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LTTP: The Wonderful 101 - This utterly incredible game... isn't very good

Sayter

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Sep 20, 2010
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you really should see them as one giant blob, instead of individuals



It's not 74 heroes dodging this laser. It's 1 unit dodging the laser.

I like to think of them as a collective conscienceness. PRE-BORG!
 

atr0cious

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Jan 15, 2014
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SF Bay Area
www.twitch.tv
Let's be clear, I would never argue that any functional game is objectively terrible. When I say it's terrible, I mean I personally find it subjectively terrible. This is implicit in opinions. Then we all give our opinion, and we come to a group idea of whether the game is subjectively good or bad. Seems like Gaf thinks it's pretty good. (I already knew that.)

None of that means I shouldn't give my opinion on what I feel like the game does poorly that affects my enjoyment. The subjectivity of criticism shouldn't need to be explained.
You still haven't confirmed you know about grouping or the bright red circle under the player.

Also please respond to JC:
Big post, but not a lot of content, sadly



I mean right off the bat, this is just...wrong. Like, I don't mean to be rude here, but this is flat-out incorrect. Its actually quite plausible to see where your leader is and know where your position is. That's why there's a glowing circle underneath, that's why the weapon of your choice is always over his head, that's why when you're running you're always at the front and the crowd funnels away from you. Even when jumping in chaotic scenes, the bright circle under your leader will tell you where he's gonna land.



Have you ever played the game Viewtiful Joe? In Viewtiful Joe, you collect film canisters scattered around the level to increase your default special meter, which in turn allows you to use fancier moves for longer duration of time. If there wasn't a restriction, you can just use the powers all the time, non-stop, without any strategic thought whatsoever. What this system does is A) it gives you collectibles that you always want to pick up and B) forces use to intelligently use your superpowers. Playing Wonderful 101 is like managing a business; you have to be mindful of all your employees, be wary of competitors on the field, careful not to waste your allotted budget on frivolous expenses. Its a lot to keep up with, but hey, that's why they aren't a lot of business managers! Be when you understand how it works and have all the systems working in harmony with each other, its quite satisfying.



Its a unique form of punishment for getting hit, appropriate to a game about collecting a 101 heroes. You performed poorly, a poor thing has happen to you, do better. Don't get hit so often. Take a second to learn the enemy's moves, their patterns, test out your abilities, experiment with those various systems.



Another comment where I'm not sure what to debate here. You say "it doesn't go well with the core mechanics", and well...I disagree? I think they work just fine? I enjoy them quite well? I've rarely had any issues with adapting to their various situations? I've practiced, paid attention, read guides online, watched videos, applied learned strategies and ideas to the challenges the developers threw at me and succeeded in a satisfactory manner?

I know you tried to dispel the "git gud" comments at the end there, but a lot of this boiled down to "I'm not good at game, therefore game is bad ;_;". I don't think the game is the one with the issue here. I'm not gonna bother quoting the turtles thing, which was a distinct challenge at first, but with practice and patience, knowledge and execution, become easy. Like everything else in life.



I find that learning to do WITHOUT things like the hold A button for weapon size makes you more appreciative when you do get it, and when to use it. I mean, you're already crying about too many systems layered on top of each other, now you want more right from the start?

Its an alternative way of increasing weapon size, and not always preferential. When you draw an item yourself, you can dictate the size, the amount of people, time stops. When you're holding A, you're stuck holding that button while the enemy does his thing and your weapon slowly-but-steadily builds up.

As for the block and dodge being in the shop, that is a bit bizarre, but you can easily buy it right after the prologue with the money you get there and have it for chapter 1, so its not a HUGE issue really.

I agree, the opening 30 minutes should do a better job teaching things, but it still starts off slow enough, and pretty basic compared to later encounters.



Well, this is pretty subjective, but for the most part, I'm a fan of the variety.

One of my main complaints of these 8+ hour action games like Ninja Gaiden 2 or God Hand is how there isn't much variety of terms of pacing. You walk forward, there's a wave of guys, you beat them and then there's another wave, and then another wave, and then another wave, and then another wave. And all those waves there's a boss(who often has his own wave of enemies), then you do it again the next level over and over again for a dozen hours.

Now you say "well, its a beat'em'up, what do you expect!?", but old school beat'em'ups were built around relatively short playthroughs, 30mins-1 hour. Playing God Hand is like playing a reallllllly long game of Final Fight. Yeah, its got a great combat system, but when it looks terrible, no story to give it any kind of motivation, music that doesn't seem to care about anything, and a pacing that's rarely changes(especially with the adaptable difficulty slider), it becomes monotonous.

With Kamiya action games like Viewtiful Joe, Bayonetta, and Wonderful 101, he's always mindful of packing his games with variety. You'll get some great battles, sure, but they're broken up with a puzzle, or an interesting platforming/traversal section, or some funny cutscene, or a shmup level, or a new weapon, or a big boss fight, just every few minutes. He breaks encounters down into those individuals verses, crafting each level to have various peaks and valleys. Yeah, sometimes he goes overboard like that fuckin' Space Harrier level in Bayonetta or one too many turret sections here, but for the most part, I'm all for it.

--

and then there was the story, which I thought was pretty charming overall with a surprisingly good voice cast and localization, but yeah Wonder-Pink is awful and Annoying Kid Character is terrible. More good than bad, though.

But really, a big bulk of this post really sounds like the mom who plays Street Fighter 4 and its really mad because she can't do combos, why didn't this game teach me about match-ups, how do you do that, this is terrible.

Wonderful 101 is a different experience even from other P* action games(already a niche genre), and its not gonna be for everyone. But its not the game fault that you're not good at it, and despite how much you keep saying "I know the basics", if you can't even tell where you are or why the battery system is the way it is, you very clearly do not know the basics.

You don't have to like the game, but at least be honest that most of the defiances are coming from your end of the deal here.
 

tassletine

Member
Oct 24, 2007
1,358
486
1,195
The game, like most Platinum games is about mastering audio and visual cues. You have to learn to relax and not panic. Do not button mash. Take your time and practice rather than just trying to get through the levels and you will soon realise how great the game is. Go back to one of the earlier levels and see how much fun you can have just messing around defeating enemies flawlessly, then move on from there.
 

