Viewtiful Joe PS2 Review

Capcom is a company that only fails to bring out the goods on the very odd occasion and rarely do they do anything close to wrong. That was until Viewtiful Joe was released on the GameCube anyway. It’s not because it is anything less than a stellar title either, it’s solely because of those “Viewtiful” clichés, which were drummed up when the games existence became knowledge. The repetitive use of this word has become almost unbearable, although thankfully the game is a different story.

Viewtiful Joe first appeared on the GameCube and received a warm welcome from all corners. The game was released to glowing reviews and strong fanfare. What comes, as a logical decision on Capcom’s part is the decision to port the game to the PS2. Now even more people can experience Joe’s delightful and surreal universe, and all at a more wallet-friendly price of £19.99.

This is one title that certainly doesn’t take itself very seriously and this is one of the games major charms. The dialogue is frivolously delivered and the bright super-deformed characters are likeable along with it. The story sees ordinary everyday Joe enjoying a movie alongside his girlfriend, Silvia, who plays the “damsel in distress” role when she is somehow sucked straight into the movie world. Joe obviously follows in a heroic rescue bid and even looks the part when he is endowed with special powers and a suitable over the top costume for a typical smart-talking comic book style hero.

Joe’s powers are the crux of the game as they can veer you out of any tough situation that you’ll manage to stumble into. These so-called “VFX Powers” expand in number along the way and allow you to do things such as slowing down time to a snails pace, during which you can fight aerially with more precision and even dodge bullets in a manner, which would make Neo proud. The zooming in ability makes Joe stronger at the expense of full screen vision and finally the Mach Speed sends Joe into a frenzied attack, which can clear out a band of villains in seconds. There is basically no bounds, other then the fact that Joe’s powers can be temporarily exhausted, leaving you vulnerable as ordinary Joe whilst his powers recharge.

You are awarded points for your actions, which can then be dispensed for new attacks or items. Obviously overusing the Mach Speed isn’t speedily going to earn you those points, as the game encourages you to go in different directions with each assault. If you are low on health you could always grab a burger or if you feel you don’t have enough combat options, why not buy some boomerangs and bombs?

New for this PS2 version is a easier difficulty level, which should please those who took a dislike to the challenging difficulty of the GameCube version. It does indeed allow the less hardened of players to actually see some closure to Joe’s vibrant adventure, at least until the sequel comes along. All the GC difficulty levels are also intact, and completing the game on any one, will unlock Devil May Cry’s Dante as a playable character.

Expectedly Dante is a cool addition, who fits into the game like it is his second home. In direct homage to his very own games, Dante is able to use his Ivory and Ebony pistols in harmony with his Alastor sword. Using the cool demon slayer does ease the pressure slightly on higher difficulties, thanks to his dual pistols. Joe is almost pushed out of the spotlight after Dante’s arrival, as he slightly pales in comparison to the Devil May Cry protagonist.

Viewtiful Joe is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but even with all the abilities on offer it does suffer from very slight repetitiveness. With that said, Capcom could have easily knocked up a game that was prevalent on style, but lacking of substance. Thankfully they’ve done the opposite and delivered a slick and well-designed title and with the addition of Dante as a playable character, it’s even better on the PS2.