At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Joss Manger GameCube Capcom Capcom 1 Here
Requirements Also on... Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Memory Card PS2 Click here to buy Viewtiful Joe.

Viewtiful Joe review

Capcom are a developer we instantly associate with two genre-defining games; namely the now-done-to-death Resident Evil and the very long running Street Fighter series, and whilst innovation isn't entirely dead in either of these franchises, Capcom are having to explore new avenues in today's world of popular innovation gaming.

As a result, a collection of all-new innovative, and in some place psychedelic, new games for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube systems. These include the utterly superb (if somewhat strange) Gregory Horror Show (PS2) and the beautiful looking Killer 7 (GC). The first one of Capcom's truly new games to reach the shelves is the unique Viewtiful Joe.

Viewtiful Joe is a slice out of classic comic-book heaven, it follows a fairly simply damsel in distress storyline: comicbook enemies jump out of a cinema and steal Joe's girlfriend into the film. Joe (the hero) is then forced to follow them into the frames of the bizarre film. He is then granted superhero powers by a character named Captain Blue. Now, whenever Joe says his special word, he can turn into a superhero that he later names Viewtiful Joe.

The game as a whole takes the form of a side-scrolling beater; Joe can use his various basic powers of punching, kicking and jumping to dispose of the hundreds of enemies that are in his way. These simple moves can be combined with mach-speed and slow-mo speed controls so that Joe can perform massive combos and truly get the better of his opponents. Speed controls also allow Joe to hit a shell or rocket back at an attacker; objects that are so fast they invisible on normal speed are fully visible on slow-mo so that Joe can deal with them accordingly.

In gaming, first impressions can make-or-break any new game, especially in the eyes of the public, and so initially graphics mean everything. Viewtiful Joe feature the most unique, vibrant and crisp cel-shaded cartoon visuals coupled with animation that is simply to die for. Everything from the old-film projector effects when health is lost, to the frantic fights in all different speeds conspire to make the game memorable and truly lovableā€¦ The truly special graphics and the zany-sweetshop gameplay make Joe simply a pleasure to play.

10/10? If only...Viewtiful Joe is plagued by a punishing learning curve. The two difficulty settings (the sarcastic KIDS and ADULTS modes) are very difficult in their own right; this is clearly a game for experienced gamers and not children. Any player is likely to find it a reasonable challenge.

It is my firm belief that anyone with a passion for innovation in gaming will simply love Viewtiful Joe. And for those who want more, a sequel is now on the horizon.

Ratings

Graphics Very distinctive. 9/10
Gameplay Addictive and interesting but often very hard. 8/10
Value Persistent gamers will be rewarded. 7/10
Lifespan Apparently short.... but so difficult it will last longer. 7/10
Audio Great SFX... music that's easy to ignore. 7/10
Overall A truly unique outing... a must for all serious GameCube owners 8/10

Click here to buy Viewtiful Joe from Amazon.co.uk.

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