Ah, Platinum Games. I don’t think you’ve ever delivered a disappointing game that I’ve played. Bayonetta 2, Metal Gear Rising, and now The Wonderful 101 all rank in some of my all-time favorite action games. These titles have a large focus on memorization of button combinations to perform fantastical feats in-game.
I finally got around to finishing The Wonderful 101, Platinum Games’ Wii U – exclusive ‘superhero’ game, and I absolutely adored it. There are definitely a few bumps along the road, but as an overall experience, The Wonderful 101 is one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Preface: I played Bayonetta 1, 2, and Metal Gear Rising prior to popping in The Wonderful 101, so I already had a decent knowledge of the recurring elements in Platinum’s character-action games. Analyzing enemy attack patterns and positioning your character on certain places of the terrain are crucial to every gamer’s success in these games, and The Wonderful 101 is no exception. While I found it occasionally difficult to utilize every Wonder-ability in the game, often due to my poor drawing skills (clarification – I used the gamepad’s right stick to draw wonder-lines) the game does a good job at teaching you the unique uses of each character’s power and which enemies they are most powerful against.
If there’s a single thing I’d pin against The Wonderful 101, it would be the lack of helpful hints at certain points in the game. Without revealing content spoilers, there are certain sections in which the objective of the Wonderful Ones is rather unclear, and I had to resort to reading a walkthrough online to progress further. These moments only occurred a few times in the adventure, but were noticeable enough to dampen my experience in the moment. Also, not starting the player off with the all-important dodge and block abilities at the start of the game is a bit of an oversight. Sure, you give the player the ability to purchase these moves as soon as they see the first Wonder-Mart, but it’s something I think should be provided immediately.
Why is the story in this game legitimately good? Platinum Games aren’t known for their story-telling capabilities, instead opting for top-notch action in their games. It greatly surprised me to see the narrative of The Wonderful 101 becoming something I really enjoyed, and found to really stand out amidst other hero-focused adventures. Seriously, this game’s plot took me by surprise by how solid it is.
In the grand scheme of the game, looking back on it… I wish it received more recognition than it did. I was informed of The Wonderful 101 by the Super Best Friends Play YouTube channel, where the Best Friends spoke highly of this title. Intrigued, I dived in not knowing what to expect, leaving pleasantly surprised and hyped by what I experienced. The final few hours of this game are some of the most quality gaming I’ve yet seen this generation, and I hope other action games take notice, because the sense of scale The Wonderful 101 puts on display is superb!
If you own a Wii U, and have found titles like Bayonetta to be fun, then The Wonderful 101 is worth a shot. I’m currently on my second playthrough and finding it to be even more fun than my first time through. Only precaution I’d give is that the game, in my opinion, has a steep learning curve. It took me most of my first playthrough to understand many of the game’s mechanics and fully grasp the team-esque nature of the combat. The ride is well worth it, though. And man… The soundtrack NAILS the super-hero theme.
I could keep talking about this game all day, but I think I’ll end my thoughts here.
Thanks for reading!