(Wii U)

Game Review

The Wonderful 101 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Chaos and colour multiplied by 101

Playing The Wonderful 101 for the first time on "normal" difficulty is a stressful, headache-inducing experience that, nevertheless, delivers a genuine thrill. This isn't a game that feels as if it's gone through hundreds of concept and development meetings, nor through a corporate machine of focus testing, but rather like a project with leadership that decided to channel their inner child and produce an experience that takes the insanity of action-hero comic book fiction and translates it onto the screen fully intact. It overwhelms the senses and then goes further, which makes it wonderful.

What's immediately charming about The Wonderful 101 is its style and storytelling, which in some senses recalls the wonder of fantastical silliness that used to be at the core of superhero lore. Just look at how screen portrayals of Batman have evolved from the technicolor '60s to the scowling, faux-complex approach of the latest movies. Action and superheros, with their powers and gadgets, have become rather serious subject matter, as if a man wearing a cape and flying around with his pants on the outside is worthy of evoking any pathos. The Wonderful 101 scoffs at that, and simply goes for a tale utterly ludicrous yet typical, combined with gameplay quite unlike anything else in recent years.

The tale of Wonder Red and his compatriots has its serious moments, of course, but they're wrapped in an extrovert's cloak and quickly exchanged for some epic set-piece battling. Over the course of a campaign that stretches beyond 12 hours, you become familiar with the core heroes not just due to their individual abilities, but by learning a little more about their status as walking stereotypes. There's the fat Green, always with food in his hand, the playful and unpredictable whip-cracking Pink, nonsense-talking ninja Wonder White and, with one of many nods to Nintendo as publisher, the young Wonder Black who's forever playing a Game & Watch handheld.

No gaming awards will be won for the script, though the game makers would in all likelihood be appalled if they were, but the idea of 100 normal people worldwide having powers, and eccentricities, works well. The most fun is to be had between Wonder Blue, the dude that wants to be an actor, and the excessively noble Wonder Red, who has a funny habit of trotting out the same lengthy introductions every time he meets a foe. There are a host of other characters that swoop in and out of the tale, including snotty young Luka who's forever causing trouble, while the GEATHJERK foes — invaders of planet Earth — seem like a fitting range of demented over-sized creatures.

It's all extravagant and ridiculous, which makes it perfect video game material. The madness of the characters and settings are perfect fits, as your battles move around the world in futuristic settings — a port in the skies and a volcano are standouts — and become increasingly fantastical towards the end. The bombast and splendour is off the charts and matched by the presentation. There may by the odd rough texture, but there's a lot to enjoy in the visuals, with a gorgeous Pixar-esque art style and — when the perspective is zoomed out, a handy option — attractive environmental detail. Corny voice acting adds to the atmosphere, and the soundtrack contributes with excitable orchestration.

What all of this frenzied activity does is carry directly over into the gameplay, which can be a blessing and a curse. A great positive for the design of this title is that, despite the fact that so much happens, the unlocking of powers — either pre-determined through story progression or purchased between missions — is gradual and sensible. Basic moves start off with team attacks and Unity attacks, and early levels show you the ropes while keeping you on your toes.

This game is, undoubtedly, fiercely difficult. Starting in Normal difficulty, as we typically do, we had to quickly drop down to Easy, which was still rather challenging. In the early stages your group is small, underpowered and lacking many tricks, and though you can gather civilians as temporary members by drawing a circle around them, the limited moveset makes early enemies a tough ask. We found that Easy gave a sweet spot that pushed our abilities — including some GamePad-hurling moments — while allowing us to steadily progress.

The upgrade system feels well implemented once you find a difficulty setting that suits you (there's also Very Easy) as you become more powerful and add new Wonderful Ones to your group. The core group arrive at key points with fresh Unite abilities vital to beating certain enemies and traversing environments, and within the first half of the game you have a relatively full moveset. The Unite Hand of team leader Red is commonly used, but each new power is vital for opening gates, climbing walls or swinging across gaps, while other abilities such as a hang glider aren't linked to a character but are just as important.

And so this title is, at its core, a constant learning experience. Comparisons have been made to Pikmin 3 which, for the most part, are off the mark, but this gradual sense of education is similar, and getting struck by enemies also scatters your group, forcing you to dash around gathering them up, and occasionally call them in with the Y button. You're always controlling, moving and attacking with one core leader, but the Unite powers and their effectiveness rely on the group being together, so a focus on team isn't lost. With progress you learn to dodge, block, and then to dodge and block while dishing out damage all at once, so building up the group, learning and buying new abilities and — most importantly — learning enemy weaknesses is a case of steady progression.

On an initial playthrough there are undoubted moments of frustration that flirt with opaque design. We had various points when the solution took a good time to present itself, and some battles that flirted with being unfair. And yet, with the option to jump around difficulty levels between missions, such complaints are eased against the context of the development team showing some mercy, and it's a title that did leave us feeling foolish on multiple occasions as we toiled and then figured out the puzzle to progress or defeat an enemy after taking a fearful pounding. Over the course of many hours the brain does engage with the wacky world of this title, and greater awareness of what abilities to use where — including bridges and other environmental objects — becomes more natural.

That's not to say all quirks can be ironed out with an easier difficulty or more practice. Some segments indoors — where the view is switched to the GamePad — are awkward and clunky, with the view being a fiddle to adjust and it can occasionally become difficult to grasp the environment from such a zoomed-in perspective; forming Unite powers in these areas can also be tough, as visibility of the shape being formed is unnecessarily tricky. Forming these Unite shapes is also a process of acclimatisation, with some being easier to quickly draw in the touch screen — though problems arise if you accidentally open a sub-menu and lose the input panel — and others being more reliably drawn with the right analogue stick. We alternated between the two, ensuring that the GamePad was a natural fit.

