This is the best game I've ever played in this year, and one of my favourites of all time. But sadly, this game had poor sells, bad marketing and a quite bunch of mixed reviews of many game sites such as IGN and GameSpot. But after reading this crappy piece of text
that the author had the audacity of calling a "game review" (), I needed to write my own analysis just to give the proper treatment that this Wonderful game deserves.
I am bringing the review I wrote for my WordPress blog, originally written in brazillian portuguese, my native language. So. I'm trying to do my best in just bring the key features to the table here, making less tiresome for me to translate (not using Google Translate), but it will still be a huge and detailed review. If you have some portuguese knowledge, the full review is avaliable here
================================Super FOG vs. The Wonderful 101Introduction:
The Wonderful 101 is Nintendo's newest IP for Wii U, in partnership with Platinum Games, created by Hideki Kamiya, responsible by games like Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry (original), Viewtiful Joe, Okami and Bayonetta. In the game, you control a 100-superhero squad in order to protect Earth from an alien invasion, sounds cliche? So, how about the fact that to fight the invaders, you'll literally UNITE your 100-man squad to attack? You can morph your group into giant punches, swords and guns to fight the enemies. How a formula like that can work? Well, read the review and have fun.The Game:
Earth is being invaded, for the third time after 20 years, by the alien forces called GEATHJERK (and get used to weird names like that throughout the game), Wonder Red is a novice of this super hero squadron, the Wonderful 100 (it reads "one-double-oh"), being this your very first experience in combat, you'll be accompained by Wonder Blue, a man with atitude but very arrogant and hates teamwork; Wonder Green, a chubby french guy specialized in long-range weapons; Wonder Pink, a girl full of athlectic skills but gets angry easily; Wonder Yellow, a very strong but timid russian bodyguard; Wonder White, a ninja warrior that fights with sharp claws; and finally Wonder Black, a supergenius game maniac which developed a bomb capable of slow the time down.Gameplay:
In terms of gameplay and structures, W101 follows the formula of games such as Pikmin, Viewtiful Joe, Okami and, specially, Bayonetta. The camera shows the game in an isometric perspective, and you control all your hero squad at the same time. You don't start by controlling 100 heroes from the get-go, you begin with a small number and need to find the other heroes throughout your journey. Eventually, the game will switch your view from the TV for the Game Pad every time you enter in small passages, like caves or garages, in these moments, you can control the camera through the motion sensors or by holding the R button and moving the right analog stick.
In terms of controls, and being opposed to many people and especially the press reviews, surely the commands are complex and it's game's fault not offering a tutorial, but once mastered, the controls will work perfectly and will be absolutely reliable and responsive.Unite Up:
The two most important mechanics in this game are the Wonder Liner and Unite Morph. By using the Game Pad screen (or the right analog stick in the Pro Controller), you line-up your hero squad to perform multiple actions. With the Wonder Liner you can rescue civillians (important in order to increase your team and find the hidden heroes) and carry objects. The Unite Morph is your main combat and puzzle solving method, by drawing certain patterns on the Game Pad screen and pressing the A button, you merge your team into giant weapons, the bigger the pattern, the larger the size and power, during your journey, you'll fight against any sort of alien droids and space beasts, it's all up to you figure out the best way to defeat these banes, make some trick combos and, of course, solve puzzles. The action never gets repetitive here.
Besides these two important abilites, your hero squad can also perform Team Attack by pressing the X button, the use of Unite Morph is limited by the Unite Gauge (the batteries-like bar below the life gauge) that auto-refills slowly, the Team Attack consists of you sending your squad directly towards the enemy and inflicting minimal damage, but soon the members will gonna climb up the enemy's body and perform the Climb Attack, it acts as a Lock-on feature, allowing to you land the Unite Morph attacks on your enemies whitout missing. The X button is also used to perform Auto Unite Morphs, after drawing the pattern and pressing X, a computer-controlled Unite Morph will attack the nearest enemies, when mastered, it can be used to perform large combos and defeat stronger enemies more easily, you can generate up to 3 simultaneous Unite Morphs in the screen.
The game features a total of 7 standard Unite Morphs you find during the adventure:
- Unite Hand, a fist useful for punching enemies, pull and push objects, grab handles and can be used for fire protection;
- Unite Sword, besides being used for slice and dice your enemies, it also can be used as a key in keyholes, reflect laser beams and as a lightning rod able to absorb electrical attacks;
- Unite Gun, uses your allies as ammo and can suck up certain enemy projectiles, in your maximum size becomes a rocket launcher;
- Unite Whip, essential against spike-armored enemies and as a grappling hook, it's absurdly overpower in your maximum size;
- Unite Hammer, essential against thick-armored enemies and useful for opening holes in the ground and finding hidden treasures;
- Unite Claw, my personal favourite, is extremely quick and has a freezing effect, essential in order to climb walls;
- Unite Bomb, unlike a normal bomb, this one slows down time, you'll use against super fast enemies and for solving puzzles involving high-speed platforms and obstacles, when used as an Auto Unite Morph, it can have awesome results in making combos.
