Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble!
With previous Viewtiful Joe games, Clover succeeded to combine old school Double Dragon fights with great special effects such as slow motion and fast forward. With VJ: Double Trouble they take a great step towards the Nintendo DS. 3, 2, 1, … Henshin-a-gogo baby!
Although, in the first two Viewtiful Joe games, there are a lot of fast action scenes, these are now a little less present and the focus has changed to the great diversity of puzzles. This has a lot to do with the great possibilities of the touchscreen of the Nintendo DS. To use it as much as possible, they have added two new special VFX powers.
The first one is “scene splitting”. With this power, you can cut the whole surrounding in two pieces with only one horizontal movement on the screen. One of the first times you need this power, is to get a pair of batteries into a machine. The only way to do so is to cut the screen -and the machine- in two. By doing this, you will be able to move the upper part of the machine and punch in the batteries. This is far out one of the most original ways to use the touchscreen in such a game.
“Screen sliding” is the second new VFX power. Normally, the top screen is a zoomed in version of the other screen, but with this power, you can slide the action from the top screen, to the bottom screen. This makes it possible to access some switches, buttons, … that you otherwise could not reach.
Performing these moves in real fast action scenes is a bit hard at the beginning because you have to switch rapidly from an action where you need the buttons, to an action on the touchscreen for which you might change your grip on the DS. Luckily, in the first levels you get plenty of opportunities to practice these moves.
The touchscreen is used very well, but what about the WiFi connection and the multiplayer in Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble? The answer to that question is painfully short: there is none! There is only one game mode: walk through the whole storyline and get rid of every enemy that gets on your way. That is a missed opportunity because the game would make a superb multiplayer game! But don’t panic, the story mode is long enough, so you won’t complete the game in a few train trips.
This time the story is kind of vague. In the beginning, you will get a few lines of explanation about a new enemy in town and Joe is the only one to save the world from this evil (again). There is only one problem: Joe was chilling and sharing some quality time with his girlfriend Sylvia. And because he is not in a movie, he cannot use his special powers. A few minutes later, the assistant of the director has a brilliant idea. She will keep on filming you, so you can use your powers and become Viewtiful Joe. You will also get a brief explanation on how to use these powers. If you are new to Viewtiful Joe, this may be helpful; otherwise you can quickly fly through this.
That games on the Nintendo DS not always have to be inferior and ugly, is shown with Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble. The game looks very neat and it plays real smoothhhhh. Even with fast action moves, you won’t notice a single frame drop. To achieve this, they had to do some minor adjustments. There is, for example, a constant frame rate of 30 fps instead of 60 fps and there won’t be too many enemies at once on the screen. A new one will appear as you have beaten a previous enemy. But it was really necessary because there is a 3D surrounding from different perspectives on both screens.
Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble is a great example on how to port a successful game to a totally different console! Clover has succeeded very well to use the touchscreen and have made a great successor of the previous Viewtiful Joe games. The adjustments to get more puzzles in the game and a little less fast action, doesn’t affect its gameplay. Although it is a pity they did not add the possibility to play it online.