Beyond the touch screen gestures there are other relatively minor uses of the second screen, such as accessing a Quick Help guide on the fly or switching out the colour-coded "leaders". Each Wonder One actually levels up to a limited degree, and if you discover any favourites on your travels you can choose to use them as the lead, though cut-scenes and story sequences nevertheless revert to the main stars. It's a small touch that could be considered inconsequential, but alongside extras such as pins and information collectibles work to add additional breadth to the game's universe. Off-TV play and Miiverse integration are present and correct, but in truth the GamePad screen isn't ideal for this experience on its own; there's so much on screen, so much to absorb, that the real-estate on offer doesn't feel like enough.

The single player experience is the core component that defines the title, but co-op is available in the Wonderful Missions, ten-minute undertakings of varying difficulty that focus primarily on fighting the familiar mix of mechs from the main game. Up to five players can join in using the GamePad, Pro Controllers and Classic Controllers, and they're a fun way to pass time with some friends on the couch. In a similar manner to off-TV play making the chaos difficult to absorb, having multiple colour-coded teams running around on screen is conversely fun and baffling, so confusion and laughs have to make odd bed-fellows. The missions themselves have a good mix of minions and large boss-like creatures to take on, but this is very much a side-portion to the single player adventure — probably added at Nintendo's request, we'd speculate — and little more.

It's in single player that this title comes to the fore, however, and it feels like the approach to the campaign was simply "if it's fun, put it in the game". We won't spoil any of the major surprises here, but suffice to say that footage you've seen doesn't cover a lot of the Nintendo references and genre-bending that features. With a premise where heroes can unite to create forms and a futuristic world where the enemies employ enormous mechs of various shapes and sizes, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that PlatinumGames hasn't missed the opportunity to push its ideas. Whether creatively navigating through large stages, or engaging in Battle Royales with enormous bosses — with some quick-time sequences actually adding to the fun — there's terrific variety and eye-candy to absorb.

The fact that after a playthrough we retained all of our money, crew members and upgrades — we only found just over 60 of the Wonderful 100 — means we're also more than happy to play it all over again.

For this is a game that grows with more play. Early on we wondered whether the chaos was too much, we then grew to love it. In later stages we thought some of the encounters or environmental challenges were excessive, yet we found a way. By the end we wanted more, and abilities and attack combos that seemed inconceivable in the early running became natural. With expertise comes more to learn and enjoy, and such is the breathless, extravagant cinematic flair — where no level of insanity is too much — that the spectacle and set pieces are worth revisiting. Collapsing cities, ridiculously intimidating enemies and various over-the-top sequences are unforgettable, and most pleasingly this is a title that's happy to just be a ridiculous but sublime video game.

Conclusion

The Wonderful 101 can be overwhelming, and the initial impression can be that it's simply bombarding the senses too much, confusing both the eyes and the thumbs. The key is to play at the right difficulty level and accept its insanity, work with its peculiar logic and remain open-minded to its mechanics. In return it delivers an exceptional experience in which no scenario is too outrageous, no enemy too exaggerated or no set-piece too excessive. It's not perfect, with some control quirks, fiddly moments and a multiplayer mode that feels tacked on, but so much about this title is thrilling. There's simply no other game on the market with such a focus on ridiculous fun - this really is a must-have title for the Wii U.

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User Comments (180)

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#2

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

Excellent review as always Tom! I've gone from uninterested to completely excited for this game over the course of the last few months. Your review confirms that my transformation was warranted.

PinkSpider

#3

PinkSpider said:

I enjoyed the demo but I was at first like what the hell have I got to do it was completely mental. I will be picking the game up with its 30% price.

Yosher

#5

Yosher said:

This really is an odd game. And definitely not the bad way. I think I'll be picking this one up soon as well!

Gen0neD

#6

Gen0neD said:

See? Told ya!
Gen0neD said:
@rjejr I can understand why you'd be hesitant, but as it stands, Platinum's "worst" games are Vanquish and Anarchy Reigns. Which also happen to be 2 awesome games. Fear not. Platinum will not steer you wrong. Calling it now...9/10. Watch...
Thu 18th Jul 2013

AMR

#7

AMR said:

A cult classic in the making, watch this space! The wait until Friday just got a lot harder ;-)

Inev

#14

Inev said:

@ThomasBW84
Two questions:
Can the story mode be played entirely with a pro controller?

Regarding off-TV play: In the director's trailer for this game, there seem to be some puzzle-like sections where the gamepad and TV show different perspectives of the same situation (you can see this about five minutes into the trailer). What happens then if you're using off-TV mode?

Matthew94

#16

Matthew94 said:

Sounds like it got a 9/10 for political reasons and not due to merit. No doubt it's great but if it wasn't so heavily endorsed by Nintendo I wonder whether it would have got such a good score here.

skjia

#17

skjia said:

"What's immediately charming about The Wonderful 101 is its style and storytelling, which in some senses recalls the wonder of fantastical silliness that used to be at the core of superhero lore." - Awesome. I miss when superheroes were fun.
Really enjoyed the demo. The review was very similar to my experience with the demo. I was kind of confused and overwhelmed but somehow loved it and kept wanting to play more. Really looking forward to this.

Dpullam

#18

Dpullam said:

I'll probably pick this game up once it goes down in price. I just need to try the demo before I can guarantee whether I want this game or not. It looks fun at the very least, but I have other games further up in line to get first.

