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

Shadow Ranger

Member
Feb 20, 2013
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There maybe a correlation between those who like to draw, and can draw well, and those who can't and therefore have difficulty with this game. This might well be an overlooked flaw in the design of the game as all Japanese can draw well, given that the way they write requires much more skill than a simple western alphabet.

For the record, I can draw well, and had no problems learning this game at all. This is the only explanation I can think of as I find some of the comments about the game being hard baffling.
I found each area to be much like a puzzle game, which once solved was easy to get through. I can imagine if you hadn't learned the core move set and were just hammering away through attrition rather than skill then you would get the reactions we're reading.

I can draw... alright soo. Don't think it has anything to do with that. Not like I hold the right stick like a pencil... so no.

Edit: Ah, I suppose you mean physically drawing on the touch pad! Derp. Wasn't comfortable for me.
 

jholmes

Member
Jan 15, 2014
5,418
1
330
I think the OP pretty much nails it. I think the mini-game gimmicks are actually pretty fun, but I also think one huge problem with the game the OP doesn't mention are the stages are too long. I figure I'll put in 20 or 30 minutes with the game between other things and the game just selfishly hogs an hour and a bit. Split these stages or pare them down -- they don't need to be so long! You're already grading me on individual chunks of the level anyhow!

It's interesting going around the boards, reading posts like "Destiny is only good after 20 hours :lol Make it good to start!" or "FF13 only gets good after 20 hours, why would I put myself through that?" Then I come here and the accepted response to criticizing this game is to go watch five hours of YouTube videos, then the first playthrough of a very long game is the de facto tutorial.

Kudos, OP. This game is an inspired but undeniable slog and nobody on the board seems willing to face that fact.

It harkens back to a time where this was how games were designed:



If you arrive at this point without the right stuff, it was a game over.

Bad game design from 20 years ago is still bad game design. It doesn't matter what classic it appeared in.
 

antennaehead

Member
Apr 23, 2013
539
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Belarus
...I don't even know how to respond to this. Why would you expect characters that are so small that you can barely see what animations that they already have to have MORE animations? If you were making an argument about how samey some of the models can be, especially with non-official w101 members, I'd be there with you. But why would you expect 100 tiny models to have a bayonetta level of animation, especially when large type enemies DO have bayonetta level animations?
Of course I didn't expect to have all party members to have full-fledged animations. Just the basic things.
Like for example, if you stand near the edge, sometimes half of your squad just hang in the air. Perhaps it's pet peeve of mine, but these little things instantly take my immersion away.
 

FlashbladeGAF

Member
Sep 11, 2006
8,572
2
905
Bad game design from 20 years ago is still bad game design. It doesn't matter what classic it appeared in.

Problem solving is bad game design now?

Should all games cater to people who don't want to think for themselves?

Of course I didn't expect to have all party members to have full-fledged animations. Just the basic things.
Like for example, if you stand near the edge, sometimes half of your squad just hang in the air. Perhaps it's pet peeve of mine, but these little things instantly take my immersion away.

Floating off a ledge is more understandable than seeing each individual punch and kick from something the size of a tic-tac.

Sacrifices had to be made, but as epic as this game gets it doesn't pretend it's anything but a game, so I wasn't ripped away from my immersive experience like I was with Ellie running all over the place while I'm sneaking through an area in TLoU

Maybe PS4 Xbone will give you that level of care (If publishers take risks with games like W101) since it can handle it, unlike the low powered Wii-U.
 

Varjet

Member
Aug 6, 2006
3,457
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I think the OP pretty much nails it. I think the mini-game gimmicks are actually pretty fun, but I also think one huge problem with the game the OP doesn't mention are the stages are too long. I figure I'll put in 20 or 30 minutes with the game between other things and the game just selfishly hogs an hour and a bit. Split these stages or pare them down -- they don't need to be so long! You're already grading me on individual chunks of the level anyhow!

So... stop after the game auto-saves, which it does like every two or three missions?
 
Jan 3, 2013
2,310
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California
chowderclam.tv
This, it takes around half the game to really get a grasp on the mechanics. Once you do the game is pure Kamiya goodness

the first playthrough is the tutorial. You have to invest the time to get the rewards.

Play more and get better. The beginning is slow until you get all characters.

Yeah guys, it's just like how Destiny and FF13 don't get good until about 20 hours in....

Seriously, that excuse doesn't fly with those games and it doesn't here either. A game should be designed so that it's fun to play, right? That's the ultimate goal. I think OP brings up good points about how the UI needs to be improved.
 

jholmes

Member
Jan 15, 2014
5,418
1
330
Problem solving is bad game design now?

Should all games cater to people who don't want to think for themselves?

Apparently "use one weapon in one specific way, by the way I hope you didn't use it already in the stage" is what qualifies as thinking for yourself.

I mean, I'd say thinking for yourself would mean presenting the player with different and creative ways to approach a problem, especially in a medium built upon interactivity, especially in a game like Mega Man where choice -- from selecting your stage from the get go to picking which weapon to battle bosses and tackle stage hazards -- is paramount. But you're free to disagree.

So... stop after the game auto-saves, which it does like every two or three missions?

Maybe I'll keep that in mind next time I give the game a shot. Probably won't be until 2015 now, though, so I hope I remember.
 
Apr 20, 2013
5,400
0
0
Alabama
It's interesting going around the boards, reading posts like "Destiny is only good after 20 hours :lol Make it good to start!" or "FF13 only gets good after 20 hours, why would I put myself through that?" Then I come here and the accepted response to criticizing this game is to go watch five hours of YouTube videos, then the first playthrough of a very long game is the de facto tutorial.

