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  •  Lord Snow
      Lord Snow
The Viewtiful Review
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Joined: 2004/3/4
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Posts: 395
Welcome to Snow's room!

Today, sitting in my 'Cube is Capcom's Viewtiful Joe.

Let's take a look....

<b>Story</b>
If you're a fan of comic books or even what was dubbed as the "silver age" of superheroes, this story will make you feel right at home. Joe takes his date Silvia to watch an old movie about his idol, Captain Blue. His girl would rather spend the time getting close and personal with Joe but he brushes her off, saying that he'd rather watch the movie XD. Things go wrong when Captain Blue is defeated in the movie and the enemy's giant hand reaches out of the movie screen to snatch Silvia and drag her into the movie. Joe gets taken along a moment later and learns that he must take the place of Captain Blue who can no longer fight because he has been defeated. You are given the V-Watch which allows you to become "viewtiful" and the adventure to save your girlfriend begins.

<b>Graphics</b>
For starters, Viewtiful Joe is one of the few games that have gone for the completely cel-shaded look. Basically, for those of you who haven't seen it before, cel-shading makes the game look like they've cut out cartoon/anime characters and then...animated them XD Seriously, it looks like cartoon characters are moving around and you're controlling them. There is the illusion of depth in various levels as there is a foreground and a background but if you don't like that kind of look, this game is not for you. Bt disregarding the cel-shaded look for the moment, the game is GORGEOUS. Backgrounds and enemies are vividly detailed and considering the theme and the story of the game, the comic book look does very well for it and seems remarkably appropriate.

<b>Sound</b>
A few subcategories here but let's start with the music. The music is...interesting XD It seems to me like it fits perfectly with the situation in the game in that it seems kind of cartoony and vaguely childish but I had minor issues with it. It seemed a bit too...peppy for me? That's not quite it but I can't seem to really put my finger on why I didn't enjoy it much. But the music really does fit the game well though...I guess that it just wasn't my kind of thing.

The sound effects are just great. I guess there's not much to say here. The effects are nice, things sound like they're supposed to. Jumping people sound like jumping people and robots being blown to pieces sounds like...robots being blown to pieces XD

The voice acting is something that can make or break a game and in Viewtiful Joe, while slightly cheesy at times, as I mentoined before, it fits the theme of the game fairly well so now complaints on that end. My only gripe with it is that some of the bosses have very distinct voices which can be hard to understand at times. The biggest offenders here would be the first boss, a big bat who speaks in a high, screechy voice and the fifth boss, a lion who speaks in a low and gutteral growl which can be hard to understand at times. Maybe it sounds clearer with higher volume...I haven't tried XD.

<b>Gameplay</b>
The game follows in the steps of Devil May Cry in that it's an action game with a bit more emphasis on the difficulty over the puzzle aspect. Small skull indicators show the player whether the enemy attack will come high or low and you dodge accordingly, counterattacking afterwards while they're stunned. A VFX meter fills up and once it's full, you become "viewtiful", transform into a superhero version of yourself clad in red. Using your special abilities such as Slow, Zoom-In and Mach Speed will drain your meter and once it empties, you transform back into regular Joe, unable to do any special attacks until your gauge fills back up and you return to your viewtiful state. As a result, the game relies on a balance between using your abilities and NOT using them, giving your meter a chance to fill up again. Another small wrinkle is that you take double the damage when you're just normal Joe which makes it even more essential that you stay in your enhanced state as long as possible.

Puzzles...they can be rather challenging the first time you play. Puzzle solving relies upon use of your V-powers and many of them can be considered solutions that are outside the box until you start figuring out how the puzzles work. Make no mistake about it, while the puzzles can be a bit challenging, once you figure out HOW the game wants you to use your powers to solve them, none of the puzzles will be much of a problem. In example, one of the first puzzles is when you come upon a leaky pipe dropping drops of water on a switch that relies on pressure to activate. Simply jumping on it isn't enough to set it off and there's no other item in sight that you could possibly use to accomplish the task. Activating your Slow power while a drop forms will slow down the formation of the drop. As a result, it gets a LOT bigger before it finally drops and THAT is enough to set off the switch. That's only one example of the various puzzles encountered through the game but as I said, once you figure out HOW the puzzles are solved, they all become fairly easy to figure out.

<b>Replayability</b>
There are a few successively harder difficulty levels to unlock along with 3 other characters so replayability isn't too much of an issue. Also, beating every level with the highest ranking unlocks a "super" version of that character that has an unlimited VFX gauge. *drool* XD

<b>Overall</b>
It's a good game. It was very fun to play and while it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, it was still challenging enough to kill me off more than a couple of times and at the same time, fun enough to keep me from just dropping the game altogether in frustration (like Shinobi...that bastardly hard game -.-). It's well worth a try whether on the Cube or on the PS2 which is pretty much exactly the same except for the fact that the PS2 version has Dante from Devil May Cry fame as an unlockable character.

Now...the one question on your mind. With all of the gaming sites on the net offering far more comprehensive reviews for games, why the hell have I bothered writing this?

Simple answer...I'M BORED XDXD

Posted on: 2004/11/26 5:48
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  •  No_Doubt
      No_Doubt
Re: The Viewtiful Review
Addicted to Hikki
Joined: 2004/11/5
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Posts: 74
Great work! Excellent review! Have you played the sequel yet?
Posted on: 2004/11/26 18:22
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Re: The Viewtiful Review
Administrator
Joined: 2004/3/2
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Posts: 1462
oh yeah ... they have Viewtiful Joe 2 already out huh? ...

btw... have you seen the Viewtiful joe ANIME???

...but yeah... this is an awesome game... and is much longer and has more replayability than Sly 2: band of theives... which is a really good game.. just short ... aww well...
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Posted on: 2004/11/27 3:34
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  •  No_Doubt
      No_Doubt
Re: The Viewtiful Review
Addicted to Hikki
Joined: 2004/11/5
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Posts: 74
I haven't seen the anime. Is it any good?

Wow, I just realized how quickly the sequel was released.
Posted on: 2004/11/27 10:53
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  •  Lord Snow
      Lord Snow
Re: The Viewtiful Review
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Joined: 2004/3/4
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Posts: 395
Hmmm...I've heard that the anime was pretty funny, following the humor of the game and all.

As for the sequel, I dont find myself too interested in it. I think it's mainly because as far as I've heard, they haven't added anything new at all except maybe the fact that Silvia uses handguns but if I REALLY wanted to do that in VJ, I could have just borrowed my friend's PS2 copy and taken out Dante for a test run.

I mean, it was a good game and all but I doubt that it's worth spending the time and all just to play what's essentially an extension of the story. And being frank, it's not like the story is terribly deep or engaging after all, this IS primarily an action game and the story takes a back seat to the gameplay. Playing through another game? AFTER I've become proficient with the system? It just wouldn't be any fun once the challenge vanished.
Posted on: 2004/11/27 12:17
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