The Origin of Brawlers – Viewtiful Joe (2003)

Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe tells the story of Joe, who becomes an animated version of himself after he and his girlfriend, Silvia, are sucked into a superhero movie. Using a series of combo and style moves, Joe must rescue her from the supervillain team’s plot with the help of Captain Blue, his favorite superhero.

In an effort to attract both American and Japanese players, Viewtiful Joe drew on Japanese tokusatsu (special effect-heavy filming) and also American comic book traditions, styles apparent in the throwback 2D action design. Producer Inaba was a lifelong fan of superheroes and led Team Viewtiful, a subset of Capcom, along with Kimaya to create the project. The two dimensional play made up for its flat panels with detailed and stunning stylization. The Gamecube’s popularity in both countries and ability to showcase the effects made it the platform of choice.

The approach appealed to fans and the game’s success lead to the dissolution of Team Viewtiful and the creation of Clover Studio, which went on to produce Viewtiful Joe 2, Okami, and God Hand before its closure in 2007. The team aimed to develop original content over derivatives. Viewtiful Joe, under Kamiya’s direction, shares features with his other works, Devil May Cry and God Hand, including the bonus ability to play as Devil May Cry‘s Dante and as multiple DMC characters in the PSP game Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble.

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Gift of Ben Rog-Wilhelm, 2013.021.007