Kudos, OP. This game is an inspired but undeniable slog and nobody on the board seems willing to face that fact.
What fact? What?


Bad game design from 20 years ago is still bad game design. It doesn't matter what classic it appeared in.
The death of problem solving and puzzles in gaming....
Yeah guys, it's just like how Destiny and FF13 don't get good until about 20 hours in.....
Except the first mission is less than an hour itself? Plus it's really not difficult to get.
 
Jan 3, 2013
2,310
0
0
California
chowderclam.tv
Except the first mission is less than an hour itself? Plus it's really not difficult to get.

But the lines I quoted said it takes ~1/2 the game and "the first playthrough is to learn the game" right? It just runs me the wrong way when people assume that if a game isn't fun for you people act like you're not understanding some fundamental aspect of the game or that you as the player are doing something wrong. Games are designed to be fun, just like chairs are designed to be comfortable. You can argue that someone might not find a game fun due to personal preferences but if they have good arguments then it's not really practical to blame them, as a player, for not having fun.

Just my 2c
 

FlashbladeGAF

Member
Sep 11, 2006
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Apparently "use one weapon in one specific way, by the way I hope you didn't use it already in the stage" is what qualifies as thinking for yourself.

I mean, I'd say thinking for yourself would mean presenting the player with different and creative ways to approach a problem, especially in a medium built upon interactivity, especially in a game like Mega Man where choice -- from selecting your stage from the get go to picking which weapon to battle bosses and tackle stage hazards -- is paramount. But you're free to disagree.

Oh come on man.
It's freaking 20 year old Mega Man on the NES. Be glad the enemies react to you when your on screen, and that developers found clever ways of expanding the gameplay through problem solving.

Of course we want games that would let us come up with several solutions to one problem. But 20 year old games rarely had that luxury.

"use one weapon in one specific way, by the way I hope you didn't use it already in the stage"

Unless you read a Nintendo Power, you'd have to figure everything out yourself which weapon works best. If you used it at the wrong time, then you'd realize "I better not use it at the wrong time again or else I'll have to play a lot better to overcome the challenge." That was thinking for yourself back then. Especially for ages 10 and under.

But aside from Rush, none of the weapons HAD to be used if you were a mega busting badass who believed in their platforming skills.

Not sure what you expected from limited hardware, staff, and scope, but what they did back then had never been done before, and shaped the way we play today...

...which is why it's a classic.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
Problem solving is bad game design now?

Should all games cater to people who don't want to think for themselves?

Don't you just copy and paste the same post with the Saur tutorial + Gifs every time this game comes up?
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,437
1
0
Don't you just copy and paste the same post with the Saur tutorial + Gifs every time this game comes up?

I figured out most of the Saur stuff out after only a few hours of playing the game.

It's not that the game is incomprehensible. You just have to try to learn it.

Yeah guys, it's just like how Destiny and FF13 don't get good until about 20 hours in....

Seriously, that excuse doesn't fly with those games and it doesn't here either. A game should be designed so that it's fun to play, right? That's the ultimate goal. I think OP brings up good points about how the UI needs to be improved.

Hahaha, hilarious.

The difference is that Destiny and FF13 start off shit due to elements beyond your control and don't get better.

W101, if you are open to learning the mechanics, starts off great. and you keep learning for hours and hours and hours, because the game is very deep. No, you won't be able to know all the games ins and outs immediately, but you won't need to until you play on higher, more demanding difficulties.

Those games start off bad and stay bad. W101 is a game that starts off great, and gets better.
 

NotLiquid

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Aug 30, 2012
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But the lines I quoted said it takes ~1/2 the game and "the first playthrough is to learn the game" right? It just runs me the wrong way when people assume that if a game isn't fun for you people act like you're not understanding some fundamental aspect of the game or that you as the player are doing something wrong. Games are designed to be fun, just like chairs are designed to be comfortable. You can argue that someone might not find a game fun due to personal preferences but if they have good arguments then it's not really practical to blame them, as a player, for not having fun.

Just my 2c

"It takes -x- number of hours until the game gets good" is a valid complaint and it always will be. I find myself using it all the time when critiquing certain games. Thing is, you usually have a good idea of how the game play works when you actually start the initial segments of a game. When people use complaints like those for games like Final Fantasy XIII and Destiny, that's a complaint leveled at their awkward pacing and how the games take forever to raise any stakes within it's game from the get-go. That's basically a game "hiding it's best parts" (although you can still argue that the games in question have unengaging core game play to begin with which exacerbates the ordeal), and one which you will always have to slog through when you replay the game.

When people say "it takes time until it clicks" in conjunction with action games like TW101, DMC and Dark Souls, that's not a complaint leveled with it's set up, that's a complaint leveled at the player's own ability to learn the mechanics and employing them in each encounter, because the games already throw the early game-defining encounters onto you early on. An encounter with an enemy isn't going to be any different five hours down the line other than how much you've learned to use those mechanics. Once you replay a game like that, everything makes a lot more sense and you're able to blaze through most of it depending on your ability.

And in that sense TW101 is very different and not the most intuitive game in teaching you how to use it's mechanics to the best extent, because it defies the conventions to the point that it expects a little bit more. But I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people out there who would agree with the notion that many of the core components of TW101 were nuanced enough to motivate a lot of players to seek it's hidden depths. I mean, if that weren't the case then we probably wouldn't have had videos like Saur's doing the extensive system breakdowns.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
I figured out most of the Saur stuff out after only a few hours of playing the game.

