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4.6 out of 5 stars52
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 August 2013
The Wonderful 101 is the newest title from Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising) and published by Nintendo.

The plot essentially revolves around a group of people collectively titled the Wonderful 100 (the extra 1 is YOU!) who are given Superpowers via medallions around their necks which allow them Superhuman powers to take on an Alien threat.

Gameplay. You start each mission with a handful of people and as you explore the world you recruit more, think of it more like Little King's Story or Pikmin, each of the main characters allow you to have different attacks, for example Wonder-Red uses a giant fist, which can be used not only to attack enemies but also to turn valves. Wonder-Blue turns people into swords, which can slash at enemies while also picking locks.

To gain these 'wonderful' abilities you need to are required to either draw symbols on the stylus or use the R stick, personally I found it better to mix it up to accomplish this as some symbols are awkward with the stick.

Controls overall in the game take a little getting used to, but ultimately are fine. I found a few people getting frustrated with the game and blaming the controls rather than their own lack of skill.

Combat in the game is similar to a lot of Platinum games with some new things mixed in, you have your different attacks however simply attacking is not enough as you'll be required to block and dodge, however to do this you will be required to spend at the shop in between levels.

This is a Platinum game through and through, expect the game to hold your hand and you'll quickly find that you'll struggle with it. However if you don't mind hard work and learning about things for yourself you'll find this title far more rewarding.

Pros:
Bright Graphics
Fun Combat
Great sense of humour
Doesn't Hold Your Hand

Cons:
Can make the game a lot more difficult to yourself
Can be too difficult to some

Overall the Wonderful 101 is a Wonderful experience, it's not for everyone but it feels like a rewarding experience.
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on 23 August 2013
I'll just be focusing on the technical aspects of the product.

Packaging:

- Case, cover, game disc and manual.

Gameplay:

- The controls of W101 are great, everything works smoothly although if you're planning to buy this game please try the demo first and learn how the controls properly work because this isn't your typical game where you jump in and know how everything works -- Nope, Wonderful 101 makes you want to play the game how it was intended otherwise you'll just die and eventually give up due to your own fault. Don't let this happen.

- In Wonderful 101 you can either use the Wii U GamePad or the Wii U Pro Controller, and it's not necessary to pick up the GamePad for additional screen because it's possible to bring up a little box with it and then hide it away when not needed.

- I'd recommend the Pro Controller over the GamePad because it lasts for 80h-90h of battery whereas the GamePad needs to be recharged every 3-4 hours which isn't comforting, though its advantage is that you can play the whole game on the GamePad without the TV on.

Graphics:

- They look absolutely stunning in HD with its cartoony and shiny look, I'd hope that by the cartoon-ish graphics it wouldn't be a reason for someone to ignore it (people are quick to judge it's insane).

Camera:

- Sometimes the camera is unable to track your every move so you'll be wondering at least a couple of times where your character is localised, but once you catch up with its pace this isn't an issue any more.

Lifespan:

- The game can last more or less around 20 hours and with tons of replayability you'll be sure to be playing the game more than once, even more because as you get the hang of how the game works it becomes more creative making the weapons and destroying the enemies.

Music:

- I'm really enjoying the score, however, there were times I wish they'd have given it more variety because the same background song playing constantly can break the mood of the player, but if it becomes too irritating you can mute it on the TV or go to the options and set the music to 0%.

Languages:

- Audio: Japanese audio, English dub
- Subs: English, French, Italian, German and Spanish (This multi subtitled version is exclusive to the European release)

To finalise:

- Please play the demo before considering to purchase the game because this isn't the type of game that suits most gamers/people and that it'd be pointless for you to spend your hard earnt money on something you wouldn't enjoy.
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on 23 August 2013
I remember the reveal of the Wii U and Nintendo showing off a very quick clip of The Wonderful 101 (for the sake of the review I am typing TW101). I immediately thought it appeared to be a clone of Pikmin with superheroes. Up to the demo launching on the Nintendo Wii U eshop I admit I had the same misconception about the game, this is nothing like Pikmin.

Sitting down with the demo I was head kicked as enemies beat me up, sent me flying across the screen and the other 100 followers didn't seem to even care... I got extremely frustrated quickly and thought I am not buying this game!

I then watched a video on the game, a rather behind the scenes development glimpse and I caught sight of a developer playing a level; he was attacking and swiping at the Wii U gamepad quickly connecting Unite morphs one after the other and then I realised I hadn't even considered doing that.