Monocle

Member
Jan 16, 2008
36,258
12
940
The Wonderful 101 is not mediocre. It's extremely punishing, inaccessible, and unfocused, but the core game is brilliant.

It's the frustrating design elements that really drag it down: The way your whole team can be knocked to the ground by a simple attack. The way you can't dodge, attack, or use your multipurpose Wonder Liner without battery meter charge. The way nearly every stage throws minigames with poor controls at you and counts every mistake against your level ranking. The way you're practically forced to replay every mission on all five difficulties multiple times if you want to unlock the bonus characters.

If Kamiya had exercised the same focus and restraint when directing TW101 that he did with Bayonetta, it would be his masterwork. Unfortunately it seems that Bayonetta 2, the sequel he didn't direct, will be a much better game.
 

Griss

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Sep 26, 2013
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The Wonderful 101 is not mediocre. It's extremely punishing, inaccessible, and unfocused, but the core game is brilliant.

It's the frustrating design elements really drag it down: The way your whole team can be knocked to the ground by a simple attack. The way you can't dodge, attack, or use your multipurpose Wonder Liner without battery meter charge. The way nearly every stage throws minigames with poor controls at you and counts every mistake against your level ranking. The way you're practically forced to replay every mission on all five difficulties multiple times if you want to unlock the bonus characters.

If Kamiya had exercised the same focus and restraint when directing TW101 that he did with Bayonetta, it would be his masterwork. Unfortunately it seems that Bayonetta 2, the sequel he didn't direct, will be a much better game.

This is exactly how I feel, great comment.

You talk about exercising focus and restraint, I personally thought he needed an editor.
 

ForsakenLotus

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Jun 28, 2014
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You don't have to master it, just learn it. The fact you can play any game more complicated than Pong came from the fact you spent time learning. Go watch someone who doesn't know how to use dual analog sticks try to play Halo.

No one is pretending it doesn't have fundamental flaws, they don't believe it does. Maybe it has some flaws, but not fundamental ones. Requiring a player to learn a new style of game is not a fundamental flaw. (Learning how to play a game and learning how to be good at a game are the same thing, extensions of each other.)


Why "git gud" is a decent point, although probably poorly/rudely expressed:

-If you are not good at something it is likely because you don't understand it. Now imagine someone who doesn't understand the game trying to get their point across to those who do? Those who can see farther see both where that person's sight stops and beyond. Being able to notice this cuts through any argument. Writing a lot of words doesn't spare you from that.

-If you are bad at something, you become frustrated and channel your negative feelings towards the game. Anger is intoxicating. This completely colors your impression of a game and, when it comes down to it, is a practice of distributing blame away from yourself. Once again, what do you think someone who either isn't frustrated or can withstand their frustration see? (Frustration is feeling/being made aware how weak you are.)

I guess to elaborate a little bit on my point, I get that learning and experimenting in difficult games is part of the experience. I've played and enjoyed my fair share of tough games. But I believe it's much more difficult to design a game that is difficult while having a steady progression of move sets and techniques unveiled than it is to, more or less, throw the player into the deep end.

And honestly, a lot of old school games were just a lot simpler. Mega Man is a pretty straightforward game that just requires the player to, as some put it, get good. But when there is a plethora of different techniques and the player has to figure out how to properly utilize then early in the game and under tough conditions, I don't think that's an elegant solution.

The reason people say the first playthrough of W101 is like a tutorial is because the game doesn't do a good job of explaining things (which is fine) nor does it present challenges that naturally make the player learn key techniques because often the player simply needs to experiment.

It's not so much that I think W101 is a bad game because I think it's a good game; I just believe the conception of its design works better than the execution. To me, the best difficult games are ones that are fairly easy to understand the challenge before you but difficult to execute the skills and maneuver the battlefield. W101, as many have stated, gets to a point where when you know the move needed it's not that difficult at all.

So with that being said, I take umbrage with the casual "git gud" comments even though that may be what needs to happen because the game should teach you either directly or indirectly how to get good.


Whoa wall of text. Sorry, waiting in a doctor's office has made me long winded.
 

Griss

Member
Sep 26, 2013
11,685
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515
Dublin, Ireland
You still haven't confirmed you know about grouping or the bright red circle under the player.

Also please respond to JC:

Of course I know about the circle, I just find it very difficult to see. It's not enough visual indication of where you are, to me. When you dash around, that's fine. When you're jumping or attacking things become very visually indistinct. And sure, I'll respond to Viewtiful, he did take the time to read my post after all.

Big post, but not a lot of content, sadly

Considering your entire post boils down to 'play better' I could really say the same to you.

I mean right off the bat, this is just...wrong. Like, I don't mean to be rude here, but this is flat-out incorrect. Its actually quite plausible to see where your leader is and know where your position is. That's why there's a glowing circle underneath, that's why the weapon of your choice is always over his head, that's why when you're running you're always at the front and the crowd funnels away from you. Even when jumping in chaotic scenes, the bright circle under your leader will tell you where he's gonna land.

We simply disagree on this. I don't think the game does enough to help you visually position your character in 3D space. You're tiny, so you need visual cues to show where you are. When you have a big weapon out it tends to be obvious. When you're just moving around dodging attacks or jumping then it's a problem. If we disagree, we disagree. This is the part that most bothers me about the game, I can't just handwave it.
[/QUOTE]

Have you ever played the game Viewtiful Joe? In Viewtiful Joe, you collect film canisters scattered around the level to increase your default special meter, which in turn allows you to use fancier moves for longer duration of time. If there wasn't a restriction, you can just use the powers all the time, non-stop, without any strategic thought whatsoever. What this system does is A) it gives you collectibles that you always want to pick up and B) forces use to intelligently use your superpowers. Playing Wonderful 101 is like managing a business; you have to be mindful of all your employees, be wary of competitors on the field, careful not to waste your allotted budget on frivolous expenses. Its a lot to keep up with, but hey, that's why they aren't a lot of business managers! Be when you understand how it works and have all the systems working in harmony with each other, its quite satisfying.

I played Viewtiful Joe, loved it and beat it on all but the hardest difficulty. Great game. Incredible game. I get that it's the same system but the battery system in W101 is tied to everything, even basic attacks and blocks. Not being able to access those when you're getting pounded and having to wait quite a long time is overly punitive game design, imo, and is frustrating and anti-fun.

