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Games : Worth a Look
Ranking:
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Release Date: September 15th, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

The Wonderful 101

Overview -

Platinum Games has made a name for themselves as the go-to developer for over-the-top intense action games. From 'MadWorld' and 'Vanquish' to the fan favorite 'Bayonetta' and even 'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance', their focus has been on incredibly tight brawler controls and fast-paced experiences. Most recently, they have lent their development skills to the Wii U and provided Nintendo with the exclusive title, 'The Wonderful 101.' Their crazy game concepts regularly make for cult hits that are hard to find elsewhere; now let's see how the 'Wonderful 101' shakes out.

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
720p
Release Date:
September 15th, 2013

Video Review

Ranking:

The art style is probably my favorite (most wonderful!) aspect of this Platinum experience. The colors are incredibly vibrant and utilize an extensive palette, and the characters and enemies you encounter are wonderfully diverse and original. Because the size of the enemies are often several times that of an individual hero I would have expected the hero animations of the group to become blurred or clone-like. Instead, the unique character designs are all fully realized with the individual movements, jumps and attacks. Although the incredible amount of action on-screen at any one time may prohibit you from first picking up on this, I recommend taking the time during those quieter moments to appreciate the level of attention and detail the animators imbued the game.

As impressive and responsive as 'The Wonderful 101' is, the fixed camera often creates a problem - particularly during specific platforming sections of the game. Regardless of the size of your television, the on-screen frenetic action consumes every square inch. Enemies will come at you from all sides, explosions and fire are often added into the mix, and buildings and other structures will collapse all around you. Because of this, and the inability to shift camera perspective, you will lose your footing, fall from a ledge, or miss that crucial jump. It is an unfortunate side effect of an otherwise tightly designed experience.

Audio Review

Ranking:

While I appreciate the level of variety and personalities of each character, the action of 'The Wonderful 101' is often interrupted with lengthy bouts of exposition that tend to drag on entirely too long. Keeping with the look and feel of a 10-hour 'Power Rangers' episode, the overacting and often incomprehensible explanations of plot and story development slow the game to a crawl. These verbose conversations and arguments among heroes and between the Geathjerk are unnecessary, disruptive, and are a mark against the game's ability to create a lasting effect.

The musical score that accompanies the game - whether during an intense boss battle or lengthy dialogue transition - hits the mark each and every time. It is a constant reminder that 'The Wonderful 101' is a game meant to be taken lightly while constantly challenging your ability to manage a very specific control scheme. It was light-hearted and comical when it needed to be, and action focused and explosive when it should have been.

I have become a fan of Platinum Games over the years. 'MadWorld' delivered a mature offering for fans of the Wii, and the incredibly tight and responsive controls of 'Vanquish' and 'Bayonetta' have solidified their ability to develop games that rank up there with the best of brawlers. Their forthcoming 'Bayonetta 2', another Wii U exclusive, has me counting down the days until its release. Although 'The Wonderful 101' makes a solid attempt to breath life into a console in dire need of new and interesting content, it ultimately stumbles. The uniquely developed control scheme continues to reflect on the developer's abilities, but repetitive level designs and a problematic camera hold 'The Wonderful 101' from being a truly wonderful experience.

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