Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe (VJ) was one of the most imaginative, stylish and challenging games on the Gamecube (GC). It was developed by Clover Studio under the direction of Hideki Kamiya and producer Atsushi Inaba as part of Capcom's 5 exclusive games for the GC which also included: Dead Phoenix (Unreleased), Killer7, P.N.03 and Resident Evil 4, - though that plan did not exactly work out as intended.

Capcom's Big 5
Dead Pheonix Killer7

Dead Phoenix (Unreleased)

Killer7

P.N.03 Resident Evil 4

P.N.03

Resident Evil 4

Viewtiful Joe

Click image for larger.

What is cool about VJ is its unique gameplay. On the surface it appears as a 2D beat'em up, yet it combines some unique aspects that created a standout title that showed that side-scrollers are not dead when done well.

The game is bursting with robust and vibrant presentation with staples taken from American and Japanese comics. Joe is a loveable character in a world of other big lively characters with a fun and lighthearted narrative and if anyone can look cool in pink skintight spandex then its Joe.

Graphically, there is a use of Cell-Shading - a graphical technique which saw some notable games use it in the early 00s (first seen with Jet Set Radio and later seen in XIII) – gave the game its comic look. It all flows superlatively and Joe moves throughout the scenes with the foreground and backgrounds wrapping around Joe as he runs and turns corners. Thankfully this style remains with the series.

Alongside an equally vibrant soundtrack which fits the narrative and onscreen action fabulously.

Despite being critically acclaimed by the gaming press and popular gaming websites, and scoring 90%+ in every review and a slew of award nominations it never was a commercial success.

It was ported to the PS2 and was successful enough to have sequels and create a franchise expanding to an anime TV series, numerous comic book appearences and some action figures.

Viewtiful Joe Anime Comic Book Totaku First Premiere Edition

Anime

Comic Book

Totaku First Premiere Edition

VJ will go down as one of the most underrated games of all-time and having being released in 2003 it is considered retro!

Copies of the Gamecube version seem to becoming rare and prices are rising but this should be a must have for any self-respecting GC owner.

As yet, the game has not been released on any platforms' digital stores so there is no HD version anywhere. In fact, none of the VJ games in the franchise have yet to appear outside of their original releases. Tragic.

As of March 2020, there has been hints of a VJ3 from Hideki Kamiya whom since left Capcom to form Platinum Games and he states requests have gone Capcom for a third game and to release the original on the Switch. We will have to wait and see...

My Introduction

Discovery of VJ came from a playable demo disc sent to me from Game several weeks before release.

Having always been a fan of Streets of Rage/Final Fight type games a decent 2D brawler had been lacking in that generation until VJ. Now, I had played literally thousands of games up to that point and I was immediately caught by VJ's originality, the style, presentation in both video and audio, Joes theme and the music to the first scene was really catchy – a tune I keep on my mobile to this day.

And in just that first sample that was provided it was clear the full game was so well done and excitedly entertaining that I treated myself to it the moment it was released. I have never looked back.

Viewtiful Joe Playable DemoViewtiful Joe Playable DemoViewtiful Joe Playable Demo

GAME Viewtiful Joe Demo Disc

STORY

Joe is on a movie date with his girlfriend Sylvia when she is suddenly kidnapped by a villainous group known as Jadow. Joe is quickly grabbed and taken into Movieland and his favorite super hero Captain Blue is there to help.

After accepting a special V-Watch joe transforms into his super hero self – Viewtiful Joe and sets out to rescue her.

Viewtful Joe OpeningViewtful Joe Opening

GAMEPLAY

The game takes place inside the movie. At the core, the game operates as a 2D platform brawler so generally scrolling from left to right along with plenty of jumping and running between some very intense battles. Between the almost constant battling of enemies with flashy combat interspersed with puzzles to solve that will unlock progress into the next area.

The game demands making full use of Joes skillset to make progress.

Thankfully the GC's controller is well suited to this and the games responsiveness is some of the best ever.

alt : Cannot see the video? Viewtiful Joe (Game Cube)

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

When the game begins, our hero is just 'Average Joe' - that is without his suit and any super powers.

While in this state, his attacks are weaker, he takes double damage and has no double jump. The screen will also be slightly fuzzy simulating bad footage. After fighting the first few enemies he earns the first of his superpowers from the V-Watch. It glows intensely and Henshin-a-go-go Baby!, becomes Viewtiful Joe!

V-Watch / Average Jope

Powers / V-Watch

V-Watch / Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe

The three VFX Powers are what bring the showstopping coolness to the gameplay of VJ by means of changing the world around Joe. For example, an enemy can fire a bullet or missile at Joe. When hitting the VFX SLOW, the movie will slow down allowing Joe to rebound it back towards them with a punch or kick.

