Reviewed on game cube

Viewtiful Joe

Reviewed By: Tim Houseman
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: GameCube
Produced by: Capcom
Price Range: $21-30
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Overall Rating:
Genre: Adventure
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
   (excellent)
Violence: 3 of 5
   (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5
   (mild)

Viewtiful Joe.  Illustration copyrighted.
Like any good story, this one is all about getting the girl (back). Your girlfriend has been kidnapped and it's up to you to save her. Yes that's right, you must save her from movieland! (and no, not hollywood).

Gameplay:
Thus begins Vietiful Joe, with an opening cutscene of Joe and his girlfriend Sulvia watching an oldtime hero movie about “Captain Blue.” Sylvia isn't very interesting in the movie, just making out with Joe (a small part of the objectionable content, as Sylvia seems to have more on her mind that just kissing). Joe however has been looking forward to this movie for a very long time. And it does not disapoint, especially when a giant robot hand comes out of the screen, Joe exclaims about the great graphics of the movie, at least until the robot hand snatches Sylvia right into the movie screen! So Joe follows, which launches him into one of the most delightful adventures found on any game system today.

Screenshot

The action begins after a few mentoring lessons from Captain Blue himself. In these lessons Joe learns the basics of combat (punch, kick) and in later lessons, the advanced Viewtiful Effects (VFX) which are critical to the game.

The violence is very minimal as you are usually only fighting what appear to be robots, and all your attacks merely make them spit out nuts and bolts. The boss battles when you are not fighting robots have no blood, and the punching and kicking are very cartoony sounding. This is helped by the graphic style of this game, known as “cel-shading” the entire game appears as if it is no more than a comic book or cartoon come to life.

Offensive Material:
I don't seem to recall any offensive language in this game. Thus I give the language a null factor.

This game is rated “Teen” for cartoon violence (explained above) and suggestive themes. I want to focus on the latter, because that to me is the offensive part of this game. Throughout the game you are fighting in a pseudo 3D world, where the world appears to be 3 dimensional but you move along a predetermined 2 dimensional path. The background of the 3 dimensional level is where the offensive content lies. In the second “episode” (read: level) much of the level lies in the streets of a downtown area complete with “Exotic Dance Clubs.” Their are topless woman on billboards in the background and signs proclaiming “Topless AND Bottomless” the only reason I give this a "some offensive material" rating is because all these elements are in the background and can easily be missed in the action (I myself did not notice them until about halfway through the level) and it is of course still very cartoony. This part of the game can be gotten through in relatively little time and does not rear its ugly head again. However it can be VERY offensive while it does appear.

Commendable Material:
Not much falls under this category, the game is mostly a simple beat 'em up. However the bosses offer some unique problem solving skills developement as they can sometimes be rather difficult to beat without learning their weaknesses first. Same goes for various puzzles scattered throughout the game.

Summary:
Barring the nudity in the second level this game has almost no objectionable content and plays very well. For a simple beat 'em up the combat can be supriseling deep. Replay value is sketchy, while there really isn't much content to unlock, it offers a massive challenge on the harder difficulty levels (there are 2 unlockable difficulty levels, both of which are extremely difficult).

Violence: Very Mild / Language: None / Nudity: Mild-Cartoon


Year of Release—2003



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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