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The Wonderful 101 Hands On Preview

Platinum Games conjures up one of the Wii U's most interesting titles.

 I’m going to go on a limb here and say that The Wonderful 101 will be a sleeper hit for the Wii U. While it has garnered some noticeable hype within some audiences, it is an easy game to overlook. For those not sure about the game, it is best described as being a simple mesh of Viewtiful Joe and Pikmin. After spending some time with the game, I must say that it went from a just game that looked interesting, to game that I’m really excited about.

Players control a huge team of heroes. You have control over a primary hero, but each extra hero that you recruit carries out actions that you command. Heroes can execute special moves by consuming battery power. You start out with three, but more are added as you collect batteries in a stage. Collect 50, and you get a new bar added to your meter. This meter allows you to use special combination attacks with your extra heroes. You can dictate which powers you want to use with either the Right Stick, or the Touch Screen on the GamePad.

This is where the game gets especially interesting. For example, drawing a line will give you a sword ability, which is an extremely fun offensive maneuver. Drawing a circle makes a fist which not only packs a punch, but allows you to move obstacles and turn levers. Making a gun shape will obviously create a gun which excels at long range attacking. The variety is plentiful, and combined with the fast paced nature of the game, it makes for a great time. Players have a lot of freedom as well; they can dodge at the press of the right trigger, or make a barrier with the left trigger. Using the barrier at the right time will stun enemies, giving you an opening to make an attack.

The game also uses the GamePad in some unique ways. For example, upon entering a small factory, the game shifts to a behind the back, third person view where you can collect items and ultimately solve a puzzle which allows you to progress.

One of the biggest things about The Wonderful 101 would be the massive boss encounters. In my hands on, I fought about two mini bosses who were already pretty huge, and one massive titan-like boss. One of the smaller bosses was this tank that would shoot huge energy blasts at me. At first, I attempted to use the gun power, but I was quickly overpowered. I ended up switching to the sword, and relied on long range strikes, and quick dodges to eventually best the mini boss. The second mini boss was bested using precise presses of the guard button. This caused the enemy to fall over, creating an opportunity for me to attack.

The big boss was a completely different ordeal. I was tasked with attacking three orbs on one of its arms. Occasionally, I’d have to dodge lasers as well as huge swings of its arm. Using the basic attack was most effective, since the different heroes I collected would all attack different orbs, giving it a Pikmin-like feel. Once I had enough energy, I would use the fist or the sword to finish off the orbs. Once one arm was defeated, there was a sequence where I had to draw a chain from one arm to the other so I could cross over and attack that one. By that time unfortunately my demo was finished. All I wanted to do was keep playing.

From what I’ve played, The Wonderful 101 is definitely a game that should be on any potential Wii U owner’s radar. From a first impression, it showed off gameplay that was both addictive and action packed with the zany personality that games like Viewtiful Joe offer. The Wonderful 101 will be launched within the launch window of the Wii U console.



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