Review by mwx
"The only VJ review you need to read"
Take this into consideration when you read this review. I'm not a pop gamer. I think they're great but GTA 3 or Vice City are not the end all be all of video games for me. I love wrestling games but the same applies there too. Sports games, ditto. Also of course, Animal Crossing. They are superb when I just want to be entertained, have a little challenge and a lot of laughs when playing with some friends. However, when I want to play a game that gives me a sense of serious accomplishment I go for true hard as hell, keep me awake for hours, learn the patterns of the enemy, make mental maps of every level, you will die more than once, probably 100+ times type of video game. Not to sound conceded but people such as myself and my friends are a dying breed. More and more games are being made with only the casual gamer in mind and this will probably be the trend for quite some time. Thank capcom for Viewtiful Joe.
Gameplay 9.8-The true heart of any game is the gameplay. Gameplay to me, meaning the overall experience playing the game. I really don't care how god awful graphics are or how much sound resembles joan rivers gargling gravel; if the gameplay's challenging, innovative, or just plain fun, my vote is yours. Mind you, not stupidly challenging or impossible. Able to learn from your mistakes and persevere, that kind of challenge. What have most of us heard about VJ's challenge? Too hard. That's the biggest gripe I've heard about VJ and frankly I'm rather tired of hearing about it. Videogame magazines have said it, people on boards have said it. I say differently. This is a game that, unlike most pop games out there today, requires patience, poise, and what most naysayers seem to be unwillingly to put into it, practice. You have to work at this game to be good at it. Give it a chance and this game will be extremely rewarding. Through a choice of 3 types of VFX and plethora of varying moves comes a crap load of possible attack scenarios. Slow motion, which is truly the most viewtiful effect and is quite the sight to behold when your kicking enemies and bosses collective arses, is probably the most useful but doesn't take away from Mach Speed or Zoom. Once you get really good at it you'll find yourself making sweet love to the levels the way only somebody with mastery of the controls can. When your able to rack up that big rainbow ''V'' on your ratings you'll know you earned that sense of pride you get from it. The ability to VFX to solve puzzles also adds to the gameplay. Mind you not they're not extremely hard puzzles but when you're in the midst of viewtiful action and you come across a puzzle I promise you'll scratch your head and say ''What the hell?'' to yourself the first time around. These are very well thought out levels which have the right amount action and puzzle solving. Definitely the strongest point of the game. The best part is that it could be improved upon for a sequel!
Story 8.5- The story ,some will say, ''isn't much'' and use that as a mark against the game. I too will say the story isn't much but I'm not going to count that against the game but rather a mark towards it. For a light-hearted game such as this, primarily focused on action the story is perfectly suited. In fact the story harkens back to the day of the old school platformer. A simple, sweet tale that just adds to the fun loving quirkiness of the game.
Characters 9.2- No one seems to rate this. I love these characters! Every single last one of them. Their dialogue is hilarious and extremely well voiced. Awards to all the voice actors on this game please. You haven't heard funny until you hear Hulk Davidson singing his little song before the boss fight with him. Very well animated, and designed characters. Play this game and tell me they aren't endearing, I dare you.
Graphics 9.6- Holy crap! (thanks murphy). Breath taking to say the least. I know there are gamers out there who hate the cell shaded look, but honestly, why would you want a game like this to look like anything else? The comic book drawing style was tailor made for this game. It flows at a flawless framerate in all VFX's. The colours are vibrant and really bring out the character in the game. Even cool little effects like the grainy picture quality when VJ turns into regular Joe are really well done. Other than some minor (man do I mean ''minor'') clipping issues I noticed (minor!) these are some the best graphics I've ever seen.
Sound 8.8- Now, I will agree with most on this. The sound effects are nothing special. The sound effects good for the game, but they really are nothing special. However, I do love the music for this game...a bunch. From the catching First level tune, to Hulk Davidson's, to sub and so on and so on. Also harkens back to days of old. Very catchy and suited to the game. Nothing I'd buy the soundtrack for but I still love it to death.
Overall 10- Even with the minor flaws here and there the fact remains: Viewtiful Joe is challenging, innovative and fun and one of the Top 5 reasons to own a Gamecube. It's too much of a rewarding experience to pass up on. If you're like me and tired of games where you just seem to be going through the mindless motions of monotony a lot of games seem to be provided today, go get VJ. If you don't have gamecube, buy a cube and VJ. This will be money well spent.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/13/03
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