The Wonderful 101 has been out for awhile already. There are planty of reviews and videos floating about the net. Many have either bought the game already or made a decision not to bother. If you're a hard core gamer who owns a Wii U and hasn't bothered with The Wonderful 101 yet........ stop playing whatever you've been playing and give this one a whirl. This quick run down of Pros, Cons, and Inbetweens may not completely convince you, but it is worth your time. Hideki Kamiya and his team at Platinum Games may not have hit commercial success yet, but their talent is not going unappreciated.
- Tons of variation. The main gameplay is interesting and complex, and it's introduced at a great pace with little or no handholding. It's easy to get the hang of the gestures as you increasingly build up your arsenal by finding new characters and leveling them up. Since they're introduced gradually, it gives the player time to learn each one.
- The combo system is amazing and incredibly deep.
- EPIC boss fights that feel like boss fights.
- QTEs (quick time events) are fun to execute and watch in this game. Even failing them leads to unique, comical sequences that are a joy to see.
- A lot of effort and tons of work have been put into making the game so thorough. There are many little quirky details, small twists, and randomness that add to the experience.
- The humour in the game is charming and the characters are funny, the puns, references and jokes all bear witness of Kamiya's great sense of humor.
- The OST (original sound track) is fitting, varied and quite good.
- This game feels very old school, in that it doesn't hold your hand or give you prompts as to what to do next (for the most part). This is a blessing and a curse, as some gamers may become frustrated. What to do isn't always obvious. Perhaps more subtle cues could've been implemented, but expect to scratch your head at least a few times.
- For gamers not quite ready for a challenge, the normal difficulty may be to difficult for an initial playthrough. Thankfully there is an Easy and even Very Easy difficulty setting. Not to mention two more difficult settings once you beat Normal. Truly something for everyone, but it may be intimidating at first glance. There is A LOT going on in this game and can be intense for some.
- Beating the game is only half the battle, getting a high score is the other. The endless supply of instant continues could have been reserved for the Easy/Very Easy settings. On Normal it sometimes feels that death has little meaning, unless you care about that high score. The longevity of the game depends on how much you as a gamer care about getting that perfect run through the stage. The harder difficulties are demanding, and unlocking every hidden character / ability in the game is a true challenge.
- Inputting commands on the touchscreen after holding the gamepad normally can be tough. Having to move your hand to the touchscreen away from the buttons, while holding the gamepad with your left hand isn't exactly simple when there's so much going on in the game. Using the analog stick to draw works much better, especially when you quickly want to draw a sword, hit X then move to a group of enemies, draw another sword hit X etc etc. Using the thumb stick to draw certain other shapes can take practice. But practice does make perfect.
- The indoor sections, and some of the platforming sequences are somewhat cumbersome. And rough around the edges.
- There can be some annoying insta-deaths that come out of nowhere. They usually happen from falling off something.
- The game itself is a bit rough, possibly due to the astounding amounts of game play variation, so it's possible to experienced a freeze or occasional glitch along the way.
- The loading times are sometimes to long, especially when repeating stages and hitting "skip cutscene" so often. You want to just jump into the action as fast as possible.
- The isometric viewpoint can sometimes block your view and objects in the way don't always go transparent when they should. The default camera is to close to the action. Pushing the L shoulder button pulls the camera back, and is a requirement to view the entirety of an area.
- There are other unrefined elements and quirks but they aren't game breaking, just a tad annoying such as the areas where you must use the screen on the gamepad. Again, the L shoulder button is helpful in these instances as it forces the camera to your back instead of being all over the place.
As per Kamiya, just play this one. It's awesome and a hardcore gamers cup of tea. Rent it, download the demo, or down right just get your hands on The Wonderful 101. It's worth checking out, and is unlike anything you've played before. It's quite a ride.