Platinum Games is known for its over-the-top, visually stimulating action sequences, which can utterly overload the senses in the best possible way. The Wonderful 101 retains this trademark extravagance while being fun for the whole family, and presents you with a world where gymnasts and mailmen can become the city's greatest heroes.
Our E3 demo had us racing against the clock to repel an alien invasion, bolstering our team of super citizens along the way. Everything about the gameplay comes back to the line-drawing mechanic, which determines the function of your heroic masked mob. For instance, when you see a group of panicked civilians, circling them in a line drawn with the GamePad screen or right analog stick will empower and recruit them in a technicolor burst of energy. We were surprised to see that every individual in your collective of champions can be inspected.
You can even promote any one of them to be the group leader, giving the aforementioned mailman a chance to shine. Each citizen specializes in one of the four weapon types: a red hand, green gun, blue sword, and pink whip. The larger your group, the cooler the results of your transformations. For instance, a right angle drawing typically produces a humongous green pistol. But when we went for firepower with a bigger army and gun-centric leader, our heroes morphed into the instantly recognizable Super Scope and blasted enemies into smithereens.
There's so much happening on screen at any given time, between your formation, roster, and approaching enemies--and all of it is drenched in a rainbow of colors that give the graphics a charming cartoon appeal. It's no walk in the park, either--certain aliens can take quite a beating until you figure out which weapon is most effective. With its fast pace and colorful visuals, The Wonderful 101 feels like part Pikmin, part Power Rangers, and all zany action. We approve.
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