User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 424 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 424

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  1. Feb 7, 2015
    7
    I appreciate the game and I think many people will love it, but it just wasn't for me. The art and story seem to be great, but I would have preferred not to draw shapes on the GamePad.
  2. Jan 6, 2015
    6
    If you know and play Platinum's popular games like Bayonetta 1 & 2, then you know what to expect with Wonderful 101, also by Platinum: it will be frantic, it will have crazy big-ass bosses, it will rate you with pure platinum, platinum, gold, silver, bronze or er... consolation medal (means you sucked at that particular segment of the game - which I did for quite a few parts of the game).If you know and play Platinum's popular games like Bayonetta 1 & 2, then you know what to expect with Wonderful 101, also by Platinum: it will be frantic, it will have crazy big-ass bosses, it will rate you with pure platinum, platinum, gold, silver, bronze or er... consolation medal (means you sucked at that particular segment of the game - which I did for quite a few parts of the game). However, it's different from Bayonetta though.

    The premise of Wonderful 101 is all about rather quick drawing reflexes. The whole game is based on having a group of tiny heroes that "form" (called unite morph!) the weapon you use against the alien invaders. And to "form" the weapon, you have to draw it out e.g. for a sword, it's a straight line up then press A; for claws, it's a reverse Z then press A; etc. So mostly the learning curve really revolves around drawing the weapon. (here's a hint: use the right thumb pad, I found it more responsive than drawing on the touchpad).

    My first 2-3 missions was a chore as I struggled to find my balance in how to draw the darned shapes. So I really hated it at first. But once I got the hang of it, I started enjoying it more as the game became much smoother and I became more proficient at getting at enemies. In fact, I found Wonderful 101 much easier to pickup than the 3DS' Kid Icarus Uprising which I gave up on as I hated its controls - I would say Wonderful 101's gameplay is saved by the responsiveness of the right thumb pad. Like Bayonetta, what kept me going at the game is that there is generally some freshness in every mission, and the bosses are really fun to deal with.

    Plus the game's storyline can offer a chuckle or two. Generally the game doesn't take itself too seriously so it has a lot of slapstick comedy, which is actually quite funny. Even bosses add to the comedy.

    However, there are some things that irk me in the game. Firstly, the camera angle. Sometimes it's hard to tell which way you're supposed to go because it's very limited in it's panning. It gets worse when you're inside a building and you have to use the game pad to move around - it's a pain. Sometimes it's because of the horrible camera angle means I fall to my death because I can't see where I'm going. Secondly, quick time events. Those frantic button presses at some points in the game is stupid and gives me repetitive strain injury. I think it could've done without it. Thirdly, sometimes the wrong unite morphs get registered and you end up using the wrong weapon and you have to frantically redraw. Fortunately, Platinum was smart enough stop time when you draw, so you don't get hammered. Fourthly, there are some cheap deaths. Sometimes, it's because I'm landed in a totally foreign situation where there is no hint on what I'm supposed to do and some moving contraption just killed me off.

    Overall, I felt the game overall was actually quite difficult. I played it on Very Easy and even then I died quite a few times. But the storyline and the variations in gameplay did keep me going to the end. I think this game could be much much better if they sorted out the camera angles and ease the controls a little. If you're looking for a perfect Platinum game, play Bayonetta 2. The Wonderful 101 feels more like a prelude to the greatness contained in Bayonetta 2. What Platinum didn't get right in Wonderful 101, they perfected in Bayonetta 2.
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  3. Sep 30, 2013
    6
    The game is good. The quality is there, but I thought it was going to be something better. Gaming sites were patronizing the game as if it was going to be a system seller when it is not. The game is good, enjoyable and a good purchase if you love action games, but there are more thing to play on the WII U so I would not recommended unless you have played all games available on WII UThe game is good. The quality is there, but I thought it was going to be something better. Gaming sites were patronizing the game as if it was going to be a system seller when it is not. The game is good, enjoyable and a good purchase if you love action games, but there are more thing to play on the WII U so I would not recommended unless you have played all games available on WII U because I would recommend any game before this one. Expand
  4. May 25, 2015
    5
    This game reminds me of an obnoxious, quirky anime culture that exists today that I actively avoid. I bought it because I had played Metal Gear Rising and because of thought felt that Platinum Games was a very talented developer. To this day I still feel that they are very good. However, Wonderful 101 is not only filled with gameplay problems, but it has a story that did nothing but annoyThis game reminds me of an obnoxious, quirky anime culture that exists today that I actively avoid. I bought it because I had played Metal Gear Rising and because of thought felt that Platinum Games was a very talented developer. To this day I still feel that they are very good. However, Wonderful 101 is not only filled with gameplay problems, but it has a story that did nothing but annoy me and almost encourage me to shut the game off. Between bad jokes, bad puns, an extreme abundance of stereotypes, and quirky 4th wall humor that was supposed to be clever I guess, this game is something that if weren't for it's great combat I would have shut off after the first few hours. Hideki Kamiya strikes me as a 10 year old who thinks he's a lot funnier than he really is, putting on a show and begging the player to laugh at every corner, but he is a talented game designer. The drawing mechanic is one of the most clever things i've ever seen before. My only issue with it is how complicated and annoying it started to become as drawing certain objects would get confused for the wrong objects as I would collect more formations. It became difficult to distinguish things like the whip and the claws. The game was laughably difficult or cryptic at times, asking the player to understand things that were never explained. I can't help but feel retarded when the game wants me to slash something with the sword but refuses to give any hints that I am supposed to do so. Another problem is the constant battles with the main villain, popping up about 6 times throughout the game and lasting upwards of 15-20 minutes each sometimes. The game seems like it was meant to be played on easy the first time playing and it feels like normal is only an appropriate difficulty once you've upgraded a bunch. I find it ridiculous that normal mode expects such intense reflexes assuming it's what most people would play. And I am an experienced gamer, I did finish the game on normal without too many problems, but I just felt that certain sections were asking a lot from anybody playing for the first time. Overall, this game was okay, with cringe-worthy dialogue and plot and great combat. Expand
  5. Sep 30, 2013
    0
    There are multiple inputs to drawing and one thing I think people don't understand is that analog drawing and screen drawing should be reserved for different uses, depending on the current situation. Analog drawing is meant for more combat-oriented unite morphs, like the fist or the sword. This is why these combat-based ones are more simple in shape. Drawing a circle to input the fist is There are multiple inputs to drawing and one thing I think people don't understand is that analog drawing and screen drawing should be reserved for different uses, depending on the current situation. Analog drawing is meant for more combat-oriented unite morphs, like the fist or the sword. This is why these combat-based ones are more simple in shape. Drawing a circle to input the fist is actually a lot like inputting a movement in a fighting game. On the other side, screen drawing is better equipped for non-combat morphs, like the glider. Drawing a triangle, or the glider, with the stick is a bit clunky, but works well on the screen, and the glider is a non-combat morph. Whether or not this was Platinum's intentions, its how I'd like to see it.

