Viewtiful Joe 2 PlayStation 2
Published by Capcom
Developed by CloverStudio Co. Ltd.
Release Date: Out Now
Viewtiful Joe 2, an introduction.
When Viewtiful Joe appeared on the GameCube, just over a year and a half ago, the game impressed all who played it. Playing as Joe, the boy who literally was drawn into a movie, you had to rescue your girlfriend Silvia. The game played out as a side-scrolling fighting game with a gentle sprinkling of puzzles. The presentation of Viewtiful Joe was stunning (cel-shaded graphics included) and the game played really well. In fact what let the game down was the complete lack of subtitles and captions which not only robbed deaf gamers of the story but also made the game more difficult because sounds often acted as a warning of approaching enemies.
What's the game about?
Joe and Silvia have returned once more and this time they set out to rescue Movie Land. Movie Land has come under threat from the Black Emperor who has decided to steal all of the Rainbow Oscars. Rainbow Oscars are said to give films happy endings so it's essential they are reclaimed. Captain Blue has also returned and has been transformed into a Blue Oscar and is being held captive on one of Black's flying saucers. Naturally Joe, along with Silvia, has to save the day and the game for the most part plays out similarly to the original game, so if you enjoyed Viewtiful Joe you are going to appreciate what's on offer here.
What's good about the game?
Everything that was good about Viewtiful Joe has returned for this sequel. One of the few changes is the introduction of the Viewtiful Touch. Viewtiful Joe 2 allows you to not only control Joe but Silvia too. Viewtiful Touch is when you change which character you control. Pressing the R2 button will allow you to switch to Silvia from Joe and vice versa. Joe has the same VFX powers as in the first game but Silvia has a Replay VFX power. As before the VFX powers are essential for dispatching troublesome enemies and solving puzzles. Silvia seems to move quicker than Joe and also has a laser gun to take enemies out.
What's not so good about the game?
The major gripe with Viewtiful Joe 2 is that once again it's not that deaf gamer friendly. We'll comment on this more below.
How does it look?
Essentially the game looks almost identical to the first game. This is no bad thing of course as Viewtiful Joe looked great and likewise Viewtiful Joe 2 looks equally impressive. Once again the stylised cel-shaded look has been retained and an imitation film grain has been used as an overlay to create a classic movie look to the game. This PlayStation 2 version of the game does suffer from frame rate drops from time to time. It's nothing that really harms the game and the slowdown never occurs at critical points but nevertheless it is noticeable.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
We commented in the introduction how the first game was not the most deaf gamer friendly game and it's disappointing to report that Viewtiful Joe 2 offers no improvement and is equally disappointing. To put it simply there are no subtitles and there are no options to enable them. Text does appear for the 'CUT CUT CUT' when Joe is killed and the 'Ready, Action' when you continue after being killed. Tutorial messages are also shown in text which does enable you to get to grips with the controls but that's your lot. In essence then you'll completely miss out on the story, the characters comments and all warning sounds that might indicate an approaching enemy. With a game of this quality the disappointment is even more crushing but all we can do is hope that the next Viewtiful Joe game has subtitles and that we are not saying the same things for a third time in a row.
In a nutshell if you appreciated what Viewtiful Joe had to offer you should definitely pick up Viewtiful Joe 2. Whilst the story may be different from the first game the game play is more or less the same and just as enjoyable. The addition of Silvia and her new VFX power adds a little variation but it doesn't change the formula much at all. It's only the lack of subtitles and general support for deaf gamers that let this sequel down.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
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Viewtiful Joe 2 is another great game that sadly doesn't cater for deaf gamers. You'll still be able to play the game but you'll completely miss out on the story, which is disappointing.