I doubt we’ve seen the last of Viewtiful Joe.
When Capcom deleted Clover studios and reassimilated those who were left there a few months ago, the first reaction from most Clover fans was a collective “aw-dangit”. Those of us who’ve enjoyed every Clover product we’ve gotten our hands on were sad to think we’d never see another new one, perhaps even a port of quality titles like Okami to platforms the rest of us play.
Well, naturally, while Clover is gone in name, most of the crew is still on at Capcom, and their games and IPs all belong to Capcom. So while we may not see the purple logo again, we could easily see more games of equal or greater quality. Let’s have a look at Viewtiful Joe, which despite the stupid name is a great series of games.
There have been four distinct Viewtiful Joe games. Viewtiful Joe (GCN/PS2), Viewtiful Joe 2 (GCN/PS2), Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (GCN/PSP), and Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (DS). For those not familiar with what the series is about, picture a 2D side-scroller with all 3D modeled characters, done entirely in a highly stylized cel-shaded look, very heavy on the special effects. There are great similarities to the classic Mega Man series (and the series shared some developers with Mega Man, if I’m not mistaken) but most of the fighting is fisticuffs rather than firefight, though there’s no shortage of bullets, missiles and lasers.
The hook in the game is that the hero, Joe, whose concept comes entirely from classic Japanese manga heroes (think Power Rangers decades ago but cool) has a watch that lets him bend time, slowing it down, speeding it up, creating other movie-themed special effects. The effects are used in battle and also to solve light puzzles.
The thing the series is mainly known for is its staggering difficulty. If it were easy, the games would be very short. As it stands, they packed a lot of challenge and variety and some really funny character interactions in a small package, and drew it out by making it really, really hard.
Only Red Hot Rumble, which is a straight fighting game featuring all the characters from the VJ universe, with lots of special effects, reviewed badly. The rest of the games are excellent. And on the Gamecube, all the games sold very well and made Capcom a lot of money. It would seem a no-brainer for Capcom to begin or continue work on a Viewtiful Joe 3 and put it on all current platforms.
Anyone else here hoping to see the poorly-named franchise live on?Tags: capcom, clover, mega man, okami, viewtiful joe