The VFX Powers are given to him at certain points early in the game after confrontations with Captain Blue. A tutorial is shown at each step. Doing well in VJ is how each of these powers are combined when defeating foes.

Most moments of gameplay will be littered enemies of varying designs and with hazards ranging from spikes to toxic water. Take note of the current environment before hitting a VFX Power as it may increase the danger.

There are plenty of secrets to find which may take Joe into dangerous areas but a fair few will be inside the boxes hovering in the background. It is possible to backtrack pretty far incase anything has been missed.

There is a fair amount of re-playability but only if you are prepared to endure some very challenging gameplay. VJ is notoriously difficult for good reason and will separate gamers from Gamers.

Controls

Default controller configuration. Can be altered in the games options.

D-Pad / Analogue Stick – LEFT and RIGHT for Joe to run in those directions. UP is a high-dodge (small leap) and DOWN is a low dodge (duck/crouch).

A BUTTON – Single jump. Holding down the button longer makes for a higher jump.

A double-jump is available after Joe has transformed. Jump again whilst in mid-air.

Pressing DOWN+A drops down a platform.

Y BUTTON – Punch when Joe is standing or mid-air. A crunching punch (uppercut) lets them fly!

X BUTTON – Kick when Joe is standing or mid-air. When crouching creates a legsweep. Kicks can be upgraded to Red Hot Kick and sliding.

L BUTTON – VFX Slow Motion.

R BUTTON – VFX Mach Speed.

B BUTTON – Activates VFX Zoom. Then use the C STICK UP or DOWN to zoom in or out.

Z BUTTON – Skips movies.

START – Pauses the game. A different despondent phrase is spoken by the director in each episode.

On-Screen

Like all great 2D brawlers vital information is displayed on screen at all times. They mean the following:

V-Watch is glowing...

V-Watch is glowing...

Life Mark – Joe's energy level. Hearts are lost when Joe takes damage the amount of which varies between the enemies and hazards. It can be upgraded to a maximum of 15.

VFX Gauge – Once transformed, and Joe uses his VFX Powers the gauge is drained. This gauge monitors its strength. When the gauge is empty Joe will return to his human form (and hence very vulnerable) and will recover.

The gauge will reset to its initial level (first large bar) at the start of the next episode.

V-Film / Total to Find – These are used to extend the VFX Gauge. Collecting 50 will add a Mass Unit to the gauge. These are usually found in small collections and up to 50% of them in an episode maybe out of sight or otherwise hidden. They like to hide above the larger pink ? boxes. They are only collected once. Upon restart after dying, any uncollected will remain for collection.

Viewtifuls Earned – This is the currency of the game and are earned by defeating enemies and collecting the V-Medals they will drop as well as any bonuses. These are also known as V-Points which are earned by defeating enemies in VFX scenes. They get converted to Viewtifuls.

Remaining Lives (Bottom-Left) – 00 indicates last life and Game Over will happen upon death. It is possible continue but this will be at the beginning of an episode.

Task (Bottom-Right) – Each scene will have a task to fulfill in order to advance and anything here will be a clue. It could be locating a key or simply defeating remaining enemies. Appears when necessary.

Joe's V-Watch - There will be instances where Joe's V-Watch will begin to shine. Use it to solve problems. It is alerting you to something nearby which is usually a clue to the task required to exit the scene.

Voomerangs, Shocking Pink(s) remaining – These icons appear after being purchased.

Boss Health Bar – Indicates how much energy a boss has remaining. This can be filled more than once as bosses get stronger. When on red it indicates they are close to being defeated.

Basic Combat

The key to VJ is the dodging of enemy attacks and then unleashing devastating attacks on them using the VFX powers.

In a basic brawl:

Joe encounters an enemy and they prepare to attack.

The skull symbol appears. Take note of whether this is head level or ground level.

Dodge the attack by means of a high dodge or low dodge.

A successful doge will make the enemy go dizzy with SLOW and spinning stars or chicks flying around their heads.

Attack! Either with basic punches/kicks or activating a VFX power and then attacking.

Attacks from enemies can come in a variety of forms including projectiles and in later scenes, there will be several attacking at once so keeping a track of when and whether the attack is low or high will be essential. With practice the timing will become easier.

Also, it is much easier to gauge which dodge is needed on a flat surface rather than on a slope or set of steps. This will become more evident with several enemies preparing to attack at once.

It is possible to attack some enemies before they have attempted to attack you first but it will take longer to defeat them and lower score derived.

VFX Powers

The three VFX Powers transform the world around Joe creating VFX Scenes and make the combat both thrilling and safer. When active, film reels appear across the top and bottom of the screen.

VFX Powers

Slow – L BUTTON – Makes everything go into slow motion Matrix-style. Hitting slow when landing a punch will amplify its impact 10 times. The same is for explosions and chandeliers hitting the ground. It will also make anything airborne via a rotor descend. The effect can be nuanced by timed releasing from its use.

