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WII
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Clover Studios
PUBLISHER
Capcom
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
November 18, 2004
BUY NOW AT

Viewtiful Joe 2

When the first Viewtiful Joe was announced as part of the now defunct Capcom 5 (the whole situation still irks me), not many people knew what to think. A new hero in a funky looking side scroller just looked plain silly, but it turned out to be one of the better games released in 2003. Of course Viewtiful Joe 2 isnít going to pack the same punch as the original did, but it sure can improve on it, and it looks like itís doing just that.

media

impressions

Viewtiful Joe 2 takes place in Movie World, a considerably larger place than the world found in Viewtiful Joe 1, and this time they are facing a bigger threat. The game takes place after the events of Joeís first viewtiful adventure and now heís got Silvia to come along with him. Using what is known as a V-Watch (a little device that turns normal people into superheroís), Joe and Silvia team up to save Movieland from a new impending doom.

This new adventure puts Joe and Silvia in new worlds, gives them a new power, and sports over 40 new enemies to fight against. The new environments may seem a little familiar to some. Thatís because they are funny knock-offís from real movies that you and I may have seen before. One level takes you through a twisted, cartoony style Jurassic Park and there is even an area where you will be plunging into a world with an uncanny resemblance to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You even get to ride in a mine cart while fending off baddies! These new environments seem bigger than those found in the original and give you a bit more breathing room to duke it out with all the new enemies. They also look nicely detailed and brought to life by new particle effects and little moving objects.

For those of you newcomers to the world of Movieland, Iíll explain what the VFX powers do and how they work. In the world of Viewtiful Joe, superheroís and certain villains are able to use Viewtiful Effects (VFX). These are moves that can alter your surroundings and/or give you an edge in battle. The ones found in the previous game were Slow, Mach Speed, and Zoom-In. Slow did just as it says, slowed down the action and had certain effects on the environments, such as building pressure in the boosters of a rampaging bus. Mach Speed did just the opposite, sped up the action and started Joe on fire, which made him invulnerable to heat, lava, ect. You could take out your enemies with blinding speed as well. Zoom-In zoomed into the action and made Joe strike a pose so intimidating that it would paralyze your foes with fear. It also allowed you to do a power kick that helped to slam down certain buttons that required a little extra force. All of these powers, plus one, will make an appearance in Viewtiful Joe 2.

Now for the new VFX power; Replay. Itís a Silvia exclusive, so those of you who thought you could blaze through the game as Joe were mistaken; youíll have to use her at certain points in the game. Anyway, itís a fairly simple move that with precision timing will allow you do deal up to three times the damage. When you perform a certain action you can activate the Replay power, if itís done right with the correct timing, you can start a combo that will repeat your action up to three times. This new power can be used in combat or can be used to open doors that might need a little extra force. It can also be used to replay eating a health item to recover three times the health. Replaying an attack directed at you would not be wise at all so be careful. Itís a pretty cool new addition to the game and it definitely will come in handy.

Joe and Silvia have their similarities and differences. Both of them will be able to use melee attacks, such as kicks and punches, but Silvia will specialize more in ranged combat by using her pistol. Both of them will have the VFX powers Slow and Mach Speed, but only Joe will be able to use Zoom-In and only Silvia will be able to use the new Replay move. Both characters will also be able to grab hold of your enemies, swing them around, and send them flying. Wow, that came out of nowhere huh? On to the next little bitÖ

As you use your VFX powers a meter will be used up. This means you will have to watch what youíre doing carefully. If you drain to much power youíll return to your non-superhero form and be pretty useless for a few seconds. The VFX meter does gradually recover itself but not fast enough to keep using move after move. The Viewtiful Effects powers are really fun to use and according to Capcom and Clover Studios, they will be used more effectively in this upcoming title than they were in the first game.

Viewtiful Joe 2ís gameplay is basically your traditional beat Ďem up, side scrolling, action game. Ok, so itís not so traditional, but itís pretty fun. The gameplay has been tweaked and cleaned up a bit so the game will run a little smoother and be easier to control. You go from right to left across the stage while fighting a slew of enemies using your normal melee attacks or, your VFX powers individually, which can also be used in conjunction with each other. After you beat each enemy you will be rewarded with a variety of different spoils ranging from money (used in the shops found between stages) to the little containers that help you replenish your VFX meter. As you perform combos and slick moves you will be rewarded with Viewtiful Points which are added to your score. You can save up these points to buy upgraded VFX powers, new moves, lives and so on. The action looks just as intense as it was in Joeís first adventure so expect some hard core fighting in this title.