Anyway here I am with a copy of the game a few days before release and I am over the moon with the experience. Think of it as a Power Rangers Hyper extreme over the top eye feast, that while not graphically the most impressive game on Wii U it certainly is one that utilises the Wii U system perfectly.

If you have played a Platinum Games title before you will know that they are experts in fighting mechanics, what I have come to love about TW101 is that the game rewards your experimentation allowing you to pull off extreme combos as your men and women morph into giant fists and then swords in seconds.

Usage of the gamepad is really well implemented, when the 101 enter buildings the TV view stays outside but the gamepad view swoops in and follows them about but you will need to use both TV and gamepad to solve some puzzles (All pretty straight forward but logical so not to hinder you). The gamepad screen is also used for the entry of the Unite morphs or you can use the right control stick (This is difficult!), drawing a cycle and hitting A commits the morph. The secret to this game is to ensure that while you complete a morph and start your unite attacks you then need to enter a new morph command and setup your next unite attacks, this chaining is vital in scoring the ludicrous high scores and gaining those platinum medals.

Some folk will be put off by the above and consider this a standard button masher but you really need to think about the creative ways on how to chain certain Unites together to make the most powerful combos. As you progress further into the game you unlock more combo moves as well which opens up further Unite morph opportunities.

I am aware that some reviews have said the above is a negative thing but for me its great, it makes me challenge more myself about what the next logical link would be to keep the fight going, instead of mashing buttons with no consideration (This is still rewarded but you won't be getting those platinum medals).

If you consider yourself a gamer, or want to experiment with something a little different to the typical game on the market such as another yearly football churn then this really is something that action fans would love, not to mention the over the top and often chuckling cut scenes which rock. Platinum Games have delivered the ultimate experience this year in The Wonderful 101
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on 7 January 2015
If you know and play Platinum's popular games like Bayonetta 1 & 2, then you know what to expect with Wonderful 101, also by Platinum: it will be frantic, it will have crazy big-ass bosses, it will rate you with pure platinum, platinum, gold, silver, bronze or er... consolation medal (means you sucked at that particular segment of the game - which I did for quite a few parts of the game). However, it's different from Bayonetta though.

The premise of Wonderful 101 is all about rather quick drawing reflexes. The whole game is based on having a group of tiny heroes that "form" (called unite morph!) the weapon you use against the alien invaders. And to "form" the weapon, you have to draw it out e.g. for a sword, it's a straight line up then press A; for claws, it's a reverse Z then press A; etc. So mostly the learning curve really revolves around drawing the weapon. (here's a hint: use the right thumb pad, I found it more responsive than drawing on the touchpad).

My first 2-3 missions was a chore as I struggled to find my balance in how to draw the darned shapes. So I really hated it at first. But once I got the hang of it, I started enjoying it more as the game became much smoother and I became more proficient at getting at enemies. In fact, I found Wonderful 101 much easier to pickup than the 3DS' Kid Icarus Uprising which I gave up on as I hated its controls - I would say Wonderful 101's gameplay is saved by the responsiveness of the right thumb pad. Like Bayonetta, what kept me going at the game is that there is generally some freshness in every mission, and the bosses are really fun to deal with.

Plus the game's storyline can offer a chuckle or two. Generally the game doesn't take itself too seriously so it has a lot of slapstick comedy, which is actually quite funny. Even bosses add to the comedy.

However, there are some things that irk me in the game. Firstly, the camera angle. Sometimes it's hard to tell which way you're supposed to go because it's very limited in it's panning. It gets worse when you're inside a building and you have to use the game pad to move around - it's a pain. Sometimes it's because of the horrible camera angle means I fall to my death because I can't see where I'm going. Secondly, quick time events. Those frantic button presses at some points in the game is stupid and gives me repetitive strain injury. I think it could've done without it. Thirdly, sometimes the wrong unite morphs get registered and you end up using the wrong weapon and you have to frantically redraw. Fortunately, Platinum was smart enough stop time when you draw, so you don't get hammered. Fourthly, there are some cheap deaths. Sometimes, it's because I'm landed in a totally foreign situation where there is no hint on what I'm supposed to do and some moving contraption just killed me off.