Mach Speed – R BUTTON – Makes everything speed up. When Joe attacks he can set enemies and objects on fire! It will also make anything airborne by a rotor ascend.

VFX Slow VFX Mach Speed

Zoom – B BUTTON then C STICK UP and DOWN to zoom in and out to execute devastatingly powerful attacks.

Punches become superfast and kicks become 360o swirls. Jumping becomes a high-powered tornado drive that can break through ceilings and stomping creates shockwaves on the floor knocking down enemies and breaking through floors. Red Hot Kick looks absolutely spectacular!

VFX Zoom - Punch VFX Zoom - Kick
Red Hot Kick with Zoom VFX Stomp

The key to VFX is knowing which one is most appropriate at that time (the game will drop hints in places) and will also need to be used in combination.

Key to remember is that using VFX Powers drains the VFX Gauge and when depleted Joe will become 'Average Joe' and therefore very vulnerable. It will drain twice as fast when coming VFX powers.

Also remember that when a VFX Power is in use Joe is not invincible. When hit, a large amount of the VFX bar is used up to prevent dropping back to 'Average Joe'.

Combo, Target Rock-On and Scoring

Clattering enemies with punches/kicks and the use of VFX Powers earns Viewtifuls/V-Points which are converted into V-Medals and used to buy Power-Ups.

Combat basics combined with Combos and Target Rock-On hits during a single VFX scene is the key to earning lots of V-medals – and the game will reward accordingly -up to 9999 for a single bout.

Combos – The V-Mark will appear upon first engaging an enemy be it a dodge or attack. It will be worth 10 Viewtifuls. It will remain active for a very short period before disappearing.

Engaging another enemy whilst this is still active will begin the Combo and each move in the combo be them another dodge or attack will rank up another 10 Viewtifuls, and so on.

As the window is so small, this is where VFX Slow is useful. When used at this point it will keep the combo window open but also activate Target Rock-On.

Target Rock-On – Enemies will have targets appear on them. Then, each successful punch/kick to an enemy will then multiply the value of the V-Marks. For example, with 3 V-Marks on screen, then doing 2 Rock-On hits will give 60 Viewtifuls. This is an X-Bonus.

Earning V-Marks

V-Marks and Target Rock-On active whilst in VFX Slow (X-Bonus)

Whilst Target Rock-On is active there is opportunity to earn big and do allot of damage. By knocking enemies into each other using either a punch or kick it causes a domino effect. Continuing to do this will increase Viewtifuls greatly (and the audience will react accordingly). This technique can also do major damage to bosses. Also, any enemy flailing across the screen will collect any V-Films in their path.

Some areas of the scene may have targets appear on them also indicating the object can be destroyed. Punch/kick then however, it's usually safer to send an enemy flying in that direction. Support items can be dropped upon destruction.

VFX Zoom - used whilst in Target Rock-On will not only deal more damage to enemies but will allow the blasting of them away where any impacts will do major damage.

After the initial dodge (at the point of using VFX Slow) using VFX Mach Speed instead will rank up more V-Marks and work to break open background boxes. Then activating Target Rock-On will have more V-Marks to multiply for a larger X-Bonus.

Putting it Together

A simple X-Bonus would be:

Dodge, V-mark is activated (10 Viewtifuls earned), hit VFX Slow, punch or kick as many enemies as possible aiming them towards each other or at pieces of scenery.

A more rewarding X-Bonus would be:

Several dodges, (V-marks activated), hit VFX Fast for more V-Marks, Hit VFX Slow, punch or kick as many enemies as possible aiming them towards each other or at pieces of scenery.

A much more rewarding X-Bonus would be:

Several dodges, (V-marks activated), hit VFX Fast for more V-Marks, Hit VFX Slow, VFX Zoom In punch or kick as many enemies as possible aiming them towards each other or at pieces of scenery and use other special moves such as Sliding and Red Hot Kick to eliminate all enemies onscreen.

This may read as complicated but it all happens within seconds and there is only the need to dodge and attack. Just watch the games opening demos to see how it all comes together nicely to soon find yourself becoming aware of the importance of spatial awareness, as well as proper placement of Joe among the enemies ready to nicely dispatch them in the coolest way. The control pad will rumble with satisfaction as enemies impact the floor or walls.

The Joker and his Fruit Machine

Jokers can be formidable enemies. Not only do they fight like other enemies, but they may not show a danger symbol, can have guns and be supported by missile drops.

They are always accompanied by a fruit machine which serves as the means to exit a scene as it will spit out a key or another essential object. Whilst not technically an enemy it can injure by getting three danger marks and become electrified. It can also help by rewarding support items.

Matching three V's will win the key item.

Matching three V-Medals will reward a few thousand V-Medals. This can be done only once.