Its a unique form of punishment for getting hit, appropriate to a game about collecting a 101 heroes. You performed poorly, a poor thing has happen to you, do better. Don't get hit so often. Take a second to learn the enemy's moves, their patterns, test out your abilities, experiment with those various systems.

I agree that it's appropriate. When you see all those little guys go flying, it certainly reinforces the idea that you are playing as all 100 of them. It's just such a frustrating system. Each hit wastes seconds and seconds of your time. No other action game does this. And your exhortations to 'do better' are silly... what do you think the average player is doing, NOT trying to do better? You think people want to be hit, or are just button mashing through the game? Everyone gets hit once in a while - this mechanic applies to everyone who plays, so 'get better' is no defence of it. I just happen to think that this particular method of punishment is over the top in the amount of time wasted and frustration caused.

Another comment where I'm not sure what to debate here. You say "it doesn't go well with the core mechanics", and well...I disagree? I think they work just fine? I enjoy them quite well? I've rarely had any issues with adapting to their various situations? I've practiced, paid attention, read guides online, watched videos, applied learned strategies and ideas to the challenges the developers threw at me and succeeded in a satisfactory manner?

I know you tried to dispel the "git gud" comments at the end there, but a lot of this boiled down to "I'm not good at game, therefore game is bad ;_;". I don't think the game is the one with the issue here. I'm not gonna bother quoting the turtles thing, which was a distinct challenge at first, but with practice and patience, knowledge and execution, become easy. Like everything else in life.

The game is hard enough when the challenge comes from the enemies themselves rather than rotating hallways, collapsing floors and the like. That stuff took away from the core gameplay rather than adding to it. That's my point there. If you disagree, fine. None of my points simply boil down to 'I'm not good, game is bad'. There is more detail than that to all of them.

I find that learning to do WITHOUT things like the hold A button for weapon size makes you more appreciative when you do get it, and when to use it. I mean, you're already crying about too many systems layered on top of each other, now you want more right from the start?

Its an alternative way of increasing weapon size, and not always preferential. When you draw an item yourself, you can dictate the size, the amount of people, time stops. When you're holding A, you're stuck holding that button while the enemy does his thing and your weapon slowly-but-steadily builds up.

As for the block and dodge being in the shop, that is a bit bizarre, but you can easily buy it right after the prologue with the money you get there and have it for chapter 1, so its not a HUGE issue really.

I agree, the opening 30 minutes should do a better job teaching things, but it still starts off slow enough, and pretty basic compared to later encounters.

Sure, I'll concede most of that.


Well, this is pretty subjective, but for the most part, I'm a fan of the variety.

One of my main complaints of these 8+ hour action games like Ninja Gaiden 2 or God Hand is how there isn't much variety of terms of pacing. You walk forward, there's a wave of guys, you beat them and then there's another wave, and then another wave, and then another wave, and then another wave. And all those waves there's a boss(who often has his own wave of enemies), then you do it again the next level over and over again for a dozen hours.

Now you say "well, its a beat'em'up, what do you expect!?", but old school beat'em'ups were built around relatively short playthroughs, 30mins-1 hour. Playing God Hand is like playing a reallllllly long game of Final Fight. Yeah, its got a great combat system, but when it looks terrible, no story to give it any kind of motivation, music that doesn't seem to care about anything, and a pacing that's rarely changes(especially with the adaptable difficulty slider), it becomes monotonous.

With Kamiya action games like Viewtiful Joe, Bayonetta, and Wonderful 101, he's always mindful of packing his games with variety. You'll get some great battles, sure, but they're broken up with a puzzle, or an interesting platforming/traversal section, or some funny cutscene, or a shmup level, or a new weapon, or a big boss fight, just every few minutes. He breaks encounters down into those individuals verses, crafting each level to have various peaks and valleys. Yeah, sometimes he goes overboard like that fuckin' Space Harrier level in Bayonetta or one too many turret sections here, but for the most part, I'm all for it.

Like I said, I LOVE the variety, but it has got to be GOOD. The mini-game breaks need to be good. If he'd come up with 2-3 recurrant mini-game type breaks and put effort into them, they could have been awesome. Instead there's a bunch of really quite dull sequences. Dull sequences never improve a game, even when they break up the monotony of standard gameplay, which if it's good shouldn't feel very monotonous at all.

and then there was the story, which I thought was pretty charming overall with a surprisingly good voice cast and localization, but yeah Wonder-Pink is awful and Annoying Kid Character is terrible. More good than bad, though.

But really, a big bulk of this post really sounds like the mom who plays Street Fighter 4 and its really mad because she can't do combos, why didn't this game teach me about match-ups, how do you do that, this is terrible.

Wonderful 101 is a different experience even from other P* action games(already a niche genre), and its not gonna be for everyone. But its not the game fault that you're not good at it, and despite how much you keep saying "I know the basics", if you can't even tell where you are or why the battery system is the way it is, you very clearly do not know the basics.

You don't have to like the game, but at least be honest that most of the defiances are coming from your end of the deal here.

It's funny that you mention SF4, because I think that game does a terrible job of teaching players how to play, as do most fighting games. I'm not a fan of that kind of game design.

You say that it's not the game's fault that I'm not good at it. Well, if there's no tutorial and there aren't adequate hints as to how to play, then I'd argue that that's exactly who's fault it is. I've put in 6-7 hours. I've put in effort on my side and the game has given me basically fucking nothing as an education on its side. That's its right, if it wants to be hardcore like that, but it's still the game's fundamental failing in not teaching players what they need to know. This is what I was on about when I said that the shit / non-existent tutorial has repercussions that last the rest of the game. These are issues coming from the game, and NOT my end.
 
Aug 3, 2013
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LA
I'm kind of with OP on this one. Don't agree with the criticisms of the core game play, e.g. having your team scattered after getting hit, not being able to see your team leader, lack of tutorials, difficulties with multiple bosses at once. That's all just part of the learning curve. There are a few abilities that could have been unlocked at the beginning, but it's not a huge deal.

My main issue is the game constantly switching play control. One minute I'm in the base combat, next minute I'm supposed to build a ladder that works half of the time, next minute I'm fighting the controls to draw a hang glider that barely works, next minute I'm piloting a flying robot through the city, next minute I'm failing unfair QTEs. It's way too schizophrenic. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have variety, but all that variety should extend from the main game play and shouldn't jump around so much. The Mario Galaxy games are a good example of how to have game play variety and keep centered at the same time.