It's not that the game is incomprehensible. You just have to try to learn it.

What I think people are trying to communicate here is that that isn't as desirable or admirable of a thing as you may think.

It just seems like people who enjoy this game refuse to think of it as anything other than a dying art of game design that only the dedicated chosen ones can appreciate,

Instead of just realizing that not everyone cares enough to force themselves to enjoy games and accepting that that's a totally valid way of seeing things and that this game is not for everyone
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,437
1
0
What I think people are trying to communicate here is that that isn't as desirable or admirable of a thing as you may think.

It just seems like people who enjoy this game refuse to think of it as anything other than a dying art of game design that only the dedicated chosen ones can appreciate,

Instead of just realizing that not everyone cares enough to force themselves to enjoy games and accepting that that's a totally valid way of seeing things and that this game is not for everyone

No, that's perfectly understandable. Some people just prefer to be instantly gratified as opposed to spending time to learn something complicated, and that's totally fine. but don't act like that's some flaw of the game's as many have done in this thread, as opposed to simply personal taste.
 

roknin

Member
Jun 3, 2013
1,677
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0
"It takes -x- number of hours until the game gets good" is a valid complaint and it always will be. I find myself using it all the time when critiquing certain games. Thing is, you usually have a good idea of how the game play works when you actually start the initial segments of a game. When people use complaints like those for games like Final Fantasy XIII and Destiny, that's a complaint leveled at their awkward pacing and how the games take forever to raise any stakes within it's game from the get-go. That's basically a game "hiding it's best parts" (although you can still argue that the games in question have unengaging core game play to begin with which exacerbates the ordeal), and one which you will always have to slog through when you replay the game.

When people say "it takes time until it clicks" in conjunction with action games like TW101, DMC and Dark Souls, that's not a complaint leveled with it's set up, that's a complaint leveled at the player's own ability to learn the mechanics and employing them in each encounter, because the games already throw the early game-defining encounters onto you early on. An encounter with an enemy isn't going to be any different five hours down the line other than how much you've learned to use those mechanics. Once you replay a game like that, everything makes a lot more sense and you're able to blaze through most of it depending on your ability.

And in that sense TW101 is very different and not the most intuitive game in teaching you how to use it's mechanics to the best extent, because it defies the conventions to the point that it expects a little bit more. But I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people out there who would agree with the notion that many of the core components of TW101 were nuanced enough to motivate a lot of players to seek it's hidden depths. I mean, if that weren't the case then we probably wouldn't have had videos like Saur's doing the extensive system breakdowns.

Damn, said way better than I was going to say it. :p

Once W101 "clicked" for me, I could go back and enjoy previous sections far more, and had a lot of "this is way easier than I made it out to be" moments.

In games where it takes "20 hours for it to get good", no amount of learning will change the start of the game. If I go back and play it, it'll still be blah.

(Side note: not saying anything definitive about FFXIII or Destiny as I've played neither. Just using those as they were the examples brought up.)
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
19,552
1
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47
Space is the Place
That puzzle boss room in Mega Man 2 is being taken out of context too. It's not a random roadblock somewhere in the game, a game in which "choice is paramount".

It's part of the Wiley Fortress gauntlet. Every stage of the linear Wiley stages is designed to test the player's knowledge of the previous 8 stages and the weapons of each boss robot. There are plenty of sections in the Wiley levels which require the use of a specific weapon. Which the player already has by virtue of having beaten the 8 bosses. And if you fail by running out of energy, you start over and come prepared next time. In fact, the Wiley levels are peppered with infinitely respawning enemies at specific points intended to let the player refill every weapon before proceeding.

That's not bad design. It's a check of game mastery and preparedness.


What I think people are trying to communicate here is that that isn't as desirable or admirable of a thing as you may think.

It just seems like people who enjoy this game refuse to think of it as anything other than a dying art of game design that only the dedicated chosen ones can appreciate,

Instead of just realizing that not everyone cares enough to force themselves to enjoy games and accepting that that's a totally valid way of seeing things and that this game is not for everyone

There are two sides to this coin. Some people by contrast seem to think that learning things is not fun (including some game designers, like David Cage). And that games which ask the player to learn a skill are inherently, objectively, bad game design. That no game should ever be made in which a player must earn the right to "see the credits".

So you tend to see arguments between people putting challenge and knowledge skill checks on a pedestal, and those really offended that any game would dare ask them to learn how to do something that takes more than a few attempts to completely master.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
No, that's perfectly understandable. Some people just prefer to be instantly gratified as opposed to spending time to learn something complicated, and that's totally fine. but don't act like that's some flaw of the game's as many of done in this thread, as opposed to simply personal taste.

I think it is a flaw if that's not the game the developers want to make. I don't think Platinum set out to make a game that only their dedicated fans had the patience to enjoy, because they've always tried to make their games enjoyable at all skill levels previously.

So the fact that that isn't the case is a 100% valid criticism.
 

roknin

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Jun 3, 2013
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0
Instead of just realizing that not everyone cares enough to force themselves to enjoy games and accepting that that's a totally valid way of seeing things and that this game is not for everyone

I literally said this, personally. The game isn't for everybody.

It seems to me that the other part of the problem is that the other side of the debate levies that against the game, too.

If you don't want to learn the game or aren't interested enough to learn the game, that's perfectly fine... but you can't then turn around and say "the game is bad" and look at those defending it - who have invested the tim to learn it - as "making excuses for it".

Which IMO, seems to be what's happening in this thread.

