Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

The Wonderful 101

Hands On With The Wii U's Quirky Brawler

Platinum Games is best known for the M-rated action of games like Bayonetta and Mad World, but its newest title is a family-friendly beat 'em up that aptly demonstrates some of the Wii U gamepad's unique features.

Project P-100 tasks the player with fending off an alien attack by recruiting citizens strewn about the levels. To enlist citizens, the player draws a circle on the gamepad's touchscreen, which causes your hero to run around them, leaving a green trail on the ground. Connect the green trail into a circle, and anyone caught inside will join your group. These recruits will all attack in unison, either with small flurries of attacks by jamming on the X button, or with more powerful charge attacks, performed with the Y button. Your motley crew can also morph into a variety of helpful shapes. The debut trailer shows mobs turning into ladders and hang gliders, among other things. But beware: your recruits can also be stunned by enemy attacks, causing them to fall to the ground. Reviving them is a simple matter of walking past them again; losing and regaining large swaths of helpers vaguely reminded me of Sonic's longstanding ring mechanic, only they provide more advantages.

The action in the demo I played required little thought; I mostly just spammed the X button, and half the time I couldn't differentiate my recruits from the enemy aliens. It got easier as the level went on, however, as I faced off against several large-scale foes. Toward the end of the demo I was clearing screen-sized enemies and obstacles from my mob's path.

One interesting feature emerged when my character entered a factory. Once the view of the hero was obstructed by the building, the gamepad screen switched to a closer, third-person view until I opened the back door and made my way back into the neighborhood.

I'm still not completely sold on Project P-100 – or the Wii U, for that matter – but Platinum Games' newest title contains the same creative quirkiness I've come to expect from the studio, and from Nintendo games. Expect to hear more about this launch title as we approach the Wii U's fall release. 

Email the author , or follow on , , and .

  • Wow. Looks like it could get hectic in some of the tougher levels of the game. Honestly, it looks like it could be fun.

  • Reminds of a mix between Viewtiful Joe, Power Rangers, and Pikmin

  • I like it!

  • I think it looks fun, and another cute "fast strategy" game for Wii U's tablet controller, like Pikmin 3. The main mechanic of recruiting citizens and turning them into weapons (like the Jell-O blob to reflect attacks) seems intuitive, fast paced and fun.

    I actually really dig this old-school, cute, clean, colorful Japanese visual style. This game looks like an anime from the 80's or 90's; like a Samurai Pizza Cats or something. Just adorable and clean looking. But while I dig the style, I'm INCREDIBLY disappointed that this follows the likes of New Super Mario Bros. U, NintendoLand, Tank! Tank! Tank! (which also looks like a blast, to be honest) and some others in looking...like nothing more than simple Wii games, but in higher resolution.

    This is new hardware. These games don't have to look realistic; lord knows I prefer color and style. But that's no excuse NOT to use higher detail models, advanced lighting and complex shaders (like a Kameo or Ratchet & Clank or Sonic Generations or something). ESPECIALLY from Platinum Games, who are one of the few Japanese teams to be really strong with regards to making HD games - heck, they're showing Metal Gear Rising at the same show this P-100 game is appearing at, and yet they couldn't be further apart in terms of visual quality.

    Games like this are making the Wii U's "Re-debut" out to be...less than spectacular.

    To be honest, this looks like it should be a $15 eShop game. There are PSN and XBLA games that look this good.
  • Count me impressed. This might be one of the first exclusives the Wii U will need to be successful.

  • looks like meh

  • I have no idea what's going on, but it looks pretty neat!