HaNks

#19

HaNks said:

nice review, without giving anything away. been eagerly anticipating the game and played through the demo loads. you didn't really talk about the battle mechanics, but there seems to be a LOT of depth there. it can be really hard to follow what's going on, but once you get with the aerial combos it starts getting crazy :)

BillyCupid

#22

BillyCupid said:

Judging from personal experience with the demo, the controls are the major letdown with this game... They take a while to get used to and even then you never feel fully in control. There is a nagging feeling that the Nintendo press are so desperate for a hit, they're overscoring this one... Admittedly I've only played the demo, but it didn't feel like a 9/10 to me.

I'm struggling with the decision to get this or Rayman Legends - but then the last thing I need at the minute is another 2D platformer on my Wii U!

Fingeldor

#24

Fingeldor said:

The demo captivated me after a second run and getting adjusted to the controls. I was definitely overwhelmed at first but a second pass at it made me fall in love with the game. I really can't wait to get my hands on this next month for my birthday! =)

rjejr

#26

rjejr said:

@Gen0neD - I think that's the 1st time I've ever been quoted before I even wrote ;-) You were right though. And I've played the demo, and viewed the 7 minute trailer several times, and I was wrong to worry. But having played numerous hours of "When Vikings Attack" this is still similar. Greatly improved upon, but the basic game mechanic is there.

TW - is there a way to use the bombs and health items w/o touching the screen? I've played the demo twice - once on very easy and again on easy - and only used the screen for items, I like the stick. Also, do Classics work or only Classic Pros? I don't own either (which sucks now that I've transferred all my Wii VC games over to my Wii U, but that's a rant for another day).

Most excellent review. Can't believe we have to wait another month though :-(.

ThomasBW84Admin

#28

ThomasBW84 said:

@Inev Single player is GamePad only I think, but I'll double check on Monday.

When playing off tv, any dual screen stuff (like brief indoors sections) are worked around with a little window in the bottom left.

@Matthew94 The score would be the same regardless of publisher. If you choose not to believe me then there's little I can do about that, but we all (the whole review team) just give opinions on games.

ThomasBW84Admin

#29

ThomasBW84 said:

@rjejr There is, though you might gave to still look on the screen to see what you're selecting. Left and right on the d-pad selects, I believe, and up uses the item. Something like that, but I can check the manual as I just used the screen!

Both Pro Controllers and Classics can be used in multiplayer.

EvisceratorX

#30

EvisceratorX said:

Played the demo for this and it was complete madness. I love this game, can't wait till it releases stateside!

C-Olimar

#31

C-Olimar said:

I hated the demo for about 70% of my first playthrough of it. Then I started to like it. Then on my second playthrough, I loved it. I liked it more and more on my third, fourth, fifth and sixth playthroughs! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS GAME!!!! :D

Emaan

#34

Emaan said:

It looks like a pretty great game, though I still haven't decided if I want it or not.

BakaKnight

#35

BakaKnight said:

Not that I had doubts, but glad to have the confirm that I won't regret I choosed this as my first Wii U game!
Can't wait, Friday seem so far XP

ricklongo

#36

ricklongo said:

Having to wait a whole month from this review until I can get my hands on this title = not cool. :(

Come on, September 15th!

Technosphile

#37

Technosphile said:

I've played the demo so much now that I think I'll be ready to go with the controls come next month, though I do struggle still with multi-Unite attacks.

We're looking at the first GREAT Wii U game, people.

BossBattles

#38

BossBattles said:

The mark of a deep and great game is to be challenged enough to make you better at it over time. Too many games hold your hand the whole time.
The controls for this game are perfect. But only if you "do your best".

ikki5

#40

ikki5 said:

the game isn't out yet.... in any place.... is this review based off the demo alone?

raith

#41

raith said:

I'm glad the game is receiving positive reviews, except for one particular site that gave it a low score for the most asinine reasons. Regardless, I cannot wait for this game next month.

Luffy

#43

Luffy said:

Why do ppl keep saying price drop on the game? Wont that be in a year?

SuperKMx

#44

SuperKMx said:

I was looking forward to this, and now I can't wait. Finally, a reason to connect my Wii U back up to the TV!

StephenYap3

#45

StephenYap3 said:

Wonder Blue: No time for reviews, dude! Let's get this game out already!

Seriously, I'm hyped for this game now!

sinalefa

#46

sinalefa said:

I think this is one of your longest reviews, Tom. Great job.

I just scrolled down first crossing fingers for a 9. As with Ducktales Remastered, I will get this game day 1 even if critics butcher it. No price drop, the idea is to support the developers! It seems the game is long and deep enough to warrant multiple playthroughs, so there should be bang for your buck.

@Technosphile

For me Pikmin 3 would be that first great game, but to each their own.

DePapier

#50

DePapier said:

Nah, I'm aiming for Normal mode. Of all the times I have played the demo, even when I didn't know how to use objects to replenish my health, I never lost. I had to have a friend discover the game in Easy mode to see Red's ghost cry.

VolcanoFlamesNL

#51

VolcanoFlamesNL said:

Oh, N-Life has gone and given a review on this game? Cool! Wonderful review, @ThomasBW84. Oh, and Tom, please is there an update that comes with the game, and how are loading times? Fast, at least, right?

Rerun

#52

Rerun said:

I love that the game isn't perfect to the point that it feels manufactured. Somehow had a Viewtiful Joe vibe going for it when I played the demo. Getting this on retail Day 1 to support Platinum.