Hell, the thread title, ironically enough, sets this up perfectly. It's pretty clever in that sense. :p
 

Fimbulvetr

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Feb 12, 2009
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800
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I think the OP pretty much nails it. I think the mini-game gimmicks are actually pretty fun, but I also think one huge problem with the game the OP doesn't mention are the stages are too long. I figure I'll put in 20 or 30 minutes with the game between other things and the game just selfishly hogs an hour and a bit. Split these stages or pare them down -- they don't need to be so long! You're already grading me on individual chunks of the level anyhow!

The game already separates each operation into smaller 15 - 20 minute chunks and has mid-level auto-saves even then.
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,437
1
0
I think it is a flaw if that's not the game the developers want to make. I don't think Platinum set out to make a game that only their dedicated fans had the patience to enjoy, because they've always tried to make their games enjoyable at all skill levels previously.

So the fact that that isn't the case is a 100% valid criticism.

I would say that Platinum knew exactly the game they wanted to make. Remember: these guys also made God Hand, a game with a similarly enormous learning curve that also had a similarly niche (and similarly passionate) fanbase.
 

Gsnap

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Jun 9, 2013
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No, that's perfectly understandable. Some people just prefer to be instantly gratified as opposed to spending time to learn something complicated, and that's totally fine. but don't act like that's some flaw of the game's as many of done in this thread, as opposed to simply personal taste.

Sometimes I wonder how people would feel about this if there was no story to get through.

Like.. what if W101 was only individual missions that you chose from the menu with no story attached. What if Pikmin 3 was only mission mode. Things like that.

I feel like when there's a story attached people feel like their main goal is to get to the end of the story, and therefore, things like obscure mechanics, difficult combos, and rankings are just things that stand in their way. They don't want to play through the game twice because they're not playing the game in order to understand it or get better at it.

But if the only goal is "Get a good rank", then yeah, a lot of people won't even feel like playing the game, but I feel like those who did wouldn't complain so much about it taking a while to get good at it. : /

Like, nobody complains that they can't just be good at football without practice. Nobody says Chess is a bad game because you have to learn how to play it, and most of the finer points aren't easily understood on the first "playthrough".

Could be wrong of course, but that's just something that I've felt lately...
 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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What I think people are trying to communicate here is that that isn't as desirable or admirable of a thing as you may think.

It just seems like people who enjoy this game refuse to think of it as anything other than a dying art of game design that only the dedicated chosen ones can appreciate,

Instead of just realizing that not everyone cares enough to force themselves to enjoy games and accepting that that's a totally valid way of seeing things and that this game is not for everyone

This is the thought process that's going to validate Square Enix's "1 button game" patent.

Game would be perfect if it had a training room, faster loading times, and more check points.

Those are legit complaints. A better training room and a more robust mission mode would have gone a long way for this game. But I think that factors in from the fact that the game doesn't tutorialize well at all.
 

roknin

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Jun 3, 2013
1,677
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0
Game would be perfect if it had a training room, faster loading times, and more check points.

Iono', whenever I needed to go practice something I just went back to 001 and got extra money/items while practicing combos and such, and skipped cutscenes.

And there's... a LOT of checkpoints. A LOT. Hell IMO there might be too many, you practically start like one step away from where you died in most cases. :p
 

-tetsuo-

Unlimited Capacity
Aug 19, 2007
19,305
5
1,280
Neo-Tokyo
Yeah guys, it's just like how Destiny and FF13 don't get good until about 20 hours in....

Seriously, that excuse doesn't fly with those games and it doesn't here either. A game should be designed so that it's fun to play, right? That's the ultimate goal. I think OP brings up good points about how the UI needs to be improved.

The difference being that you have a grasp of everything that you can do in destiny in 5 minutes tops and FFXIII just withholds everything for way too long for no reason.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
There are two sides to this coin. Some people by contrast seem to think that learning things is not fun (including some game designers, like David Cage). And that games which ask the player to learn a skill are inherently, objectively, bad game design. That no game should ever be made in which a player must earn the right to "see the credits".

So you tend to see arguments between people putting challenge and knowledge skill checks on a pedestal, and those really offended that any game would dare ask them to learn how to do something that takes more than a few attempts to completely master.

I don't think the problem with 101 is that it has skill checks or whatever. It's that the game doesn't communicate what it is in a way the average person can understand.

The game teaches you a lot through its scoreboard(It's pretty much how I learned the game), but I mean honestly, how many enthusiasts even look at those things?

It didn't communicate effectively what kind of game it was pre-release, it didn't effectively teach the player what it was with its in game tutorial and it doesn't train the player with a carefully crafted gradual difficulty curve.

The game just doesn't effectively communicate to players why it's fun. Why the game is worth their time and effort. and that is 100% a flaw in design.

I literally said this, personally. The game isn't for everybody.

It seems to me that the other part of the problem is that the other side of the debate levies that against the game, too.

If you don't want to learn the game or aren't interested enough to learn the game, that's perfectly fine... but you can't then turn around and say "the game is bad" and look at those defending it - who have invested the tim to learn it - as "making excuses for it".

Which IMO, seems to be what's happening in this thread.

Hell, the thread title, ironically enough, sets this up perfectly. It's pretty clever in that sense. :p

So let me ask you this.

Why did you put the effort into learning this game?
 

Weetrick

Member
Feb 8, 2009
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0
660
I didn't enjoy the few hours I played at all. This may be arrogant, but I'm not going to struggle with a game for hours before I can enjoy it. "It gets better later, once you figure it out" is a bad argument. "Get gud" is even worse. I need faster gratification or I will just move on to something else. Sorry W101 but you have failed me.
 

