Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (known as Viewtiful Joe: Battle Carnival in Japan) is a fighting game developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom for the Nintendo GameCube (GC) and PlayStation Portable (PSP). It is a spin-off title in the Viewtiful Joe series of action beat em' up games. Red Hot Rumble is based on the anime series and thus is not part of the games' storyline.
The gameplay is that of a platform fighter similar in style to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. games, though it uses a modified engine from previous games in the series, featuring characters and powers from the Viewtiful Joe games and anime.
In this game, the use of VFX Powers has been reworked so to make them more like power ups. All of them are limited-use: They have an effect that lasts for several seconds before ending. There is also a new power called S.E., which stands for Sound Effect.
- Slow - Slows down all movement except for the user's.
- Mach Speed - Allows the user to fly at high speeds with a trail of flames. Anything the player flies through is damaged.
- Zoom - Makes the user larger and invulnerable to most attacks. Only basic attacks can be used in this form.
- S.E. - Gives the user a powerful ranged attack.
Also included are VFX battles, button bashing tests that can either give the player an advantage and tons of coins (if the player wins), or make the player lose a bunch of coins (if the player loses). If a player (or the AI) picks up a VFX orb and throws it into the air, a VFX battle will begin. They are color-coded so you know what games are about to begin.
- Red- (Button Smash) - Four meters appear and the player must mash the face buttons again and again until it fills and the player knocks the others up into the air. Occacionally split into teams, Player VS AI AI AI, Player and AI VS AI AI or Player AI AI VS AI.
- Green- (Rally) - Split into two teams. Time the corresponding button press and knock the Bianky into the air. Only one brawler loses.
- Yellow- (Quick Draw) - The player must be the fastest one to press the button displayed on a sign. The one to start this battle will have a small timing advantage.
- Blue- (Round & Round) - The player spins the analog stick (or the D-buttons) to fill up the meter and knock the other brawlers up into the air.
- Purple- (Timing Battle) - A bar moves across a meter and players must press a button at the exact time the bar reaches the end of the meter. The player with the best timing wins.
PSP exclusive features
The PlayStation Portable version of the game contains a few exclusive additions: more playable characters from the Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry series, Single-Player Trial Mode with an assortment of mini-games, and Game Sharing mode for limited multi-player action with only one copy of the game.
Captain Blue is working on his latest film, and in order to determine who will get the lead role, he holds a battle tournament between those who are auditioning. However as the player progress through the films, it seems that some strange things are afoot, as unauthorized equipment keep showing up and things seem a bit too dangerous.
- Viewtiful Joe - (EX Color Change: Six Majin)
- Joe the Movie Lover (EX Color Change: White Tuxedo) - available after beating "Captain Blue Begins" (Special Version).
- Sexy Silvia - (EX Color Change: Black wedding dress)
- Fashionable Silvia - (EX Color Change: White wedding dress) - available after beating "Document Black Film" (Special Version).
- Alastor (EX Color Change: Black Tuxedo)
- Stylish Alastor - (EX Color Change: "Squid of Inescapable Doom" suit) - available after beating "Pursue the Puzzle of the Incan Empire" (Special Version).
- Captain Blue Jr. - (EX Color Change: Season One Anime costume)
- Young Junior - (EX Color Change: Young Joe) - available after beating "Joe the Animation" (Special Version).
- Young Captain Blue - (EX Color Change: King Blue) - available after beating "3 Leaders of the Hidden Fortress".
- Captain Blue - (EX Color Change: Helmetless)
- Blue the Movie Director - (EX Color Change: Judo outfit) - available after beating "Atlantis Adventure on the Four Seas" (Special Version).
- Jet - (EX Color Change: Black Emperor)
- Jet the Theater Manager - (EX Color Change: Basketball outfit) - available after beating "Gulliver's Battles" (Special Version).
- Superhuman Jet - (EX Color Change: Helmetless) - available after collecting all 192 puzzle pieces.
- Sprocket - (EX Color Change: Black dress) - available after beating a chapter without dying with one character.
- Charles III - (EX Color Change: Batman-styled costume) - available after beating a chapter without dying with two characters.
- Hulk Davidson - (EX Color Change: Body turns white; axe becomes a hammer) - available after beating a chapter without dying with three characters.
- Gran Bruce - (EX Color Change: Body turns red and white) - available after beating a chapter without dying with four characters.
- Bloody Rachel - (EX Color Change: Cat suit) - available after beating Stage 7.
- Bianky and Friends - (EX Color Change: No skin; only its skeleton shows) - available after beating "Battle Carnival" bonus level.
PSP exclusive characters
In addition to Dante, new characters appear as secondary EX costumes for the main characters. They essentially play the same, but with different effects, animations, voices and details.
- Dante - (from Devil May Cry)
- Sparda - (Dante's EX Color)
- Plasma - (alternate color for Dante)
- "Un-Henshined" Dante - (alternate color for Dante)
- Trish - (Sexy Silvia's EX Color)
- Marionette - (Bianky and Friend's EX Color)
- Junko (Sprocket's EX Color) - Junko is Jet's wife, and Joe's mother.
- Jasmine - (Fashionable Silvia's EX Color)
- Rex Majin - (Alastor's EX Color)
- Fire Leo and Frost Tiger
The game was originally announced under the title Viewtiful Joe: VFX Battle, and early reports stated that it was to be released for the PlayStation 2. Producer Atsushi Inaba noted that the game was inspired heavily by Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Melee. Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble was originally developed as a two-player game rather than a four-player game.
Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble has received mostly average reviews from critics. The GameCube version of the game currently has a Metacritic score of 62 out of 100 and a GameRankings score of 63%. The PSP version of the game boasts slightly higher scores of 63 out of 100 and 66% on the two websites respectively.
- Official website (Japanese, archive)