The Wonderful 101 review
Fun and Unique with a few flaws
+Excellent comic style graphics
+Epic Boss Fights
-Drawing the Unite Morphs is often inaccurate
-Bad camera angles in places
This review will use the following criteria
Graphics - 20%
Plot - 50%
Game Play - 10%
Music/Sound - 10%
Replay Value - 10%
This game will remind some people of an interactive comic book. The color are bright and bold that look pretty good in HD. Even the text of the dialog on the screen takes the comic book tone. Platinum Games did a solid job creating colorful characters, enemies, and worlds. (8.5/10)
The game follows the exploits of a group of heroes referred to as the Wonderful One Double O. This group of heroes are pressed into duty thanks to an invasion by an alien force known as GEATHJERK. There are kinds of backstories here, but those aren't fully explained. There are also quite a few humorous moments to enjoy (7.5/10)
There are two modes in this game: Story and Wonderful Missions
Story mode follows the main operations and missions of Wonderful One Double O. Players on the first play through may chose from three difficulty levels: very easy, easy, and normal. There are plenty of saved game places so many people can have their own space or even have a game at each difficulty level if he or she chooses. The game is separated into operations. Operations often have letter segment such A, B, and C. Each letter segment has a number of missions to complete. After each mission, the game will evaluate the player's performance based on time taken, combos performed, and damage taken. The highest level is pure platinum (of course), and the lowest is consolation prize. The end of boss battles take in account continues and items used. Speaking of the boss fights, these are larger than life experiences that will keep your attention glued to the TV screen or GamePad.
You start out with a set number of Wonderful Heroes. You can increase this size by recruiting additional members who are scattered throughout the game. You can also recruit citizens in distress temporarily for segment of each operation . To recruit, you will need to form a circle around the citizens or heroes in waiting. Players must fight enemies through team attacks and the more powerful unite morphs. Although there are 100 heroes to recruit, there are seven standard unite morph attacks: hand (red), sword (blue), gun (green), whip (pink), hammer (yellow), claw (white), bomb (black). Additional unite morphs can be "purchased" at the Wonderful Mart (more about that later). Players can also set the various Wonderful Ones to be the leader. Each Unite Morph has a leader that the player will control. These leaders are set to the main characters that the game follows. The standard unite morphs are activated by either drawing a shape on the GamePad touch screen or using the R stick to form the shape. Circle is Unite Hand. A straight line is Unite Sword. In the beginning, these are fairly easily to draw with a few register errors by the GamePad. However some of the later unite morphs such Hammer and Bomb become more problematic. The R stick is handy for Wonder Liners and Unite Sword, but it is woefully inadequate to handle the other unite morphs.
Between each segment of Operations and between each Operation, players will have access to the Wonderful Mart. Here players may purchase with the in game currency items such as Wonderful Noodle Soup to Go. There is also additional unite morphs to unlock including the necessary Unite Guts. These Unite Morphs are not activated by drawing a symbol on the GamePad. Rather, these may be activate by pressing one of the back trigger buttons or by pressing jump rapidly. Custom Blocks allow to add certain extra abilities to Unite Morphs such as Healing Guts. Finally there are skills that add abilities to Unite Liner and Team Attacks.
The menu can be accessed during game action or between operation segments. Players can view their vitality bar, unite gauge, hero heart, and items. Custom allows players to use custom blocks purchased in the Wonderful Mart. Only three may be set at a time. Files lets players view information on Unite Morphs, Skills, Items, GEATHJERK, Wonderful files, Wonderful Figures, Items, and the Bottle-Cap Collection which is the in game achievement system. The mixer can be used to "cook" certain items by using the space peppers, carrots, and eggplants found throughout the game.
Finally, Players can retry a mission or operation segment, exit to the title screen, select a certain operation to play over, or adjust options. Within the options, there is various screen settings, language settings, sound, button configuration, and controller settings. The options may also be accessed from the main title screen. Therefore, underneath this game, there is quite a bit to customize if a player wishes.
Wonderful Missions is where multiplayer comes into play. Up to five people can participate. One player uses the GamePad while the rest need use either the Wii U Pro Controller or a Wii Remote w/ Pro Controller. As a side note, a Wii Remote w/Classic Controller also works to a degree but some of the Unite Morphs are unusable such as Unite Guts. Players must agree on a mission to do. They are related to the operations and given a difficulty level. The main problem here is for the people who don't have the GamePad. Players using the Wii U Pro Controller or the Wii Remote w/Pro Controller will be forced to use the R analog stick to form the Unite Morphs. As I have previously stated, this is a cumbersome and frustrating process. Therefore, I can't imagine a group of friends or family would enjoy playing this together. Multiplayer seems like an after thought for Platinum Games for the Wonderful 101. I think it would have worked much better if it was online multiplayer instead of local. There is also this fact. Wii U is supposed to be able to support two GamePad controller. We have yet to see this ability in action. Therefore, an alternate could have been to do a two player co-op multiplayer in the Wonderful Missions instead of having five people. But I digress. The main point is that multiplayer won't be very fun for those without the GamePad.
Overall, the game play is unique and different. There is a learning curve to learn all the different combos of attacks and abilities. However, the inaccuracy for drawing the Unite Morphs does dampen the experience. (7.5./10)
The music is very similar to that of a super hero movie or young adult television show. It can be a bit cheesy at times, but I like the mood and atmosphere that it sets. My only other complaint is the music is a bit on the repetitive side. There is full voice acting in this game. Players even have the option to hear speech and see dialog in Japanese which is rare. Either a game is fully localized or there are subtitles if the original Japanese dialog is retained. Overall, the game developers have done a good job on the music and sound (8.5/10)
Since the game "scores" the player's performance periodically, players can go back and try for a higher score and earn a higher medal. Players can see if they can collect all 100 of the Wonderful Ones. Finally, after a player complete the main game on normal difficult, a hard difficulty unlocks. There is even a 101% Hard difficulty to unlock(7.5/10)
This one of the more unique and different games you can play. I love the fact it dares to be different. However, there are some flaws like drawing Unite Morphs and camera angles. Ultimately though, this is game is a worth while experience.
8.5 *.2 = 1.7
7.5 *.1= 0.75
7.5 *.5 = 3.75
8.5 *.1 = 0.85
7.5 *.1 = 0.75
Final Score = 7.8
About the author
- Which Unite Morph is the most useful? 0
- This game is awesome 4
- Wonderful 101 panel with Hideki Kamiya at PAX Prime 2013 0
- The Wonderful 101 Direct 2
- Nintendo's The Wonderful 101 Direct recording and extended trailer, a must watch for all Wii U owners 7
- Introduction 1
- Tomorrow's Nintendo Direct to show us what's wonderful about The Wonderful 101 0
- The Wonderful 101 E3 2013 Hands-On: Losing the spotlight, but still standing united 1
- E3 2013 Trailer 0
- The Wonderful 101's not so wonderful release date announced, pushed to September 15 4
- Release Date Announced For North America & Europe 1
- Platinum Games hearts Nintendo, announces Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive 54