The Wonderful 101: Remastered

released on May 19, 2020

A remaster of The Wonderful 101

A team of heroes from around the world must unite to protect the earth from vicious alien invaders!
This band of 100 Wonderful Ones works together using their fantastic abilities to create a variety of forms. Whether it be a giant fist or a sharp blade, they'll use their wits and power to overcome the enemy’s pitfalls and perils!
And the final member of this team of courageous heroes - is you.

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I'm usually a massive Platinum mark (as can be seen from the scores I have given their games - including Infinite Space, a game from Platinum that nobody has played, but I love to death), but I couldn't with this one man. There were too many things that I actively disliked about the game and the gameplay that I couldn't bring myself to complete this.
The perspective is incredibly annoying and obfuscates a lot of the action. You sometimes can't even see smaller enemies on the screen at all, which is incredibly annoying! It also makes exploration of levels a pain as well, which added to my frustration immensely because this has some of the most hidden collectables of all of their games. Add to the fact that each mission is usually incredibly long and meaty, outside of boss fights, and you get a recipe for real one very annoyed gamer.
The second screen gimmick also does not work at all without a WiiU gamepad. I don't know why they didn't rework this port so it was more compatible with modern systems and controllers.
The combat is just not as fun and fluid as I have come to expect from the developer either. I got all of the good moves early on - such as Unite Guts, the dodge, and Hero Time upgrade - and that made things a little easier to manage in fights, but I was still taking hits from enemies I couldn't perceive or attacks coming from off-screen or because I was unsure of where an attack would land due to the aforementioned perspective.
The drawing mechanic was also so clunky and unresponsive that I had immense difficulty with it. If my line wasn't getting caught up in geometry, then it would extend randomly off-screen, despite my own input. It made pulling out weapons with more complex designs, like the Whip or the Hammer, an actual pain and required multiple tries each time I was forced to bring out those weapons for puzzles or to fight enemies (which is another irritating nitpick). You would think that the original team behind one of the best combat drawing mechanics (Okami) would be able to pull off the mechanic in a better way than this. Even something as simple as cramming heroes into a toilet or open doorway or window to get a collectable could result in some bullshit shenanigans.
The story and characters are cliche as all hell and, yes, that's never been a Platinum strong suit, but they are usually so dumb that they're immensely fun. Nobody took Revengeance seriously, but it has one of the most batshit insane casts and storylines in all of video games. The same can be said of many of their greatest hits! This one was not fun and I actually found myself vastly uninterested in it and the characters of the story, who are all just cardboard cutouts with no real personalities.
It doesn't help that the art style is not to my liking either. I know they were going for an aesthetic similar to Viewtiful Joe - another Super Sentai send-up they had made previously (which I have yet to play as well) - but I still didn't vibe with it all too much.
I made it halfway through the game, so I gave it an honest effort, but there were so many things bugging me that I couldn't force myself to continue. I'm shelving it for now, but I honestly don't know if I'll ever return to this. It was such an unfun experience for me, which is sad because I actually really love Platinum and consider them one of my favourite studios.

What I thought would just be a kind of mid Platinum game turned into an awesome adventure that somehow blends pikmin gameplay with over the top Metal Gear Rising action the company is known for. It's really funny to that half of the game is just Platnium Games jerking themselves off with how many references to themselves they throw into the narrative. The narrative is great with just a cheesy saturday morning cartoon vibe and yet has may be one of the worst characters ever created in fiction: Luka. The gameplay takes some time to get used to but once you understand it, the clunkiness of the controls fades away. There are times where the game isn't clear on what it wants you to do, especially with the overabundance of new gameplay styles they throw at you. More tutorials we're definitely needed. Overall though if you're on the fence about playing this game, I really recommend giving it a try.

the game's way better than I am at it

Wonderful 101 is Platinums most bombastic title and for that I have to give it respect despite having a few issues with it. Mainly being while I love Hideki Kamiya's style I do not care for his gimmicks and find that they all drag the experience down (besides Punch-Out that shit rules). All that being said It can't take away just how insane W101 gets in terms of not only providing a deep gameplay experience with tons of depth and personality, but also delivering an engaging story with some of the greatest spectacle in the genre. Wonderful 101 absolutely deserves to be played and I am immensely satisfied with going through its wild ride.

