Viewtiful Joe - PS2 Review

Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2

Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2

Originally Viewtiful Joe was released exclusively on the GameCube a fair number of months back and now, at last it is making an appearance on the Playstation 2. Viewtiful Joe is a return to the old school of action games, taking place in a 2D side scrolling environment with bits of more modern gaming in the mix such as cell shaded graphics and 3D backgrounds. That seems to be where the similarities of side scrolling games from the past ends, as Viewtiful Joe is far better than any of the average platform games or the past.

The story behind Viewtiful Joe is strange to say the least. Joe's favourite super hero is Captain Blue and while watching a Captain Blue film with his girlfriend Silvia. Somehow Silvia is into the picture itself. So it is up to Joe to get in there and kick all the bad guy's asses and save his girlfriend Silvia. While saving Silvia he meets up with Captain Blue who grants Joe with special powers so he can perform special fighting moves that can be used to affect time itself and pull off an awesome variety of combos so he can give the enemy a right good kicking.

The moves that Joe will be granted enable him to activate different views modes such as “slow” which is a technique that will enable Joe to slow down time and the action to Joe can devastate the enemy. The other move mach speed is similar but it doesn't slow down time, it just enables to pull off very fast kung fu manoeuvres. Last but not least and probably the strangest move is the Zoom move which gives you a close up of the action. The benefit of this is lesser enemies and an increase in the damage you dish out, plus it lets you pull of a few different attack moves.

Unfortunately you can't just use Joes moves as and when you like because each time you use a move the VFX meter will

  Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2

decrease. To recharge you have to give your special powers a rest and let the VFX meter recharge. At the beginning of the game your VFX meter is pretty small, but along your adventures you will come across a number of collectables that will increase your VFX meter in size. You must be careful not to drain your VFX meter completely though, if this happens Joe will loose all of his super powers and just become a regular Joe again. This will also take away your ability to double jump so if you meter does run out it can be quite debilitating, but your powers will come back after the VFX meter has reached it's original point.

As you make your way through the game you will earn Viewtiful as you despatch with the enemies. If you kill an enemy with a simple kick or punch you will not earn the same number of Viewtiful as you would if you killed an enemy with a stylish move or combination of stylish moves. The Viewtiful you earn can then be used in shops scattered around the game to purchase upgrades such as better attacks such as boomerang and bomb attacks and enhancements such the one that makes your VFX meter recharge at a faster rate.

Should you die you will have to go back to the beginning of the level, not the sub level. So if you happen to die right at the end of the last part of the first level when fighting the boss you will have to start right from the beginning. This is something that all platform game of old used to do and it does take quite a bit of getting used to. The bosses that appear at the end of levels all seem to create a different or new challenge, but most of it comes down to timing. The challenge the rest of the game provides is very good, it's not too hard and it is not too easy either. If you play intelligently and not use the VFX meter adlib most people should be able to find the groove.

So far the game has proved to be a copy of the GameCube version, but should you finish the game on any level you will be able to play as Dante from Capcom's Devil May Cry. Unfortunately Dante plays pretty much the same as Joe so there isn't really too much more to see or do and it certainly doesn't warrant buying a copy of the PS2 version if you already have the GameCube version.

Graphically the PS2 version is not quite as good as the GameCube version. The colours are not quite as bright or intense; the resolution is not as high, so there is not as much definition in the graphics which can make the overall look slightly blurry when sat next to the GameCube version. The cell shading has been very well implemented, far better than a lot of title that have used it in the past. Plus the subject matter of the superhero and Japanese theme means anything less than quality cell shading would have been good enough.

Viewtiful Joe is one of those games that has taken a tired old formula, mixed in a few modern elements and created something special. The PS2 version is just as good as the original but it is not worth owning two copies just because of the Dante character. Viewtiful Joe reminds you how good some of the old platformers where while showing you that new things can be done to create very stylised looks and gameplay. If you want an action game or you simply fancy something a bit different you certainly can't go wrong with Viewtiful Joe.

 

8.5 out of 10

 

Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
Viewtiful Joe - Review PS2
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