Matching three burgers wins a single burger. This can be done several times.

Jokers Fruit Machine The Joker

Jokers Fruit Machine

There will be several of them throughout the game and mostly using VFX slow will ensure getting the desired result though some will need to be operated with VFX Zoom also.

Tempting as it is to stock up on burgers and V-Medals, keep in mind it will count towards completion time and ranking.

Frog Bombs

These orange spiky swine's appear in the higher difficulty modes such as V-Rated. They are well placed for maximum trickery indoors and outdoors so extra vigilance is key.

Frog Bomb

Frog Bombs

They will make a leap and then explode. They can be destroyed with a Target Rock-On.

The explosions can be used to an advantage to damage nearby enemies.

Support Items

All throughout the game support items are collected. These can be dropped by enemies, destruction of a piece of background or most likely from either the small ? boxes or the larger pink ? boxes.

Burger

Burger – Restores on heart on the life bar. If the bar is already full then 10 V-Points are given.

Small Meal

Meal – Restores 3 hearts on the life bar in Kids difficulty.

Big 'Real' Meal

Big 'Real' Meal – Restores 5 hearts on the life bar in Kids difficulty.

Small Blue Bottle of Juice

Small Blue Bottle of Juice – Restores a small amount of VFX power. If the gauge is already full it will add a little extra shown as green into the next mass unit. Small bottles provide about 20% of a mass unit.

Large Blue Bottle of Juice

Large Blue Bottle of Juice. - Restores 1 mass unit of VFX power.

Large Red Bottle of Juice

Large Red Bottle of Juice – Will make VFX power infinite! But only for a short amount of time. A mysterious sound plays whilst this is active.

V-Medals

V-Medals – Dropped by defeated enemies, broken out of large pink ? boxes or from the Jokers Fruit machine. They attract towards Joe when in a certain range otherwise they vanish after a short time. They vary in size with the largest medals rewarding the most.

V-Film

Worth x1. Scattered throughout each episode.

Red V-Film

Red V-Film – Worth 10 V-Films. Quite rare.

Yellow V-Film

Yellow V-Film – Worth 20 V-Films. More rare.

Controller

Controller – Will stun all the enemies on screen in a lightening flash.

Helmet

Helmet – Extra life. Found in boxes or dropped by larger enemies.

Background Pink Boxes Background Pink Boxes

Background Boxes

Break Time

Break Time is at the end of each chapter and where Joe can buy and selection of Power-Ups using collected V-Points that will dramatically improve his odds of taking down the enemies.

Think wisely about which upgrades to buy and when. This will be easier to judge after a few run throughs. If you are struggling with a certain chapter consider changing the Power-Ups bought.

Power-Up ShopPower-Up Shop

Power-Up Shop

Viewtiful Joe Power-Up Shop

Upgrade

Cost (Pts)

Description

Cheese Burger

1000

Restores one heart on the life bar.

Shocking Pink

1500

Produce bombs from out of thin air, and send them flying with a kick! (Hold down the KICK button)

Voomerang

2000

A smooth move that lets you use the V-Emblem like a boomerang. (Hold down the PUNCH button)

Sliding

5000

Skid along the ground and kick. A slick move. Control Stick DOWN + KICK button

Air Joe

8000

A beautiful flying punch-kick combo attack.

Red Hot Kick

8000

A fantastic aerial diving drop kick. (While jumping Control Stick DOWN + KICK button). Two can be performed back-to-back.

Mach Speed

10000, 20000, 30000

Levels 1 2 and 3.

Have up to six of yourself appearing and moving at Mach Speed. These will attack enemies, deflect missiles and background pink boxes. (Auto activates when using VFX Mach Speed)

Viewtiful Forever

20000

Strike a pose that's just too cool, and damage all the enemies on the screen. A killer technique. (In VFX Slow, dodge enemy attacks and Zoom In)

Ukemi

30000

When Joe is hit, react to the fall and reduce damage to a minimum. A magic move. (Before falling, VFX Zoom In)

VFX Turbo Charger

30000

Double the rate of recovery on the VFX gauge.

Life

1000

Life gauge goes up one. The price will increase with each purchase.

Take 2

10000

Even if all lives are gone, restart from the point where Joe died.

L.I.V

1000

Short for 'Life is Viewtiful'. Joe gets one more life. The price will increase with each purchase.

Main Menu

New Game – Begins a new game. Initially there are two difficulties available: Kids and Adults.

Load Game – Loads a previous game.

Config. (Options) - Only allows for the change of button assignments, sound quality and to toggle the rumble ability of the GC controller.

THE EPISODES (SCREENSHOTS)

There are 7 episodes in the game that will take Joe from the grounds of a lush country estate to a space station. There are seamless cut-scenes between them. Thankfully like most GC games loading times are short at approx. 5 seconds usually.