Mesoian

Member
Mar 23, 2012
27,244
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0
The People's Republic of Cambridge
So let me ask you this.

Why did you put the effort into learning this game?

Because the game is super fun.

And even if you're not into the gameplay, the game is genuinely funny, has some of the best direction that I've ever seen, and the over the top nature of every scenario keeps you wanting to see what comes next until the final climax.

Outside of gameplay, this game is still INCREDIBLE. And once you figure out the gameplay and really make it start to dance, it becomes even better.
 

Some Nobody

Junior Member
Aug 8, 2013
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3
365
Reading this thread and seeing the "defenses" to OP's complaints make me think this game sold what it deserved to.
 

Star Falcon

Member
Jul 14, 2012
3,072
0
0
I need to give this game a full go sometime - after GAF hype i played the demo but was really underwhelmed. Lots of style but very little substance.
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
I would say that Platinum knew exactly the game they wanted to make. Remember: these guys also made God Hand, a game with a similarly enormous learning curve that also had a similarly niche (and similarly passionate) fanbase.

Yes God Hand

A game that the director views as a personal failure because of how niche it was.

and judging from recent Kamiya interviews for Scalebound, his line of thought is more or less the same nowadays:
“So the games that I have worked on, I’ll give one example with Devil May Cry, that was years ago,” he explained. “I was young too when I made that game and if had a user or fan in front of me that said ‘I really tried, but I guess I suck or I just can't get this enemy’ it was easy for me to say ‘that is your kind of skills, you kind of suck.’ That is not the type of difficulty that we are going to demand from the players.”

I mean even if this is just PR lip service, it is most certainly in reaction to the Wonderful 101, demonstrating that they know how the game was received and they don't want people to be turned off their future projects because of it. It's not the kind of reputation they want as a studio.
 

NotLiquid

Member
Aug 30, 2012
17,950
5
0
So let me ask you this.

Why did you put the effort into learning this game?

I can't speak for him but I know I put effort into the game because the core mechanics were fascinating at a surface level and the entire setting + context pushed it further. It was cumbersome and frustrating at times but I recognized that fact simply because it was a game that felt satisfying enough to control on it's own. The big "aha" moment when I finally understood what kind of game TW101 was about came to me when I fought against the mobile tanks that could charge into you, when I realized attack patterns that could be used against them, and that set the precedent for the entire game going forward really.

Yes God Hand

A game that the director views as a personal failure because of how niche it was.

and judging from recent Kamiya interviews for Scalebound, his line of thought is more or less the same nowadays:

I mean even if this is just PR lip service, it is most certainly in reaction to the Wonderful 101, demonstrating that they know how the game was received and they don't want people to be turned off their future projects because of it. It's not the kind of reputation they want as a studio.

DMC shaped an entire genre and generation of action games so his comment there seems more to me like he wasn't sure about the gamble. His design mentality hasn't changed much at all since DMC and Bayonetta, and TW101 continues to build upon that. His comment here seems to have more to do with Scalebound being a different kind of game.

And I like how Mikami mentions Vanquish in that Destructoid article. Wonder whether or not he predicted the rude awakening for that one.
 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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Yes God Hand

A game that the director views as a personal failure because of how niche it was.

and judging from recent Kamiya interviews for Scalebound, his line of thought is more or less the same nowadays:


I mean even if this is just PR lip service, it is in reaction to the Wonderful 101, demonstrating that they know how the game was received and they don't want people to be turned off their future projects because of it. It's not the kind of reputation they want as a studio.

...No that's probably an indication that Scalebound isn't going to be a character action game.

It's certainly not a response to W101 as Kamiya has never been the type to alter his vision of what hte game should be based off of popular opinion.

Hideki Kamiya said:
I think the whole focus-group thing is not the way to make a game, because you start to bring in other people's opinions and lose some of the originality. For Viewtiful Joe, we brought in some kids to a focus test and asked them, "What do you think of the characters?" And all the kids said, "Oh, his head's too big," or "Silvia's annoying, I just want to kill her." They were just trashing the game, so I just got pissed off and said I'm not changing anything.

The reputation they have, as a studio, is that they make the best games on the market that don't hold your hand and take a lot of skill and patience to play well. They are filling a void that no one else wants to touch. The fact people fault them for that and see that as a negative really makes me wonder if people are looking for anything that requires more out of them than mashing buttons for 4 hours before the credits roll.
 

OryoN

Member
Aug 10, 2004
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I'm amazed at the division that The Wonderful 101 has brought, even among so-called core gamers and action-game fans.

For me, however, it's an eye-opener, revealing how complacent we gamers have become. Everything must now fit into some established mold or the other, no time or patience to learn anything fresh. God forbid if something takes practice, or a little experimentation to see what method works best, or what happens if you try doing something more risky.

Anyway, I understand that not everyone is into certain types of games. That's one thing, I get that. But it's a totally different thing to see they amount of criticism thrown at this game for issues that can be totally overcome by the user if they would evaluate and address their own playing style, lack of patience, total disregard for visual AND audio clues, reluctance to experiment, etc. The game was built to encourage and reward discovery. That fact may not excite everyone, but it's certainly not a flaw.

As a person who initially felt much of the same frustration many people seem to have with this game, a complete overhaul in play-style and focus is not an impossible feat. But it won't happen if we keep blaming the game for our own shortcomings. I couldn't use back to back morphs if the controls were unresponsive, nor could I platinum a level if it was impossible to avoid being hit, or impossible to follow the action. These issues lie with the user, not the game.

