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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review Time!!! Part Five: Wonderful 101

Review number five. This time it's Wonderful 101.

This game has potential but they made a few mistakes. This is the only mistake that will really frustrate some people. At least twice per level the player has to do a Quick Time Event, and let's face facts, nobody likes Quick Time Events. Normally video game designers have to ensure that the average Joe can do the Quick Time Events but get this: Somewhere around Level Five I was doing a boss battle between Wonder-Red and Wonder-Blue. The fight ends with a QTE (short for Quick Time Event) where the two heroes punch each other in the face over and over until they can't take it anymore. I was playing the game on Easy. I have perfectly average reflexes. But the reaction time triples every time you boost the difficulty. Now on Easy mode it was IMPOSSIBLE for average reflexes (mine included) to do the Quick Time Event. So beating the game on Hard is almost impossible because you practically need to have Super-Human reflexes (Also, there is no such thing as Super-Human reflexes in real life).

There are clearly too many Quick Time Events in this game. So if you have average or below average reflexes, do NOT EVEN BOTHER PICKING UP THIS GAME. The only way an everyday person can beat this game is on the LOWEST difficulty, and even then normal reflexes barely get the job done. It's almost as if the game was designed so that only the Flash and Sonic the Hedgehog can play the game and enjoy it, let alone actually beat it.

The major thing I do like is how it challenges you to try to be creative when fighting enemies in normal combat. Dragons will use their wings as shields, and the only way to inflict further damage on them is to use Unite Claw to pry the wings open. Turtles can only be harmed by Unite Hammer's slam attack. Ninja like aliens will move too fast for most weapons so you got to slow them down with Unite Bomb.

Another thing I don't like is the lengthy dialogue. The cut-scenes are needlessly long, and more often then not they send dozens of lines your way, when only about, I dunno, three lines will do. There are only a handful of cut-scenes that are actually short. Perhaps the longest cut-scenes are in the very first level, where the narrator explains almost everything about the game. But the narrator's lines are VERY long-winded. And do not even get me started when he explains the basics of Unlimited form. Speaking of which, the Unlimited transformation cut-scene (you have to watch this cut-scene in literally every boss level) is over-dramatic. Wonder-Red doing a bunch of weird poses while yelling at the top of his lungs just to put on a goofy mask is rather pointless, doubly so because the Narrator claims that the heroes will die (death by massive explosion) if they stay in Unlimited form for too long. The cold hard truth is that Unlimited Form is Purely cosmetic. It doesn't change a thing. It's supposed to make the Wonderful 100 totally awesome butt-kicking warriors, but in reality, all it's good for is making the colorful heroes look like a bunch of idiots. Furthermore, the heroes can stay in Unlimited form pretty Much indefinitely. They will NEVER explode.

Good news is at the end of every level they judge your performance and if you get a good score you get a trophy. Higher Scores mean better trophies, tempting persistent players to beat their High Score and get a Platinum Trophy, so replay value is pretty high. Plus, Wonderful Missions mode allows you to play the game AND escape from long-winded lines and Quick Time Events. The Boss Battles are really fun, too. The Fight where you drive a robot and play a robot-themed mini-game version of Punch-Out is my favorite.

All in All, I give this game a 7.0. The long-winding dialogue, over-reliance on Quick Time Events designed to be impossible for any human, and the fact that Unlimited form is downright stupid dashed away any chance of this game getting a 10.0. Basically, Naruto, Transformers, and Monster Hunter are major league games, and Wonderful 101 tried to become a major league game but ultimately it was lacks the elements that make a great game. The best case scenario is that the creators learn from these mistakes and make a sequel that improves with short cut-scenes and no Quick Time Events whatsoever. Worst case Scenario is they make a sequel that instead of improving on the mistakes it actually worsens them.

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