The Wonderful 101: Remastered
The Wonderful 101 is one of those underrated gems that came out for the WiiU. For its time it was one of the best games to come out for the WiiU, but sadly not everyone got a WiiU. As the next console generation came, this game was… forgotten… until 2020! Platinum held a Kickstarter to have Wonderful 101 ported to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Steam (but not Xbox, I guess they’re still salty about Scalebound). The project was a success, the game was ported, and here I am playing the game once again on Steam after 6 years.
The Wonderful 101 is a brawler, hack n slash where you command a team of heroes that can unite into giant weapons, who are fending off an alien invasion with the goal to wipe out Earth. In typical Platinum style, they make it as over the top as they possibly can. You have giant space ships shooting down lasers, space ships with arms, giant robots, giant robot octopuses, and plenty of explosions. The most unique aspect is the combat, where you have your team of heroes go into formations and have them unite into giant weapons. This is done by drawing shapes with the analog stick, which can take some time to get used to, but in the later levels, it will feel natural. As you progress through the story you’ll gain new weapons that add plenty of variety to the combat. It’s simple at first, but that game will test your skill, and not hold back. I was playing this game on normal and there are plenty of times where I died in combat. Though with time this game will feel very rewarding when you master the combat. There are also puzzles and mini-games that are sprinkled throughout each level to help break up the combat. Including unlockable items hidden throughout such as figures, enemy profiles, and even additional wonderful ones that can be recruited to the team.
Speaking of puzzles, they usually involving going inside a building and perform the actual puzzle-solving inside while stuff happens outside. On the Wii-U you use the TV and the gamepad’s screen to see what is happening inside and outside, but considering that the Switch and PS4 only utilizes a single screen, and not everyone has a dual-screen setup for PC, a compromise had to be made. So when you do go inside a building a little sub-screen appears in the corner. It doesn’t get in the way, and it can be toggled on and off at any time. You can also make the game and sub-screen appear side to side, and even adjust the transparency on the sub-screen. Personally, it would be nice if there was the option to make the sub-screen appear on a second monitor for PC, but I have no problem with the current implementation.
Visually this game looks amazing. Its bright, colorful, and has that cartoonish aesthetic. I haven’t had any issues with slowdown or crashing while playing through the game. Loading times are also very quick, so quick that I had no time to even use the training room that appears while the level loads.
Overall this game is very enjoyable. The game is amazing to look at and features non stop action. Combat is fun and has plenty of variety. The story and dialogue are also enjoyable in that Saturday morning cartoon sort of way. The Wonderful 101: Remastered is available on Steam for $40.00 USD. If you haven’t played this game when it was out on the Wii-U, then I highly recommend it. And if you have played this game on the Wii-U, I still recommend it.