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The Wonderful 101 Preview

blake_peterson By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER PlatinumGames 
T Contains Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

It's Pikmin but way crazier.

In the E3 The Wonderful 101 demo, you play as a swarm of superheroes. It feels a bit like Pikmin, in that you collect heroes (or deputize citizens) to help you fight against aliens. The collection aspect is about where the Pikmin comparison ends, though. The rest of the gameplay deals with how exactly you use the heroes you've collected.

With different gestures on the Wii U GamePad, you can call upon your heroes to turn into giant weapons to help you defeat the aliens that have attacked the city. Swipe a long straight line and you can create a sword. The longer the swipe, the more heroes it uses and the stronger it gets. Make an L-shape and you create a gun.

Context is important in battling these aliens. The sword is useful for enemies close to you, and the gun for flying or distant foes. The whip seems to do less damage but has longer reach than the sword. Though it still has a bigger sweep than the gun, a giant fist is good for clobbering and grasping things. The need to address context became even clearer when fighting the giant boss at the end.

The boss, a giant armored figure that could transform and rush you requires a more tactical approach. You've got to use the whip at first, which can briefly grapple him and tear away pieces of his armor. However, the boss charges at you frequently, and you must abandon your weapon and dash away, lest the heroes be scattered and you must gather them again before continuing to attack.

The game can be played co-op with up to five players, each with their own mob and a unique giant weapon, though this isn't all about combat. At the end of the level after defeating the boss, it was necessary to create the giant fist and use it to wind up a Ferris wheel, so that all the heroes could take a spin on it. It's this kind of delight that permeates The Wonderful 101 throughout.

The Wonderful 101 is set to release on Sept 15, 2013 on Wii U.
More GR previews for this game:
The Wonderful 101 preview posted on 10/02/12.

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