Posted by Ben at 14:34

Bewilderfuck isnít a word I use often to describe a game, but it perfectly describes my first experience with The Wonderful 101. The demo is up on the WiiU eshop if you have a WiiU and want to try it yourself.

Thatís not to say itís a bad experience, just one thatís leaves you a bit overawed. The funny thing is, if you have the right touch stones, The Wonderful 101 isnít all that hard to describe. It looks not unlike Viewtiful Joe, it even sounds like Viewtiful Joe, but the way you command a horde of bipeds around, flinging them at larger enemies, thatís Pikmin. Itís kind of fitting, because while it looks fine, runs fine, and uses the WiiUís tech to its full extent, it does feel slightly out of time, reminiscent of the Gamecube era.

The Wonderful 101ís problem is primarily to do with its controls, because itís a demo youíre donít get them spelt out to you like you hopefully will in the full game. They arenít complicated, thereís a bit of touch screen stuff to change the form of your most powerful attack and to gain helpers, a jump button, a light attack button, sprint, dodge.

The problem is with the nuances, I played the demo through a couple of times and still donít see the point of the block button, nor can I consistently chain sword and power fist attacks. Iím sure itís not a hard skill, Iíve managed it, but picking up new information with how busy the gameís screens are, and keeping in mind all the controls, all the subtleties, when you canít even pick your character out, it makes for a bewildering experience. Thereís a moment where youíre told to use some of your items but Iím not entirely sure what Iím supposed to be aiming at, itís little things like that.

Hopefully then this is another case of a demo not doing a game justice because thereís actually quite a lot of ideas in there. Your Wonderful powers arenít just for fighting, levels are more involved than just travelling from A to B smashing things, and the enemies seem to have plenty of variety.

Obviously itís far too early to say how good a game The Wonderful 101 is, but it certainly doesnít seem a bad one. Hopefully the control issues and sensory overload wont be a problem in the full game, and hopefully the good ideas keep coming thick and fast.
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