Viewtiful Joe 2
When Viewtiful Joe 2 was delivered chez casa Zwan, my first reaction was “Wow, what have we here? A Cube-top game ? Apparantly the miracles haven’t perrished from the world!” A man would jump a hole in the air for less as with the rather thin offer on great GC games (compared with that for PS2 or XBox) a top game is rare. I hope Zelda: Twilight Princess goes retail pretty soon…
Ok, enough cynic commentary, onto the order of the day: the review of Viewtiful Joe 2. VJ2 continues where part 1 stopped. Captain Blue, the ultimate super hero has been saved but the danger isn’t gone yet. The Black Emperor has put his eye on Movieland and with a horde of monsters behind him, he starts his reign of terror. Time for Joe and Silvia to put things back as they should and kick the bad guy where he belongs: a bad B-movie. For this, they need to find oscars that are hidden in each world.
All this just serves to connect the different worlds together. Viewtiful Joe 2 is after all still a cell-shaded 2D platform game like its predecessor. The biggest “new feature” (mark the “) is the fact that Silvia, Joe’s girlfriend, has also become a playable character. She’s got a unique VFX-power, Replay, and other than that also the Slow and Zoom powers we know from Joe himself.
Replay allows you to record a couple of seconds of action and then replay it 3 times. For instance if you kick a monsters, the poor bloke will then get three more kicks. The opposite is also present, if you get beaten during your recording, your damage gets tripled as well! Auwh! Time those replay moments carefully.
At any time you can change between Joe and Silvia, just tab the Z-button for that. In reality you’ll probably play with Joe all the time and only use Silvia when her special abilities are required to solve a puzzle. Joe is much more powerful than the underpowered Silvia.
The puzzles are again rather spicy, but not far fetched. The objects you need to manipulate are always visible through their 3D appearance with cell-shaded surrounding. VJ2 is all in all quite a challenge, sometimes even up to the level of frustrating. There’s no easy mode and “normal” is at times really enervatingly difficult. Now, I do admit this is partially because of me (I have a hate-love relationship with the cube controller), but I would suggest beginners to choose another game to buy.
As said, VJ2 looks like a cartoon and everything breathes a pleasant cartoony atmosphere, both the stunningly beautiful levels, the many characters and even the end bosses.
The word has fally: end bosses. The memorable boss fights are without a doubt the strongest part of this game and just like before a unique approach is necessary for each one of them. Errors are punished immediately and without mercy as each blow will drop your health bar quite fast. Nicely challenging, but again sometimes a bit too challenging.
Again the characters have over-the-top voices where especially Big John, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, will give you some hilaric moments. He’s at least as funny as Gran Blue from part 1. Also the voices of Joe and Silvia are ok and the sound effects seem to have run from a cartoon.
Actually there’s not so much to say about Viewtiful Joe 2; The game is a decent sequel that offers more of the same. Enjoyed part 1? You’ll love part 2 even more, probably. Haven’t played the first part? You should definitely try this one, but know that the difficulty level can be quite high at times.