Wonderful 101 Remastered evaluation: A flawed motion recreation will get a second probability

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Wonderful 101 Remastered review: A flawed action game gets a second chance

I used to be a believer within the Wii U from the beginning.

After doubting the usefulness of the double screens in Nintendo DS, and finally being dazzled, I approached the Wii U GamePad with an open thoughts. But few Wii U video games made the case for a second display screen faraway from the TV, and efforts like PlatinumGames’ The Wonderful 101 performed extra like a valiant try and make hay from Nintendo’s second strangest console than a recreation that took benefit of the {hardware}’s absolutely realized potential.

The Wonderful 101 Remastered, a cleaner wanting model for contemporary methods with some mild tweaks, appeared like an opportunity to liberate Platinum’s uncommon motion recreation from the Wii U’s anatomy, and let it shine as a extra conventional motion expertise. Platinum is aware of motion video games, after all, higher than nearly anybody. But the character of the sport’s design — “drawing” weapons and preventing as a cluster of dozens of superheroes — stays clunky, whatever the {hardware}.

The Wonderful 101 offers you management of a heroic workforce chief — initially Wonder-Red, then Wonder-Blue and different color-coded heroes — who fights alongside their superhero brethren and the bizarre residents who be part of the battle towards alien invaders. It’s a campy, colourful journey. Game director Hideki Kamiya appears to stuff all the pieces he likes — tokusatsu-style action, retro video video games, motion figures, charismatic however corny hero characters — into The Wonderful 101, and it’s evident he had a pleasant time doing so.

As famous in Polygon’s authentic evaluation of The Wonderful 101 from 2013, with a view to fight dangerous guys, I need to draw shapes like a straight line, a circle, or an S-curve to summon weapons (a sword, a fist, or a whip, respectively). This is the ability of the Unite Morph, an ever-growing arsenal of fight instruments utilized by the worldwide superheroes referred to as Wonderful 100 (the plus-one right here is you). New assaults are bought from an in-game store, much like methods from different Kamiya-led sequence like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry.

Unite Morph weapons are composed of my most important superhero’s tiny allies; these weapons are made of individuals! On the Wii U, summoning a Unite Morph was achieved by drawing on the GamePad’s touchscreen. On a PlayStation 4, the system I performed The Wonderful 101 Remastered on, drawing may be performed with the precise analog stick or the DualShock 4 touchpad. Neither reliably labored for me 100% of the time, however the touchpad carried out higher than anticipated.

The Wonderful 101 is extra forgiving than your typical Platinum motion recreation, so drawing flubs are hardly ever disastrous. You can take loads of injury, heal up with objects, and mash your approach via many challenges simpler than a Bayonetta or Vanquish.

Thank goodness, as a result of the visible chaos of The Wonderful 101 means simply dropping your most important character in a battle, and the choice to proceed proper from the place you died allows you to transfer ahead, simply on the expense of a excessive rating. I’d forgotten concerning the proceed system within the years for the reason that authentic. It doesn’t supply the identical alternative to enhance your efficiency towards a difficult boss, and to subsequently study from it, however an opportunity to grind out success.

Still, it’s laborious to disclaim The Wonderful 101’s attraction. The recreation is filled with over-the-top characters and cute set items, like a Punch-Out!!-style mech battle, and little touches like an early second the place dozens of heroes maintain up an enormous soccer helmet to guard the workforce towards an alien bombardment, that assist break up the monotony. Other interactions are much less endearing; turning a dial with the Unite Morph hand to unravel a mix lock underscores simply how problematic the sport’s digicam may be.

A collection of heroes fling themselves upon an evil robot

Image: Platinum Games Inc.

The additional polish that Remastered brings to The Wonderful 101 gives a skinny veneer of enchancment. Early tutorials and on-screen shows make it simpler to grok the sport’s fight methods, however menus are nonetheless clumsy to navigate. And to compensate for the dearth of a second display screen, the sport gives some visible choices to view the sport’s submenu: overlay it on the motion picture-in-picture model, see each in split-screen, or just pop up the submenu on the fly. All choices add to the cluttered visible noise of The Wonderful 101, however I resigned myself to creating peace with the sport being overstuffed by design.

If you walked away from The Wonderful 101 early on, like I did again in 2013, Remastered is unlikely to vary your opinion of the sport’s character-action deserves. Newcomers shouldn’t strategy The Wonderful 101 Remastered like Platinum’s different video games, e.g. Bayonetta or Astral Chain, through which massive, simply readable combatants beat up dangerous guys just a few at a time with balletic, combo-chaining grace. It’s extra like pitting dueling riots towards one another, which gives its personal model of enjoyable.

The Nintendo Switch’s success has given many ignored Wii U video games a second probability to discover a new viewers, and The Wonderful 101 Remastered deserves to be skilled by extra gamers. So I’m grateful that Platinum is ready to carry its most curious launch to much more individuals — Remastered is out on PS4, Switch, and Windows PC — even when I’m a part of the group that doesn’t bear in mind The Wonderful 101 very fondly.


The Wonderful 101 Remastered is out now digitally on PlayStation 4, and Windows PC, with a bodily launch on June 30. The recreation was reviewed on PS4 utilizing a last “retail” obtain code offered by Nintendo. You can discover further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.

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