DePapier

#53

DePapier said:

Still from the demo I think off-TV on TW101 is awesome. In no way can it subtitute dual-screen play, but managing both screens in one is a really cool feature to have in certain situations, and prove that in one way or the other, every Wii U game could and should have off-TV play.

RR529

#57

RR529 said:

@ikki5, big gaming news sites often have early access to the full product for review purposes.

IGN also has their review up.

DePapier

#61

DePapier said:

I actually love the Wonderful Missions: no talk, just fighting, it's pure scoring. Unfortunately, there should be a patch to allow to play the missions solely on the GamePad WITHOUT having to use the GamePad: this would allow up to four players in multiplayer without the need for a TV. (I might still be doable now if the supplemental GamePad player is just used as some kind of decoy...)

Also, Pro Controller works in Story Mode. You can even play with the Pro in off-TV play.

JaxonH

#63

JaxonH said:

Yeah, this game is definitely what's up. Pikmin 3, Splinter Cell Blacklist, New Super Luigi U, Rayman Legends, and The Wonderful 101.... all in a time frame of 1 month. Wii U is already my new favorite console of all time.

snoox

#64

snoox said:

This review is a lil confusing to me, it seems like he doesn't like it too much, but at the end he suddenly likes it a 9 lot. Hmmm. Sounded to me like more frustration, less joy. I am hoping tho it does super well.

DePapier

#65

DePapier said:

@snoox It seems more to me like @ThomasBW84 actually loves the game in spite of the minor hindrances he encountered but needed to stay professional about it — something I know I can't do. :D

starshaped420

#66

starshaped420 said:

You guys need to start making video reviews!
Now that rich and audry left ign the reviews by kezza mcdonald suck!

R_Champ

#68

R_Champ said:

"This game is, undoubtedly, fiercely difficult." Good, Goooooood. Too bad the US release is so far off T_T.

Holly

#69

Holly said:

I've been closely watching this game ever since the first trailer was released, back when it was called Project P-100. I was rather disenchanted by the demo, but there's still a strong chance I'll get the game, especially after this review.

Pachterkid

#70

Pachterkid said:

This game just looks stupid. People really must be desperate to have something to play on their Wii U. Mine's been unplugged ever since I bought a PS3. Tales of Xillia, The Last of Us; those are exclusives.

starshaped420

#73

starshaped420 said:

@depapier ohh yeah they only have ps3 and xbox fanboys running ign, i really enjoyed audry drakesand rich's reviews but now both are gone, and ign has the kezza :(

DePapier

#74

DePapier said:

@starshaped420 I did too. :( They also used to make great and fun interviews of Reggie, Miyamoto and Iwata. It's really sad that they left...
Hopefully that can give a vacant spot to NL for those interviews. I'd love to see the men themselves talk DIRECTLY with our fellow Thomas and Damien here. ;)

WaveWarlock

#75

WaveWarlock said:

@koopakid
I'm trying to get excited for this one, but eh. The Wii U has such generic & safe looking Big N exclusives on the way. Don't get me wrong, they all look solid but they're all severely lacking in originality. At this point, i don't even need a Wii U. I'm content with my Wii and it's big 'n delicious VC. :p Still need to dive into Skyward Sword, a boy & his blob, Return to dreamland, DKCR, the list goes on and on.

Nintendo4Lyfe

#76

Nintendo4Lyfe said:

@koopakid @WaveBoy Why such sad faces? Just because NintendoLife have scored The Wonderful 101 a 9 out of 10 doesn't mean it's stupid. It's a brand new Nintendo title that redefine fun, challenging, dexterity, and has great replay value. If you're not a fan of Nintendo games overall, you're most definitely not a gamer in general... period.

WaveWarlock

#78

WaveWarlock said:

@Nintendo4Lyfe
what? lol I'm not a fan of nintendo games?...BTW, this is developed by Platinum. The only games i'm interested in on the Wii U ARE from nintendo. Wii U 3rd party titles as of now don't exactly tickle my fancy. Where's my precious Zack & Wiki 2 and Elebits 2? :P

Nintendo4Lyfe

#79

Nintendo4Lyfe said:

@WaveBoy

At least Nintendo is getting full support from Ubisoft, Activision, WB Games and independent developers. BTW, The Wonderful 101 is also a Nintendo published title. This is only a genesis of what's to come... especially Miyamoto's new title coming up later during the U's lifespan.

Einherjar

#80

Einherjar said:

@C-Olimar And thats exactly what the producers intended when they said "its not the longest game in the world, but its meant to be played a couple of times to be fully enjoyed" :)
Its definitly a day one buy for me and i dont think that it is a "desperate atempt to get a hit on WiiU" by no means. This is a genuine attempt at making a fun and fresh game with ideas, that werent sucked dry countless times before.
No wonder that big reviewers gave it a slightly average score. They either just romped through it once or they arent used to new games anymore :D If it would be called: "Call of Duty - The wonderful 101" THEN it would get an instant 10/10 for sure :P

WaveWarlock

#82

WaveWarlock said:

I'm not interested in what Ubisoft, WB OR activision have in store for the Wii U, i want capcom, & Konami to get on board and start giving us the goods. I don't care if it's Resident Evil: The Hashbrown Chronicles, i just want something from my 2 other favorite companies of all time. Why can't they at least dip back into 8 or 16-bit and give us sequals to some of their classic retro franchises that require tiny budgets, small development time and MUCH smaller dev teams?

These days, both have fallen, but they still whip up some good stuff here and there. By no means are they even close to being as great as they were in the 80's, 90's OR early 2000's. Mega Man 9, Zack & Wiki and Super Street Fighter IV were the last toobular tripod of gamer goodness from the big C as far as i'm concered. :p Konami on the other hand has destroyed Silent Hill, has done next to nothing with contra and turned Castlevania into Western dust.