Each episode has three chapters (except No. 6), and chapters have scenes with a mission such as taking out a quota of enemies or task to complete such as finding a key. Larger scenes will have Checkpoints for Joe to return to should he die.

Task Item

Task Item

At the end of a scene, Joes performance is rated based on:

V-Point – Amount collected and earned through combat.

Defense – How many hits Joe took. There will be an extra bonus for no damage.

Time – The quicker the better.

A rainbowed Viewtiful is the highest ranking with 'D' being the lowest.

Larger scenes will have Checkpoints for Joe to return to should he die.

At the end of a chapter is Break Time allowing progress to be saved and Power-Up's bought.

At the end of the episode all the ratings are averaged into a final rating and a bonus given.

Scene Rating Episode Rating

Scene Rating

Episode Rating

At the very end of the credits there will be a ranking for the entire game.

By modern standards it is a relatively short games as each episode can be completed in about 30 minutes. But considering how intense they can be – that is not a bad thing.

Below you will find a shot to every scene in the game. Select any image for the full set. They are separated due to there being many images. Note: Episode 7 shots contains spoilers!

Episode 1: Joe The Hero

Episode 1 Screenshots Episode 1 Screenshots

Episode 2: Some Like It Red Hot

Episode 2 Screenshots Episode 2 Screenshots

Episode 3: 2,000,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Episode 3 Screenshots Episode 3 Screenshots

Episode 4: The Viewtiful Escape

Episode 4 Screenshots Episode 4 Screenshots

Episode 5: The Midknight Thunderboy

Episode 5 Screenshots Episode 5 Screenshots

Episode 6: The Magnificent 5

Episode 6 Screenshots Episode 6 Screenshots

Episode 7: Joe & Sylvia

Episode 7 Screenshots Episode 7 Screenshots

ESSENTIAL TIPS

Exploring for Support Items

Always use the double-jump to explore above. There is a fair height not immediately visible on the screen. It is easy to run underneath essential support items. For example, V-Films can usually be found on top of the larger pink ? boxes and do not destroy a chandelier before jumping on it and exploring above.

Exploring High Places

Also, explore any new area before activating a VFX as doing so might make the area more dangerous and/or any support items inaccessible. For example, filling a chamber with water (Episode 2 chapter 1, scene 2)

Caught Fire

If Joe is set alight by a fire, enemy or lava then use the VFX Fast to quickly cool off.

Joe on Fire!

And wherever there is lava enemies can be knocked into it.

Scoring High

When in VFX Slow try to collect any dropped juice to continue collecting V-Points.

Carrying Task Items

Joe can only carry one 'task item' at once so keep this in mind if wanting to maintain a good time bonus as to avoid backtracking in situations of more than one item.

Power-Ups (Sequence)

This is only general advice.

Buy combat skills over other items first as they will earn more V-Medals which will be needed sooner.

The most useful to get early in the game will be: Red Hot kick, Mach Speed (as there are plenty of boxes in Episode 2), then hearts, then the VFX Turbo Charger by Episode 3.

Try not to buy lives early on as their price increases.

Reaching High V-Films and Boxes

Sometimes even Joe's double-jump is not high enough to reach these. Use VFX Slow and an uppercut to send enemies flying up to grab them for you.

A pink ? box falling from a height will damage an enemy should it land on them.

Pink Box Dropped

Background Pink Boxes

These get attacked when Joe uses Mach Speed on an enemy. Smaller Joe's will attack the boxes in the background. The higher the Mach Speed Level the more Smaller Joe’s there are and the quicker they are bust open.

It may be necessary to lure enemies back towards them if there are none left to Mach Speed against but also Shocking Pink bombs can be used.

Grabbing Enemies (Bats, Fish etc)

Some smaller enemies can grab Joe leaving him vulnerable. Wiggle the analogue stick left and right quickly to be released.

Bomb Turrets

These can be destroyed from behind and will usually yield something useful like a small meal or V-Films.

The Cromarty Code (Black Ninjas)

These pesky enemies should not be underestimated as when in a group with Joe in the middle they have the ability to knock a few hearts from the health bar almost immediately as Joe does not flinch. And they are fast!

The best strategy is to isolate and destroy, however, there is a patten to engaging them successfully.

They will have an attack sequence of four moves and can only be stunned when avoiding all four.

Only the first two will be known with danger markers then these will alternate making four.

Examples: Down, Up, Up, Down and Down, Down, Up, Up.

In Ultra V-Rated difficulty, attack markers are not shown at all!

Other Cromarty's carry weapons. The Bazooka-Cromarty can have its bullet rebounded whereas the Grenade-Cromarty fires a homing shot with considerable reach that must be avoided.

Black Thunder

Joe can stand on these enemies for movement about the screen and there maybe support items high in the air. However, never attempt to stand on them when the blades are red.

