The Wonderful 101: WiiU Game Review
How many heroes does it take to save the world? The Wonderful 101 has finally arrived on Nintendo WiiU. Check out Kidzworlds game review!
Morph into a fist and get punchy! Courtesy of Nintendo
Wonderful 101 has some epic battles. Courtesy of Nintendo
Everyone down the slide! Courtesy of Nintendo
The Wonderful 101 was one of those early games that stood out to me when Nintendo was showing off WiiU games before launch. It got me excited because it was coming from the talented guys and girls over at PlatinumGames Inc. If you're unaware of the studio, they've made some of the most intense action games of this generation, including Bayonetta, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising and to my excitement, they were working on a new "launch-window" WiiU exclusive.
Well that launch window clearly came and went but The Wonderful 101 is finally here!
Chaotic Eye Candy
Like all PlatinumGames previous efforts, The Wonderful 101 is exploding with energy, charm and a blistering pace.
Mr. Wonderful and the rest of the Wonderful Team look sharp if not mind blowing on Nintendo's WiiU. But where the game may lack in raw poly's, it more than makes up for with continuously imaginative enemies, that even when mechanical, burst with character; A lot of the enemies having multiple forms as well, always mixing things up to keep you on your toes. And the environments are always popping with bright colors, sharp lines and explosive backdrops.
Then of course, you have all your heroes running around in unison as well. Morphing between different weapons, which once mastered, becomes am absolute joy to watch, if not always a joy to play. Which brings me to the gameplay.
Frustrating Yet Satisfying
I'll be honest, this game was beating me black and blue early on. The first thing I noticed when booting the game up was that there was no "Normal" mode...It starts at "Easy" then only moves down. Easy, is the hardest difficulty offered and it made me feel like I sucked at games early on. Again keeping with tradition, PlatinumGames tells you, as the player, very little in regards to how you should play. There's always so much going on on-screen that it's hard to wrap your head around it all at first. But once you get the hang of it, the systems start to make sense and you'll find that there is actually a lot of depth to the combat.
You control an mini army of heroes and you have the ability to unite them all into various weapons to defeat bosses, smash objects, solve puzzles and more. To unite and morph the team, you'll need to "draw" the shape you'd like to create. You can either draw the shape on the Gamepad's screen, or you can use the right analog stick. Problem is, neither of these methods are all that intuitive...they just don't always work. The commands start out simple; Draw a circle for the fist, a straight line for the sword. Once you unlock more moves though, things start to get a bit sloppy as the game sometimes can't differentiate between which weapon of destruction you'd like to rampage with.
This can get frustrating later in the game because you'll have to utilize all your different abilities to take down some of the tougher enemies and bosses.
The Wonderful 101 Trailer
Sometimes frustrating controls aside, the aforementioned bosses are worth spotlighting as they offer, in my opinion, The Wonderful 101's best moments. Some of the boss-battles are so insanely huge and cinematic you can't help but smile and before you know it, you'll realize you've just spent almost half an hour trying to best one of the massive foes. Admittedly, the boss-battles could probably be half the length if PlatinumGames didn't go a little overboard with the cinematics but that being said, I loved them as they are and was always entertained by them.
The Final Word
The Wonderful 101, from PlatinumGames, is a solid action-game that will satisfy those looking for a serious challenge with depth, rewards and collectibles to spare. It offers a bright, colorful and kinetic world full of over over the top mayhem that will keep your eyeballs and thumbs working in overdrive to keep up. The game rewards those with patience and perseverance with the early hours of the game being needlessly tough with little direction given. But once you've wrapped your head around The Wonderful 101 and get past the cumbersome controls, its true qualities start to shine.
Note: There's a competitive online mode as well, but as of writing this, I wasn't able to scope that out properly due to a lack of online players.
The Wonderful 101 is available now, exclusively on Nintendo WiiU
Have Your Say!
Looking for something unique to play on WiiU? Interested in checking out The Wonderful 101? Let me know in the comments below!