Yes despite the fact that I mostly write reviews for movies, I am a full blooded gamer. I've been gaming since I was a kid, and I'm still gaming now. I'll get into a blog entry later on about my history of video games, but that's neither here or there. The point is, I'm a gamer, and I love it, questionable state of the industry be damned.
Which brings us to The Wonderful 101, the latest game by Platinum Games, which has made games like Madworld, Bayonetta, and mostly formed from former Clover Studios members that made Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand. So yeah, they've got a bit of pedigree behind them. Does The Wonderful 101 stand up to their more well known games? At times, it really does. At times, it really doesn't.
|Everyone's a hero in their own way!|
Speaking of the world, the entire Earth, or Dearth in some cases, is a giant play ground for all of the characters. The story centers around the Earth being attacked by giant robot aliens, so destruction happens every five minutes. A standard level is watching 5 buildings explode, a giant robot attack, and some natural disaster happening. In movie terms, this is if Power Rangers decided to emulate Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich, but in the best way possible. The action is non stop and always a sight to behold.
The gameplay during the intense action though is a lot more problematic though. The camera is actively against you for half of the game, always zoomed out way too far and having way too much happen at once. When you have three giant enemies attack you at once, one spitting fire, the other shooting missiles at you, and the last trying to run you over, it's very hard to tell what's happening and can be really cluttered. There's nothing worse than playing an action game, but having no idea what the hell is happening.
|The game is never this organized. Ever.|
Hell, even if there were frequent game overs that would require you to go to your last checkpoint, it really wouldn't be that terrible because of how fun the actual gameplay is. In the beginning, you have access to only two powers; forming a giant hand and forming a giant sword. As the game progresses, you can form a giant gun, whip, hammer, claw, bomb, and even a few level specific powers like bowgun, drill, boomerang, and naginata. Each attack has stronger forms and you can use two at a time, one that's directly controlled by you and one that's controlled by an AI. Using each attack is a blast and forming giant weapons never loses its charm.
|Moments like this make the game all worth it|
As for the story, all I can say is that it exists. It's nothing spectacular in all honesty, but does have some fun characters. Wonder Black is probably my favorite hero in the game because of how he barely talks, yet knows more than everyone else. Prince Vorkken is a fun villain as well that speaks VERY dramatically and gets basic Earth phrases mixed up. When you first see him, he has a guide book explaining to him basic Earth culture, but he still can't grasp the idea of it. This is a game dominated by its vast cast of characters, but in the case of the story, the parts far outweigh the whole.
|Now THIS is what the game really looks like|
The Wonderful 101 was played for 13 hours and completed on normal.