got to love Viewtiful Joe - and to really enjoy this
game you've got to really love Viewtiful Joe.
Joe: Red Hot Rumble is not for everyone. It's so jam-packed
with action that it doesn't have any room to gel.
It's so concentrated that it's like eating an Oxo
cube for dinner. The combat is frenetic and it's non-stop.
It's the combat equivalent of a kart racer. There
isn't much of an adventure and the storyline is very
sparse. It's a button masher that requires more dumb
luck than anything to get through the levels. By the
end of the game you will have more control over the
situation making another go at it a little more structured
- but just barely.
Blue is producing a new superhero action movie. It
seems all of the characters in the Viewtiful Joe universe
want to try out for the lead role. Captain Blue's
idea of auditions are to have the wannabe actors duke
it out with each other to see who has got it going
on. At the same time the melee fighters will have
to complete various objectives as well as navigate
the dangers presented in the various platform levels.
Some of the levels require you to jump, duck, run,
fly, attack and defend - all within a few seconds.
There are some platforming stages in addition to boss
battles and the collecting of items.
collecting is the most important element of the gameplay.
It even takes precedence over the combat since the
winner is the person that collects the most coins.
In some levels all you have to do is run around and
stock up on coins. You are rewarded for beating your
enemies and completing objectives but it's easier
to just go straight for the coins. There are some
levels in which you must complete your objectives
before you can move on which limits the free-for-all
way to get loads of coins is to steal them away from
your opponent. You can do this by collecting orbs
and then challenging your enemy to a mini-game. There
are about five mini-games and they aren't very interesting
by themselves but they can pay off big time if you
nail them. The orbs can also be used to fuel your
VFX powers which include mach speed, bullet time,
zoom, which increases your size up to five times,
and the ability to turn sound effects into tangible
weapons. These powers are more for novelty since you
there is so much going on that one power alone can't
really help you out, with the exception of slowing
are responsive but since you can't see what's coming
next you will be reduced to button mashing and just
letting the chips fall where they may. This arbitrary
style of combat may not appeal to more sophisticated
gamers. All you can do for variation is to modify
your moves with the analog stick which you can move
in any direction when pressed in conjunction with
the special attack button (X). There are up to 16
different characters that you can play as including
Joe, Captain Blue, Sylvia and Hulk Davidson. Each
of them has different capabilities to explore but
Joe is still my favorite. Call me old-fashioned.
have to commend Clover, the Capcom in-house developers,
for being able to keep the art style consistent as
well as the framerate steady considering how much
is going on onscreen. It's sheer lunacy. A.D.D. kids
never had it so good. The animations are great, the
colors are vibrant and the music and sound effects
combine to enhance the excellent visuals. The graphics
have not been upgraded since the last game and some
of the characters and environments have been cannibalized
from the past. To its credit there are some new characters
such as Android Rachel and Sprocket.
multi-player mode is a little disappointing in that
it's not much different than the single-player. It
will accommodate up to four players but it can become
a blurred mess of red capes, making it difficult to
pick out your character. The action should have been
toned down and a larger selection of modes should
have been made available to enhance the replay value.
Hot Rumble is a little too "off the map"
to recommend to those with patient, methodical and
analytical minds. Loading the game into your machine
is like unleashing Pandora's box. You'll either love
it or loath it. Keep the aspirins handy in case of