Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble
Approximately two years ago, Capcom released their first Viewtiful Joe game. Meanwhile, Joe is so popular, that they have released two versions for the Gamecube and PS/2, one for the DS and a spin-off from the original concept: Red Hot Rumble.
As with a lot of games, when you start, you get a story to see what the game is all about. Caption Blue is getting too old and searches a worthy successor. And, uhm … that’s it. But of course, you do not need more explanation and you are able to start punching, kicking and using VFX-power as if your life depends on it. With this game, it is clear that Capcom tries a different concept. You will not only be able to fight with Joe, but also with Sylvia, Alastor, Jet Black, … Unfortunately, the characters are not very balanced. Some of them are weaker than others, so you just won’t choose them. Unless you are really that good or just like losing.
The game looks a lot like Super Smash Bros, but is a lot weaker. Capcom tried to add a multiplayer flavour to Viewtiful Joe, but it is a bad extract from the original concept and is not convincing enough as a fighting game. If you do want to play a good button bashing game on the Gamecube, you may want to play Super Smash Bros: Melee or Soul Calibur 2.
To become the best successor for Captain Blue, you will have to play a few rounds against an opponent. The goals vary from taking as much diamonds as you can to defeating the most enemies. The one, who wins the most rounds, gets the chance to do it all again in the next round… There is nothing more to it. Of course, everything has that sweet Viewtiful Joe style, but it does not add enough to the game to keep it exciting. It gets rather boring after a few games because there hardly is some variety.
The controls are still the same from the other Viewtiful Joe games. Even the VFX powers are still present, although there is a little adjustment. These powers are only available for a few seconds and only after you took the appropriate item. These appear for a limited time during a fight and disappear again afterwards. If you succeed to take one, you will have to activate that power before you can actually use it. The items can contain one of the following powers: slowmotion, mach speed, zoom or sound effects.
Once in a while, you will get sucked in a black hole during the match to play a short fight. In these mini games, you can score some more points or give your opponent some more kicks and punches. Unfortunately, there are only five possible mini games and they only take a few seconds to complete.
Although the game looks like a real Viewtiful Joe game, it feels and plays different and it gets boring after a few matches. It does not even get close to Super Smash Bros: Melee or Soul Calibur 2. It is no real Viewtiful Joe game and also fails as a button bashing fighting game. This game falls in between these two categories and will not be able to convince the fans of these kinds of games. As a Viewtiful Joe fan, the best you can do is get part one or two from the shelf instead of Red Hot Rumble. The competitive element is nice for a change and might be a good extra for a possible Viewtiful Joe 3