The Wonderful 101 always made a lot of sense on the Switch, yet after a couple years it never did happen. Most had given up hope at this point, as it seemed quite impossible, yet Platinum continued to push for fans to vocally support the idea of the game coming to the Nintendo Switch. Fast forward to March of 2020 and Platinum announces that they are Kickstarting The Wonderful 101: Remastered, hoping to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch – as well as PS4 and PC. The latter came as quite a shock to many, as The Wonderful 101 was formerly a Wii U exclusive all locked up. It was later revealed that Nintendo approved Platinum to put their beloved title across multiple platforms, letting loads of new people try Platinum’s unique and eccentric unite action game. The Wonderful 101: Remastered is finally here, and it’s time to decide – is it indeed wonderful?
Wonderful Ones, Unite!
The Wonderful 101: Remastered is an extremely unique action game. As The Wonderful 100 (you are 101), you embark on a quest to save the planet from aliens who choose to attack. Protecting the people is your #1 priority, and sometimes this means gathering the citizens to temporarily join your squadron as you complete each operation.
There are ten total operations in The Wonderful 101: Remastered. Each operation is split into three, with each having their own missions inside. With these ten, the game has a sizable campaign that is sure to keep players occupied for at least 12 hours.
The gameplay is quite unique. To choose a Team Leader or weapon that you use in combat, you draw out the weapon of your choosing with the various members of your squad. Drawing it out then makes the mob of heroes morph into the weapon of your choosing. Drawing was seemingly quite a bit easier in the original release of the game, as players could use the Wii U Gamepad’s touchscreen to easily draw their desired shapes. However since we aren’t talking about the Wii U here, drawing has been remapped to the Right Stick (RS) on Controller. The mechanic of drawing works relatively well in the remastered version of the game, however there are some instances where it was difficult to create the shape I needed for a specific weapon. Overall though, it really was not a prominent issue on PC, and I don’t see it being any issue for Nintendo Switch and PS4 players either. There are 4 main weapons used throughout the campaign of The Wonderful 101.
-Fist: This is wielded by the leader of The Wonderful 100, Wonder Red! To use this weapon, the player draw a U shape or circle.
-Sword: This is wielded by the infamously cocky Wonder Blue! To use this weapon, the player draws a straight line.
-Gun: This is wielded by Wonder Green! To use this weapon, the player draws an L shape.
-Whip: This is wielded by Wonder Pink! To use this weapon, the player draws an S shape or curved line.
There are 100 heroes you can unlock in the game, as you might expect. Each one of them are humorously but perfectly designed, personal favorites including Wonder-Prisoner and Wonder-Gamer. You can unlock all of these throughout the various operations, and if you’re feeling up to it there are secret characters to unlock as well.
As you might expect, it is incredibly fun to rapidly switch between leaders during battle and wield their different weapons against the various foes. Chaining combos switching from Wonder Red to Wonder Pink were incredibly fun throughout the game.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered also features lots of puzzles and interactable objects throughout the various levels played. You might find a gear that needs turning, in which case the player will equip Wonder Red’s fist, or a situation where you need to use Wonder Green to shoot an object above you. Things like these really add to the game, as it gives the player initiative to further explore the environment past the numbered missions in each operation. Speaking of exploration, there are also plenty of collectibles to be found. Every level has 5 Platinum Coins, which can be tricky to find in some areas. It requires observation of your surroundings to figure out how you can receive all 5, most coins are not something you’ll just see on the ground.
The boss battles were an absolute standout in this game. Each one is so perfectly crafted, and most have unique mechanics that are quite fun to beat. You may find yourself having to switch between heroes in the blink of an eye to rip off spikes or turn a gear, there is no telling what you’ll be up against.
Skills and new moves are unlocked regularly throughout your campaign, which can add flashy, powerful moves to your arsenal. These can be also purchased from the shop in some cases, which reminds me – make sure to buy Unite Dodge and Unite Roll, they are absolutely essential to your success in the game.
Truly Platinum Quality
The writing in this game screams Platinum, it’s absolutely up to their standards that we’ve all come to love. Character dialogue is quite humorous and filled with puns, the voice actors do a really good job at conveying it. I really enjoyed the writing a lot, and it fits really well with the story and ideals of this hero world.
The story is beautifully crafted as well. You start out in the prologue as a kindergarten teacher, under attack on a bus with his students. After escorting them to safety you transform into Wonder Red! The story rapidly takes off from here as you learn that Wonder Red is part of a group called The Wonderful 100, who are dedicating to protecting the people and the planet from any invaders who may so choose to do so. It’s humorous, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
There’s surprisingly some depth to the world and the suits/origins of The Wonderful 100’s power, and it was great to pickup some collectibles during Operations and learn more about the characters and the world.
Also worth mentioning, the incredibly heroic soundtrack which fits perfectly with this game. I really enjoyed listening to heroic tunes during fights and boss battles, and even while exploring the various areas.
I personally wouldn’t really consider The Wonderful 101: Remastered to the title of being a Remaster. I feel that PlatinumGames could have definitely given the textures more of an upgrade, especially after playing through the game on PC. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks good – but it could have been so much more. It feels that Platinum simply brought it over to Switch and didn’t upscale the textures for PC (presumably PS4 as well), which is somewhat disappointing, however a patch can easily fix this. Regardless, this title still looks impressive with the art style used and is a definite upgrade over the Wii U version of the game.
Performance wise though, this is definitely an upgrade, as the game runs at a flawless 60 frames per second on PC. What is disappointing about the performance however, is that the frame rate is locked firm at 60FPS, you cannot go past it. As someone who owns a monitor with a high refresh rate and a powerful GPU, this is really unfortunate, as I really cannot use my hardware’s potential.
All of this though, does not take away from what we got. The Wonderful 101: Remastered is still an incredible time, and these small aspects of the PC version of the game really don’t take away from the experience of the game. Action is still lightning fast, and it doesn’t feel slow at all, which is always a plus for action games. PlatinumGames took an already incredible game, shined it up just a bit, and put it on much more accessible platforms.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered is a great time for any action game fans. There’s a whole lot of charm, a unique and fun twist with gameplay, and incredible writing with a heroic soundtrack. Although I do feel the textures could have been much better on PC, it’s still visually a nice looking game that can be enjoyed by many. There seems to be a nice amount of replayability, so you can keep being apart of The Wonderful Ones well after the main campaign ends.
Disclaimer: This product was not provided to the reviewer by the publisher, and was reviewed on PC.