Seemless use of the GamePad
While the game can be played with the Wii U Pro Controller, I spent my entire time with the game using the Wii U GamePad. The layout of the controls always felt very comfortable while playing. Though I will say I was kind of surprised that you couldn’t draw the Unite Morph shapes on the touchscreen. The game features off-TV play, which I utilized sometimes while playing. When playing the game on a TV, the GamePad is not used too much and you will mostly use it to look at menus. However, there are parts of the game designed to utilize both screens. These parts have you going inside buildings, while still needing to see what is going on outside. I do wish there were more areas like this throughout the game, but it was a neat addition that hopefully could be built upon in a potential sequel.
Comedy and Drama
As you continue through the game, you are introduced to more characters, specifically the new Wonderful Ones. A lot of them are based in stereotypes, but are very fun to watch regardless. The interactions between the characters, especially when involving Wonder Green or Wonder Pink, are often quite funny, and reminded me of the comedy seen in the Viewtiful Joe series. Wonder Pink quickly became one of my favorite characters in the game due to his comedic timing. In contrast, there is also a good bit of drama, especially involving the tragic backstory of one of the Wonderful Ones. There is also a good deal of inter-team conflict, which I haven’t noticed too often in gaming. The Wonderful 101 features many twists and turns that make you really want to find out what happens next. I won’t say more than that so those that plan on playing the game can experience it for themselves without being spoiled.
Just about the only negative thing I could find about The Wonderful 101 is the sometimes repetitive nature of the gameplay, mostly as a result of seeing the same enemies over and over again. As talked about above, the gameplay is very unique and a ton of fun, while also adding in some different type gameplay sections. However, some of the more basic stages get very tiresome and tedious. I was playing on normal, which is the highest difficulty option in your first playthrough, and it seemed like the stages were just dragging sometimes as you get in long battles against the same few enemies. These same enemies do not go down quickly either, so your hands can get tired quickly against these same few. Each levels introduces a few new enemies due to the new Unite Morphs you unlock, but you still see a lot of the old enemies return constantly. The game just feels like it could have been used a few more enemies to alleviate this problem.
The Wonderful 101 is a very unique and stylized game that was a blast to play. The game suffered at times from repetitive enemies and tedious battles, but the game had enough variety otherwise to avoid the game from getting stale. The central element of this game is the variety of Unite Morphs that you will unlock with the addition of new Wonderful Ones to your team as you play through. The introduction of these new characters bring a good mix of both comedy and drama to the story. This game features a lot of replayability with lots of collectibles hidden in the game as well as higher difficulty settings that you can unlock. If you are a fan of Hideki Kamiya and Platinum Games, there is a very good chance that you will really enjoy this game. This is the first of multiple big titles coming to the Wii U over the next few months, and I’d say this one kicks it off pretty well. If you own a Wii U, it is definitely worth checking out.
[Editor’s Note: The Wonderful 101 was reviewed on the Nintendo Wii U platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]The Wonderful 101 (Wii U) Review,