Originally one of the âCapcom 5â (which quickly became the âCapcom 4â after Dead Phoenix was cancelled), Viewtiful Joe wowed gamers with its stylish 2D graphics and hard gameplay. Since then, Viewtiful Joe has seen a sequel and two ports. And now we have Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble, the first multiplayer entry in the series.
Disappointingly, the single player game is the same as the multiplayer mode, apart from playing against AI opponents in the story battles. In this side story, the VJ gang is auditioning to be the hero in a movie. The premise is simple - pass a handful of mini-games where everyone must compete for the most points.
There are six fighters to choose from the start and six more to unlock, each with their own unique abilities and fighting styles. The story begins when former action hero star Captain Blue is switches roles to director. Now, Director Blue is picking out a star for his latest blockbuster, and must find his action star successor. Unfortunately, He canât decide between heroes. Sprocket suggests a tournament, to be titled The Red Hot Rumble.
In keeping with previous VJs, Red Hot Rumbleâs single player is hard, and although it serves the purpose of practicing for multiplayer games, it isnât as deep as the previous games and gets old fast. The real fun starts when you take on four friends in the multiplayer mode. An online option would have been great here, but fortunately 4-player support is enough to keep it interesting.
The fighting sports the same time manipulation as seen in previous VJ installments, allowing you to slow down time to perform special attacks. If youâve played a VJ game before than you know the drill. Moves look great and are easy to pull off thanks to a simple control scheme.
The animation in moves is smooth and characters look great. Overall the visuals are the same as previous VJs - not a bad thing, mind you, as the visual style and story animations suit the genre perfectly. However, in multiplayer brawls the flashy graphics may distract from the enemy.
Red Hot Rumble is a welcome multiplayer expansion of the series but lacks in the single player department.