Viewtiful Joe: An Action-Packed Double Feature

I’ve been a fan of the “Viewtiful Joe” series since its release.

I’m not sure if it’s because of the fast action gameplay, the creative powers you’re endowed with, or the many characters, but the series has an appeal all its own .

It’s for these reasons that I was more than happy to fulfill a request I recently received to review “Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble” for the Nintendo DS.

This time around, our hero, Joe, is fighting evil-doers in the real world rather than inside of movies.

There’s one problem though: Joe’s powers come from being inside films.

Luckily, Joe’s ever loving girlfriend, Sylvia, just happens to have a camera to film all the action, thus giving Joe his viewtiful powers.

Now it’s up to him, Sylvia and your two DS screens to defeat an evil syndicate.

Much of the same “Viewtiful Joe” gameplay returns.

You can slow down time to hit enemies harder and perform “viewtiful combos” by zooming in on the action.

Thanks to the touch screen, three new powers have been added: “Scratch,” “Split” and “Touch.”

With these new abilities, you can respectively drop falling objects on enemies, split the environment in two and manipulate objects with the touch of your stylus.

While these abilities are interesting in theory, performing them can be a hassle.

With so much going on around Joe and some clunky touch controls, getting the desired response can be a crap shoot.

The “Slide” function (the new term for the “Zoom” command) seems to be especially glitchy, with the response to your stylus command being confused with the “Split” function.

Fans of the series will be disappointed to see the “Fast Forward” controls don’t return. Being one of my favorite V-Powers, I was more than disheartened to realize half-way through the game that I was indeed not going to get fast-motion as a power.

This time around, there’s a bigger focus on puzzles, rather than fighting.

While you still get your fill of beating up enemies, many sections are solely dedicated to brain teasers.

While some of these puzzles are interesting, many are recycled material, which can get a bit old.

However, the touch screen functions are put into great use in these.

Another big disappointment is the cut-scenes, if you can call them that.

Granted, this is the Nintendo DS, and we shouldn’t be expecting “Gears of War” cinema quality here, these are far from what the series has shown fans in the past.

“Final Fantasy III” presented amazing cinema scenes on the “DS,” so the technology is definitely there.

The voice-acting has even been removed (Joe’s and the announcer’s cheesy jokes were a highlight for me).

With a lack of cinema scenes in a game about cinema, it feels like “Viewitful Joe” lost a lot of its appeal.

“Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble” was a good attempt on the “DS.”

The designers at Capcom used the touch screen functions in some very creative ways that fit perfectly with the “Viewtiful Joe” series, even though they tend to be glitchy in areas.

Though a lot of the “Joe” appeal was lost in the lack of voice-acting and no “Fast-Forward” powers, the overall experience still feels “right.”

It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. “Viewitful Joe: Double Trouble” for the Nintendo DS: 7.0/10.

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