Review by daoud_qin

Reviewed: 12/08/08

Nonsensical, unintuitive and simply not fun

I had read good reviews about this game so decided to pick it up. I have never played the first game so I came into this one without knowing what to expect other than it was a 2d beat em up. I happen to really enjoy beat em up type games.

What can I say, I'm not impressed. Technically the graphics and sound are top notch but the gameplay is not entertaining. You would think having these VFX powers where you can speed up or slow down time would be fun but it isn't. In fact in many cases the way you use your VFX powers makes little sense at all whether in battle or with the light adventure/puzzle elements.

For example, how does using your Slow Motion power cause a boulder to suddenly fly up from a Volcano onto a switch? Or cause a platform that's hovering up high to suddenly lower itself enough for you to jump on it? It's these nonsensical element that totally baffled me. Maybe some people think this is creative but I think it's poor level design/mechanics.

There isn't much of a learning curve either as I was constantly dying in the first level. Perhaps this was obvious to those who've played the first game but it never made sense to me that I could use slow motion to actually punch a bullet back. Something which you'll need to do right in the first level if you want to even get past it. There is nothing in the game that even hints to you that you can do this. The fighting is exasperated by controls that can be unresponsive at times. I can't even count how many times I ducked or jumped an attack but was still hit.

For an action game the flow of a level is interrupted constantly as little sections that may take you a minute or less to complete cause the game to pause for a bit and display a rating of your performance. This is a real nuisance. I'm not expecting non-stop Devil May Cry type action but this constant interruption is annoying and unnecessary. Do I really need to be told I got an A for beating 2 enemies that took me less than 30 seconds to do? Or to jump a few platforms and get a key that took me a minute at most to complete?

In the game you can play two characters and switch between the two on the fly. However, it's immediately obvious that Silvia is pretty weak and useless. Another thing that doesn't make sense is that your energy level stays the same when you switch characters (at least in Adults play mode) which to me makes no sense. Shouldn't they each have their own life bars? This only adds to the difficultly and frustration. To be honest I don't think the game is necessarily hard, I guess you just have to accept some of it nonsensical elements, which I can't.

Actually I find the whole game in general annoying from the big booming voices to the color palette. Perhaps it's a matter of taste but I did not find this to make the game more exciting. It's like it was made for someone with ADD. This wouldn't have mattered to me so much if the fighting itself were fun but it isn't.

I admit I haven't played through the whole game or even the first half but I feel little inclination to continue doing so. The first level alone fails to showcase or even hint at whatever the reviewers who rated this game so highly thought was so fun.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Viewtiful Joe 2 (US, 12/07/04)

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