Review by DoctorDoom

"Ninja Turtles Make Baby w/Power Ranger! All this scripted in comic form!"

Viewtiful Joe
Released on October 7th, 2003. (The 8th for Arkansas, psh!) It is an action game developed by Capcom. It is only for one player. Joe’s appearance is that of a typical Japanese sentai. Sentai are action shows, most commonly known one in America is Power Rangers.

Like I said earlier, it’s kinda of like, “What if the old ninja turtles game was watching the matrix, and had a baby with a power ranger, then the baby was through into various movie scenarios and they decided to script it in comic visuals.“ The gameplay is basically old-school side scrolling action. Classic beat-em-up action with power-ups added into the mix. You buy new moves for Joe to kick butt with. Typical boss fights, each one has a certain weakness that you must learn and counter. Using the power-ups is important! Each one gives you an advantage and disadvantage to your enemies, some are good, while others are better. [IE: Slow motion lets you dodge the attacks and increases the power in your own attacks; but why worry about dodging when you can zoom in, causing your enemies to cower in fear, giving you an open opportunity to attack?] Also it is a matter of preference, I like to mix up all the movies, I mean, how boring would it be to watch nothing but slow-motion? A part of me wishes this game was two-player...

One more thing, don’t want to give too much away, but .... VEHICLES!

Oh, man! What the heck?! I remember reading about this game in its early days of production, learning about its first screen shots and the such. I really didn’t like the cel-shading. (Heh, I still haven’t got Wind Waker yet, but I’m planning too, quality over visuals you know ...) But you truly can’t appreciate the graphics until you play through them. So what if this game is cel-shaded? The visuals are truly stunning! The backgrounds are hella detailed, it DOES feel like playing through a comic book. Props also go to Joe’s viewtiful animations: matrix dodge, super-speed, slow-motion, list goes on and on. Everything enhances the look. And even though you have probably seen each scenario probably a million times from movies, comics, and the such, the detail of all is truly appreciated. Playing as a power-ranger look alike through a Dracula-reminiscent castle? Classic.

You play as a young man who follows in his footsteps of his favorite hero, who wishes to pass down his mantle after he is defeated. The levels you proceed through are technically stereotypical movie scenarios: horror film castle, .... street, etc.

Go for it! It really makes you feel like your playing through a movie scenario. The voices add to the gaming experience, as cheesy as some of them may be. When you die, you don’t hear game over mumbled, but CUT CUT CUT! The little noises the enemies make, the sound of an alarm, a twirling of a helicopter blade: they are all in here. The musical soundtrack has not especially stood out to me, as of yet ...

Play Time
Well, this is one game that you will definitely not finish in 3 hours. Puzzles may have you scratching your head for over half a hour, pondering what to do now. Bosses will kill you over and over until you memorize EVERY move they can dish out. The game has easy to pick up controls, it is just the game becomes harder and harder as you progress through. Also, you may want to continue to play this game over and over just to get all the power-ups.

Final Word
Viewtiful Joe has excellent gameplay that could be appreciated by almost anyone. There are those people who just detest cel-shading. If you can deal with the visuals, you have a game that won’t be leaving your Gamecube console for awhile ...

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/13/03

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