Wonderful 101 is an... interesting game. It has both amazing aspects, concepts, battles, cutscenes, and character moments.
Taking inspiration from SUPER SENTAI (the original shows that later inspired POWER RANGERS and all the generations of that show.) Wonderful 101 has the same concept of a team of Flamboyant cool suit wearing teams, each with a specific color that later equals to a total of 7 specific members among the Wonderful 100 (yeah they're not called Wonderful 101 up until the literal end of the game).
The main 10 members are:
1. Wonder Red - Will Wedgewood - American Teacher who is a leader, and a nerd in terms of whenever he meets a new member or enemy he tends to give all the background info on the individual in a grandiose way, also has a tragic backstory with the death of his father. Has a mutual liking with Alien Police officer Immorta, and is both rivals and good friends with Prince Vorkken who throughout the game, they fight and respect eachother, and towards the end become friends and respected rivals. That and Vorkken knows Will and Immorta like eachother. He's a leader that can be both very heroic, and very dumb in terms of coming up with One-Linears, and not reading the room when it comes to giving useless information about an individual they are meeting, usually giving excess information or repeating information about an individual the team met before. Blue calls him out on this. He's very likable and heroic.
2. Wonder Blue - Eliot Hooker - Hot headed-egotistical American detective who uses a sword to attack enemies, he has a tragic backstory where one of the villain's in the game, Vijounne (thicc and busty blue alien woman who has a helmet similar to Hella from Thor Ragnarok), killed his brother by betraying him by pretending to be an assistant and causing Blue's brother to die. He seeks revenger and usually runs head first into problems, usually causing more problems for the entire team. He butt heads with Red early on, but later become best bros after beating the shit out of eachother in a 1 v 1 fight (Similar to Dairanger Ryo vs Jin, except Jin is the blue ranger instead of as a likeable enemy rival who sadly dies). He starts off as an unlikable asshole and later grows to be a bro with Red.
3. Wonder Green - Jean-Sébastien Renault - Fat French Middle Schooler who uses a gun, and when afraid likes to yell, "MAMAN!!!" Usually gets bullied by Blue or Pink. Tends to surrender, and 100% thats because of the "FRANCE SURRENDERED FIRST" joke, very outdated joke. He can be funny both on his own and when he gets roasted. He grows in terms of... eating, but his character is mostly the fat comic relief.
4. Wonder Pink - Mariana Kretzulesco - Transylvanian High School girl who loves fashion and loves using her whip to punish her enemies. She's very hot headed when made fun of by friend or foe. She has a little-brother complex (similar to DaiRanger with the Pink Ranger Rin, being a big sister/having a little brother complex with a boy she's not related to named, Kou, the KibaRanger [White-Tiger Ranger from Power Ranger]) She also has a VERY UNHEALTHY LOVING OBESSION with the enemy-later turned friend Prince Vorkken, usually getting excited by him... existing, or planning on fighting the team. Every scene with Vorkken and Pink are funny mostly because he ignores her and she says something like, " YES I'LL GLADLY JOIN YOU! I DON'T CARE ABOUT THESE BOZOS ON MY TEAM, I LOVEEE YOU!!!"
Causing her team to look at her in dumbstruck like: "Bruh... really". She's funny, but can be a bit over obsessive and hot headed... coming across a bit unlikable. She becomes more heroic and caring, but is still hot headed, doesn't grow a lot in terms of her character.

