- Oct 24, 2008
Let's try this again.
IGN - 7.4
I could never stay mad at the Wonderful 101 for very long. It's just immensely likeable, and so full of personality and verve that I couldn’t help but grow to love it. After that initial difficulty curve, there’s so much here that’s worth sticking around for – particularly the ending, which goes on for about two and a half hours and builds to a gloriously unpredictable crescendo of ridiculousness.
The Wonderful 101 is both a showcase for the amazing potential of the Wii U’s GamePad and for its pitfalls. It’s amazingly inventive and full of color and bright-eyed character, but its control problems are so persistent they’re unignorable. Even that doesn’t ruin what is otherwise a clever and adventurous action game, but The Wonderful 101 is kept from being as truly wonderful as it might have been.
GameSpot - 8
With The Wonderful 101, game director Hideki Kamiya has made a game featuring a stumpy posse of cartoon heroes, with the stylish combo strings of Bayonetta, and the bouncy, vibrant style of Viewtiful Joe. This is an ambitious, funny, and inventive game that's keen to impress but slightly scrappy in its presentation, packed with ideas but is slightly confused about how to express all its abundant creativity. This might not be the Wii U's killer app, but it's a much-needed shot in the arm.
Eurogamer - 8
The Wonderful 101 has issues, especially with the gamepad, but it's also a beautifully engineered, original idea that looks gorgeous in motion. It's gigantic, too, with my first campaign run clocking in at 15 hours. Beyond that lie Hard difficulty, a long series of Wonderful Missions dedicated to the combat system, and such a depth of unlocks that I've barely scratched the surface.
The Wonderful 101 makes you feel nostalgia, not so much for the TV shows or games it references as for memories of waking up at 7am on the weekends to watch shows and spending the rest of the day acting out the heroics. That's why the occasional intrusion of an adult tone is so discordant. This is a love letter to childhood innocence, to that age where truth and justice and awesome costumes seem almost real, as well as the coolest things in the world. In that light, picking at it seems churlish, because The Wonderful 101 doesn't make you feel like a hero; it makes you feel like hundreds.
Nintendo Life - 9
The Wonderful 101 can be overwhelming, and the initial impression can be that it's simply bombarding the senses too much, confusing both the eyes and the thumbs. The key is to play at the right difficulty level and accept its insanity, work with its peculiar logic and remain open-minded to its mechanics. In return it delivers an exceptional experience in which no scenario is too outrageous, no enemy too exaggerated or no set-piece too excessive. It's not perfect, with some control quirks, fiddly moments and a multiplayer mode that feels tacked on, but so much about this title is thrilling. There's simply no other game on the market with such a focus on ridiculous fun - this really is a must-have title for the Wii U.
Digital Spy - 8
The Wonderful 101 is a great fit for the Wii U, being rich in color and charm and putting the system's unique features to good use. Combat is strategic and rewarding, and some of the mechanics on show are refreshingly innovative.
GamesRadar - 3/5
But is it worth persevering to find these depths? Sadly, the answer has to be: ‘not really’. With Nintendo's Pikmin 3 having just demonstrated such mastery of both game design and the Wii U hardware, it’s disappointing to see such a superficially similar yet confused and messy game following it mere weeks later. A new IP from Platinum with swagger and style is something gamers have wanted for Wii U for so long. But the reality is that its gameplay just doesn’t gel and numerous baffling design choices get in the way so as to render all the astonishing style moot. It just isn't very fun. And ‘Mediocre 101’ isn’t good enough.
IGN Italy - 9.5
Deep, rewarding, frantic and truly unique: The Wonderful 101 is nothing but an instant classic, something so pure and fun that represents the joy of playing videogames. You gotta be thankful to Platinum Games and Nintendo for this one, Kamiya surely did it again!
VideoGamer - 8
However, with free rein occasionally comes over-indulgence, and it does feel like it could have done with a bit of editing. It’s a big game, and there are moments where you wish it was more concise. Bosses often come back from the brink just when you thought you’d finally killed them, which can grate. It’s been done to make the whole thing feel more grandiose, but it becomes wearying. Fights can also feel very drawn out at times. You can’t pick this up for a quick go; you’re in this for the long haul.