Overall, I felt the game overall was actually quite difficult. I played it on Very Easy and even then I died quite a few times. But the storyline and the variations in gameplay did keep me going to the end. I think this game could be much much better if they sorted out the camera angles and ease the controls a little. If you're looking for a perfect Platinum game, play Bayonetta 2. The Wonderful 101 feels more like a prelude to the greatness contained in Bayonetta 2. What Platinum didn't get right in Wonderful 101, they perfected in Bayonetta 2.
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on 23 August 2013
This is what the Wii U has been waiting for an exclusive that will make you buy one. The game is really good, yes there are a few fiddly bits but they are not enough to stop this game from being great fun. The characters are crazy but this just's makes the game even more fascinating. If you own a Wii U then in my opinion this is a just have.
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on 27 August 2013
This came as such a pleasant surprise. If you have ever played Viewtiful Joe buy this game immediately! This game is not for young children, despite its looks, and is lengthy, colourful, addictive as heck and most importantly FUN. If you own a Nintendo Wii U then this is a must have, and it is personally a contender for my game of the year.
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on 18 February 2015
This game has driven me crazy. It's one of those insane Japanese games that is so stuffed with audio-visual sensory madness that it's difficult to remain relaxed to enjoy it. The game is stressful to play, despite it's charm.

I don't know how to describe it, except that it is 101% hardcore, and not the cute saturday morning kid-friendly game that it appears to be from screenshots. I've previously put dozens and dozens of hours into learning the systems of Bayonetta/Vanquish/MGS Revengeance, games from the same developer which are similarly skill-based and maximalist in their designs, but this one takes the biscuit. I played it on EASY and still got my a** kicked all the way through.

The basic problem with the game is that there are too many interlocking systems, and the game explains almost nothing to you. Combine this with the speed at which things come at you on screen, and that's a recipe for a trade in. I wasted hours of my life trying to play the game without a defensive move (you don't start with one weirdly). It turned out that a block and an evade move were buried in a vending screen, with no tutorial.

Also to consider is the fact that the drawing system is flawed. To change weapons you have to draw their shape on the gamepad, and there are 7 different shapes to remember. For some reason, the whip (wavy line) always gets confused with the hammer (straight line ending in circle!) and the claws (Z-like wavy line.) Sometimes no shape you make produces anything. This lack of precision is really felt in a game that moves this quickly, and where the enemies are so aggressive.

Although I like W101, I would only recommend it to players who are prepared to put in the dozens of hours necessary to get on top of its myriad systems. If that's your thing, this can be a great game with a huge amount of depth. But if you just want to 'experience it', go watch a play-through on twitch or youtube.
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on 11 November 2014
Firstly I'd like to state that I have not gone through the whole game yet and so I may edit or update this review later, however I wanted to write something while certain things were fresh in my mind.

The first time I got my hands on Wonderful 101 was at Eurogamer a couple of years ago, it was the demo version obviously but in all honestly I didn't take to it, the controls didn't feel intuitive (although in general I wasn't very experienced with the Wii U at the time) and I just in general didn't like the feel of the game, however I was sure it would be one of those games that you'd need to spend a little time with to "get".

I didn't have any intention to buy the game, just didn't appeal to me, however I later found out the director of Wonderful 101 was the same person who has made some of my favourite games of all time (Okami, Bayonetta) and after following him on Twitter and getting all kinds of info on the game I decided to get it when I'd get a Wii U and just hope for the best.

I'm definitely glad I decided to take the risk, it's definitely a game you need to spend time with. At first the controls felt strange, using the right thumb stick you "draw" certain shapes to form weapons and other things, the larger you draw the shape the more powerful the weapon etc is, however it doesn't remain in its large form for long and there are a couple of factors involved that you need to consider. One of those factors being the people, you temporarily recruit people you come across during the level that will actually become the thing you use to form the shapes; the more people you recuit the bigger the shape. This is something I haven't come across before in a game and even though aesthetically it looks wacky I came to find it kind of cool.

The other factor and one I didn't think about that much at first, is energy. You have a battery bar below your vitality bar and it is something you need to pay attention to, because this effects the amount of times you can morph and how big you can morph. In games like Bayonetta or Devil may cry you can get away with being very offensive and just dodging certain attacks getting straight back into it. Not in The Wonderful 101. Running out of battery means you run out of defensive measures, so for example you're about to get attacked and thinking you're just going to dodge again you mash that RZ but nothing happens and you get a huge chunk of health taken off.