It's one of those games that I love and dislike equally. It's definitely original and a great challenge. The aesthetic and the humor are great. I just don't like trudging through all of the crap to get there. Like the OP said, it needed some serious editing.
 

Razzorn34

Member
Mar 19, 2014
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You say that it's not the game's fault that I'm not good at it. Well, if there's no tutorial and there aren't adequate hints as to how to play, then I'd argue that that's exactly who's fault it is. I've put in 6-7 hours. I've put in effort on my side and the game has given me basically fucking nothing as an education on its side. That's it's right, if it wants to be hardcore like that, but it's still the game's fundamental failing in not teaching players what they need to know. This is what I was on about when I said that the shit / non-existent tutorial has repercussions that last the rest of the game. These are issues coming from the game, and NOT my end.

If this is your view, then this has nothing to do with the game itself. It has to do with YOU not being able to learn in this type of game design. Don't blame the game if it just comes down to you not wanting to put the time in to learn it. Just chalk it up as a game that isn't for you.
 

Moondrop

Banned
Apr 24, 2012
2,477
0
0
So having a discussion about a well liked game in a thread where the title says it isn't very good is being defensive now? That seems a little dismissive. You can hardly just expect everyone to agree when some of OP's issues could be the fault of the player.
Replying to a long post like the OP's with a misspelled two word post, of which many in this thread seem to approve, is a dismissal of his argument. And I find to dismiss his argument rather than engage it is absolutely being defensive. Those "git gud" posts are what I'm mocking, not those who politely ask the OP to play through the entire game before formulating an opinion.
 

Griss

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Sep 26, 2013
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Alright imma go play another hour or two. Really not looking forward to it (which is the problem, currently). But I -WILL- beat this game, if only to find out if the nirvana some people speak of is at the other side. When I do I'll come back and report.

Something I made for the W101 Hard Mode Let's Play I was planning on doing before I got super busy with work stuff.

http://a.pomf.se/gmempp.webm

That's fantastic, lol. If true I have only one hour or so left before I'm supposed to get good.
... gulp...
 

LocalE

Member
Jul 12, 2013
611
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Let's be clear, I would never argue that any functional game is objectively terrible. When I say it's terrible, I mean I personally find it subjectively terrible. This is implicit in opinions. Then we all give our opinion, and we come to a group idea of whether the game is subjectively good or bad. Seems like Gaf thinks it's pretty good. (I already knew that.)

None of that means I shouldn't give my opinion on what I feel like the game does poorly that affects my enjoyment. The subjectivity of criticism shouldn't need to be explained.

True. It just seems to me that making an attempt to use the language in a more constructive and precise manner can help discussion.

If you were actually attempting to make a case that the game "isn't very good", or is "terrible", then fine. But what is the harm in just saying that, because of the issues you found with it, you don't enjoy it?

Just say that you don't get it. Not everybody has to "get" everything. Why is there a need to make the leap from "I'm not enjoying this game" to "this is a terrible game"?

This is not a question that I have only in regards to you and your post on this game, by the way. I often wonder why we sometimes feel the need to make that leap and define things that we don't get as "terrible".

In this case, you made a long post about it in the hopes, I would assume, that a discussion would be had on the subject. Do you feel that your choice of words has created the ideal base for the discussion that you wanted to see occur here? If so, carry on and don't mind me, it's your party.

For most of the points you bring up in the OP, it seems to me that you could just boil it down to saying, "why did they do this this way? I don't get it and I'm not enjoying it". Maybe a discussion could be had about those points and why some enjoy it that way and thoughts on why they might have chosen to make the game the game that it is. As it is, it seems to be an invitation for people who don't think it's "terrible" to 'defend' it.

Having put a lot of time into this game myself, I have had no especial trouble in following the on-screen action for many, many, many hours of enjoyable gameplay now. At first it seemed much more chaotic. So to someone citing that as an issue with the game, of course my basic response could be boiled down to "git good, mmkay?". That shouldn't be taken as an insult, it should just be taken as an indication that the visual information is all there, whether you are comprehending it or not. If I look at the screen and see what's going on and proceed to get my Pure Platinum ranking, while you just complain that it's an unhelpful visual mess - then clearly you just haven't yet attained the ability to take in that information and use it. This can impact your enjoyment of the game, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the game. Why then bring in terminology which implies a judgement of the quality when it is actually a statement about how fluent you have become with the games visual language and the fact that you are not enjoying something that you effectively haven't yet learned to 'read'? Just say that you don't feel it will be worth whatever amount of time and effort that it would take for you to 'git gud', because you're not enjoying it and don't see how the payoff could justify your present lack of enjoyment.

At least, that would make sense to me, as opposed to just saying it "isn't very good", which - to me - implies something different. But whatever, there's no accounting for perspective.


EDIT:
Alright imma go play another hour or two. Really not looking forward to it (which is the problem, currently). But I -WILL- beat this game, if only to find out if the nirvana some people speak of is at the other side. When I do I'll come back and report.

Any Nirvana which might be attainable is not necessarily on the other side of the credits. I was 'feelin' it' way before the credits rolled. But I actually wanted to "git gud" at it. It was fun for me, and more enjoyable the better I got at it.

Just sayin' - Nirvana attainment is in no way a function of completing the story mode here, as far as I can tell.
 

KooopaKid

Banned
Jun 3, 2014
4,978
0
0
That's pretty much my experience with the game so I agree there. That said I sold it but bought it again on the eShop with the promotion. But yeah fuck those turtles. The action is clearly not as readable as other Platinum games. A flawed gem.
 

Andrew J.

Member
Apr 18, 2007
3,126
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If you're having that much trouble, try a lower difficulty. I won't say there's no shame in it, but it's a damn sight less shame than you've already brought on yourself with this thread.
 

Spux666

Banned
Dec 10, 2012
212
0
0
1. The core gameplay / action

It's impossible to see exactly where your group leader is and what he's doing. He's far too small on a screen filled with action to be sure of where he is in 3D space at any time, and the problem is doubled when he's in the air / jumping. The fact that he is surrounded by a group of 30-100 other tiny characters, a group that is of variable size and shape makes it impossible to pin down where your particular guy is half the time. When you get hit, you're never quite sure you'll be hit until you see your guy go flying.