The only valid complaints - not suggestive or user related - that I can put upon this game are the very clunky indoor sections, and the occasionally sharp dips in frame-rate that ruin the otherwise lovely paste of the game. Even then, compared to the overall package, those are a few small kinks in the armor of this amazingly fresh and incredible action game.

If anyone is still on the fence, get off and go buy this game already!
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
Because the game is super fun.

Precisely

You like the game and put time into it because it's fun for you

So why can't people dislike a game and think it's bad because it isn't fun for them? Why should they have to put up with an entrance barrier of not having fun that you didn't have to criticize the game?
 

FlashbladeGAF

Member
Sep 11, 2006
8,572
2
905
Don't you just copy and paste the same post with the Saur tutorial + Gifs every time this game comes up?

Yeah. I see all complaints on this game as a cry for help.

But me posting help doesn't meanI'm against games that require problem solving.
It means I'm not a complete asshole.

There's a difference between learning and cheating.

If you have played W101 then you know Saur tutorials are a good basic understanding of what the game allows you to do. It doesn't magically solve all of the many challenges that you will face in the game.

You have to figure it out yourself.

What I have a problem with are games, that give you the answer when your stuck.

Last thing you want to hear or see in a boss battle or a challenge, is a text pop up or character tell you what you need to do before you've even tried to figure it out yourself/

It's ok, in the beginning, to establish certain weapons are immune or weak against a certain element, but after that, it be nice if more games left it at that, instead of the need to remind you.

Not all games need to hold your hand. But if your game has a complex gameplay system, it at least needs to establish a few basics in order to set you on the right path.

Mega Man was simple. Shoot, jump, and later slide. You don't need to explain anything after that.

The more complex games of today don't necessarily have to explain anything, but it helps if they give you a little nudge before they send you out into the unknown.
 

Mesoian

Member
Mar 23, 2012
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The People's Republic of Cambridge
Precisely

You like the game and put time into it because it's fun for you

So why can't people dislike a game and think it's bad because it isn't fun for them? Why should they have to put up with an entrance barrier of not having fun that you didn't have to criticize the game?

There's a difference between a game being bad and a game being not for them. I can't stand Counterstrike. I don't think the weapon cash in system is good and I think the physics model for the game leaves a lot to desired. That doesn't mean I'm going to call it a shitty game because I don't have fun with it. I recognize the merits it has, even if it's a game I don't want to play.

Saying "Fuck this shit, it sucks and it's poor because I don't like it" is juvenile.

I didn't care for "12 Years a Slave". I'm not going to call that movie a shitty movie.
 
Feb 10, 2014
3,740
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0
But no. The game throws two turtles at you. So whenever you get close to one, the other one clips its neck through its friend, knocking you away and scattering your men. You then need to drawn the sickle again, draining your battery.

I don't know if this has been brought up because I only skimmed the first and last page, but...

You don't have to draw the hammer again to pull it out again. If you press A, you pull out the last Unite Morph you used.
 

Weetrick

Member
Feb 8, 2009
2,405
0
660
Reading this thread and seeing the "defenses" to OP's complaints make me think this game sold what it deserved to.

That's a little rough. I dislike the game (see above) but if people enjoy it then that's great! Some people are blessed with the patience of a saint. I'm not so I had to quit and move on.
 

Griss

Member
Sep 26, 2013
11,685
13
515
Dublin, Ireland
It seems like this thread has become an argument over whether it's okay for a game to be hard. That's not my problem with this game - I love hard games.

But I do feel like the game must at least help you onto the first step of the ladder and explain the basics. A good challenge should be easy to learn, tough to master. W101 is the opposite. It's bloody impossible to learn, and not particularly difficult to master once you've been told what's going on. I find the idea that fans of the game pass around half-hour long tutorial videos as a key point to help new players enjoy the game to be very telling in this regard. I find the fact that most people say that the entire first play through of 20 hours+ is just a tutorial to be very telling as well. This game is the very opposite of easy to learn. This game is borderline inscrutable in many ways.

The way your team is knocked out by attacks is unnecessarily punishing for a game full of conventional mechanics in distinctly unconventional packages, where a great deal of trial and error is needed just to reach the level of basic proficiency that experienced action gamers can enjoy right away in Bayonetta or practically any other decent character action title. That's part of what I meant when I said the game was dragged down by frustrating design choices. It's true: TW101 could be every bit as unique and inventive without slapping down players for making mistakes as harshly as it does. What if your fallen team members revived themselves more quickly? What if enemy attacks broke your unite morphs without scattering your team across the battlefield? What would have been the downside to allowing struggling players (i.e. everyone, at first) to have a more enjoyable learning process? 

I remember a blog entry on Platinum's site about Bayonetta 1. The enemy AI designer (or someone with a similar role) discussed the finer points of keeping players engaged during challenging combat. Too easy and the player won't feel threatened; too difficult and the player will get frustrated. This sensitivity to the player's experience is absent in TW101. It is brutal and relentless. Players are funneled through a chaotic gauntlet of escalating challenges with no opportunity to get their bearings except by replaying earlier missions. This isn't a fundamental design flaw, it's a balance issue. One that would have been simple enough to correct by tweaking a few gameplay mechanics.

Why not let players dodge even with an empty battery meter, but not use Unite Guts unless there's enough charge? Why not allow unlimited use of the Wonder Liner to retrieve items and knocked out team members, and to queue up unite morphs, but require charge to actually confirm a new morph? TW101's battery meter could work much like Bayonetta's magic meter, where charge allows you to perform additional or powered up moves while your basic move set and most recent morph remain available at all times. Wouldn't the game be better with this and other small changes to improve combat flow and general accessibility? To me the answer is obvious.

