The Wonderful 101 Demo Reaction


The Wonderful 101 comes out for most of the world later this week, us in the US have to wait till September 15 to get our hands on the game though. Lucky for us, Nintendo released a Demo on the Wii U that you can pick up free from the Wii U store. Before I get talking about the game, I want to talk about the Demo buying process on the Wii U. This is the first game software I’ve downloaded for the system, and I have to say it’s a little confusing. It took me a few minutes to figure out where the Download Management section was since it’s not part of your normal home screen. Not a big deal, but definitely not very new user friendly. I do however like how when launching the game it informs you how many plays you have remaining, in the case of The Wonderful 101 demo I had 20.
Alright with that out of the way, lets get to talking about the game. I was getting a very Viewtiful Joe feel from this game based on some of the trailers and game art. Anyone who played Viewtiful Joe back on the GameCube knows this isn’t a slight towards The Wonderful 101 at all, it was an amazing game and I was hoping for a spiritual successor since it doesn’t look like we’ll get a real sequel. The downside, this game is not very much like Viewtiful Joe, it’s got the same frantic feel and awesome cartoony vibe going on, but the game play is very very different. While the demo didn’t have any story what I was able to gather is, you’re a group of heroes, generally controlling one person with everyone else kind of swarming around you. As you travel around savings people and defeating the villains you get new people joining your group which lets you make bigger weapons, something I’ll get to in a moment, and do larger ‘group attacks’. The game wasn’t to hard, but the learning curve did feel a little steep if you don’t pay attention to all of the only screen prompts and tutorials.
One of the coolest, but most frustrating aspects of the game are the weapons. This is what I meant by not paying attention to prompts, and being patient enough to wait for them. In the demo you start out with three possible attacks, and large fist attacks(red), a sword attacks(blue) or a gun(green). All of these are created by pulling others in your group together to form the weapon for your player character, which changes depending on the weapon you wield. The cool thing about the weapons are they’re based on inputs to draw them not just pressing a button. You’ve got the option of drawing a shape on the screen of the Game Pad, or using the right analog stick to draw the pattern. For instance to wield the gun you make an ‘L’ shape the larger it is the bigger the gun, and thus the more damage it does. Something to keep in mind though is you can only make things so big before you run out of available people and space. You can tell if you’re weapon is on the right track by the color it the pattern makes on the screen. Like I mentioned earlier red is first, blue is sword, and green is gun.
Drawing patterns isn’t only useful for switching weapons you can draw other patterns and rather than making a weapon you use it to send out parts of your group to attack enemies for you. This may sound a little confusing, but it actually comes very natural once you get use to the controls for the game. By the end of the demo I was throwing guys out all over the place while I quickly switched from shooting the big guys with guns to slashing smaller goons with my sword. All of this was done while zipping around the area jumping and weaving all over the place.
While The Wonderful 101 wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, it ended up being a lot of fun and I highly recommend checking out the demo and giving it a show. Don’t let yourself get discouraged early on either, play it through before you make your decision the game does take some getting use to. And the best part of all, this doesn’t even cover all the cool stuff you can do in the demo, let alone what will be available in the full game!

The Wonderful 101 will be available on September 15, 2013 and can be pre-ordered now!

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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