You're bad. The only time you EVER need to see where your leader is in the game is when you are timing a fall back to use an ukemi. If you're not doing that, then you either have a weapon out and are attacking (which only shows your leader and the weapon), or you don't have your weapon out and are sprinting (which puts your leader in front of the pack). I really don't know how you're playing the game but it sounds like you're just walking around in the middle of the pack not knowing what the fuck is going on. Get good, and start moving!

But I made it through Bayonetta and MGS Rising without any problems or many deaths, and even tried a couple of levels on hard in those games and had tons of fun.

Wonderful 101 is infinitely harder then both Bayonetta and MG Rising. If you can't handle it, set the game to very easy or git gud.

This is a different problem to other character action games. There, you feel overwhelmed by enemies' attacks: their patterns might be hard to read, they might be too fast, you might not be sure what move is the right one to use against them. This is the point of the genre. That is the challenge you're looking for. Here, the problem is that I can't read what's going on at least 50% of the time. I can figure out the enemy patterns and what I need to do, I'm just not sure exactly where I am relative to an enemy so I can 't do it. That's not the point of the genre, and it's not fun.

There are no set rules to any genre of game. Yes it's a character action game. Yes it has enemies with set moves. You not knowing what's going on 50% of the time is your own fault. It's not like you should EVER be looking at your wonderful 101 group. You shouldn't do that in any character action game. Always keep your eyes on the enemies and blur your vision so you can see all of them at once. I'm not saying keeping track of EVERY enemy is the easiest thing in the world, but you need to learn to do it if you ever plan on playing games like Bayonetta on their hardest difficulty (which I'll admit this game essentially starts on Bayonetta's hard).

Not only that, but there are far too many game systems layered on top of each other here. The worst is the battery system. This means that if you want to draw a new weapon, block or dodge, you need battery. In practice, this means that you will often find yourself running around an arena, unable to attack or defend until your battery recharges a sufficient amount. In a game with this much going on already, this isn't really acceptable, or necessary. How does this restriction on your core abilities make the game better?

STOP DRAWING THE BIGGEST SWORD POSSIBLE. If you take the time to experiment with the weapons and figure out ways to combo them together, you don't even need to use ANY battery while playing. Big weapons are for when you've left your enemy WIDE open and know you can demolish them in a second if you use it.

The item system is tucked away on the gamepad and never explained.

Items are stupid and you should never have to use them if you're playing the game properly. Why they're there in the first place? Probably to aid the 10 year olds playing on very easy. Don't ever use them.....git gud.

Another huge mistake is making you have to collect your men every time you get hit. This leads to a constant loop of getting hit, collecting your men, getting hit, collecting your men, and so on.

You have a dodge, a block and a counter......you should probably start using all of them.

2. The encounter design

Single large enemies are difficult but can be fun. They have an extremely annoying habit of attacking right as you're finished drawing a weapon but you can manage them, because you only need to read them and you at the same time. But the game constantly throws more than you can handle at you, seemingly intentionally.

Ummmm no they don't......Are you drawing weapons really slow on the gamepad? If so you should probably stop. Use the thumbstick and get faster at it.

A perfect example is the turtles. This is an enemy you've never seen before. You've just gotten a new weapon you will obviously need to use to destroy it. Drawing said weapon is tricky at first, trickier than the old ones, but manageable. Add all of this together and good game design would be one turtle on its own, so you get used to drawing the new weapon while you learn the attacks and weaknesses of the turtle.

This is BY FAR the hardest part of the game on your first playthrough. Yes the turtles are tough, BUT YOU MUST BE TOUGHER!

It's obvious you need to block a turtle's 'stomp', flip the turtle over and kill it.

Once again, experimentation is your friend. Yes, that is a method of killing the turtles, but there are also MANY methods to killing the turtles. Try some shit out. Don't just find what combo CAN get the job done, but what combo WILL get the job done.

3. The non-core gameplay systems / unlockables etc

In particular, things like the faster draw speed or ability to hold A to increase weapon size would have massively increased my enjoyment of the game so far. Putting the block and dodge behind the in-game paywall rather than in a tutorial as the base mechanics is just bizarre as well.

Crafting and the credit card are there for a reason. I'm sure you have many vegetables saved up. Never use them on shitty items. ALWAYS craft the credit card. It's there so you can get whatever skill you need whenever you need it. Yes the block and dodge are locked off, but you can buy both of them after the first mission. Play smart.

I'll add the total lack of a functional tutorial in here as well. You've made a hardcore action game with a visual exterior that will obviously attract kids and other not-so-hardcore players. Would it actually kill you to teach these people how to play the game?

Tutorials can be lost during the action, yes. I can see how that would be frustrating for new players. I would say just chill out and pay close attention at the start of the game. You also don't HAVE to perform all the actions those tutorials tell you at the start. Most people won't start using multi-morph combos until the end of their first playthrough.

4. The mini-games / genre switches

Why then is the game so insistent on taking you way from the base action Platinum have worked so hard to craft only to put you into poorly designed, terribly explained out-of-genre sections? (What I mean by that is turret shooting sections, rail jumping sections, flying sections, basically broken hang-gliding sections etc).

The mini games are actually extremely well put together and fleshed out. They all have perfect controls but yes some of them do have complicated explanations (punch-out). Also I don't think you know how to fly the hang glider yet. You should probably practice that.

5. The tone / story

I won't go into this too much because this stuff is far more subjective than the rest and less interesting to debate but what starts as a fun, whimsical adventure becomes one-note and dull a couple of hours in. The female characters were what swayed me, their portrayal is borderline sexist at best, and more importantly just tiresome and cringeworthy. The jokes start to fall flat. I can only watch Blue punch Green after an off hand comment so many times before it loses its charm. I can only watch Pink act like a moronic valley girl so many times, you know?

Yeah well......the sexist stuff is a bit much. Aside from that the humor is 100% styled after japanese anime. Characters have set personalities that they will flaunt in the same way over and over again. If you're not a fan of that then there isn't much I can say about it. Just don't ever watch One Piece or something to that effect. Yes the story does kind of fall off a bit during chapter 3,4, and 5, but if you complete chapter 5 I guarantee you that the story immediately picks up again and becomes more and more amazing until the finale (chapter 9). You essentially have to love the games combat during 3,4 and 5......which you won't until you get near the end and actually begin to understand the flow of things (never said it was easy). Chapters 3,4, and 5 are brutal for first playthrough new players. PUSH MY FRIEND. You will make it, and believe the gaffers.....you will definitely be rewarded.