Red Blades

Before Boss Fights

Take stock of your health because you will be going in with same amount of health before the last scene ended.

Upon Completion...

Upon Completing the game, it can be started over by selecting 'Joe Must Go On' but with all Joes acquired powers and health etc. This helps to earn Rainbow Viewtiful's on the very first scenes.

Episode Specific Tips

Below are some tips specific to each episode. They are mostly locating extra fights which will reward V-Films and extra lives.

Episode 2

Head left at the very start for quite a large battle of x14 enemies to defeat. It will reward a Red V-Film (x10). This can be done later in the first chapter by backtracking.

Electricity Generator

In the sewers after the half way flag, continue battling the bats and the Bianki's until no more come onto the screen even after getting the gate open. Defeating all will reward a yellow V-Film (x5).

The Bus

Roughly activate VFX Slow the moment the bus angles upwards and hold for 7 seconds. It should be enough to arrive safely on the other side. Red Hot Kick is a good skill to have as it can be used to clear any large gaps remaining.

Underneath the landing spot there is a small box containing a yellow V-Film (x5).

Episode 3

At the start when Joe is descending, use Voomerangs to collect more of the boxes if unable to reach them.

Use Shocking Pinks and Voomerangs to destroy the Guard devices if there are no enemies around for collisions.

Episode 4

Failing to complete the episode in the correct order will make it restart after defeating boss Another Joe.

Grab the controller and head up the shaft heading towards the bridge.

Rotate the sub and leave the bridge. That concludes the first chapter.

Drop down to the beginning and head left for some extra enemies and V-Films.

Head all the way to the right into the torpedo launcher dropping down and continuing rightward through the rotating cogs. Use VFX Slow to stop them. Drop down into the torpedo loading room.

Activate the gate and touch the three pillars where indicated to deactivate the torpedoes.

Head back upwards and then left. The cogs will be rotating. Continue left heading towards the bridge for the second time.

Before heading to the bridge for the second time, continue left towards the start for some extra battles and guards which will provide more V-Films and extra lives. Rotate the sub.

Exit the bridge and drop back down. Then when leaving the bridge again and dropping down, go left again to the start of the episode for yet more battles. There will be 3 Gelby's giving red V-Films (10x2) and an extra life. Also a pink ? in the background (in the tube). Head rightward again to the torpedo launcher. Dropping down into the Engine Room concludes the chapter.

Then it is the boss fight with Another Joe. After this there is the final section of the escape with is against a time limit.

Boss Another Joe can be knocked into the electric pit to inflict more damage quickly. Destroying his Six Machine will provide a burger. Voomerangs are useful for eliminating the clusters of Joe bombs that attack.

Episode 5

Head left at the very start for an extra fight with two Gelby's. It will reward an extra life and a large meal. This can be done later in the first chapter by backtracking.

Arrow in Lava

After reaching the halfway flag, a group of V-Films will form an arrow pointing down into the lava. By following these with a stomp it will reward V-Film and Extra Life. Be warned – very precise targeting is required to avoid taking damage.

Top of the Shaft

Above the arrow pointing downwards is a fan platform. Use VFX Slow to bring it into view. Then ride it and VFX Fast to reach the very top of the shaft. There will be a room to the right with four large pink boxes containing: Extra Life, x2 Red V-Films (x20) and Real Meal.

The Jokers Fruit Machine requires a bomb kicking into the pipe in the bottom-right of the room and then VFX Slow when standing on the machine for the explosion to lift Joe back to the streets. Before doing this getting three Viewtifuls will reward a Red V-Film (x10).

At the end of chapter 2 when needing to put the brakes on the train, keep in mind the button has to be kept pressed for at approx. 10 seconds.

Boss Alastor can be kicked into the lava to deal more damage. Deflect the swords and they injure him. Destroy the flying pillars with VFX Zoom and Punch to get burgers from them.

Episode 6

To greatly increase the chances of defeating Lord Fire Leo make sure you have purchased the VFX Turbo Charger and collected all the V-Films.

Episode 7

In Scene 3 of Chapter 1, in the central core there is a room at the very top that contain four large pink boxes containing: Extra Life, V-Medals x2, Red V-Film (x10).

In Chapter 2, when riding the platform on the conveyor there are numerous V-Films above and below. Keeping alive the less tough enemies that arrive at the start will make it easier to collect them whilst in combat. The tougher enemies can be defeated at the top when it has stopped moving.

Extra's to Unlock

Completing the game in various modes offers rewards. My word, you will want to back up your save file.

Unlock V-Rated Mode - Beat game in Adult Mode.

Unlock Ultra V-Rated Mode - Beat game in V-Rated Mode

Unlock Super Mode - Earn Rainbow V rank in all levels. Start a new game and choose the same character you earned the Rainbow V ranks with and select them with Z. Super Mode gives the character unlimited FX.