WaveWarlock

#84

WaveWarlock said:

@Jllanos22

You mean a 7.4 ;)
Yeah, i don't give a fraggle rock about any of their silly and unnecessary 'out of 100' reviews. That rating system is a complete joke in itself. I'd rather see multiple scores(maybe 4, from Bozon, Matt, Rich & Audrey, one can only dream)using the .5 system by different editors on the Nintendo team rather than limiting it to one single out of bounds rating from a chick who tends to continuously nit pick the hell out of everything she touches.

Nintendo Life should adopt the .5 scale, or at least have a few scores from a few different editors who have spent just as much time with the game. They used to do this very thing back when videogame magz weren't extinct like the Birdo bird. ;)

Einherjar

#85

Einherjar said:

@WaveBoy Although i have to disagree with castlevania, since i really love the new take on it on its own right (i try to not compare it to anything else besides maybe the theming / athmosphere), the rest...is sadly the truth.
Especially capcom WAS once my favourite developer, and every title that had their logo printed on was an instant buy for me. But it seemes that theese two especially (capcom and konami) got to entangled in the thought that japanese gaming is inferior and destroyed hemselfes in the process t become more "westernized".
They both abandoned their prinziples and mascots and adopted the ways of western devs like, say, EA, with their games being nothing more than the tool necessary for selling overpriced DLC and such.
Remember when capcom tried to hold its pole position in the fighting game genre by beeing one step further than their competition with games like SF Alpha 3 and its rich single player content ? Compare their situation: Back in the day, they released SF2 over and over with genuine enhancements and because there was no other way to change / enhance an already released game. But today ? The changes made to SF4 could have easily been made through patches or "cheap" DLC, but they decided to release a new version, thats incompatible to the older one (online wise) so youre forced to upgrade since everyone else does and on top of that, released a truckload of overpriced DLC too.
If thats the new "western standard", i think that its definitly NOT the japanese gaming market / model thats doomed.

Senario

#86

Senario said:

@koopakid Uh firstly Tales of Xillia holds nothing to the older games of abyss and symphonia and it feels very stripped down in terms of content for a tales game. No cameo battle, namcobanda area, and an extremely rushed end to the story. And the Last of us is overrated. It makes a good movie but there is less in the way of gameplay than I would have liked. It deserves a good score but not "masterpiece".

WaveWarlock

#87

WaveWarlock said:

@Scenario
The PS4/One era is going to be home to these bloody interactive movies.... ZombiU has far more innovation at it's disposal all thanks to the innovative Wii U gamepad than anything The Last of Us can dish out...Plus it's AI is laughably bad.

But of course The Last of Us was a hit, with top notch voice acting, cinematic cut scenes, a post appocalyptic setting with you once again being the last man on earth, 'naughty dog's' name stamped on it along with cutting edge graphics ON the 360 and PS3 was already going to be a giant major success. but doesn it deserve to be? Nah....twin stick aiming(No pointer controls...) crappy combat, terrible AI with zero hardware innovation pushing this entry in the survival horror action genre makes this seem like one giant superficial hollywoodized experience.
I'd rather watch this as a movie, even then...it's plot is is extremely stale and nowhere near as original.....as something, like....Elebits! :P

KeeperBvK

#89

KeeperBvK said:

From what I gathered, there is absolutely no punishment for dieing except for a lower score in the end. I don't see this being mentioned here and I can't see how it would be "such a difficult" game as you keep mentioning throughout the review. It would be nice to get some more detail on how it can still be difficult instead of repeatedly hearing just that it's difficult.

19Robb92

#90

19Robb92 said:

I'm picking this up later this week. The demo was great and I love the humor and attention to detail. The combat was loads of fun as well. :D

@KeeperBvK
This is a Beat-Em-Up game... The whole point is to get a good score. That's why it's considered a punishment. You're supposed to aim for the platinum medals, not the bronze medals.

Captain_Toad

#92

Captain_Toad said:

@koopakid Heh, As long as we got games to play on this thing especially as good as this one. It's fine with us. Wait, Have you actually read the review?

NFeZ

#93

NFeZ said:

@Matthew94 You're absolutely right. Compare this to other games that deserved a 9/10 and it pales. The gameplay is too bland and repetitive, the tutorial level was one of the worst I've ever experienced. A 7/10 score seems much more fitting. Then again, so many Wii U games are being overrated at the moment. In my eyes, such reviews just damage the credibility of the reviewer and claiming this is a must-have just admits the (imo minimal) lack of games on the Wii U. But hey, everyone has his opinion, so I'll just stop complaining.

Kage_88

#94

Kage_88 said:

Day 1 buy for me.

Minor niggles aside, I'm glad this game is getting generally positive reviews. The industry NEEDS more games like this. I'm so sick of grey, generic, over-budgeted, over-produced, celebrity-pandering, DLC-ridden, patch-reliant, 'AAA' interactive movies that most 3rd parties are pumping-out these days. Y'know, the ones that are obsessed with guns n' gore - and last for a weekend.

Wonderful 101 - yet another notch in the Wii U's hat!

WaveWarlock

#95

WaveWarlock said:

@Kage_88
why do you gotta make so much sense Kagey'? You just described the Bronze age of gaming, which is what we're entering with the PS4 & One...Actually, it's basically been this way witht he PS3 and 360 during the last i don't know how many years. I for one wont be a part of it.

