Viewtiful Joe Review (GC)
“Henshin a go-go baby!” Wow, that is all it took. A corny little phrase, a crazy little man named Joe in a Japanese “Henshin” suit, and cell shaded graphics…..and I was hooked. Hopefully with this review I can instill the enthusiasm I have with this game, in you, the reader.
I will try not to sound biased, but I am a huge fan of Japanese shows like the Rangers, Ultra Man, and the like. Have been for most of my life, so when I saw that Viewtiful Joe was being released for the Nintendo Gamecube, I was stoked. Viewtiful Joe is a simple tale, told ‘viewtifully’ with vibrant cell shaded graphics, and a hip rap/metal soundtrack.
The story is about a man named Joe, movie buff and all around nice guy. He is in a theater with his girlfriend Silvia watching a movie starring Joe’s favorite hero Captain Blue. Blue is defeated in battle, and Sylvia is kidnapped and trapped in the movie. Our hero is dragged into the movie himself, and super powers are bestowed upon him, to rescue Sylvia and stop the nefarious plans of our unseen antagonist.
Graphically, I am sure that everyone has ‘seen this before’. Cell shaded graphics really seemed to make a big hit with Jet Grind Radio, and have been hit or miss since then. VJ uses them to give the game a comic book feel. The graphics are dazzling and colorful. When using your VFX powers, there is no skipping, slowdown, or blurriness. One thing that I found really unique and rather cool, was that when you are Viewtiful Joe the picture is sharp and crisp. Every detail shines through. When you lose your VFX powers, and hence, change back to Joe, the picture changes to a dingier, grimy, 1920’s film’ish look.
The sound is nothing spectacular. Each level has a groovy little beat to it, some form of rap/metal/pop type tunes. You won’t be singing them in your sleep, but you might find your fingers poppin’ during the games slow times. The sound effects are great, especially in Slow. Each punch sounds like am atom bomb, and during the boss fights the sounds of mass destruction would make you think that two armies are fighting and not just you and your opponent.
All this pales however, when compared to Joe’s super powers. Slow, Mach Speed and Zoom-in. In my opinion, this makes the game. And the array of moves that can be used when these powers are activated, breathes new life in to what most would consider just another Mega Man spin off. Slow down to deliver a beating “Matrix” style, then Zoom-in at the same time to really bring the hurt. Or, get the enemy on the ropes and use Mach Speed to create after images of yourself and clear a room full of enemies in seconds. Double jump, Zoom in, and crash to the ground with a devastating attack that damages all ground based enemies in one move. And my personal favorite, “Viewtiful Forever”. Dodge an attack, Zoom in, and press the ‘A’ button, and Joe strikes a flashy pose that hits all the enemies on screen….then it is followed by a round of applause by the crowd. These powers aren’t unlimited though, and only by collecting jugs of VFX juice, and film canisters can you lengthen the duration of your powers. Not to worry though, if you run out, the meter will refill in time, but time is something that you usually don’t have.
Surprisingly enough, the game is rather difficult. I usually run through a game on it’s easiest setting first, then progress through the difficulty levels. I am not ashamed to admit, that on the ‘kids’ level, I have had a boss stomp me a couple times. Luckily, the boss fights are patterned based, and can be over come without much difficulty once you make out the pattern. They can also be vanquished faster by using the right power at the right time. The bosses themselves are a wild variety of a sharkman, a dinosaur, a devil boy, and a clone of Joe himself.
All in all, Viewtiful Joe is just a really fun and dazzling game. It’s a fresh twist on your traditional side scrolling beat ‘em up. Honestly, it has to be experienced to be believed. Viewtiful Joe has quickly climbed to the top of my game collection as one of the most fun, most enjoyable games I have played.
Last edited by SALvation; 04-26-2008 at 02:38 AM.