Wonderful 101 was one of the games I was most looking forward to in the Wii U’s “launch window”. All early trailers and videos made it look like a game with similar large-scale squadron based gameplay like Pikmin, but with super-powered heroic humans instead of tiny plant critters. Wait, did I just say PikminAND superheroes? Sign me up! I’m a total sucker for mashing together two things I love. Or three things I love, for that matter, as is evidenced by my famous peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich.
Finally, the time is here; Wonderful 101 is done getting delayed and launched today in North America. If you haven’t been following the game, it is an action adventure game from Hideki Kamiya and Atsushi Inaba, the creative team that brought us both Viewtiful Joe and Okami. In the game, players control a horde of heroes that can form various objects such as a fist, sword or gun to both attack enemies and solve puzzles. The objects are made from the actual heroes, so the more heroes you collect and the more citizens you save and recruit as temporary heroes, the larger and more powerful these “Unite Morphs” will be.
It was a welcome surprise to delve into this game and see that a company like Nintendo, who is well-known to be a company that caters to “casual” gamers, can put out a game this intense and difficult. Strategically maneuvering your team and choosing the best morphs for the situation is harder than it sounds, and when playing the game on the default “Normal” difficulty even the most experienced players are likely to feel like they’ve been punished for something. It is my opinion that calling the only people who would find the default difficulty to be normal would be the type of people that spend their evenings in an iron maiden to be relaxing.
Thankfully, after completing each operation players are given the chance to adjust the difficulty level. Once I shamelessly settled in on the game’s “Easy” mode, I had a lot of fun with Wonderful 101. That’s not to say the game is without its hangups, but you’ll have to wait a bit for our full review to see just what those were. Take my word for it though – if you’re looking for something new that’s not quite like anything you’ve ever played before (it’s not as similar to Pikmin as it looks), then joining the Wonderful One Double-Oh in their fight to save the planet from annihilation is definitely the way you should go.