The Wonderful 101 Review
The Wonderful 101 Box Art
System: Wii U
Dev: Platinum Games
Pub: Nintendo
Release: September 15, 2013
Players: 1-5
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes

Player skill isn't the only barrier to mastery, however. At times, the game's control system can be frustrating. This usually isn't during combat (as long as the player has taken the time to practice the Unite Morph shapes), but during the exploration and platforming sequences. The right stick has too many tasks to do, and if there are hapless civilians around, the player can end up drawing a circle to rescue them instead of pulling out a Unite Hand as intended. The camera angle can also get in the way, making it difficult to pull off certain exploration-oriented Unite Morphs, even when the player knows they're meant to be executed in a certain area.

The Wonderful 101 Screenshot

A few areas progress beyond mildly irritating into actually frustrating. There are short segments of the game that take place inside cramped spaces and force the player to hold up the GamePad and tilt it to look around. This is highly incompatible with the game's other controls, and these segments are my least favorite in the game. There are some frustrating platforming sequences as well in which rapidly changing camera angles screw up the player's sense of which way to jump and where to land. Still, it's all worth it for the spectacular sequences that The Wonderful 101 has set up. Epic battles against funny, crazy, dangerous, and gigantic bosses abound. Some of these segments are strung together with quick-time events in-between them, but strangely (considering the rest of the game), these QTEs are quite simple, affording the player plenty of time to simply experience the action. It's like being in a Japanese superhero cartoon, and it's glorious.

Still, it's all worth it for the spectacular sequences that The Wonderful 101 has set up. Epic battles against funny, crazy, dangerous, and gigantic bosses abound. Some of these segments are strung together with quick-time events in-between them, but strangely (considering the rest of the game), these QTEs are quite simple, affording the player plenty of time to simply experience the action. It's like being in a Japanese superhero cartoon, and it's glorious.

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The Wonderful 101 is a must-have title for any Wii U owner who enjoys the challenge of classic gaming. I suspect my generation, us '80s kids who grew up gaming and are now in our thirties and early forties, will like it best, but all experienced gamers should give it a try. It's a splashy spectacle with a heavy dose of campy humor and a large dollop of challenge. The Wonderful 100 can't become The Wonderful 101 without you, after all, and games like this don't come along very often.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: September 10, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Candy-colored perfection, with occasionally awkward viewing angles the only visual issue.
3.4
Control
The combat system is poetry in motion once mastered, but other parts of the game can be frustrating to control.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Appropriately cheesy voice acting, strong musical pieces, and zappy sound make a great aural experience.
4.0
Play Value
The campaign is meaty, plus there are co-op missions, score challenges, and plenty of collectables.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • As Wonder-Red, leader of The Wonderful 100, you will unite your band of Wonderful Ones to morph into powerful transformations such as a fist, sword, glider, gun, and more to battle invaders throughout Blossom City and across the world. The Wonderful 100—and YOU—are the city's best weapon.
  • Unite your horde of heroes and morph into powerful weapons to crush the invaders, or synthesize into bridges, chains, and other objects that help you move through the world's different environments.
  • Explore each stage to find helpless citizens and empower them by enlisting them to join your army of heroes. The more heroes you gather, the more powerful your Unite Morphs will become.
  • Clobber bad guys with fast-paced, engaging combat. String together combos, dynamically switch between Unite Morphs, evade and defend against alien attacks, and rack up points to earn the best scores and rewards.

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