I'll give the Wonderful wavey' 101 a chance, i feel like i'm once again in the same position that i was with the Wii version of pikmin. I completely put it off because i just wasn't sure i'd dig it or if this specific genre was for me, but once i got a taste of it I was absolutely head over heals in love. :p a rare instance indeedy.

Also, it's good to see yet another wii U release getting locked in at 60 frames per second. B-)

Peach64

#96

Peach64 said:

I've been looking forward to this one since it was announced. I'm glad to see it's scoring well, but I don't think it's scoring well enough to buy a console for, so I'm still going to hold out.

I've been avoiding media on it, so maybe this has been obvious for a while, but it sounds like there's some disappointing levels of sexism in the female characters, and Eurogamer say that one boss has a few crude lines that turn this from the perfect game to play with kids into one they shouldn't be touching. They also seemed to think the gamepad features were a drawback rather than a positive, and the game would have been better off without them. Oh well, at least Rayman is out soon and everyone says that actually uses it well.

Freakazoid

#97

Freakazoid said:

I cant wait till friday anymore. I got to have this right now.
Hopefully i get the time to play it XD live isnt as joyfull as it was anymore....

Gamer83

#98

Gamer83 said:

Nice to see Wii U picking up. First Pikmin 3, now this and what looks to be the premier version of one of the best games of the year in Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Luffy

#99

Luffy said:

How do you draw on the game pad? I'm using my finger and I can't change weapons?? wth

ThomasBW84Admin

#104

ThomasBW84 said:

@KeeperBvK I actually found it hard to progress, even with the checkpointing, in Normal first time around. Progress was slow to the point it was a little too difficult, and I wanted to feel like I was giving it a fair fight, so I dropped to Easy. I think it is about wanting to get decent scores etc, that's just my instinct, but playing through now with normal with a lot of powers etc is more fun, and I can give it a good go. So in that respect I like the system.

On the odd crude line, I think they're pretty tame. In terms of sexist moments, I think the EG review was fair on those points, but sweeping generalisations were pretty liberally applied across the board. I guess with my stereotypes comment I was trying to point out that the game pokes fun at various "typical" hero figures. I think if taken literally the game pokes fun at dudes, jocks, goody-goody "leaders", obesity, game addicted teens, all sorts. Every character is over the top, and there's the odd moment where, with Pink or occasionally other characters, it focuses on their bum for an uncomfortable second.

There are male characters that are dumb and do the gender no favours either, and there are a couple of female characters that are portrayed reasonably. In a game lampooning and being silly with everyone, it's arguably tricky to have a significant attack on it. I say this knowing and appreciating the very real, significant sexism issues in gaming, but I think the issues are better solved targeting areas where the problems are more prevalent.

AMR

#105

AMR said:

@JaxonH Totally agree, by the end of the year I won't be able to comprehend why any gamer would not want a WiiU in their collection. So many great exclusives!

cornishlee

#109

cornishlee said:

Interesting that you got past the buzy-ness of it all - that and the super-hero plotting were/are my main concerns. Sorry, it may not be a fashionable thing to admit, but I've never really been into the US comicbook/superhero thing.

banacheck

#111

banacheck said:

I've read it has a hard difficulty and lasts for 15 hours, but does it have extra hard difficulty settings?

And by the sounds of it, The Wonderful 101 has XXX rated jokes [ The mind-boggling inclusion is a female boss whom the Wonderful 101 refer to as a 'cougar' and who makes several jokes about the size of Wonder Blue's penis.]

AhabSpampurse

#112

AhabSpampurse said:

Great review, it confirmed pretty much what I felt after playing the demo; initially I was overwhelmed and frustrated, but the more I played the more I loved it and was able to figure out its quirks and eccentricities. Roll on Friday.

SetupDisk

#113

SetupDisk said:

@ThomasBW84
Is the actual game much harder than the demo or does the difficulty just spike through the levels? I found the demo fun but ridiculously easy on normal.

ThomasBW84Admin

#114

ThomasBW84 said:

Perhaps your skill level is simply better than mine! I got about an hour in (I'm not sure what levels the demo has, I imagine they're early ones) on Normal and decided I couldn't hack it — plus I needed to make progress. Going back to normal now, with more powers etc, it feels like I have a chance; I plan to play all the missions again in normal to try and unlock more achievements / pins etc and the harder difficulty mode.

SetupDisk

#115

SetupDisk said:

@ThomasBW84
My skill level probably isn't better, it probably has more to do with the last 3D figher I put a lot of time into being Razors Edge which was a really hard game.

I'm still getting the game and I am sure it will have the right difficulty, great review by the way, it just left me with that question.

TreesenHauser

#116

TreesenHauser said:

Yeah, I wanted this before, but now this review makes me want it more. Too bad I gotta wait 'til September 15th.

ednice

#117

ednice said:

You know what Kamiya said after the negative review scores?He said and I quote

Score, score, score, score, score, score, score, score, score, score, score... Get rid of...score thing & just believe yourself !!
End quote

Remember guys, Just believe yourself !!
We gotta make that a meme

Even in quotes, watch the profanity please -Lz

Laxeybobby

#120

Laxeybobby said:

I have just read this great Wonderful 101 review and yet I know (and so do all you readers) that without a proper advertising campaign this will not sell more than a few tens of thousand copies, and no one will purchase a Wii U just to play it.

Without a big concertive effort to push the Wii U through advertising then the Wii U will be obsolete before Christmas.

The sad thing is I don't see Nintendo boosting their advertising campaign for the Wii U and with my hand on heart I believe the Nintendo decision makers have already written the Wii U off as a loss leader and are looking toward the next generation Nintendo console rather than try everything that they can to reinvigorate the Wii U attractiveness to the gamer yet to make the purchase.

