailed design, and they are all a blast to look at, cel-shading and all. Levels are also designed very well. Surprises can be seen everywhere. At one point, I saw a porno theatre in the background once (''Topless AND Bottomless!'' it said). Movie rip-offs are in the game, but don't expect the kind of parodies that Conker's Bad Fur Day did; these are much more subtle. That's just the beginning, though. When Joe uses his powers, graphics go wild as bullets cut through the air, individual mechanics of the robots are seen flailing away, and everything becomes a giant blur due to Mach Speed. I haven't seen graphics this good since The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Sound 8/10
Parts of this game have really catchy music, while other get annoying very fast. Most of the sound effects in this game get old too. An example is ''Cut! Cut! Cut!'' when you lose a life. It's cool at first, but gets old fast. And trust me, you'll be hearing it a lot. Nothing special, really.

Gameplay 9/10
Perfect. Absolutely flawless gameplay. So why a 9? An insane difficulty level, that's why. I'll go over the controls first before I get to how the game is so hard. Joe can punch (Y) and kick (X) enemies around in a variety of combos using Slow (L), Mach Speed (R), and Zoom (C-Stick or B button). Slow, Mach Speed, and Zoom use up your VFX meter, which is how long you stay Viewtiful. The controls are super-responsive, even in slow motion. If you dodge an enemy's attack, it will get dizzy, leaving it and any enemies around it vulnerable for a combo attack using the slow and zoom functions. Combos give you viewtifuls, the currency in Movieland. With it you can buy moves or upgrades to pummel enemies with. Now, the problem is that the game is just too frustrating to be fun at times. Although Adult setting (normal difficulty) is available right from the start of the game, I suggest that you start with Kids to get a hang of the controls. The game is just too hard at times. Enemies attack with little time for you to react, you have to trek across entire levels with just a slim energy bar, and sometimes puzzles (yes, they did include mind-benders in this game) that leave you scratching your head until its bloody. Perfect, 'cept for a slight difficulty problem.

Fun Factor 9/10
What else is there to say? This is a game I think all GameCube owners should have. It's a bit short, but with this difficulty and this much unlockable content, don't expect to be done for a while. Don't be put off by its cel-shading or 2D Gameplay. Just buy the game and prepare for a challenge.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/13/03

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