(BTW, there's no good reason why the genre switching sequences and challenge rooms shouldn't be separately or more leniently ranked, or not ranked at all. None. To tie unlockables to such tedious busywork is offensive to anyone who values their time. Bayonetta got it right by allowing players to purchase unlockables by inputting codes at the telephones in level 2.)

This is a wonderful post, and you really capture a lot of what I feel about the game here. There's a difference between challenging design and frustrating design.

Anyway, I kept a bit of a running diary of my last hour playing the game so that people could see how I got on. Here it is:

Operation 005-B:
Inside a lava temple on the gamepad. Can’t see shit, captain. This is terrible. Moving the gamepad to look around is horrible and isn’t working. I keep getting the camera stuck against a wall. I clearly need to use bomb to slow the fire down but it works so inconsistently. No space to draw in here, can't see anyway. This is a terrible piece of design on every level. This isn’t working. The single worst use of the gamepad I'm yet to encounter in a game.

Fighting two guys on a see-saw bridge. It’s just impossible to see where I am in comparison to them from this camera angle with the swaying bridge. The enemies are easy, but I fall off again and again. It’s impossible to enjoy this.

Cut-scene time. Story is still cute, visuals still great. I'm willing to play to see how this plays out, I really do love this game's style.

Platforming around a lava area while robot jumps causing lava waves - terrible. No sense of weight or placement in the platforming at all. Died 3 times from not being sure where I was exactly compared to the wave of lava. Hate these kind of sections.

Alright, finally, a normal combat section! A single large enemy appears, I combo the shit out of him, pure platinum all around after a series of consolation prizes on the last couple sections. When this game is just me vs one or two enemies on flat ground it really shines. I love the core mechanics and the combo systems are fantastic. This time I climb attacked to stun the enemy, sent out a blade and a hammer on their own, then became the fist to launch the enemy and kept him in the air with the gun. Looked like one of those Saur videos. 4 different items in about 3 seconds, he didn’t know what hit him. Tons of fun. Tons of fun. Please note - I do know the combat mechanics. The amount of people linking me to videos I've already watched or teaching me mechanics I already know at this stage is annoying.

Massive Cube Boss (Part 09) - Killed it perfectly again. Pure platinum. Loved this battle, easy as pie when you know what you're doing. The game is just about worth it for the standard battle alone, which really are unique and inspired.

Overall, though, this was a terrible level and so inconsistent. Displayed tons of stuff I dislike about the game. So many people who like the game handwave terrible gamepad sections or platforming sections and I'm not sure why - they materially affect my enjoyment of the game.

Operation 005-C
The boss was quite readable for once. Clear what you needed to do, not so much trial and error like the last few. Took him down without much difficulty.

Then Punch-out. Punch-out was brilliant. Exactly the kind of genre-break that the game needs. Pure quality, with depth to it. Most of the genre-switching had nowhere near this amount of polish to it. This one felt fully-featured, so it was a huge positive, and I loved it. Game also eased you into it before asking you to fight the boss. Good design!

Decent battle against the bad guy inside the robot, he went down surprisingly easy. Then genre-switching again while escaping the volcano. This part was lame. All flying sections appear to be lame. Again, the chapter could have finished on such a good note had he just left that final lame section off. Editor, where are you?

Has to be mentioned how stylish and amazing all of the action looked, though. Most other games would dole out the last 10 minutes of action across an entire game. Here it's something new every 5 seconds. I can't help but respect that. The game is a visual eyegasm at basically all times.

Operation 006-A
An ice level. Sounded like a nightmare but was less annoying than I thought slipping around. Most of the action was on level ground, which I appreciated. Some new enemies who were surprisingly easy. Won't go into as much detail but I liked this level a hell of a lot more than 005-B.

I'll continue on later.
 

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
3,689
426
590
also, lol @ implying that learning curves are poor design

If you can master everything in a game and demonstrate that mastery in just a scant few hours, that's a far greater implication of shallow design, if anything.

I'm not in the habit of implying, if I want to say something, I'll say it. But let's assume that I did imply something about the learning curve. In which case, as a game designer you can make the curve as shallow or steep as you want. In either case, you should be able to allow the player to learn enough of the curve so that in a single playthrough, you don't struggle with the core mechanics as much as OP (and others) did. (No one here ever talked about "mastery in a few scant hours").

Of course, I may have misunderstood their posts; in that case, my bad.
 

Mesoian

Member
Mar 23, 2012
27,244
5
0
The People's Republic of Cambridge
It seems like this thread has become an argument over whether it's okay for a game to be hard. That's not my problem with this game - I love hard games.

But I do feel like the game must at least help you onto the first step of the ladder and explain the basics. A good challenge should be easy to learn, tough to master. W101 is the opposite. It's bloody impossible to learn, and not particularly difficult to master once you've been told what's going on. I find the idea that fans of the game pass around half-hour long tutorial videos as a key point to help new players enjoy the game to be very telling in this regard. I find the fact that most people say that the entire first play through of 20 hours+ is just a tutorial to be very telling as well. This game is the very opposite of easy to learn. This game is borderline inscrutable in many ways.



This is a wonderful post, and you really capture a lot of what I feel about the game here. There's a difference between challenging design and frustrating design.