I hope I'm wrong I really do.

However I know that in the future I wont be purchasing the next gen Nintendo console on day of release like I have done so far. Next time i will wait at least 6 months for fear of having another sideboard ornament that should have been a game console!

RogueBologna

#121

RogueBologna said:

The demo was incredibly fun by the fourth playthrough that I have no doubt that it didn't get a 9/10 because it's on Wii U. The gameplay is just so fun once you get past the learning curve.

Cohort

#122

Cohort said:

From what I gather from other reviews, it's being marked down for having a learning curve..

element187

#124

element187 said:

@Matthew94 Reviews are opinions.... The controls maybe too difficult for some to master... Some people are really good at actions games, others suck at them, so its not hard to imagine that people that are good at actions games will score this higher than people who are lousy at them..

IGN scored it poorly, perhaps their reviewer wasn't very good at it? Who knows. Perhaps this person gave Bayonetta a terrible review too.

But reviews are an opinion. You find a reviewer that you agree with their reviews most times and stick with that reviewer is the only thing I can suggest.

aaronsullivan

#126

aaronsullivan said:

A prominent demo for this game was a GREAT idea. It really gives potential customers a chance to play more than once and see how deep it can go (in just one level). Definitely worth playing through a few times and I love it.

That said, I'm a bit worried about the content for my 8 and 4-year-old kids so I may have to wait awhile...

Pikmin 3 for awhile then. Not complaining though. It's quite addictive.

BakaKnight

#128

BakaKnight said:

@element187
I'm sure Pikmin 3 is amazing, I played the first game and tried a demo of this new one at a game event, I must admit it tempted me a LOT (especially with the "Wonderful" discount offer on the eShop) but after litterally days of thinking I decided to skip it and just take W101 ^^;

Thanks a lot for the suggestion anyway :)

MegaManEP3

#132

MegaManEP3 said:

I'll be picking this up on day one in the US. Keza at IGNUK seemed to have more control issues with weapons later on in the game but a 7.4 on the IGN scale is still "Good". The last half of this year is filled with amazing games. My wallet is going to hurt...

SamSan37

#133

SamSan37 said:

This is one of the few websites I trust with Nintendo game review. I'm glad that the you enjoyed the wonderful 101. Hopefully I enjoy it too in the coming months when I get a Wii U. I'm getting this day 1 ...on September 15. :)

HawkeyeWii

#136

HawkeyeWii said:

I only want to get one game next month and I am having a terrible time deciding between Rayman: Legends, Scribblenauts: A DC comics adventure, Pikmin 3, and this.......
I think my heads going to explode.

HAL9000

#137

HAL9000 said:

Thank you for the informative and fair review of Wonderful 101. I really enjoyed the demo and look forward to purchasing it on Sept 15th!

FritzFrapp

#138

FritzFrapp said:

Remember when games used to be fun? Luckily Nintendo and Platinum still do. Another excellent review, Thomas.

bezerker99

#140

bezerker99 said:

I'll have to give the demo another spin. I wasn't too impressed the first go round. Seemed like a lot of chaos and button-mashin' when I played it.

GearsOfWarU

#141

GearsOfWarU said:

I can't wait to get this game in September ... Looks Amazing... Beat The Demo on Normal... Really Like it... completely new felling game... Looks like a real gem for Nintendo & The Wii U... Day 1 Purchase !!!!!!

murphy77

#142

murphy77 said:

i know this game has been delayed enough but i think comming out with GTA 5 is gonna hurt its sales

Jukilum

#144

Jukilum said:

@Luffy I had the same problem in the demo. Press select to fix it.

@element187 It's true that reviews are opinions, but IGN reviews are uninformed opinions. The same reviewer said in their review for Game & Wario that there were only 12 minigames: 8 single player and 4 multiplayer. Anyone who's actually played the game knows that there are 12 single player minigames, 4 multiplayer minigames, and MiiVerse Sketch.

gojiguy

#146

gojiguy said:

Nice review.

Might be worth mentioning that W101 is not so much an homage to "comic book" super heroes as it is an homage to these guys:
Untitled

DePapier

#147

DePapier said:

@murphy77 We've had this discussion before on the forums. I think reactions of the people here can tell you were their money will go near launch. At least I know where mine is going... in a few days!! :D

KalosN

#148

KalosN said:

This game looks fun. I might get this alongside the other upcoming games.

P-Gamer-C

#149

P-Gamer-C said:

Nothing special no were near as difficult as the earlier ninja gaiden games or demons souls damage control 101

Emblem

#150

Emblem said:

@Laxeybobby Unfortunately this happens with most Platinum/Clover Studios games, they are very much ahead of their time and reach high critical acclaim but the sales often don't reflect the awesomeness. I've been following them since they were with Capcom and have yet to be disappointed with any of their games.

I'm just glad they are still around to spark innovation and make awesome action games for gamers like me who finds the past-time growing increasingly stale, generic and wannabe movieish despite all the advancements being made technologically.