Having said that, The Wonderful 101 is not easy. This was quite surprising to me at first but you are given the option to play on lower difficulty settings in the beginning. What makes this game so difficult is that it's punshing, not just because of the battery thing, but because if you get hit all the people on your team get knocked out temporarily which leaves you completely defenseless. Also, you're rarely are able to continuously attack, if you carry on too long you almost always get punished for it which again leaves you defenseless for a while. It can be very frustrating in the beginning, but basically you can't go in thinking you can play this like a character action game, you need to be patient and time your attacks well knowing when to back off and be defensve.

I haven't talked much about the story because again I haven't gone through the game, but it runs on the whole superhero theme. The cut scenes are well put together and sometimes even funny, I love how the game doesn't take itself so seriously.

It may take a bit of time to get used to, but this is an amazing game that deserves much more attention than it's currently getting. If you like action games then The Wonderful 101 is something you cannot miss out on.
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on 19 September 2014
Here's what I love about the game:

1) Truly innovative-unique experience, I haven't played any other game like that.
2) Lot's of action, a lot of moves to learn and use and plenty of customisation. Generally very fun to play.
3) The game is has many collectables and also hidden heroes to unlock.
4) Great humour. The game sarcastically uses "Corny" superhero cliche.
5) Great use of the gamepad. Not only to draw the morphs but also, use items and serve as a secondary screen in menus.
6) Boss battles are "Epic" in the superhero kind of way.
7) Great replayability because it takes time to really be good at the game and the in the first playthrough you will probably suck a little. Makes you come back to the mission and nail it later when you have more experience and skills or try it in a higher difficulty. Also if you are after the collectibles and unlocking all heroes you will also need to spend time.

Some Cons:

1) The camera sometimes does not help at all. Luckily its not a very frequent issue and mostly this is true when you are inside a building.
2) The game is trully innovative, unlike anything else you played. Though for some this is a good thing, there maybe players who will find the game too "weird". I know I was one of them until I gave it a little time.

Really looking forward for a sequel or more games like this. Oh, and my personnal recommendation is that I find it much funnier if you keep voice in Japanese with English subtitles; very funny to hear things like "Day wonderfuru wan O wan!" :)
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on 12 September 2013
This game deserves to be amongst your Wii U games library, if you're on the fence about buying this game; I implore you to be brazen, jump down off the fence and purchase this game. You'll be buying a special game that offers a unique way of playing and an experience like you've not experienced before. This is a special game and it's my favourite game of the year so far.

You play as superhereos known as the Wonderful 101, your aim? To stop the alien invasion of Earth by the mighty GETHJERK army. From the beginning to the end this game throws you into the thick of the action. There's no slow introduction to the Gethjerk onslaught, you're thrown into the deep end, armed only with your Unite Morphs and your desire to save Earth.

So what are the good points of the game? The Unite Morphs are great; each one delivers Zeus like blows to the Gethjerk army. The game is colourful, vibrant and beautiful, it's fast paced, seldom slowing down, it's just a constant thrashing together of two brutal forces and it has made for some amazing game play. Not only that the Wonderful 101 is a challenging game, a game that will have you frustrated, a game that will cause you to curse aloud, but ultimately it will give you a good sense of achievement, a sense of achievement that is all too absent from many games these days. The game is also long; I completed the game in just over 17 hours and it has replay ability, I just cannot wait to jump back into the action and smite the Gethjerk with my Valiantium blade. Even my pet hates in other games cease to a pet hate in this game. QTE adds to the flow of the action, it doesn't feel forced or thrown in for the sake of it and the games cut scenes are just hilarious. The witty banter between Wonder-Blue and Wonder-Green has had me laughing out loud.

There are bad points to the Wonderful 101. The camera at times doesn't help matters, at times it can hinder you as play, and this is particularly true as the gameplay switches from the TV to your Gamepad. And while I praise Platinum games for their brilliant use of the Wii U gamepad at times I have found it incredibly difficult to draw out Unite Morph symbols on the gamepad which is frustrating especially when you need to act swiftly in the fight to save Earth. My last gripe with Wonderful 101 is some of the puzzle solving aspects don't add anything to the game other than to slow down the overall pace of the game, but please do not let my opinions influence your purchasing decisions, this game is simply brilliant and I'm delighted with my purchase.
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