Games: Wii U favourite Wonderful finally coming to multiple formats as Wonderful 101 Remastered
Preview: Wonderful 101 Remastered (Multi)
PLATINUM Games are one of the most consistently brilliant and wilfully bonkers developers in the business. The stylish action of Bayonetta, Vanquish and last year's Switch highlight Astral Chain could induce epilepsy in a corpse, while they even made the glamour boys of late '80s toydom cool with 2015's Transformers: Devastation.
Left to languish on the Wii U, however, even the Platinum faithful largely ignored 2013's Wonderful 101 – a shame, given it was one of the console's brightest lights. But, thanks to a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign this week, the manga-inspired lunacy will languish no more.
Such was the rabid desire for a re-release – along with a gimmick where pledges over 1,000 yen (about seven quid) came with the honour of being blocked on Twitter by Platinum co-founder and industry ledge Hideki Kamiya – Wonderful 101 Remastered smashed its $1.5 million target in less than an hour.
Free from the yoke of Nintendo, the game is set to be the first in a quartet of self-published projects from the Japanese studio. The cult favourite will land on PC, PS4 and its traditional Nintendo parish, Switch, which already has an audience four times bigger than the game's original Wii U home.
With rewarding combat and spectacular boss battles, Wonderful 101 was a technical marvel that demanded the metabolism of a caffeinated hummingbird. Playing out like Pikmin meets The Incredibles, players used their frantic and twitchy mastery of a tiny super-powered mob as they took on alien invaders.
Arranging their spandex swarm into human bridges, giant hammers and the like, the game's retro-tinged acid-trip doffed its cape to 70s anime – and all peppered with Kamiya's trademark cute touches and self-referential humour.
Its candy-coloured shenanigans bolt along at breakneck pace, looking for all the world like a bag of Skittles having a riot – though it was all a little too frantic for some, and gameplay often descended into mindless button abuse as players struggled to keep up with the clutter.
Thankfully, Remastered comes with some quality of life improvements. The difficulty will be more consistent, Kamiya said, while the game's easy mode – no slouch in its day – will be made even more forgiving. New on-screen prompts will help players better understand the game's convoluted mechanics, while the transition from the Wii U's two screens to just the one includes a picture-in-picture mode.
And, while the game's touch-screen mechanics will remain on Switch, special moves are being remapped to traditional controllers for PS4 and PC. With all the trimmings of 1970s Saturday morning animation, lashings of secrets and unfettered 100 superhero-strong fun ("101 is YOU", as the game proudly exclaims), expect wonderful things when the game releases this April.