5. Wonder Yellow - Ivan Istochnikov - Uses Hammer, and speaks like a USSR soldier... saying things like Comrads, or Motherland... a very outdated form of showing a Russian person but oh well. He's kind of absent throughout most of the game, in the sense that... he's there in scenes, but he doesn't say much. Also theres an implication that he's gay which is cool. He's very likable when he speaks, and adorable when he gets flustered, but in terms of impact you'll forget he's there.
6. Wonder White - Momoe Byakkoin - Uses claws as his weapon and is a Japanese Ryu Leader who is good at martial arts, and dresses like a ninja. He can be both very poetic and cryptic by the way he speaks, that and his speeches, or statements can stretch for long periods of time causing team members like Pink to hurry him up. He is both wise and tactical, and while he doesn't say a lot when it comes to interaction when he does speak you're captivated by him.
7. Wonder Black - Krishna Ramanujan - Uses time bombs and is Indian... the worst member in the entire game. Not once does he every say anything, and when he does he says it in the most boring monotone way possible. I get it, it's hard coming up with personalities, but choosing the unspeaking Kuudere was not a way to go. This dude legit spends time playing games and dancing rather than actually speaking. Is his ability cool? Yes, he makes bombs that STOP TIME, yet as a character, he's as interesting at paint drying.
There are also important support characters like:
Captain Laurence Nelson (originally in Will's past the original WONDER RED [Emeritus])
Alice MacGregor (Ship Controller, and Captain's Assistant, is also WONDER 107 - WONDERSCARF),
Luka (Little shit kid who has a tragic passed similar to Will Wedgewood, however after his mother's "Death" he decides to momentarily join with the bad guys because he blames CENTINALS and WONDER 100 for killing his mom. Turns out his mom didn't die, she became the last source of protection for Planet Earth. Luka realizes his mistake and later looks up to Wonder-Red. Luka and Red inspire the other members to work for a better tomorrow and who at the very end of the game becomes WONDER 101 [or 105 based on the DATABASE gallery] WONDER- GOGGLES)
Prince Vorkken - (Red's Rival who alway's calls him Blunder Red, who has a really tragic backstory involving the destruction and death of a lot of his own people and enslaving others. He's being mindcontrol by the GEATHJERK into being evil, and after having it broken he repents for his sins to both his past and to Chewgi [His right hand man who was only helping Vorkken fight because he was unbeatable at the time] in order to make things right. And he does with both Chewgi, the Guyzoch Pirates, Wonder Red, and his little sister Immorta.)
Immorta - (Alien Police officer set to help Wonderful 100 in order to stop the GEATHJERK invasion. She saves Wonderful 100 several times throughout the game and butts heads with Blue. She shares a lot of moments with Wonder Red and both towards the end of Wonderful 101 share a mutual feeling of romance to eachother.)
There are so many other members of Wonderful 101 that I'm not going to list them here, but I will acknowledge the cameo characters:
111 - Poseman (Aka Viewtiful Joe except because Capcom owns him they can't directly say it's him... but it is lol)
112 - Wonder Director (Hideki Kamiya himself, and he uses the Special PLATNIUM FOREVER ABILITY)
113 - Wonder Rodin (Rodin the bar tender from Bayonetta)
114 - Wonder Jeanne (Jeanne, Bayonetta's rival and friend)
115 - Wonder Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
The game's story is the invasion of Earth by Aliens called the GEATHJERK who want to collected the statues of Earth to destroy the planet's defenses and later annihilate Earth.
You fight in cities, ruins, Inside Vorkken's Body, a volcano, a Hydro-City, a destroyed planet, and finally in space doing mostly the same thing. You collected civilians to both save and have them become temporary heroes to help you own your journey throughout each operations. There are a total of 9 operations but in terms of levels it's 10 levels with 3 acts (called Operations A-B-C) inside each except for in OPERATION 007/Vorkken's Body which only features ACT 1 and 2 (OPERATION 007-A and 007-B)
The structure of the gameplay is essentially collecting civilians and fighting enemies throughout each stage while progressing forward. Collecting civilians is important as you can find other members of WONDER 100 in said civilians, these Wonders being the 008-100 that would take too long to mention.
Occasionally you will have to solve puzzles using character specific abilities:
1. Giant Gear needs to be turned - Fist 👊
2. Key Hole - Sword 🗡
3. Target - Gun 🔫
4. Spikes needing to be taken down, or Swinging from area to area - Whip 📈
5. A button or a crack on the ground need SMASHING - Hammer 🔨
6. Shut Tight Door or Enemy Need Opening/Climbing climbable walls- Claws 🦞
7. Object Coming in too fast and needs to be slowed down- Bomb 💣
There are so many combinations you can do with the group of people you have in your arsenal, that it makes the game feel very unique and yet similar to Pikimin except you attack as a single unit.
You have different morph options that you can use the touch screen or right thumbstick to make like:
1. Fist 👊 - Draw a cruvy line (line will become red🔴)
2. Sword 🗡 - Draw a straight line (line will become blue🔵)
3. Gun🔫 - Draw a straight line that turns sideways left or right (line will become green🟢)
4. Whip📈- Draw a swiggly line going forward (line will become pink💗)
5. Hammer 🔨- Draw a straight line and at the end curve a circle (line will become yellow🟡)
6. Claw🦞- Draw a Z shape (line will become white⚪️)
7. Bomb💣- Draw a complete circle then a straight line after connecting the circle (line will become purple🟣).
8. Goggles🥽- Draw infinity symbol (line will become a bright orange)
9. Bow🏹- Draw a heart shape (line will become a light pink💗)
10. Glider🪂- Draw a Triangle (line will become rainbow colored🌈)
11. Naginata🌟- Draw a straight line - pause - then continue drawing (if done correctly, line should become a dark orange/brown🟤)
12. Drill🐚- Draw a spiral (line should become red🔴)
13. Boomerang 🪃- Draw a straight line - pause - turn right or left and make a straight line going right or left, similar to making a gun but after the straight line, pause then turn (line should become purple🟣).
14. BIG 🅱️ - Draw a letter B (line should become a rainbow🌈)
15. WONDER FOREVER - Draw a Letter W (line should become a rainbow🌈)
16. PLATINUM FOREVER - Draw a Letter P (line should become a rainbow🌈)
You face various bosses throughout Wonderful 101, that are very fun to fight but can also be very tedious and annoying. The game uses a battery system to make you understand how much power or energy consumption is used when using a morph.
The villains are very over the top, and have great designs and fights: however some fights are certainly better than others.
The bosses include:
1. Laambo - Murder of Will's Father, you fight him while he's using his giant robot dragon
2. Wanna - Flies in a UFO and uses his giant space ship that acts like an Egg to unleash his Dragon-Like Robot with buzzsaws for hands.
3. Vijounne - Blue's brother murder, you fight her while she's inside her giant octopus... and considering her sexy design, I 100% believe the developers knew what they were doing lol.
4. Walltha - Brother of Laambo, you fight him in a very janky and unfun PUNCH-OUT STYLE boss fight where you beat the crap out of his giant Tiki-Head Robot, and later go inside the robot and kill him. Then escape by having him drown in Lava.
5. Gimme - an evil robot alien dude who Like Waltha uses a giant robot to fight you, and you have to again fight in a PUNCHOUT style fight.
6. Jergingha - The true final boss who has 3 stages to his fight. He starts off as a giant brain (Metroid much huh), and later uses a Wonder Mask to become WONDER-Jergingha who has the ability to use giant Wonder Punches and Lasers. And his final form Planet Destruction Jergingha who uses barriers to defend himself, and later uses a destruction beam to attempt to destroy the planet, where you have to SPAM A/X in order to push back the beam destroying him once and for all.
Boss fights after having all their health drained end with the heroes doing quick time events that essentially tell you what you have to drawn in order to progress/kill the boss, giving you epic visuals and amazing music to accompany it, though I wish the music was cooler rather than attempting to sound heroic 24/7, it would be cool for some more diverse and cooler sounding songs.
The story reveals that the GEATHJERK are from the future attempting to stop humans from becoming evil in the future as CENITINALS and the WONDER 100 have become evil apparently, though instead of course correcting history for the better, they decide, "HUMANITY MUST BE PURGED AND DESTROYED!"
And this results in WONDERFUL 100 destroying Jergingha and the GEATHJERK. The game ends with Wonderful 100 attempting to create a better future in order for the future GEATHJERK to never return and to make sure they set humanity towards the right path.
The game ends the way it started, as in the beginning you start as Will Wedgeworth as a teacher protecting his class in a school bus, getting them to safety and later becoming Wonder Red, meeting Blue and saving the Bus before it crashes into a school. At the end it does the same thing except it shows Luka become WONDER GOGGLES and do the same thing as red, as it ends with the WONDERFUL 101 preparing to fight enemies similar to the beginning of the game.
Overall the game starts very tedious and you might think... "WOW THIS STARTS REALLY BAD, WHY IS THERE SO MANY TUTORIALS, WHY IS DRAWING SO HARD? WTF IS THE STORY? WOW BLUE IS AN ASS!" But if you stick around it, you'll realize that it's an enjoyable unique experience that I recommend you all to play.
I will say not a fan of the camera angle and the secondary small screen that can be toggled via the (-) button as it's very faded and tacked on. Add on to the fact that while combat can be fun using the different morphs, it gets really annoying when your team gets hit really easily by enemies. A big issue is how long the game can go on for per levels. The game sometimes felt like a chore to play. Also I get the GEATHJERK are attempting to stop humanity from becoming evil in the future but when you think about it, they could've just told CENTINELS and WONDERFUL 100 that they need to stop from becoming evil. That and Luka's character is just annoying little brat shit who doesn't realize he's about to destroy the world over a misunderstanding, however he does redeem himself a bit towards the end. Also a straight up bad decision was the PLATINUM ROBO part, in terms of having a cool mech like SUPER SENTAI it makes sense to have a giant robot, but it's a bit of ego stroking to Platinum games, like I get they made the game, but it's like the game is saying, "PLATINUM GAMES SAVED THE DAY" would've made more sense to call it the WONDER ROBO and not have the Platinum games P and instead have the WONDER W on it.
So these issues cause a drop of 1 star.
Anyway a great unique game with an average story, with likable characters, average music, fun boss fights and QTEs, and a lot of heroes.
TLDR: Good game, characters, music and story are ok/meh, Luka's a little shit who gets better, Blue's an asshole who gets better, Immorta's Best girl. And Platinum Robo seems like a Platinum games ego stroke.
4/5 Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️