Interview | Capcom

By James Temperton 27.06.2003 1

Get an inside view as Atsushi Inaba speaks out!

We have recently got our hands on Capcom's Viewtiful Joe for a full on playtest, but now we are able to bring you the views of the developer on the game and Capcom themselves.

For more informtaion on Viewtiful Joe you can take a look at what we thought of the title when we got a chance to play it first hand!
Hands On | Viewtiful Joe

The Interview
Viewtiful Joe is a very distinctive looking game - what inspired you to come up with such a look?

Inaba: There was nothing specific that inspired the team - what we wanted to create was a challenging game with stunning visuals and fluid gameplay. It is true that I have been a big super hero fan since I was a kid, so I gave our designer, Suekane san, my idea of what Joe should look like. And the great ideas he came back with inspired me to come up with the rest of the game's characters.

The story behind the action is a little offbeat - do you want to explain it in your own words?

Inaba: Joe is a massive film fan, but during one trip to the cinema with his girlfriend Silvia some of the film's bad guys manage to jump through the silver screen and capture Silvia, dragging her back into the world of the movies.

Joe manages to follow them through where he meets his ultimate film hero - Captain Blue. Captain Blue sees the hero potential in Joe and gives him his V-Watch which allows Joe to transform into Viewtiful Joe and use his VFX powers to take on the bad guys and rescue Silvia.

Uh huh. So exactly what kind of game is Viewtiful Joe?

Inaba: Mmmm, this is a tricky question to answer. On one level it can be considered an old-school 2D side-scrolling beat-'em-up much in the same vein as Final Fight or Streets of Rage. But, what we have done is taken this classic gaming style and added cool 3D backgrounds and cutting edge play elements like the VFX powers; and it has evolved into something totally original. It's this blend of new and old that makes Viewtiful Joe special.

Tell us about the special speed up and slowdown modes - how will they affect the gameplay?

Inaba: As I mentioned in the previous answer, Joe will need to use his VFZ powers not just to defeat enemies, but also to alter elements within the game's environments. Slow down is the first VFX power Joe receives and this slows down the speed of all the enemies making them more susceptible to attack, and if Joe connects with a punch or a kick the damage inflicted is greater than at normal speed.

However, the flip side is that if Joe himself is hit he will receive
greater damage. The slow down also affects other items, however I don't want to give any specific examples of this right now as this is something I want players to explore and figure out for themselves.

We understand you can customise your own moves - how exactly will this work?

Inaba: At the end of levels players will be able to purchase new and dynamic moves for Joe as well as regular power-ups such as continues, extra lives etc.

At E3 you said you wouldn't be allowed to make games any more if this wasn't a success - obviously you were joking, but is there any truth to the theory that developers are discouraged from taking risks in the industry?

Inaba: Yes, as you know this is a business. If you cease to make money then the business no longer exists. However, as we are a part of the entertainment industry we must try to bring the consumer a new and original kind of fun to keep them satisfied.

Capcom, more than most other companies gives the R&D staff a lot of space to move and freedom to make their own games. It's thanks to Capcom I was able to produce a killer game like Steel Battalion.

What kind of other abilities or weapons does Joe have at his disposal?

Inaba: In addition to Slow Down and Zoom In, Joe will also learn the art of Mach Speed another crucial skill if Joe is to defeat the enemies and rescue Silvia. There are a whole load of other weapons and attacks that Joe can obtain - the voomerang (you should be able to work out what this is) and bombs plus Joe's Red Hot Kick, a Slide Attack and Viewtiful Forever - an attack that hits all enemies on the screen.

What is the one thing about Viewtiful Joe that's going to blow players away?

Inaba: Probably the amount of depth in technique that you get from finding new ways to link attacks into combos when in slow motion. It's really cool!

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