Some Kind of Wonderful
Platinum Games has a solid reputation of coming up with action-packed, manic, usually brutally challenging, gaming experiences. When it was announced that Nintendo and Platinum Games were joining forces for two games, many grew excited for the possibilities. While the second game of the partnership won't be released until next year, the Wii U and its owners have gotten a first taste of what Platinum Games is made of with the delightfully wacky The Wonderful 101, without a doubt inspired by Japanese superhero shows such as Super Sentai. Should Wii U owners unite up and purchase this game?
It's been twenty years since the Earth invasion by the forces of GEATHJERK. A group of heroes fought them from the face of the planet. Now it is the present day and an alien invasion has once again hammered Earth. Riding in a school bus with his students, Mr. Wedgewood gets caught right in the middle of the action in Blossom City. Making sure his students stay away from the action, Wedgewood pulls out a necklace with a special insignia hanging from it and transforms into Wonder Red! It's time for the Earth's greatest defense, The Wonderful 100 to team up and take it to the GEATHJERK alien army.
|"Wonderful 100, unite up!"|
|They may be superheroes, but even|
The Wonderful 100 can feel the burn.
|Fire foes from afar with|
Wonder Green's gun.
Outside of exploration, there comes the fights-- most of which occur in confined areas, cordoned off by red walls. Battles are vintage Platinum Games. The Wonderful 101 is no button masher. You're free to try that approach, but you'll soon find yourself on the receiving end of a pain sandwich rather quickly. No, The Wonderful 101 is a test of skill first and foremost. Through utilizing Unite Morphs (i.e. Wonderful One's special moves), you can lay the hurt on enemies. You can even assign part of your group of heroes to unleash one or several Unite Morphs while you attack directly with your own, a great approach to a swarm of enemies, or a baddie with a massive amount of health.
|I hear the band Devo is a fan of |
this Unite Morph, the whip.
|Right back at ya'!|
Some of the difficulty of The Wonderful 101 doesn't come from skill-required areas. No, the game can be a little hard due to the sometimes poor camera. While you can zoom in and out with the ZL and ZR buttons most of the time, on some occasions you just can't get close enough or far away enough from the action to either legitimately see what is going on (a problem compounded by all of the flash that goes on during battles), or legitimately have a full view of what dangers lurk around you. There's nothing more frustrating than taking out an enemy close by when suddenly a laser takes you out from clear across the battlefield-- one that the camera was too close in to see.
|Forget these turtles--sometimes the |
camera can be your worst enemy.
|Helpful prompts like this are always welcome.|
Beating The Wonderful 101 will take anywhere between 15-20 hours. There are five difficulties, allowing every skill level to have a good time with the game. In addition to all of the hidden goodies placed in levels to collect, there are also a bevy of achievements to obtain. These unlock the most secret of characters in the game to play as. If you're worried about a shortage of content, don't be. There's much to do and much fun to be had.
|Have friends who want in on the action?|
Multiplayer events are always an option.
The voice work of The Wonderful 101 is deliciously cheesy, without being obnoxiously so. It's the right level of ham, if that makes any sense. On the music side, the blare of heroic brass plays in numerous levels, tense strings play in boss fights, and an awesome Wonderful 100 theme song plays during epic moments of the game. Platinum Games pulled zero punches on the presentation.
The Wonderful 101 isn't a game for everyone. It has a lot of old school sensibilities under that interesting superhero coat of paint. It's a marvelously funny game with a deep and complex fighting system, pending you put the time and effort to learn it. Yes, it's still a challenging game even then, but those Wonderful 100 certainly put a smile on my face far longer than they gave me any sense of frustration. No doubt a title that is going to be an overlooked gem in the Wii U's steadily more impressive library, The Wonderful 101 is another superb jewel in the crown that Platinum Games wears.
[SPC Says: 8.0/10]