Game three has been completed! Viewtiful Joe
isn’t actually a very long game at all (it took me seven hours); I just needed to get back into the swing of things at school before starting it.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Viewtiful Joe
centers on a moviegoer who gets sucked into the world of a classic movie and must save his girlfriend, Sylvia, from its villain. The game probably spends more time than necessary on story cutscenes and boss introductions, but it’s usually amusing enough that it doesn’t matter. Joe receives a collection of special effects that allow the player to slow down or speed up time and zoom in on Joe. It isn’t an incredibly deep attack system, but it gives the player plenty of variety for attacking enemies.
The first thing I ran into when playing this game was a MASSIVE learning curve. I found myself dying multiple times on regular enemies halfway through the first stage. I realized that the “Adults” setting I had chosen, which I thought gave the uncensored version of the game in all of its T-rated glory, was simply a higher difficulty setting. Once I changed to the easier difficulty, I had a much better time. It still took me awhile to get used to the controls, but once I had a handle on it there wasn’t anything too bad for the rest of the game.
...Besides the boss of the penultimate stage of the game. This guy runs around the circular arena at very high speeds, forcing you to chase after him while dodging rocks falling from the skies and fireballs that he spits at you, all while jumping over pits to make sure that you don’t fall into the lava pit below. And then when you reach him you have barely any time to shatter his shield and deal him damage before he starts the process over again. SUPER frustrating boss.
Unfortunately, the final level and boss of the game have the opposite problem. Episode 7 is still one of the more difficult stages of the game, but the deaths I had were mostly due to being worn down by the enormous amount of enemies in the stage, not because of any insanely difficult sequences. The final boss was especially disappointing – I defeated each of his two forms in less than three minutes. Most of this is due to an extremely overpowered attack that requires no more time to use than other attacks and has no true drawbacks. That said, I don’t know if I would have been able to clear the timed portions of the final stage without this attack, so I can’t say I wish it wasn’t in the game.
The puzzles in the game are of a mixed quality. Some of them are fun and interesting – slow down time so that you can kick these missiles into the path of nearby spaceships! – but others aren’t quite as fun. A recurring sequence involving a slot machine grows more tedious every time it reappears.
I really did enjoy this game a lot; the good parts just don’t lend themselves as well to conversation. For me, the regular combat sequences were easily the highlight of Viewtiful Joe
. Stringing together slow-mo combos and bringing helicopters to the crashing ground made for a very satisfying sidescroller. I don’t see myself playing the sequels anytime soon, but I appreciate the talent that went into making this game. Well done, Capcom.
The next game on my list is remarkably well-timed: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
. I figure I may as well play Four Swords first, so I’ll be posting about that over in its thread before starting this.