Review - Wonderful 101
Wonderful 101 finally hits the streets, but is it the console-selling game Wii hoped for? Well, no. Unless you happen to be settled deeply inside the niche demographic that the game seems to be targeting -- a niche which can be best described as ADHDisney on a bit of tween crack.
Gameplay-wise, Wonderful 101 feels like a hybrid of Pikmin mixed with the Power Rangers game you always wanted as a kid. The combat features feel fresh and taste like a hectic, yet interesting, cocktail consisting of one part Bayonetta, one part Pikmin and one part “what the hell is going on?” And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The battle system has a depth that can be mastered and played in a variety of ways which is something I found to be an invigorating high point for Wonderful 101. But on the other hand, there is a ton of shit happening on your screen making it difficult to really use your team to the best of your abilities. I would call this a “semi-constant nuisance” in that focused battles take place when necessary, such as in boss battles, but otherwise it’s a firework display.
When it comes to the story, we have a case of “generic concept; stylized execution” on our hands. Aliens attack earth led by a bad guy named GEATHJERK and your characters have to -- wait for it -- save the planet. Your team, consisting of color coordinated Wonders, tend to be national stereotypes. The American Wonder is a surfer-esque, internet meme-of-a-personality who runs around and calls people “N00bcakes” (yes, with zeros not Os) and makes fun of the other Wonders based on their nationality. Wonder Green is from France and is very, very stereotypically French and--well you get the point. They're all from different parts of the world and rather than this being charming in a world-coming-together-to-fight-a-greater-evil kinda way, it felt more in bad taste than anything else. This goes back to that notion of a generic concept with stylized execution. One thing you can count on from this game is that it will be as nonsensical and over the top in a tween “epic” kind of way.
The graphics are...odd. The overall art style lends itself well to the game and it feels fitting, but some design choices made me question the limitations of the Wii U. For instance, the characters have no real definition in their ears, but rather have flesh colored hunks on the sides of their heads. It's a minor nit-pick but other aspects of the graphics seem to follow suit. Yet, on the other hand, some of the graphics are quite impressive for what we have previously seen on the platform. All in all, the art style and graphics mesh very well into this over-the-top, action-packed adventure. Even if the characters don’t have defined ears.
I feel like Wonderful 101 is another game that shows how fantastic the Wii U touch pad could be. In theory, the touch pad should work fantastically with this game, but in reality it performs very poorly. After the first few hours, I gave up almost entirely on trying to use it to execute transformations and various moves. The instances when I was forced to use it, such as going inside a building, were very annoying and the pad proved to be well useless. Despite being able to see its potential in Wonderful 101, the pad was far from reaching it, and for the most part the tablet features felt more like an unnecessary chore than anything else.
While I really didn’t enjoy the over-the-top characters and story aspects of the game, I’ll certainly concede that it may just be my taste talking. I’m sure plenty of people will enjoy it, especially within the light hearted Nintendo crowd. The battle experience is fun enough to carry this game through as an enjoyable one, but sadly far from the console seller that it was hyped up to be. Though at the end of the day, it’s still worth your time if you’re into the mindlessness of its humor and story.
|Technically international due to his American/Canadian dual citizenship, Sam comes from a background of espionage and bartending. Growing up home schooled, he honed his skills in martial arts, marksmanship and video games. After years of being a spy, he decided that the espionage business wasn't for him and moved into the wonderful world of video game entertainment where he now works as ScrewAttack's Merchandise Director and Partner Coordinator. Fun fact: almost none of this is true. Almost.|
i enjoyed it keiyma's game never dissapoint me.
Another good reason to own a Wii U
one of the better Beat-em-up's iv'e played in a LONG while.
ps: use the pause button on the game-pad for some hilarious lines from the commentator.
I saw this game at E3 2012 (I think it was 2012) and I thought this looked really bad, then I played the demo and now I own it. On a side note, I was reading this and I thought, this sound a little to knit picky (the characters ears...really), then I saw who wrote it and made sense.
Yeah it is a pretty good part of the game, the boss/bigger fights are pretty fun for the most part.
You play punchout as a giant robot? That does sound pretty cool.
You're really going to complain about the character's ears? That's an issue for you? Other than that, I prefer fun to anything else, so I loved it. And that ending, you just have to see it to believe it.
I disagree with this review, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Power Rangers (the first series) is a good comparisen for this game, over the top, stupid but somehow fun. And I think that's the keyword for the game, fun.
Yes, it is somewhat generic, but also wildly unique.
SPOIL:ER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING!
When you take control of a giant robot and play Punch-Out, go shoot-em-up style, ride a spaceship out of an erupting volcano and partisipate in one of the most epic finales in recent gaming history, that screams originality. This isn't a matter of a generic game with stylised presentation, it's a stylised game with stylised graphics. It's Viewtiful Joe for a new generation.
When I beat the game, I felt like I had just come off of a sugar rush or a roller coaster. I was both elated and exhausted by the adrenalin. It's a game for people who want to sit down, let their brain relax and just have fun. I cannot recommend this game enough for anyone with a sense of humar and a willingness to just admit they want to have fun.
I must respectfully disagree about drawing on the touch pad. While, yes, it can be a bit picky, it doesn't take long before you realize what it will and won't take. For example, to use unite hand it wants you to draw a circle. Of course if you draw the ends together on your circle, the game sometimes gets confused about what you really wanted to do. But, I've found that drawing a "c" will execute the hand without fail. It doesn't take a lot of experimentation to figure a few things out. The pad is much quicker than the stick even with the speed stick upgrade, but it's not without its uses. I've mainly used the right stick for more of a power grab. You can draw far bigger, more powerful things using it. Good review, though!
And here I thought this was another free to play ghetto MMO for the kiddies. The moooooore you knoooooow...
As for somebody who loves Platinum games and any over-the-top characters and such, this game scores HIGH in my book. But that's just my opinion.
I've played the demo and can agree that it can be very chaotic at times. Nicely written sam, but you should also mention that you don't have to write on the tablet and just use the right analog stick instead, just to let us know their's another way to perform the wonder's abilities, just a thought, but hey who am i to say how you should write :p