When playing the game on an increased difficulty, several factors are changed such as:

Starting Life bar/hearts. Kids = 10, Adults = 5, V-Rated = 5 and Ultra V-Rated = 5.

The amount of time enemies recover from dizziness.

The impact of a hit even from the weakest of enemies and hazards.

Placement of largest enemies.

The initial cost of Power-Ups.

The appearance of Frog Bombs.

When an extra difficulty mode is unlocked it is available to all characters.

Play as Sylvia - Beat the game in Adult mode.

Play as Alastor - Beat game in V-Rated Mode.

Play as Captain Blue - Beat game in Ultra V-Rated Mode.

SOUNDTRACK

The soundtrack was a combination effort of composer Masami Ueda (Devil May Cry, Okami), but was chiefly composed by Gyakuten Saiban's Masakazu Sugimori.

The official soundtrack has all the songs from the game plus a few bonus tracks including a 'live' performance of ‘Viewtiful World’ from Joe himself along with characters from the game in a music video using the graphics engine. That video is a bonus which becomes unlocked after completing the game. It is still available on YouTube. Unfortunately, it is in Japanese – but sounds rather catchy.

Viewtiful Joe Soundtrack

There are 36 tracks in total.

1. Brighter Side [Opening #1]
2. Spirit Awake [Opening #2]
3. And You [Ending #1]
4. Shangri-La (Tôgenkyo) [Ending #3]
5. Mounting the V-Watch
6. Fighting Theme Song
7. Training for Ultimate Skills
8. Joe's Theme [Piano Version]
9. Main Title from Movie Sound Track (Fanfare)
10. All Mighty Leader Appears
11. All Mighty Leader Abducts Silvia
12. Overwhelming Power of the All Mighty Leader
13. Bloodthirsty
14. Joe's Theme [Cyber Mix]
15. Joe Fascinated by Captain Blue
16. Joe's Determination
17. Joe Masters the Power
18. Appreciation
19. Friendship
20. Exchanges Between the Two
21. Joe's Theme [Jazz Version]
22. Battle A
23. Battle B
24. Showdown
25. Sprocket Arrives
26. Prologue
27. Battle Scene
28. Training in Super Powers B
29. A Private Moment
30. VJ Theme Arranged
31. All Mighty Leader's World of Darkness
32. Joe's Theme [Scratch Mix]
33. Brighter Side [English Version]
34. And You [English Version]
35. Spirit Awake [English Version]
36. Viewtiful World (Performed By Viewtiful Joe)

Along with the game, the soundtrack release got very positive reviews with another release which also includes VJ2.

These can be found at places such as Amazon and Ebay fairly easily.

Viewtiful World

Viewtiful World

PS2 VERSION

Capcom clearly eager to get VJ to the masses (this market was massive in comparison) ported the game to the PS2 and like its forbearer is one of the most unique and stylish on that platform as well.

Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version) (European)

Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version)

It is essentially the same as the GC version with a tweak mostly to that of the difficulty level being much easier – initially and a new 'Sweet' mode added which removes much of the game's difficulty.

A few other secret characters are available but more over the perk for PS2 owners was the addition of Dante from Devil May Cry as a playable character. And this is no gimmicky inclusion: he's a fully fledged character with cut scenes and purchasable Power-Ups such as the Sparda Kick.

PS2 Version
Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version) Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version)
Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version) Viewtiful Joe (PS2 Version)

Clover Studio have done a fantastic job in getting the game engine over and is a fantastic example of a quality port. There is a bit of slowdown in places but this is tolerable. All the graphics and sounds have come over with very little difference though the sound effects are of slightly lower quality. Overall, it received equally rave reviews and critical acclaim here.

If you want to play it then you will have to find the physical disc which can be found for a bargain around £8 on Ebay but another essential game for the players collection.

It is also playable on PS2 Emulators.

VIEWTIFUL JOE 2

There has only been one direct sequel with two spin-off titles.

A sequel was released for Gamecube and PS2 in 2004 (2005 for Europe).

Following on immediately from the last game (as all great sequels do) Joe and Syliva find themselves in Movieworld fighting the malevolent Black Emperor and a bizarre array of enemies (some seen before) as they attempt to recover the 7 Rainbow Oscars.

Viewtiful Joe 2 (Gamecube) (European)

Viewtiful Joe 2 (Gamecube) (European)

Episode 1: Ten-Million Years B.C.

Viewtiful Joe 2: Episode 1: Ten-Million Years B.C.
Viewtiful Joe 2: Episode 1: Ten-Million Years B.C.
Viewtiful Joe 2: Ten-Million Years B.C. Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 1
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 1 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 2
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 3 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 2 Scene 1
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 2 Scene 2 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 2 Scene 3
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 2 Scene 3 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 1
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 2 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 3
Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 4 Viewtiful Joe 2 Episode 1 Chapter 1 Scene 4

The gameplay remains fairly unchanged: allot of action with spurious puzzles thrown in to hinder progress. The game is shorter and more balanced towards the puzzle solving.