BONUS ROUND:

Here is a KEY tip if you ever go back to playing the game. Most players NEVER use this ability during their first playthrough and it can literally make or break the combat for you. You have a team attack......USE IT.....ABUSE IT.....ALWAYS stun EVERY enemy you possible can before getting them all in a great big cluster fuck combo. I know it would have saved you some heartache on the turtles.

PRO TURTLE TIP: Max Hammer ---> Double Jump ---> SLAM ---> repeat once ---> turtle is now broken for team attack ---> SPAM TEAM ATTACK ---> win
 

Aaronrules380

Member
Feb 19, 2013
15,791
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0
I beat the game and I didn't think it was that great either. It never clicked with me, and I never was really able to pull off anything cool. I tried experimenting, I tried comboing, but I could never seem to be able to switch things up quick enough to move between weapons mid combo. And yes I did use the stick, not the gamepad. One major issue I had was that hitting an enemy attack with your own makes all the units in your weapon disperse. I don't have an issue with the dispersing in general, just that hitting an enemy attack with your own was always to the enemies' advantage. This was especially frustrating when you were fighting a ton of enemies at once and it was super hard for me to pull off hits without getting hit by an enemy who attacks quickly with little warning.

And I'm tired of people saying stuff like "get good". I feel like the game has a lot of bad design decisions. It teaches you only the basic mechanics, but expects you to know far more to get anything accomplished. The fact that a lot of downright necessary moves and abilities are locked behind paywalls is stupid and bad design, and I don't see how you can argue that. I feel like some people have no concept of middle ground between no hand holding and spoonfeeding the players, because it exists. Another issue I have is people saying: Well look at all the people who did adapt and like it. That's stupid because there really aren't that many people saying it. Of course the people who talk about the game a lot and are likely to visit these threads will have adapted, because people passionate about the game are the ones likely to talk about it, and it isn't so awful that you'll get more than a few who passionately dislike as opposed to like it. Response bias is huge in threads like these, so you can't accurately grasp how many of the people playing it actually had the same experience as you.

Finally, I don't get why people think depth necessarily equates to a super high learning curve. The ideal game should be easy to learn, hard to master. Being really obtuse and hard to learn doesn't add anything to a game or make it more deep.
 
Jul 13, 2009
18,073
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Mexico
I fully understand what you mean, I felt that way for several hours but everything just clicked for me at some point and I can't say that it's a mediocre game, TW101 is one of the best games I have ever played.

The Wonderful 101 is a game that's punishing and asks a lot of the player, and when you understand the mechanics and stop being confused about everything it becomes a beautiful experience. I have a difficult time explaining how much I ended up enjoying going through the game several times and mastering it but damn, it's so good.
 

Riposte

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Sep 21, 2010
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I wouldn't mind the sexualized (or heavily gendered, in the case of side/grunt characters) female characters if it wasn't applicable to just about every single one. Imouta isn't the christmas tree of tropes Pink was, but we still got a good look at the butt of her toy figure body. Wouldn't have hurt to have one more of the main cast be a woman, White being the best candidate.
 

Allegrian

Banned
Apr 12, 2013
336
0
0
Use guts when they try to stomp, use fist on the underside, one is dead in 10 seconds. Truly, the most unplayable difficulty. With its optional Easy and Very Easy modes available.

Bart: I thought you wanted a challenge.
Lisa: Duh. A challenge I could do.
Tip them over with spike guts iirc :p

The spike guts is an ability you have to buy, (and I didn't have when I fought the turtles). Can you see the problem now? The game is not "playable" enough until you unlock certain abilities.
 

ViewtifulJC

Banned
Oct 14, 2010
66,821
1
0
Beaumont, TX
www.neogaf.com
The spike guts is an ability you have to buy, (and I didn't have when I fought the turtles). Can you see the problem now? The game is not "playable" enough until you unlock certain abilities.

You didn't have Unite Guts? That works just as well

if you managed to get that far in the game without Unite Guts, that'd be kinda impressive. Just straight up not blocking lol
 

NotLiquid

Member
Aug 30, 2012
17,950
5
0
Finally, I don't get why people think depth necessarily equates to a super high learning curve. The ideal game should be easy to learn, hard to master. Being really obtuse and hard to learn doesn't add anything to a game or make it more deep.

That's... basically what TW101 is.

The game is a lot less "heavy" in combat than the likes of Bayonetta and the functions are a lot more simple. There are a lot less combos and it is incredibly more forgiving with context sensitive set pieces. The enemies and tempo in general are a lot slower. You create weapons by drawing primitive shapes, and logic dictates that bigger = better. If you know how the mechanics work from the outset and you're dropped off in the training room during the loading screens, chances are you have a solid grasp of what exactly the "core" of the game revolves around, and most of the combos are just straightforward single-button strings. It's simple to understand but it's hard to apply when you get down to the nitty-gritty meta of the game, and that's where the difficulty comes from. It's absolutely piss-easy to understand how to perform actions in the game. The difficulty comes from when you're applying them.

While most of the "get good" posts are rather shallow here, dismissing it outright is a fallacist's fallacy. There is merit in saying that you're either not doing a good enough job in understanding the mechanics at play, and if you do and still don't enjoy the experience then it probably just isn't a game for you, which is fine. Personally I can't stand games like Dark Souls and feel like they have an insane amount of trial and error but I understand why people like them and that there's a certain mindset you have to acknowledge to appreciate the game. It's the same principle here. TW101 is a very different breed of action game not for everyone, and it's not the most perfect execution of it, but it's far from a mediocre experience because it knows what it wants to be, and the things it does it performs most admirably.
 

Fbh

Member
Dec 6, 2013
15,188
10,504
1,070
meh, it's my still BY FAR my favorite game of the gen.
I don't really feel like going point by point but to be honest I disagree with most (not all) of what you are saying. Feels to me like the gameplay just didn't click with you (it can happen, not every game is made to appeal to everyone).