That said it’s hellishly addictive. The sense of fun is palpable throughout, the characters are mostly pretty likeable, and surprisingly the plot’s fairly absorbing. It helps that it’s been pretty sharply written too, full of excellently corny jokes and one liners.
It’s almost as good as Kamiya’s twitter feed. Almost.
Blistered Thumbs - 3/10
At its best, The Wonderful 101 is a simple game made overcomplicated. At its worst, it is nigh unplayable. I got up and walked away from the game several times out of frustration, which is something I very rarely do. There is beauty here, but it is only skin deep. The ideas are still good, but they clearly needs more refinement. Wonderful 101 combines all the best moments from Hideki Kamiya’s career (excluding Resident Evil) into one bundle, so it should result in something deserving of its name. The fact that it is so far from it upsets me deeply. The final joke is that that many of the issues with this game would have been solved with a few camera and control tweaks. This was a depressing revelation.
GameReactor.es - 8
The Wonderful 101 es un estupendo y muy original beat ‘em up, pero algo cabezota y que esconde demasiado tiempo sus encantos tras un antifaz.
CVG - 7
Lacks the mesmerising fluidity of Platinum's other work, but The Wonderful 101 puts on a real show for the eyes all the same. Hack and slash connoisseurs with both the patience to learn a new way to play and a thirst for high-score chasing will be well-rewarded for their investment.
Nintendo Insider - 92%
An energetic adventure throughout, with such charismatic charm it is easy to forget that this is an entirely new IP that suitably deserves a successive sequel in future. And for such undoubted quality, PlatinumGames sheer talent in the genre remains unquestionable.
Metro - 7
Insurmountable problems with the controls stop this from being another Platinum classic but it’s still a fun game, overflowing with charm and wonderfully silly action.
Godisageek - 8
As an exclusive, The Wonderful 101 is a real triumph for Nintendo, joining ZombiU and Pikmin 3 in showcasing just how cool a peripheral the GamePad truly is when used right. It might not always work as it should, but when it does it’s something quite extraordinary. The overall presentation is of such high quality, and there’s just so much heart in it, that The Wonderful 101 is an absolute must-buy for Wii U owners.
Vandal - 8.7
No es el típico vende consolas, pero sí es un complemento de lujo de los que hacen catálogo. Tampoco estamos acostumbrados a ver obras de este tipo, pero como siempre, Platinum Games viene a demostrar una vez más que los desarrolladores japoneses tienen todavía algo que decir. Así que, aunque despiste por su apariencia, todo aquel amante de los juegos de acción tiene aquí un imprescindible. Míralo sin prejuicios y dedícale todo el tiempo necesario, porque ser el Wonderful número 101 no es fácil, pero sí muy placentero.
NowGamer - 9
It might look childish, but in so many ways this is a Platinum Games experience through and through. Deep and rewarding combat, entertaining characters and plenty of hours of gameplay - even without all the collectables and tougher difficulties. A must-have for every gamer, whether you own a Wii U or not.
The Telegraph - 5/5
These are problems that may not exist had The Wonderful 101 been created for less disruptive hardware, but shorn of the idiosyncrasies that Wii U provides, it wouldn’t be quite the same game either. True, it’s flawed, occasionally messy, and could do with being a little more accommodating to beginners. It also happens to be one of the boldest and most original visions on any system this year, and surely cements Hideki Kamiya’s place among the great game creators of his generation.
Hobby Consolas - 92%
The Wonderful 101 becomes one of the best exclusive games for Wii U and another marvel to add to Hideki Kamiya's and Platinum Games' history. (...) Aside from having exquisite gameplay, the title is overflowing with personality, right to the final screen of the end credits.
EDGE - 6
The Wonderful 101 draws on ideas from Kamiya’s previous games – Viewtiful Joe’s cartoonish charm, Okami’s brushstroke mechanic, Bayonetta’s setpieces – but in concert they’re messy, hamstrung by cluttered visual design and a clumsy central mechanic. Stretched over a large frame, they wear thin quickly. There’s a good game in here, but it’s smothered by the need to conform to its host platform’s feature set, and a distorted concept of value for money.