Review by GMRZno9

"Ain't no Ordinary Joe..."

Remember when Capcom showed those five exclusive titles that were for the GameCube? Well, the first one to come out, P.No 3, wasn't that much to write home about. The follow-up, however, caught my interest in just it's style. Based on many previews, game magazines seemed to really like Joe's substance and style. And now that it's here, all I can say is, VIEWTIFUL.

You play Joe, a Fred Durst-look-alike who is a big fan of Captain Blue, a superhero movie-star. During a matinee showing of Captain Blue with his girlfriend, Sylvia, the line between the movies and reality is broken and Sylvia is kidnapped by the movie's villain. Likely, Joe is brought into the movie by the good guy, and it's up to Joe (aka: you) to rescue you love.

You start out with only the ability to dodge your enemies (and counterattack sufficiently). Soon after, you gain the abilities of Viewtiful Joe. V-Joe (for short) lets you double-jump, gives you slightly stronger attacks, and gives you the power of VFX. Your first VFX power is SLOW. Now, this ain't no ''Matrix'' farce. SLOW allows you to pull of mad combos after dizzying your enemies by dodging them. It also provides a better opportunity and a cooler way to dodge incoming projectiles.

Which brings me to combat, it's always fun. Beating enemies with a combination of dodging, then going SLOW, punching that foe, then turning around and kicking the next guy to score x2 combo, is always fun, engaging, and unique. From there, you can launch major combos, and it all looks VIEWTIFUL (sorry, I just have to say that).

Your other powers include MACH SPEED, a power that speeds up time, which mainly lets you mow through a group of enemies really quick and run faster. Then, there's ZOOM IN, a power that zooms in on Joe and gives him the ability to use more powerful and cooler moves. And (as silly as it may seem) it scares off weaker enemies with your style. I guess that's an excuse for Michael Jackson (no offense).

The gameplay is more than just a simple 2-D beat-em'-up. With the VFX powers, it gives more depth to the gameplay. How you may ask? Well, Capcom seamlessly and successfully entwined the powers into the games puzzles and bosses (both final and sub-). An example? Say you must hit a switch on the other side of a sea of thorns. You can't jump over it, but there is a hovering platform that can help. Unfortunately, the platform is too high to jump to. Not for Joe, though. You can use SLOW to slow down the platform's propellers (that keep it hovering) and bring it down to Earth. Jump on the platform, and let it carry you to the other side to hit the switch. Need to go higher on that platform? Use MACH SPEED to speed up the propellers to go higher.This makes gameplay, once again, VIEWTIFUL.

The graphics (finally! you're saying) are VIEWTIFUL (''Stop saying that!'' you yell. ''Never!'') The cel-shading just add to the games style and perfectly suits the tone of the game (which is on an emphasis on using action movie satire). I can't imagine how this game would look any other way.

The only thing that keeps it from a perfect 10 is that the game's difficulty might turn off some players, but it doesn't become ''Shinobi'' hard. Also, like every other really good game, it eventually ends.

This game is a pinnacle in style and substance, and let's us know that someone out there isn't afraid to try some thing new and different. And in this case, it works out VIEWTIFULLY. Everything just works great. This is a game that belongs on pretty much every GameCube owner's shelf and is worthy of your hard worked-for (or hard begged-for) money. I give it a 9/10.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/13/03

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