The game does have flaws of course: it does a very bad job at explaining itself, performance is uneven, camera is WAY to close outside of combat and the moments when it tries to introduce variations to the gameplay mechanics (like turning into a shoot em up or wierd "puzzles" which force you to use the gamepad screen) are a hit or miss.

BUT IMO, there is more to a game than just gameplay mechanics + story + graphics.
I see them as a whole and while W101 might not be that great if you analyze each aspect of it individually, I think that as a whole it was just a fantastic experience
 

Aaronrules380

Member
Feb 19, 2013
15,791
0
0
That's... basically what TW101 is.

The game is a lot less "heavy" in combat than the likes of Bayonetta and the functions are a lot more primitive. There are a lot less combos and it is incredibly more forgiving with context sensitive set pieces. The enemies and tempo in general are a lot slower. You create weapons by drawing primitive shapes, and logic dictates that bigger = better. If you know how mechanics work from the outset and you're dropped off in the training room during the loading screens, chances are you have a solid grasp of what exactly the "core" of the game revolves around, and most of the combos are just straightforward button strings. It's simple to understand but it's hard to apply when you get down to the nitty-gritty meta of the game, and that's where the difficulty comes from. It's absolutely piss-easy to understand how to perform actions in the game. The difficulty comes from when you're applying them.

While most of the "get good" posts are rather shallow here, dismissing it outright is a fallacist's fallacy. There is merit in saying that you're either not doing a good enough job in understanding the mechanics at play, and if you do and still don't enjoy the experience then it probably just isn't a game for you, which is fine. Personally I can't stand games like Dark Souls and feel like they have an insane amount of trial and error but I understand why people like them and that there's a certain mindset you have to acknowledge to appreciate the game. It's the same principle here. TW101 is a very different breed of action game and it's not the most perfect execution of it, but it's far from a mediocre experience because it knows what it wants to be, and the things it does it performs most admirably.
A game that takes hours to click is not easy to learn. I have seen very few people claim they got the system quickly. Almost everyone who loves the game seems to claim it takes hours before it clicks
 

Goldenmoney

Member
May 23, 2013
1,547
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0
Minnesota
Alright imma go play another hour or two. Really not looking forward to it (which is the problem, currently). But I -WILL- beat this game, if only to find out if the nirvana some people speak of is at the other side. When I do I'll come back and report.



That's fantastic, lol. If true I have only one hour or so left before I'm supposed to get good.
... gulp...

Glad you're giving it another go. And don't worry, most of us went through the same frustrations as you are right now, but many of us ended up loving it.
 

Magnet_Man

Member
Jan 2, 2013
3,342
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0
The spike guts is an ability you have to buy, (and I didn't have when I fought the turtles). Can you see the problem now? The game is not "playable" enough until you unlock certain abilities.

I didn't have the spike guard either. You don't need it. You just need Guts.
 

Roubjon

Member
Jul 19, 2011
5,144
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0
New York
So many people are so freaking hostile towards the OP, jeez.

I can see a lot of his points, and yeah, a lot of them would be solved if he put more time into the game. But some people don't want to spend that much time with the game and it's why he's come to those conclusions.

When I started I also often would lose track of my guy, especially when fighting large mobs of dudes, and because of that I never really got into the game and still am not past Chapter 3 or something. There is a lot of shit to keep track of. I mean to go back to it eventually because I know it's a fantastic game and want to put the time in, but I do understand a bunch of his complains.
 

NotLiquid

Member
Aug 30, 2012
17,950
5
0
A game that takes hours to click is not easy to learn. I have seen very few people claim they got the system quickly. Almost everyone who loves the game seems to claim it takes hours before it clicks

"Almost everyone" is also ready to tell you that the game's idea of the default "normal" difficulty, which most people will probably get into first, is also very taxing.

If by "it clicks" meaning the point where you're finally feeling confident enough in knowing the ins and outs in how you tackle the mass amount of enemies with your abilities then yes, it does take a slew of time. I don't see what's so irregular about that and it still doesn't really refute my point. Understanding the way you execute mechanics in the game is not rocket science. If you take that bare minimum of knowledge and go into a lower difficulty, you will still come through the game mostly well. Personally I always found the mechanics nuanced enough to the point that I trucked along with a positive impression from the start, and I'm going to assume I'm not alone on that matter.

I already brought up this comparison before in this thread - I've spent time upping difficulties in a game like Viewtiful Joe knowing how the game is played and still getting my ass absolutely rocked on the opening level before I actually knew how to approach it. I'd gone 10 game overs before I actually decided to read into how all my encounters work. I've done the exact same thing with Bayonetta on higher difficulties. I'd get three game overs on the opening level tutorial alone. If that was too much, there was nothing stopping me from lowering the difficulty to something more forgiving - much like TW101.
 
Apr 20, 2013
5,400
0
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Alabama
You say you're doing your best, but answer this....


Are you a different animal AND the same beast?

But seriously these type of games require a change in mentality. They are built for players to challenge and question themselves. You do not have the privilege or comfort of using the design as an excuse here. It's more of acknowledging what you're doing wrong.

I'm glad that you're still willing to play through it, but your thinking is flawed if you really want to approach this. It's best to give up on defensive thoughts of how the game is to blame, and start considering your options. If that doesn't appeal to you, you have to admit defeat and accept that it isn't for you. Right now it just sounds like you refuse to respect the design.

[Also great posts by Riposte and Viewtiful JC]
 

jackdoe

Member
Jan 16, 2011
6,132
1
0
I honestly feel that this "learning curve" wouldn't be a problem if the camera wasn't so damn awful. It's too far when you want it to be tight, too close when you need it to to be wide, and angled behind an object when you need a clear line of sight. If the camera work was better, then people can learn without being frustrated. Most of my frustration with the game boils down to taking cheap hits due to the poor camera, like falling during platforming sequences due to the tight camera, or taking hits by enemies hidden behind a gigantic fence. And when all the damage adds up and leads to you dying after one hit from a new enemy, it's extremely frustrating.
 

oSoLucky

Member
Jun 15, 2013
2,961
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505
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I stopped playing at some point in the game because I really don't like the aesthetic at all. This thread is making me want to pick it back up and go through it though, especially since it's so cheap now.
 

