Tycho mentioned that we had received copies of Viewtiful Joe and Metal Slug 3 from VGD yesterday. Both of them are awesome and I thought I’d just talk about each one briefly.
Arguably the best of the Metal Slug series. For those of you living under rocks Metal Slug is a side scrolling run and gun shooter. One of the cool features of Metal Slug games though are different vehicles you can jump into. Tanks, robot suits and subs are just some of the vehicles you will find yourself in command of in MS3. Visually Metal Slug 3 is a treat. Much of the slow down that plagued previous games in the series has been removed. The game also sports some of the best sprite animations around. The way zombies stumble around with there heads cocked at odd angles is really disgusting and the way they explode when you lay into them with a shot gun is truly satisfying. Every character in this game was lovingly animated from the main characters to the giant robotic hermit crabs. It’s also an extremely import friendly game. The menus are all in English as well as Japanese so navigating them is no problem. The game itself is a straight forward action game and shooting a guy in the face is the same in Japanese as it is in English. If you were a fan of the previous Metal Slug games you can’t go wrong with 3. If you are new to the series you can’t pick a better game than 3 to start out with. I believe it’s scheduled for release in the US this fall. If you have the ability to play import PS2 games there is no reason to wait that long though.
Many of you probably had the opportunity to play a couple levels of this game as it was featured on the last Gamecube demo disk. If you haven’t played it yet VJ is a cell shaded 3D game with 2D side scrolling/platform game mechanics similar to Pandemonium. You play as Joe a guy who gets sucked into his favorite super hero movie and becomes a super hero himself. It’s a silly plot that is nothing more than an excuse to beat the living fuck out of bad guys in extremely cinematic ways. Joe gains the ability to speed up and slow down time which makes for some extremely cool fighting. For example after dodging an attack from an enemy you can pull the left trigger which slows down the action in a very “bullet time” sort of way. Targets then appear on all the objects and enemies around Joe that he can attack. With some very simple directional maneuvers and a few button presses you can utterly destroy all the enemies around you. When in this mode your attacks also do more damage so you don’t just punch a guy, you punch him right out of his armor and into the guys behind him who also get obliterated. You really have to play it to see how fun it is.
The ability to slow down and speed up time also comes into play when solving puzzles. A helicopter’s blades might spin slower when in slow motion meaning it can’t stay in the air. All kinds of puzzles in the game will require clever use of Joes special abilities. Speaking of which after levels Joe has the ability to spend the points he earned on new attacks, power ups, and other goodies. The descriptions for these items are all in Japanese but the names are in English. So even though I might not know what exactly the “Red Hot Kick” does, I have a pretty good idea that it’s gonna be cool. All of the games cinemas and dialogue are in English. The menu is simple and easy to figure out. The only downside is that save points are few and far between. This means you will play the same level a lot, something that might be worse if the game wasn’t so goddamned fun. Viewtiful Joe is scheduled for release in the states in October but if you have the ability to play imports on your GC you should grab it now.