#547 Viewtiful Joe

Posted: 28th November 2010 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

3rd game played so far

Genre: Action/Platformer
Platform: Gamecube, Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom

This is the first of a number of Capcom games that we are going to cover. The reason that we chose this one is not because of a random number generator (as is the process with most other games) but because I actually borrowed Viewtiful Joe off of a friend of mine some years ago and only found it in my drawer last week… oops. Still, a few more weeks before I return it won’t make a difference now (sorry Sam, I hope you didn’t buy a new copy)

The story behind this is as old as time. Geek takes girlfriend to cinema, girlfriend is kidnapped by a villain from the film, geek follows girlfriend into film and is given superheroic powers so he can rescue her… wait, what?

It borrows heavily from the tradition of a 2D side-scroller with the addition of cel-shaded 3D graphics as well as the ability to slow-down and speed-up time in order to achieve better combos and generally kick ass more “viewtifully”.

Our Playthrough

Well, there’s not a lot of choice here, the game is straightforward: We played through it for five hours, which dropped us about two thirds of the way through. We went for the easier (‘kids’) difficulty. I wanted to. I couldn’t deal with more. We’ll discuss that later.

Since I had played this before this was left to Jeroen to play his way through… unless it got too difficult and he got upset, then I kicked some serious robot ass. In my defense, my reflexes aren’t as good, I’m not as trained in these sort of games… and I sort of might have been dealing with a mild concussion (all too get out of peeling the potatoes) while playing it which affected a major part of my mood and such. And I’m just not as good as these games.

Our Thoughts

I would like to reiterate that this game was not stolen. That’s your opinion.

Anyway, one interesting game; very fast paced, lots of action, very colourful, and with very good visuals. It makes you feel like you’re in a movie.

It is also fairly difficult for newcomers and they are never afraid to up the ante to make sure that it doesn’t feel like a walkover. That’s very true as well, and I admit I ran up against it relatively soon – the first level is doable, after that it goes up rapidly. Itโ€™s a difficulty that is enhanced by the infrequent save points and the large amount of boss-fight strategies that need to be devised.

That’s probably what I ran up against the most. A lot of replaying of certain sections is required, and you have little time to work out strategies without having to go back through half the level because you’re out of lives. It’s a call-back to how older games went, and I suppose shows how gamers are spoiled these days with more frequent saving (helped by the gaming systems making it easier and faster to save).

You do get inundated by grunts but they are easy enough to defeat. Once you figure out the strategy for defeating them …which isn’t that hard. Usually not, no. Especially since they let you know in advance whether the majority of them are about to hit you in the head or the legs allowing you to counter attack. Which can be too late if you don’t have great reflexes which is where I flourish and you come unstuck.

I also have to admit it doesn’t help I kept hitting the rather large jump button when just trying to punch or kick. One thing we haven’t mentioned is the fantastic time effects used for fighting.

Even watching the game being played is a lot of fun due to those cinematic effects. It’s sometimes just fun to jump around whilst in super-slow motion.

You do need to have a will of iron with this game as it will kick you in the shins on many occasions. But if you are happy to get plugging away at puzzles and boss fights this is great. Part of that also requires you to enjoy the game enough that you want to keep trying.

Also, because of the cel-shaded graphics time has been really slow in dating this. It would mostly work now, yeah. And it seems to me that something like the Wiimote could interact quite well with any more sequels. Well it was a critically acclaimed franchise, but the low sales figures have led it to the gaming graveyard.

As so many other games have. But this is certainly a game that could work again a few years down the line, updated, with some new abilities, but the same cinematic gameplay. Replaying this makes me want to check out the Nintendo DS sequel.

Final Thoughts

At times so frustrating that you want to chuck your Gamecube controller at the TV Viewtiful Joe is a fast-paced cel-shaded thrillride. It has well withstood the test of time and is a great way to fight an anthropomorphic shark in slow motion.

  1. […] look of the game is incredibly stylised. It brings to mind the graphics of games such as Okami, Viewtiful Joe and Street Fighter […]

  2. […] are a variation on cel-shaded and whilst it was released a few years after Capcom publishing-mate Viewtiful Joe it has aged a lot worse. It was around this time that Capcom started to experiment with cel-shading […]

  3. […] beat em up. Yeah, this spawned Double Dragon 2, which I spend so much time on. It led to Viewtiful Joe, which we loved earlier. Perhaps even the later 3D variants, such as […]

  4. […] basics of Astro Boy are quite clear – 2D beat ‘em ups like Viewtiful Joe or earlier Kung-Fu Master. You arrive at a screen, enemies swoop in and you get to fight them off. […]