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Lunabean's Viewtiful Joe Review


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Viewtiful Joe
Buy Viewtiful Joe
Strategy Guide: LB Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 9.1
Platforms: GameCube
Release Date: 10.07.03, 08.24.04 (PS2)
ESRB Rating: T - Teen
Official Site: Viewtiful Joe
Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums

Review

October 2003

"Viewtiful Joe" is a wonderful, yet very difficult game, which revives the 2D side-scroller genre with unique game play and vivid comic book graphics. The game is extremely Boss-heavy with several mini-bosses and a final boss for each level.

As mentioned already, this is a 2D side scroller (think Super Mario Brothers or Metroid Fusion for the GBA). However, there are many 3D elements to the graphics including items in the background that you can only get with certain powers. The environments are detailed and colorful and make for great eye candy. Also, as you work your way right or left the perspective does change some, for example, turning corners.

The basic plot of the game is that you, Viewtiful Joe, and your girlfriend, Silvia, are watching your favorite movie series based on Captain Blue. All of a sudden, Silvia is taken into the movie and it is your job to rescue her. At first, you're just an average Joe who can only punch and kick. However, very soon you gain your 3 VFX Powers: Slow, Mach Speed, and Zoom. These elements of the game make for some very exciting and ground breaking fighting techinques. For example, you can combine your Slow powers to make dodging an attack easier and then add on your Zoom power to get right into the action and pummel your enemies.

Most of this game is about pummeling your enemies. There are many foot soldiers which range from little robots that look like Mummies to spinning pink Ballerinas to a gun-toting Cowboy robots. To defeat enemies and gain V-Points (style points for using your powers and doing combos) you watch to see if their attack will be high or low. It is indicated with a skull icon. It is then up to you to dodge appropriately and then, when they are stunned, you kick or punch them until they blow up. This sounds kind of simple but actually, when you have a variety of enemies to defeat at the same time, it is very exciting as you combo and fight your way through each of them.

There are also some puzzles along the way. These basically have to do with activating a switch or timing a bomb to blow up the right door at the right time. In order to solve these puzzles you often have to use one or a combination of your VFX powers. Some of these puzzles are fairly difficult and you really have to strain your brain to figure out which power or move to use.

Of course, after you get through the foot soldiers and puzzles, you have to fight a Boss. The Bosses all have a pattern of attacks and hidden vulnerabilities which you need to expose in order to defeat them. A few of the Bosses took me the better part of a day to beat. Like I said, this is a hard game.

There are many upgrades throughout the game including certain kicks, extra lives, boomerangs, bombs, and special skills that save you from being attacked.

A big part of the game is managing your VFX meter. This is the meter that tells you how much special power ability you have left. At the beginning of each episode (level) the meter returns to it's original position but as you go through you find V-Films which upgrade your meter. Managing the meter is a very fun aspect to this game.

The game has a pretty good replay value. When you beat the game on Adult difficulty you unlock V-Rated difficulty (very hard) and the ability to use Silvia (your girlfriend). You can also unlock another character, Alastor. These combine for good replay if you're up for it.

The combination of an original character, comic book graphics, entertaining and unique enemies and bosses, and a revolutionary fighting system make this game a classic. It's a simple concept with excellent attention to detail. Capcom and Nintendo should be proud.

-Jeremy


**This page, along with all pages at Lunabean.com, is copyrighted. You may not reproduce any portion of this page anywhere without the express written consent of Lunabean, LLC.
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