Nintendo4Lyfe

#153

Nintendo4Lyfe said:

Thomas Whitehead... WONDERFUL job on your review. As much as I truly support both Nintendo and PlatinumGames, The Wonderful 101 are the newest members of both the Nintendo and PlatinumGames family. I'm glad that your country is getting it first a day before Japan's release and then in my country next month. At least it gives me enough time for me to fatten up my wallet, buy it, and play the game!

hydeks

#155

hydeks said:

I was very interested in this title, but after playing the demo, I'm not exactly psyched for this anymore :( Great review, but I still can't decide if this game is for me or not lol

JohninMotion

#156

JohninMotion said:

The first time playing the demo I was frusrated to no end, but as it went on and I learned the controls I began to enjoy it more and more even though it does have its difficult moments. It's on preorder.

element187

#158

element187 said:

@Jukilum most of the games media's reviews are utter crap, but yes I find more issues with IGN than any other.... they were practically glowing with how good Splinter Cell Blacklist is. If you look around the net, it looks like Sam Fishers latest outing is a pretty mediocre AAA title that we have seen a million times before, but some reason IGN is scoring it on the level of TLOU/Super Mario Galaxy levels... its bat sh** insane.

Either IGN really likes bad games and dislikes good games, or they accept money, favors and early access from publishers to write these big piles of dog poo reviews.

whatisyourforte

#159

whatisyourforte said:

I played the demo and was immediately enthralled by this game. I choose the hardest of the three difficulty levels, and didn't seem to run into the crazy difficulty issues some of the reviews have lead people to believe. i also didn't have a problem drawing the different shapes for unity attacks, but the demo doesn't get to the part where you're drawing the more complicated ones (i.e. the whip). I can't wait to pick this up. Loved every minute of it.

Bizzyb

#160

Bizzyb said:

Already preordered. Between this and GTAV September is going to be an insane month

Buzzthebatgirl

#164

Buzzthebatgirl said:

@Inev Re: Playing single player with a Pro Controller over Gamepad. YES, just select Pro Controller over Gamepad Controls in the settings. The Gamepad will just be used as a second screen akin to playing Pikmin 3 on any control method other than Gamepad. This game also supports Wii Pro Crontroller as well.

Genesaur

#166

Genesaur said:

Uncertain if I should wait until I have a Wii U to get this, or if I should buy ahead of time for the sake of showing support, if nothing else.

Genesaur

#167

Genesaur said:

@WaveBoy I really don't get what everyone's deal is about Keza's review. So she nitpicks; she is a gaming journalist, after all. That's sort of her job. The review was overall positive, but apparently, anything lower than an 8 is criminally low and obviously due to her sucking, or something. It all just seems so silly to me.

Nintygek

#168

Nintygek said:

@Holly Get this game! Bought this game day 1 and it is a true gem. Platinum games is to Wii U, what rare was to the N64!

Nintygek

#169

Nintygek said:

@URAmk2 This game sells in Europe for only 45€. Normally they are 60€. This game will not lower in price for at least 9-12 months. Nintendo exclusive ;-)

Dogpigfish

#170

Dogpigfish said:

@Genesaur I actually look forward to Keza's reviews, but she is an impulsive gamer and will rush through everything. If you realize that, then you understand why she may score stuff lower when it requires some patience or there is a deeper emphasis around control. Her review of dark souls and Pikmin 3 are great examples of how she missed the mark because of her desire to fly through them.

Genesaur

#172

Genesaur said:

@Dogpigfish The only reason I find it odd to look at it that way is because she particularly likes Monster Hunter, the enjoyment of which impatient gamers are incapable of experiencing.

URAmk2

#173

URAmk2 said:

@DePapier
that funny ninja gaiden razors edge was published by nintendo & i bought it for $20 brand new from amazon 2 months ago

@Nintygek

i dont care about prices in europe. im in the US. with it's bad sales it'll be on sale for $20-30 in less than 6 months. i just got zombi u for $20 on newegg, lego city for $25 on newegg & monster hunter u for $20 on gamefly. 3 nintendo exclusives... and how long have those been out? ;)

alvieao

#174

alvieao said:

Like many, playing the eShop demo was confusing on the first run, but then I got used to the game's mechanics and controls more often. Having my hands on the final game, it's a brilliant and energetic Wii U action title from Hideki Kamiya, the creative mind behind Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, and Bayonetta.

Gameplay seems like a mix between Pikmin, Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami and Bayonetta, with several Unite Morphs used to defeat enemies and solving puzzle elements. Like many PlatinumGames titles, there’s nothing short of awesome moments that come every five seconds or so. The Wonderful 101’s cast of characters is amazing, featuring well-known voice talent like Roger Craig Smith, Tara Strong, and Kari Wahlgren.

In some ways, I thought The Wonderful 101 shared many qualities with the 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising, despite being vastly different action titles. Both games evoked that Saturday morning cartoon feel with clever dialogue, fantastic voice acting and soundtrack, amazing visuals that show off the power of Nintendo’s consoles, a learning curve for the controls, challenging difficulty, and plenty of content and replayability.

I'm very appalled that Nintendo didn’t heavily promote the game much like their other Wii U and 3DS titles (which also includes last year’s Kid Icarus: Uprising). It certainly doesn’t help that it’s a PlatinumGames title, which is a shame since their games are awesome. That being said, Nintendo and PlatinumGames did a such tremendous job with The Wonderful 101. Truly a Wonderful game worth playing. Team! UNITE UP!

DreMurf313

#175

DreMurf313 said:

One of the best games of the year! I'll even go as far to say "one of he best games in this current generation! Once again, how could IGN give this a 7.5 & turn right around & call GTA 5 "The best game I've ever played" then give it a 10? I've played GTA, you have tons to do which is always cool, but the reason why people bought it is to carjack, pick up prostitutes, & run from the cops. its a 8.5 all the way! But 101 is a 9.5 to a 10 in anyway you look at it!!

andreoni79

#178

andreoni79 said:

I finally put my hand on this, and now I love Platinum even more! It won't happen, but I'd love some extra missions with characters from other Platinum's games like Bayonetta, Jack (Madworld) and Sam (Vanquish)!

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