The Wonderful 101 is a Wii U exclusive game directed by Hideki Kamiya for PlatinumGames and published by Nintendo. In it, the player controls a group of heroes trying to protect the Earth from an alien invasion by transforming into a wide range of weapons and objects including a giant fist or bridge. Players have to employ different strategies for a successful approach to taking out the invaders.
The player controls a group of heroes that can attack enemies or 'Unite' into larger objects with their own unique uses and advantages including a sword, gun and hang glider. For defense, your team can form into Unite Guts to block attacks or Unite Dodge to quickly move out of harms way or re-position behind an enemy. Rescuing any of the civilians scattered across the maps increases the size of your team and the overall power of your attacks.
Because of its group-based nature, the game is played from a top-down, three-quarters perspective with the camera pulled out for scale. At its distance, it's possible to control even large groups of heroes but individual character models are displayed small in relation.
Team Unite's are special moves created by forming your heroes into specific shapes by drawing them in one of two ways: either directly onto the Wii U tablet's touchscreen or with the controllers right thumbstick. This mechanic is conceptually similar to the celestial brush in Okami.
By combining your party into a single larger object, you can create weapons to be used in combat or context-specific support equipment such as hang gliders, bridges and ladders. Using these Unite Team special attacks spends energy from your battery meter, but they can be recharged with basic Unite Attacks. The meter can be lengthened one battery at a time by collecting 50 batteries found throughout the world.
Wii U Touchscreen
While much of the Wii U's touchscreen functionality allows the player to draw shapes to quickly access Unite Team weapons, there are moments where you'll use the display for other purposes. One example shown at the games PAX Prime 2012 demo had the player solving a puzzle inside a building. Though your view inside was obstructed on the television, looking at the tablet gave you a view of the buildings interior and had you turn dials to match a code displayed on a sign on the roof to open a door progress.
Where The Wonderful 101's core gameplay necessitates a large sense of scale, it also creates a specific aesthetic. You play with your team in the same way you play with set of action figures and the design reinforces the feeling. As you destroy enemy robots, they break apart and reveal metal frames and toy-like parts. With character designs similar to the ones found in Viewtiful Joe, the game has a look reminiscent of Japanese tokusatsu in the vein of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.