Bog standard platforming thrills
The side scrolling platform adventure genre is not one which is lacking in fine examples, from the likes of Rick Dangerous, Magic Pockets and the Dangerous Dave series, and while Yo! Joe might not quite hit the heights of the best of these examples, it does a decent enough job and is worth checking out. The rather bizarre plot sees two graffiti artists on the run from the New York cops but whose troubles are only just beginning. As they make their escape, they take shelter in a mysterious old castle which just happens to be infested with ghosts and other assorted nasties while also being the home of the evil Professor X. Thus begins an adventure of epic proportions as they must explore the castle, defeating the bad guys as they go. In many ways, the game is very familiar stuff, with the usual running, jumping, crawling, kicking and sliding to be done as you make your way through the castle, but there are some nice weapons, like chainsaws and nunchuks thrown into the mix for some much appreciated variety. However, perhaps the biggest addition is the two player mode which allows two buddies to take on the quest together and which elevates the game into something else, thanks to the sheer uniqueness of this feature. In terms of visuals, Yo! Joe is quite characterful, with some lovely sprite work and atmospheric environments to enjoy while the level design itself is fairly clever and inventive and the controls are slick and intuitive. If you're playing solo, then this is average at best and can easily be ignored in favour of something better but if you have a second player then it becomes something that is worthy of your attention.