Even though the game seems very action oriented, you will have to use your brain from time to time. Viewtiful Joe 2 will contain just as many puzzles as there is action. For instance, in one scenario you are required to knock an object up to a higher level, but you find out that a normal punch or kick wonít do. Youíll have to slow down the action to build up enough power to really smack the object with a solid uppercut, this will cause it to go considerably higher and make it up to the next level. The powers will also be able to be used together. In one case you have knock a plug lying on the ground up to a socket on the ceiling. Using the same technique as before you clobber the cord and up it goes, slowly but surely, into the plug above. Once you do this, the energy from the cord runs to a nearby power wheel which is connected to a door run by electricity. You will have to use your VFX Mach Speed to run in the wheel and generate enough power to open the door. More puzzles like this are going to be scattered around Movieland and will each be as interesting as these are.

The Six Machine, ah the Six Machine; Joeís little red transport. In the first Viewtiful Joe it served a very short part in the story, only taking Joe from one place to the next. It had such potential, which was never put to use. This time around however the Six Machine will take on a transformer type personality utilizing, you guessed it, six different functions. It can become a cannon, a submarine, a drill, a racer, and a few other things. It will have a much bigger impact on the gameplay and will most certainly be a lot of fun to play around with.

One of the biggest anticipated add-ons to Viewtiful Joe 2 was the cooperation mode. But, as we reported not to long ago, it has been canned. The new gameplay element that has replaced the now lost co-op mode is a hot-swap of sorts called ďViewtiful Touch.Ē How it works is that during gameplay you can press a button to switch between using Joe or Silvia. This is going to be essential in solving certain puzzles and defeating certain enemies. Itís a cool new feature, but itís still no co-op.

The graphics in Viewtiful Joe 2 arenít really that much greater than they were in the first game, which isnít a bad thing at all. The game will sport some bigger, more detailed environments and a small graphical upgrade from its original counterpart. The color use is fantastic and the action couldnít run any smoother. Each of the individual characters are modeled very well and retain the same goofy, yet insanely attracting style as the first game. Joeís cape flows in the wind as you travel the levels and Silviaís hair does just the same. Each of their attacks are executed as smooth as silk and look just as fantastic as they play out. The effects are nicely crafted and take on the personality of the attacks being used very well. Nothing too much to complain about here except some might not like the style. You, whoever you are, are very sick indeed. Just kidding, it might not be everyoneís game.

word on the street

Viewtiful Joe 2 is going to be an exciting new adventure with a few new characters to play as. With Silvia by your side and a new VFX power, no one will be able to stop you. New enemies, new levels, and new puzzles await Joe fans and newcomers alike.

press release notes

  • More viewtiful 2D/3D hybrid action spanning more stages
  • New second playable character - Now gamers can select Joe's girlfriend, Silvia, who not only struts around with her infamous pompoms but also wields a weapon that fires projectiles to fend off the fiendish foes that she encounters.
  • Over 40 different types of enemies to obliterate!
  • More diverse stages to explore -Viewtiful Joe 2 takes players through awe-inspiring detailed environments including a jungle, underground ruins, ancient Japan, snowy mountains and outer space.
  • Six variations to the Six Machine - Now Joe's trusty aircraft transforms into various shapes to support his activities throughout various stages such as a racer, cannon, drill or submarine.
  • In addition to the infamous "Slow," "Mach Speed," and "Zoom In" visual effects (VFX) powers, the action is even hotter this time around with the new "Replay" VFX power. Replay a punch for three times the damage. Need to restore some health? Eat a hamburger and replay it so you get three times the effect! But beware, try not to use Replay when getting hit or take on three times the damage!
  • Grab a hold of the enemy to swing and throw them around with vigor!

overall

All in all, Viewtiful Joe 2 is looking as if it will be everything itís predecessor was and more. With some crisp, smooth, graphics, more, bigger environments, new enemies, a new VFX power, and more people to play as, itís looking and sounding as if it is going to be a smash hit. From what Iíve seen so far I have no gripes or second thoughts about picking up this title. I just hope Clover Studios can keep this game feeling fresh. Iím sure theyíve had no problem doing so.





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Geofferey Winter
Staff Profile | Email
"So THAT'S what it's for!"


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