    + The Unite Morphs all have a "reason to exist" for lack of a better phrase. They each have a useful function and correspond to some kind of damage output. None feel thrown in or not as useful. An example would be how the sword deals a lot of damage to one foe, while the sword deals small damage to many foes. With the ability to perform many unite morphs at once, combat manages to feel both crazy and systematic, but above all, it sure is very satisfying,

    + Enemies, and the placement of enemies, are also neatly crafted. Enemies typically have a weakness to a particular morph. For example, the jello morph allows you to deflect cannons back at enemy tanks. This may seem basic at first, but as you experience combat, you'll find many hidden depths. While W101 has many CUHRAZY encounters, its at its best as a tactical game where you exploit enemy weaknesses with your arsenal of morphs.

    + Although there are some questionably gimmicky scenarios, the game never breaks from its core gameplay. You may be controlling a space ship from the inside and protecting both the inside and outside of the ship at once, but it doesn't feel out of place, gameplay-wise. An example of a bad time a Platinum game has done something like this would be the motorcycle or missile mission, which did feel out of place.

    + Every moment feels like a new learning experience. You constantly uncover new depth to the gameplay, and each new thing you learn from playing the game whether it be: recruiting enemies, picking up enemies, taunting, realizing the multiple tiers to Unite Gun and how it turns into a super scope should bring a smile to your face.

    + The game has an overly enjoyable and charming atmosphere. It feels almost as if you are playing with action figures because of how toy-like the characters appear and how each level feels like a play set. If you don't feel some kind of nostalgic value or child-like innocence, you must have had a dark childhood.

    + Many unlockables and modes add to the already existing high replay value which the gameplay alone achieves.

    - Levels are ridiculously lengthy. Platinum must be out of their minds to think we could even come close to platinuming some of these levels, let alone pure platinum them. Long levels just do not work in a game like this. Bayonetta had a pretty decent length per level and didn't throw in multiple scenarios with too many tactics involved, where as this game does.

    - As with almost all of Kamiya's action games, using items lower your total score something I've always been against in his games. We spend so much time collecting items, and yet the game actively disapproves of us using them.

    - When you enter buildings, the camera switches to a more traditional third person perspective on the gamepad. This mechanic feels more gimmicky than anything and besides the one or two cool encounters that utilize this, it mostly feels like padding.

    - Way too many QTEs. QTEs could have easily been well executed in this game. However, they're really just one of the characters yelling out a move you have to draw and they give you like ten seconds to draw something that takes a second. Personally, I think it would have been better if you weren't blatantly told what to draw and instead given a prompt to draw some kind of unite that might be fitting in this situation. Say, a giant rock came at you, and the game froze to allow you to input a morph. You wouldn't be told to draw a unite fist, but instinctively, I think most would draw a unite fist.

    Overall, I give the Wonderful 101 a 9.3/10.
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Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
  1. Dec 12, 2013
    60
    The Wonderful 101 bursts with charm, humour and style. It is very easy to care for the characters and their universe. But frequent trouble with the controls breaks the tempo far too often. Something that also racks up the challenge unnecessarily high in an already hard game. But at the same time the battle system is a joy, if hard to master. It’s a very good game with some rough edges that feels very well needed on the Nintendo Wii U.
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    This is the kind of experience which Nintendo promised when it announced the console - the kind of experience it deserves.
  3. 80
    Full of ideas, humor and difficulty, The Wonderful 101 will keep you glued to the screen, which can be both good & bad. But a little bit of challenge from a difficult game never killed anyone, right? [Issue#234]