New stuff to the game includes the ability to play as Silvia from the start with her own set of moves and powers such as VFX Replay. She can be tagged in and out at any time and some areas make switching essential. No Co-op.

Joe's Six Machine returns and can transform into more forms when needed.

A new feature in the game is The 36 Chambers; a collection of survival missions where groups of enemies have to be defeated within a time limit. These are unlocked as you progress through the story mode.

It will be decent challenge but nowhere near as punishing as the first game and completing the game grants some items to unlock.

There are no differences between the two versions in terms of content and extras. In comparison, the GC version is as the better version with clearer graphics (especially so with 480p progressive scan), cleaner audio and shorter loading times but it would be harsh to suggest it's far a superior version.

The graphics have changed very little are still outstanding if not being a little better with a little tweak to the presentation. The music is still cool with catchy themes throughout.

Reviews were very positive with the only criticisms being that it was too similar to the first game but unfortunately it failed again to score a massive hit.

The GC version is the most expensive with prices around £50 whereas the PS2 version can be found for roughly half that.

The PS2 version can be played in an emulator.

SPIN-OFFS

Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube and PSP)

The third game in the console series is more of a spin off. It is a mission based 2D brawler similar to the likes of another Capcom brawler Power Stone 2 (Dreamcast).

Captain Blue has retired from being a superhero and has turned his hand at directing a movie. He's has a problem: casting the lead role, though, so along with his sexy but otherwise uninteresting assistant, Sprocket, Captain Blue hatches a plan to hold an audition in the form of a series of all-out brawls. The toughest and most stylish will certainly win, and he or she will be cast as the lead in the movie.

Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube)
Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube) Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube)
Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube) Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (Gamecube)
Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (PSP)
Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (PSP) Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (PSP)
Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (PSP) Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble (PSP)

Basically, the goal is to defeat the other rivals by means of the highest points which are scored by a mixture of objectives - not necessarily pounding them - like collecting items before a time limit and defeating a set number of enemies.

There is an array of returning characters and some new additions with up to 4 players simultaneously competing. (on the Gamecube).

In this game VFX Powers more like Power-Ups that last for a short amount of time for scoring larger amounts of points that can shift the balance of a match quickly.

It has the same slick presentation as the previous games and the music is in the same style.

Reception was lukewarm. The change in gameplay from a fun adventure to arena fights disappointed those who wanted a true sequel but the action itself was too frantic to be enjoyable to those used to the tight controls of the previous two games. Results in button mashing rather than more structured controls.

The PSP version has a few extras most notably Dante from Devil May Cry as a playable character but extras mostly consist of characters with secondary EX costumes. Game sharing is available for including more players.

The GC version can be found for around £25 and PSP version for about £10. As an aside, the PSP version can be played in a PSP emulator.

Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (Nintendo DS)

Released in 2005 for the DS.

Double Trouble takes place in a theme park called Movieland. As Captain Blue wraps up his latest film, a group of sinister villains known as Madow show up and snatch the film. Joe's little sister, Jasmine, an aspiring actress, sets off to get the film back, and Joe follows her to make sure she doesn't get into too much trouble.

Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (Nintendo DS)

Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (Nintendo DS) (European)

Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (Nintendo DS)
Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble (Nintendo DS) Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble (Nintendo DS) Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble (Nintendo DS) Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble (Nintendo DS)

Double Trouble takes a much more puzzle-focused approach to the standard side-scrolling beat-'em-up formula of the console games with far less frantic on-screen action most likely due to the limitation of the platform.

Along with the familiar abilities VFX Slow is the new VFX Scratch ability that allows affecting an area by means of rubbing a fingernail on the touchscreen. This creates an earthquake making objects fall off perches to then be used against enemies or solve puzzles.

The standout feature is Scene Splitting made possible only by the DS's dual-screens where a horizontal swipe across the lower screen splits the environment into two parts. It's used allot for solving puzzles and for combat.

Also, there is Screen Sliding by means of stroking the lower screen downward which will bring the upper display down to the bottom. This allows interaction with environmental objects since the upper screen has objects in the current level. A good example is the need to press a switch. Bring it down and then press it with your finger literally.

Like the other games, it got very positive reviews.

Clover have done well to bring the games familiar presentation style to the handheld and graphically it is It's a very impressive title for the platform.

It can be found for around £20.

It can be played in DS emulators.

MISC INFO

LINKS

Official Nintendo Page

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-GameCube/Viewtiful-Joe-269292.html

Wiki at IGN

https://www.ign.com/wikis/viewtiful-joe/

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