The game also features some special Unite Morphs that you can purchase in the Wonderful Mart, like Unite Guts (a pudding-like protection barrier) and Unite Spring (a spring-like dodging move) and another ones that can only be activated in certain moments, like Unite Chain to go over a huge gap, Unite Glider to glide large distances , Unite Build for temporarily rebuild certain stage parts and solve puzzles and bypass obstacles.Resemblances and references:
In case of not being obvious at this point, this game feature a lot of resemblances with many other games, especially Kamiya's past works. Like Viewtiful Joe, we have a superhero themed adventure; Like Okami, we need to draw patterns to make things happen; But the most evident resemblance is from Bayonetta, we have the exact same level division structure, the exact same ranking system, a screen showing enemy data when the enemy is first seen in the game, a very similar method of buying items and upgrade your gear and a very inspired over the top presentation. Besides all of that, the game also features some minor references to Resident Evil 2, Kamiya's first work, and also contains many references to some Nintendo games, good luck searching for references to Mario, Metroid, Star Fox and, my personal favourite, Punch-Out.Story and presentation:
During your adventure, you'll gonna recieve several objectives, such as protecting the Super Reactors, five statues spreaded worldwide responsible for generating a plasma shield around the planet. Parallel to this, you'll gonna find several recurring characters during your missions. You'll gonna be challenged many times by Prince Vorkken, which leads a band of space pirates, be hepled by a spacial secret agent called Immorta and will suffer the intromission of Luka Alan Smitheee, a kid that hates the Wonderful 100 for some reason and wants to find the GEATHJERK leader at all costs, in certain moment, he'll join forces with you. Despite the alien invasion theme, the story is immersive with a deeper development and IT WILL get you off guard with some plot twists and revelations.
Graphically speaking, the game is gorgeous! The environments are incredibly detailed and colorful, the lighting effects are great, the frame rate is solid even with hundreds of objects moving at the same time on the screen with no resolution downgrade, yes, the game runs constantly in 1080p.
The overall presentation is becoming a trademark of Platinum Games, showing characters making some impossible stuff, the game has tons and tons of Quick Time Events featuring things like punching a bus towards an enemy gunner ship, tickling a robot to make him let go of your ship, ramming a giant centipede robot in the head with your Unite Hammer and splitting a giant dragon in the half. Do you want even more over the top? Try to intentionally fail in some QTEs in the game.Replayabillity and Challenge:
First and foremost, the game is hard. Period. Even the game offering three initial difficult settings, the game will still challenge you even in the easiest levels, this isn't a game for you to jump in right directly in the higher difficulties, you'll be pratically obligated to play in easier levels in order to upgrade your gear and skills and also master some combos. But at least, the game is fairly hard, there is no cheap enemy placement or level design failures that compromising the overall difficulty, and, like I mentioned earlier, the complex controls if mastered becomes excellent.
Besides power-ups and items to buy, the game also features a HUGE amonut of collectibles, for the most part of your playthroughs you're going to seach for Wonderful Files, GEATHJERK Files, Hero Heart pieces to increase your vitality and Platinum Coins. The most useless of the collectibles are the Wonderful Figures, small figures of the Wonderful heroes, it's like Super Smash Bros's trophies, only with no description and overall uglies, they're useless because the game already features a Wonder heroes gallery that is unlocked when you finish the game for the first time. However, the most important of the collectibles are the Bottle-Caps, it's like a proprietary achievement system for the game, you unlock Bottle-Caps by perfoming specific actions during the game, on the other hand, the Bottle-Caps are used to unlock secret character, some of them enabling brand-new Unite Morphs for your team.
Lastly, the game also contains a multiplayer feature through the Wonderful Missions mode. Thanks to the Wii U's glorious local multiplayer support, up to FIVE players can take on special missions, each one with your own difficulty level, players can join in through the Wii U Pro Controller or even the Wii's Classic Controller, they can cooperate together to complete the missions more quickly and easily and, at the same time, compete for the best score.Music and Voice Acting:
I'll sumarize these two aspects in only two words: ABSOLUTELY EPIC!! I am dead serious. The music for this game is marvelous, it fits perfectly with the superhero overall theme, never gets repetitive and some tracks are extremely addictive, I always get myself singing the main theme which plays in the prolouge stage and whistling some of the intros, outros and stage themes.
The voice acting might be one of the most ambicious I've ever seen for a video game, we have some game-related big names such as Roger Craig Smith, Tara Strong, Fred Tatasciore, Quinton Flynn, among others. The dialouges itselves are consistent and the voices matches perfectly with your respective characters. In the options screen, you can choose between the english and japanese voice acting, and also different languages for the subtitles and menus, so, you can play the game having your audio preferences.The Final Veredict:
Like I mentioned before starting the review, this is the best game I've ever played in this year, and one of my favourites of all time! Not only uses with mastery the Wii U features but it's also a very polished game. Many people states that's is one of the few games that makes the Wii U worth, one thing I absolutely agree. The graphics are great, the music is outstanding, the gameplay is top notch, the replayability is nearly infinite, the story is excellent and the most important of all, it's incredibly fun to play! If you're a fan of action games, was expecting for some new Nintendo IP or just want to play something different of everthing you've ever seen, I definitively recomend you ply this game. Buying the disc, downloading from the eShop, I don't care how you gonna play, just play it!!
I'm not afraid to give this game a 10 out of 10!