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The Wonderful 101

Developer: PlatinumGames Publisher: Nintendo
23 August 2013
The Wonderful 101 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.67 / 5.0
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93 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#637 All-time
#16 for 2013
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2013 Platinum Nintendo  
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FR 0 45496 33209 9
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US 0 45496 90314 5 WUP-P-ACME-USA-0
The Wonderful 101 Remastered
2020 Platinum  
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The Wonderful 101 Remastered
2020 Platinum  
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The Wonderful 101 Remastered
2020 Platinum  
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The Wonderful 101 Remastered
2020 Platinum  
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Title
The Wonderful 101 is not something that everyone will like.

This is a game from excellent developer Platinum, responsible for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Bayonetta [ベヨネッタ]. It is helmed by Hideki Kamiya, mastermind of Platinum's design philosophies and of Devil May Cry [デビル メイ クライ]. He's a legend and is one of the video game icons I respect most. I love Bayonetta, Dante, Metal Gear Rising and even Transformers: Devastation. But I don't love this game.

Let's start with the good: mechanically speaking, this game is pretty excellent. There's no hand-holding here, so most players will not realize this early on. I spent most of the first few missions stumbling around clumsily and taking damage constantly. I'm assuming this will happen to most players. However, at some point, if you play like me, there will be a moment where it finally clicks, and it feels pretty amazing. Everything feels smoother, more stylish, like those classic Platinum/Kamiya games that I mentioned.

This game doesn't play all that much like those games though. You control a crowd; not one character, but a crowd, and you see them from a bird's eye view. It's weird and takes some serious getting used to, but it controls better than it should. You can use various members of the crowd to execute different types of attacks (fists, sword, whip, gun, etc) and can switch between them pretty seamlessly, even stylishly. With an added ability, these transformations can even do damage and up a combo; the crowd, and transforming it at will, becomes an important tool and stops being the annoyance it will likely appear to be at first. Input is very responsive, which is shocking when you're controlling this many people. Recruiting new people is rewarding and satisfying, and there's no feeling better than approaching a boss door with a crowd of hundreds. Again, mechanically, this game is pretty much fantastic, and is even one of the best Platinum games. If that sounds like enough for you, try it out. It's good in that department.

It's missing everything else.

If Bayonetta had all of its same mechanics, but was missing the style and flair of the cutscenes, characters and settings, it would, in my opinion, be a much worse game. It wouldn't be a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't think I would like it as much. The same goes for Devil May Cry; without the attitude, that game loses some of its charm. Thankfully, in those games, there is charm aplenty; personality overflows from those games, helping to make them as iconic as they are. The Wonderful 101 really doesn't have that. The characters are generic and forgettable at best, and annoying and obnoxious at worst. The cutscenes are long and pointless, and the plot is so forgettable that, after I turned off the game five minutes prior to writing this review, I've already forgotten what it was about. The dialogue is cheesy and annoying. The settings, partially due to the viewpoint, all feel like reskins of each other, so the sense of wonder and exploration of all of those games I keep hammering on about is lost. Some people talk about games having style over substance; I think both are almost mandatory to a great experience.

You don't have to agree with me. If all of that sounds like nitpicking at an excellent game, that's fine. The mechanics really are pretty fantastic. However, most of the missions feel pretty similar to each other; there aren't that many different types of enemies, so you'll master every encounter long before you see it for the last time. The bosses are largely unmemorable, with a few exceptions. I was starting to get bored of the game about halfway through, and there was little left to change my mind.

Also, the load times are horrific and inexcusable for a game like this. I don't know enough about the technical side of video games to really explain why they're so bad, but they take forever.

Lastly, there are so many gimmick missions in this game. Like, an obscene amount. This seems to be something Platinum likes doing, but I don't. Some of them are inoffensive. Some of them are horrible. None of them are great.

All things considered, I think this is about halfway to being a masterpiece. They figured out the gameplay, but not everything else.
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Catalog

Banana_PD The Wonderful 101 2022-08-13T22:05:38Z
Switch
2022-08-13T22:05:38Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Flayven The Wonderful 101 2022-08-08T07:19:16Z
2022-08-08T07:19:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CynicalUruguayan The Wonderful 101 2022-08-01T16:10:58Z
2022-08-01T16:10:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
clangamer42 The Wonderful 101 2022-08-01T02:42:48Z
2022-08-01T02:42:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jonesindiana The Wonderful 101 2022-07-31T04:34:03Z
2022-07-31T04:34:03Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Goldoche The Wonderful 101 2022-07-28T11:28:17Z
2022-07-28T11:28:17Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Slilisk The Wonderful 101 2022-07-23T00:31:16Z
2022-07-23T00:31:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tytygigas The Wonderful 101 2022-07-06T06:22:54Z
2022-07-06T06:22:54Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rosebloom The Wonderful 101 2022-07-03T18:51:53Z
2022-07-03T18:51:53Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tentative 10/10
Sgt_Garlic The Wonderful 101 2022-06-05T21:05:56Z
Wii U • US
2022-06-05T21:05:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dandog2142 The Wonderful 101 2022-05-29T01:44:13Z
2022-05-29T01:44:13Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cthulhusfavoriteuncle The Wonderful 101 2022-05-26T05:46:52Z
2022-05-26T05:46:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
PEGI: 12+
Player modes
1-5 players
Media
1x Disc
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Local
Also known as
  • ザ・ワンダフル・ワン・オー・ワン
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Note: Unlike reviews, comments are considered temporary and may be deleted/purged without notice.
  • ... 2017-08-16 23:59:50.747734+00
    Kamiya's best game.
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  • pollyangel00 2019-04-04 01:45:41.937505+00
    ^^^^ totally agreed
    also joefishsticks review is pretty dumb, this game has tons of style and i dont think he focused if he cant remember the story as its pretty simplistic, but in a good way

    BTW the story, characters, setting and especially ending remind of the anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in the best way possible.
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  • okayfrog 2020-02-03 21:18:58.954836+00
    https://www.kickstarter.co...-101-remastered

    Switch and Steam port coming. PS4 port will probably be funded within the day. Then after that, iunno, Xbone port, maybe DLC?
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  • Wlliam_of_Baskerville 2020-05-20 13:27:52.90306+00
    Out on ps4 so I will definitely play it. I do love Kamiya weirdness
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  • Bakkus 2021-12-23 03:52:36.214331+00
    Man, this average rating is pure blasphemy. Sure, some of those minigame segments are poorly designed (especially the isometric and escape the tunnel shooter segments), but some of them are also really fun and the base gameplay is fantastic. I can understand it not being for everyone, but I would have thought sites like these would be way more open to games like these compared to the casual crowd.
    reply
    • demianX 2022-07-07 17:42:58.819666+00
      Hopefully it will rise as more people play it, it's by far my favorite Platinum game.
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