The Wonderful 101 will be no less divisive in remastered form

Today sees the not-exactly-long-awaited launch of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, following a Kickstarter marketing campaign that concluded less than three months in the past. The sport is already good to go throughout the Nintendo Switch, PC, and PS4, suggesting that the crowdfunding effort could not have been strictly vital. But no matter: the discharge of a misplaced cult basic to a wider viewers is trigger for celebration. Right?

In some ways, yeah. I do like this sport lots. But I can’t assist feeling that The Wonderful 101 Remastered doesn’t fairly do all it may to get extra folks on board. This sport wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea even amongst Wii U house owners who performed it, and it stays uncompromising in remastered form.

The Wonderful 101 is the work of PlatinumVideo games, the studio behind video games like Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, and Astral Chain, and it has a usually intricate fight system. Stylistically, it additionally harkens again to director Hideki Kamiya and producer Atsushi Inaba’s work on Viewtiful Joe again in the GameCube days, with colourful visuals and superdeformed superheroes. All of this appears like the right method for a basic Platinum character motion sport.

That’s probably not how The Wonderful 101 performs out. Most of the sport occurs from a zoomed-out perspective, along with your character main a military of dozens of heroes. With touchscreen gestures or right-stick actions, you may command these allies to come back collectively for highly effective “unite morph” talents. The sport appears to be like extra like Pikmin than Bayonetta at a distance. But make no mistake: The Wonderful 101 is as deep an motion sport as any Platinum has ever launched. This is a sport that consistently retains you in your toes and makes you concentrate on the perfect technique to defeat every enemy.

The Wonderful 101 is a sport that sadly didn’t attain the viewers we hoped, so it’s all the time been a title that we wished to revisit in some unspecified time in the future in time,” Inaba instructed me final 12 months. “Compared to different Platinum video games I really feel that The Wonderful 101 is among the extra distinctive titles that we now have in our library,” Kamiya added. “It’s somewhat more durable to establish than say, Bayonetta as a personality motion sport. So I’m very in saying to folks ‘hey, please try out this unique game that we love as a company that we have confidence in.’”

The remaster is clearly a ardour mission for Platinum, which, understandably, desires to present the sport one other shot at success. The Wonderful 101 is the studio’s most uncommon launch, nonetheless, and it nonetheless doesn’t do an excellent job of explaining its numerous oddball mechanics. Being on the Wii U can’t have helped, however I’m undecided The Wonderful 101 is that a lot simpler a promote on different platforms right this moment.

Part of the problem with The Wonderful 101 Remastered is that the unique sport was one of many few video games tailor-made particularly for the Wii U, Nintendo’s failed Switch predecessor. Most builders made use of the Wii U’s tablet-style GamePad controller just by letting you play by means of video games solely on the touchscreen, however Platinum used it for assault inputs, radar info, and occasional sequences with totally different digicam angles. In Remastered, that is all dealt with with a picture-in-picture choice, and it’s also possible to show each digital screens facet by facet. It works nicely sufficient, and the controls had been arguably higher with analog stick enter in the primary place, however the answer does provide the sense that you just’re tak ing part in a barely compromised product.

Compounding the problem for me, no less than, is the truth that I’ve been taking part in The Wonderful 101 Remastered on a Switch Lite, which may be very a lot a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s most likely the closest you’ll get to the Wii U model as a result of you may nonetheless use the touchscreen, and the picture-in-picture characteristic even works with pinch-to-zoom gestures. It additionally appears to be like good; it seems to be a straight port in phrases of property, nevertheless it runs at a local 720p and principally sticks to 60fps. But the zoomed-out digicam doesn’t work nicely on a 5.5-inch display. The Wonderful 101 is a chaotic sport that may be arduous to learn even on a TV display, and it doesn’t scale down elegantly to one thing the scale of a cellphone. Conversely, the Wii U-era visuals most likely don’t maintain up as nicely on a 4K TV.

I actually like The Wonderful 101 as a sport, so I’m glad it gained’t be trapped on the Wii U eternally. It’s considered one of Platinum’s most ingenious works, and I wager there are a ton of people that just like the studio’s video games however had been by no means in a position to play this one. I simply surprise if there was extra that would’ve been performed to tighten up the expertise and make it extra accessible. The deeper mechanics stay opaque, and the interface hasn’t been tweaked sufficient to make the sport really feel like a pure match for {hardware} less bizarre than the Wii U.

If you’re into different Platinum video games or character motion video games, in common, it’s positively value testing The Wonderful 101. There’s actually nothing prefer it. It’s a very distinctive sport with a robust sense of favor and confidence. I might heartily suggest it to anybody who dug Astral Chain. But simply know that it’s very a lot an acquired style, and also you shouldn’t anticipate the remaster polish to vary a lot in that regard.

The Wonderful 101 Remastered is out right this moment on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam.