Review by Metroidman

"Kung Fu meets The Matrix"

Ok after teasing us with trailers and pictures, Capcom has finally released Viewtiful Joe. Its 2D Action Game (aka Mega man or Kung Fu) with 3D Environments and 3D Movements. The Game play Elements are like Kung Fu from the NES but with much much greater depth and a little bit of the Matrix thrown in.

Ok not a real brainstorm but good enough. If you've ever seen Bulletproof Monk, it's basically the end of that. Except Substitute the Monk with Joe's Girl and you get the point. Basically Joe and his girlfriend are at a movie. She basically could care less about the movie and wants some private time with Joe *wink wink*. Joe is too into the Movie so he doesn't care*idiot*. Then during the movie, the monster pops out of the Screen and Kidnaps Joe's Girl. Joe also goes into the movie (You'll see how) and now it's off to save his girl. If you've played the Demo, the first stage is basically that.

Basic controls are used here but that does not take away at all from the game play. A is to jump, X is to kick and Y is to punch. Simple huh? You also get more moves as you go through the game. Eventually, L Slows down the game ala Matrix and R speeds up the game ala Dragon ball Z. B or The C stick eventually turns into a special move Joe can do to hit all enemies. The C-stick or B both takes you into Zoom Mode. In this mode, the camera pans in on Joe and he can do special moves to hit everything within range. The L, R, and B buttons play a very important part in the game play so you will have to use them often. Mastery of the controls means mastery of the game. If you got the Controls down, you have 50% of the game down.

Game play:
Ok the Other 50% of the game is Timing. You have to have fast reflexes to see the opponent’s move and to be able to counter it. Countering is very very important during the boss fights. When you counter a move, a slowed down punch will send the enemy straight hitting everything in their path. The Kick button will send them at a 45 degree angle towards the direction of the kick. Now this is very important because for a couple of bosses, this is what you need to do to take away their life bars quickly. If you try straight up fighting the Bosses, you will either lose or it'll take you hours to win. I don’t know about you but I prefer the easy way.

Cel-Shaded. Yes this game is Cel-shaded. If you don't like it then tough. If you can appreciate the artistic style, then this game is just amazing. Great graphics. The Characters are very detailed along with the environments. Even the simple enemies are extremely detailed. You will not find a visual flaw with this game. I don’t know how long Capcom took with this game but every inch of this game is detailed. There is not one plain looking object in the game. It just looks truly amazing. The motions are fluid and nothing you do in the game will seem out of place. The Combos are thrown together so well that it could pass for a 2D fighting game. Every punch or kick looks perfect. Even when you cancel a punch of kick, the game does it in such a manor that it looks real. Capcom must've sat there for months thinking of everything the user can do and implementing the animations for it in the game. The end result truly pays off. Great Looking Game All The Way Through.

What Can I say about the Sound? It has great music and the animation sounds are just as great. I love hearing a punch or a kick. The sound also changes during slow motion to make it sound like the punches and kicks during this mode have much more of an impact. In mach mode, the sound speeds up. It keeps up well with the game and it's just great overall.

Buy or Rent:
BUY BUY BUY. This game is truly a gem. It is truly unique. It takes elements from past games and combines them together into an amazing experience. It's just fun to play. If you don't like 2D games, you will not like this. But as for the rest of the world, it's just a great game to play. Thank You Capcom. Now just un-cancel Dead Phoenix and we'll call it a day.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/13/03

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