Anyway, I kept a bit of a running diary of my last hour playing the game so that people could see how I got on. Here it is:

Operation 005-B:
Inside a lava temple on the gamepad. Can’t see shit, captain. This is terrible. Moving the gamepad to look around is horrible and isn’t working. I keep getting the camera stuck against a wall. I clearly need to use bomb to slow the fire down but it works so inconsistently. No space to draw in here, can't see anyway. This is a terrible piece of design on every level. This isn’t working. The single worst use of the gamepad I'm yet to encounter in a game.

Fighting two guys on a see-saw bridge. It’s just impossible to see where I am in comparison to them from this camera angle with the swaying bridge. The enemies are easy, but I fall off again and again. It’s impossible to enjoy this.

Cut-scene time. Story is still cute, visuals still great. I'm willing to play to see how this plays out, I really do love this game's style.

Platforming around a lava area while robot jumps causing lava waves - terrible. No sense of weight or placement in the platforming at all. Died 3 times from not being sure where I was exactly compared to the wave of lava. Hate these kind of sections.

Alright, finally, a normal combat section! A single large enemy appears, I combo the shit out of him, pure platinum all around after a series of consolation prizes on the last couple sections. When this game is just me vs one or two enemies on flat ground it really shines. I love the core mechanics and the combo systems are fantastic. This time I climb attacked to stun the enemy, sent out a blade and a hammer on their own, then became the fist to launch the enemy and kept him in the air with the gun. Looked like one of those Saur videos. 4 different items in about 3 seconds, he didn’t know what hit him. Tons of fun. Tons of fun. Please note - I do know the combat mechanics. The amount of people linking me to videos I've already watched or teaching me mechanics I already know at this stage is annoying.

Massive Cube Boss (Part 09) - Killed it perfectly again. Pure platinum. Loved this battle, easy as pie when you know what you're doing. The game is just about worth it for the standard battle alone, which really are unique and inspired.

Overall, though, this was a terrible level and so inconsistent. Displayed tons of stuff I dislike about the game. So many people who like the game handwave terrible gamepad sections or platforming sections and I'm not sure why - they materially affect my enjoyment of the game.

Operation 005-C
The boss was quite readable for once. Clear what you needed to do, not so much trial and error like the last few. Took him down without much difficulty.

Then Punch-out. Punch-out was brilliant. Exactly the kind of genre-break that the game needs. Pure quality, with depth to it. Most of the genre-switching had nowhere near this amount of polish to it. This one felt fully-featured, so it was a huge positive, and I loved it. Game also eased you into it before asking you to fight the boss. Good design!

Decent battle against the bad guy inside the robot, he went down surprisingly easy. Then genre-switching again while escaping the volcano. This part was lame. All flying sections appear to be lame. Again, the chapter could have finished on such a good note had he just left that final lame section off. Editor, where are you?

Has to be mentioned how stylish and amazing all of the action looked, though. Most other games would dole out the last 10 minutes of action across an entire game. Here it's something new every 5 seconds. I can't help but respect that. The game is a visual eyegasm at basically all times.

Operation 006-A
An ice level. Sounded like a nightmare but was less annoying than I thought slipping around. Most of the action was on level ground, which I appreciated. Some new enemies who were surprisingly easy. Won't go into as much detail but I liked this level a hell of a lot more than 005-B.

I'll continue on later.

Hold down the dash button so you know where your lead is at all times. You shouldn't be losing track of where your lead is, there's a button specifically for that.

Interestingly enough, I had 0 trouble with hyrule (the fire level) the first time I played it and was stuck in lowrule (the ice level) for a good long while.
 

Some Nobody

Junior Member
Aug 8, 2013
7,489
3
365
That's a little rough. I dislike the game (see above) but if people enjoy it then that's great! Some people are blessed with the patience of a saint. I'm not so I had to quit and move on.

It's not about the game. It's about the reaction. Literally the first post is "git gud" and the next few are virtual high-fives because "he sure told him". OP posted a fairly in-depth response as to WHY he didn't like it. He didn't just say it sucked and THAT's what he got?

Yeah, if the fanbase is SO happy being niche then it should get niche sales.
 

Mesoian

Member
Mar 23, 2012
27,244
5
0
The People's Republic of Cambridge
It's not about the game. It's about the reaction. Literally the first post is "git gud" and the next few are virtual high-fives because "he sure told him". OP posted a fairly in-depth response as to WHY he didn't like it. He didn't just say it sucked and THAT's what he got?

Yeah, if the fanbase is SO happy being niche then it should get niche sales.

To be fair, he lead with "This game is fucking awful". That's usually a pretty good place for people to dismount from a conversation.
 

Griss

Member
Sep 26, 2013
11,685
13
515
Dublin, Ireland
Hold down the dash button so you know where your lead is at all times. You shouldn't be losing track of where your lead is, there's a button specifically for that.

Interestingly enough, I had 0 trouble with hyrule (the fire level) the first time I played it and was stuck in lowrule (the ice level) for a good long while.

I am dashing at all times, I just feel like there aren't enough visual cues for me to figure out where my guy is. The little circle isn't enough. When I'm fighting the weapon tells me exactly where I am. When I'm platforming I really struggle.

Also, I think you mixed up the level names, Lowrule was definitely the volcano :)

Also laughed when the brother of the first boss came back, but 'not for revengeance'. Tons of great little references like that. Actually, best reference so far is the following: You arrive in Lowrule, and what's the first thing you do? See a bunch of grass. Zelda has taught you to cut grass, so you get out your sword and cut the grass and !- low and behold, you can cut the grass and get a trophy for cutting all of it. I just love that little stuff in Platinum games. It's that kind of thing that has me buying all their games.