Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 172017

I finally finished The Wonderful 101.

The Wonderful 101 is about a superhero-like organization fighting alien invaders known as the GEATHJERK (which stands for Guild of Evil Aliens Terrorizing Humans with Jiggawatt bombs, Energy beams, Ray guns, and Killer lasers). It was a fun game, but one I’m not likely to play again.

I had The Wonderful 101 in progress for quite a long time, even though it took me less than 20 hours to complete. Even though I enjoyed it, I kept taking long breaks to play other games that interested me more… a situation quite similar to another game I tried to play, Okami.

But unlike Okami, which I eventually gave up on, The Wonderful 101 doesn’t last so long that I got completely tired of it.

It does have some pacing issues. The game is divided into operations, each of which has multiple parts, and each part can take a while… especially boss battles, which often seem to parody similar boss battles by going on and on and reaching an increasingly larger scale.

(The Wonderful 101 doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it’s full of parodies.)

It’s also not a game you can easily take long breaks from, since the combat can be pretty challenging. Combat is where another Okami-esque aspect comes into play: drawing!

You control a group of superheroes who can unite into powerful weapon forms. For example, if you draw a circle, they form a hand to grab things or punch enemies. If you draw a straight line, they form a sword. And so on. There are many different weapons, and getting the game to recognize my attempts often caused me frustration.

Different enemies require different strategies to defeat, and it gets a bit complex.

On the other hand, while The Wonderful 101 is often challenging in its combat, it’s also very forgiving. If you die, it penalizes your score for the mission and brings you back with full health right where you left off the battle.

This, together with the shorter length of the overall game, is probably the main reason I didn’t quit it like I did Okami.

The Wonderful 101 also has a fun tone, a lot of humorous moments, and some surprisingly serious scenes. I liked the characters (with the exception of Luka, whom I couldn’t stand) and enjoyed the plot. In fact, it was interesting enough that if they are making a “Wonderful 102” or whatever they’d call the sequel, I’d look into it.

So in short, it might not be a new favorite game like Bayonetta, but finishing The Wonderful 101 is probably as close as I’ll ever get to finishing Okami.

Do you like superheroes? Alien invasion stories? Games that don’t take themselves seriously? And are you all right with complex combat that involves drawing shapes to form giant weapons? Then give The Wonderful 101 a try!

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