Fimbulvetr

Member
Feb 12, 2009
18,039
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800
Brooklyn, NY
I honestly feel that this "learning curve" wouldn't be a problem if the camera wasn't so damn awful. It's too far when you want it to be tight, too close when you need it to to be wide, and angled behind an object when you need a clear line of sight. If the camera work was better, then people can learn without being frustrated. Most of my frustration with the game boils down to taking cheap hits due to the poor camera, like falling during platforming sequences due to the tight camera, or taking hits by enemies hidden behind a gigantic fence. And when all the damage adds up and leads to you dying after one hit from a new enemy, it's extremely frustrating.

Enemy attacks have really distinct sounds. Listen for them.
 

FlashbladeGAF

Member
Sep 11, 2006
8,572
2
905
You say you're doing your best, but answer this....


Are you a different animal AND the same beast?

But seriously these type of games require a change in mentality. They are built for players to challenge and question themselves. You do not have the privilege or comfort of using the design as an excuse here. It's more of acknowledging what you're doing wrong.

I'm glad that you're still willing to play through it, but your thinking is flawed if you really want to approach this. It's best to give up on defensive thoughts of how the game is to blame, and start considering your options. If that doesn't appeal to you, you have to admit defeat and accept that it isn't for you. Right now it just sounds like your refuse to respect the design.

[Also great posts by Riposte and Viewtiful JC]

I got reminded of DSP after reading your post
:/
 
Sep 2, 2011
15,632
0
0
The more I tried to get into this game, the more I hated it.

Im sorry. Kamiya is a fantastic game designer but he needs a filter. TW101 is what happens when you let him do what he wants.

I finally gave up and sold my copy last week. If I have spent 6 months with your game and I still dont have the desire to replay it, its crap. Platinum or no platinum.

And before you repost saurs video for the hundredth time, yeah. I learnt to do all that. I dont care. The game isnt fun.
 

Chaos17

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Apr 22, 2013
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My take on this: I love not being told stuff so long as it doesn't have to do with core mechanics. I feel like the basics of the game should be clearly explained. Or, I suppose not 'should be', but I prefer them to be. Figuring out core mechanics is not good game design to me.
Put your pride aside and learn the game in easy mode because the basics mechanics are all explained well.
 

lewisgone

Member
Nov 6, 2013
1,843
0
0
UK
I bought this game last Sunday but haven't got more than an hour into it. I think I'm actually going to have to wait a year to play it - I'm using a non-HDTV while on a long holiday and it just is too fuzzy for me to tell what I'm doing. I really suck at the game but don't have eh patience right now to learn the mechanics when also dealing with an old TV.

OPs impressions seem like my worst fears after playing this for 1 hour and not having too great of a time. I hope I end up enjoying it more.
 

Seik

Banned
Apr 17, 2011
15,629
2
0
I'm glad you want to go all the way through the end, OP.

Try your best to learn the mechanics. Like many said, too, watch Saur's tutorials on Youtube.

It really is when you click with the mechanics that the games blooms like a flower in the sun.
 

Seik

Banned
Apr 17, 2011
15,629
2
0
If you have play through the entire game once just to learn the mechanics properly then...no thanks.

Well to be fair it's not that you're just learning the mechanics at this point.

There's so many upgrades and abilities that you can buy while progressing through the story that once you'll end up knowing how to brawl with all of these, it's a whole different thing. I can take a while before you'll be done buying everything, too, so it feels as there's always something you can do to step up your game or modify it for the better while playing more and more.

Especially when doing the first couple of stages for the second time.
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,437
1
0
If you have play through the entire game once just to learn the mechanics properly then...no thanks.

What do you define as "learning the mechanics properly"?

You can do fine and have a ton of fun if you understand the basics of combat, but for higher difficulties you'll need to at least make an attempt to memorize the various enemy types and utilize upgrades to your best ability as opposed to flying by the seat of your pants.

It's simple to learn, hard to master. As it should be.
 

Crayolan

Member
Sep 30, 2013
15,302
0
0
4. The mini-games / genre switches
The game has a solid action system at its core. It's let down by the camera and other issues I've mentioned, but it's solid. Why then is the game so insistent on taking you way from the base action Platinum have worked so hard to craft only to put you into poorly designed, terribly explained out-of-genre sections? (What I mean by that is turret shooting sections, rail jumping sections, flying sections, basically broken hang-gliding sections etc).

This stuff feels like it comprises about a third of the game, and it's sadly uniformly garbage. Again, an editor would have been great here. "I love your passion, guys, but this does not make the game better and needs to be cut." They desperately needed someone to say this to them.

Well I can agree with this. Aside from
The Punch Out! inspired boss
these were all shit and I couldn't wait until they were over.
 

exfatal

Member
Feb 15, 2013
2,427
1
0
If you have play through the entire game once just to learn the mechanics properly then...no thanks.

you don't but if you blaze through the game not even trying to learn the ins and outs, then yes by the end of your first play through you'll eventually start getting the hang of it. But if you take your time replay a few stages before hand to try and get better score, and just generally seeing everything the game is offering you in the other modes, you can pick up the game pretty quick. By the 5th mission i already had a great grasp on the mechanics
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
The more I tried to get into this game, the more I hated it.

Im sorry. Kamiya is a fantastic game designer but he needs a filter. TW101 is what happens when you let him do what he wants.

I finally gave up and sold my copy last week. If I have spent 6 months with your game and I still dont have the desire to replay it, its crap. Platinum or no platinum.

And before you repost saurs video for the hundredth time, yeah. I learnt to do all that. I dont care. The game isnt fun.

Yeah

Like I think you gotta make your game fun to play for people to explore your depth

and 101 takes a long time before it clicks and becomes fun

So I don't like the dismissive "get good" responses in this thread. If it's not fun who wants to do that shit?


Anyways I thought 101 was ok, but it's not my favorite Kamiya game at all. I'd probably put it right above Okami at the bottom of the list.

I think your filter is pretty apt. The game just feels like it was poorly "edited". Too many ideas distracting from the core gameplay. and even within that core gameplay I don't think the encounters are very fun or really all that varied. The detph of the game lies in juggles and making combos with the morphs. The methods to actually fighting enemies is often really linear and shallow and because of the size of enemies, waves often don't get much more complex than FIGHT THREE OF THIS SAME GUY AT THE SAME TIME. No real mixing of enemy types.