Originally released back in 2013, The Wonderful 101 was greeted with critical acclaim but its sales didn't quite live up to expectations, most likely due to the game only being available on the much-maligned Wii U. Held in high regard by those who played it, this underappreciated action-packed oddity has now been granted a second chance at success with this Switch remaster by original developers, PlatinumGames (Bayonetta, Astral Chain).
You are the “one” mentioned in Wonderful 101's title, a not so ordinary high school teacher who finds himself thrust into the spotlight during an alien invasion. As a member of the Wonderful Ones – a band of superheroes put together by the United Nations – your job is to command the other 100 heroes in the fight against the intergalactic forces of evil. Through a combination of button controls and thumbstick gestures (which can also be replicated by drawing shapes on the Switch's touchscreen), you'll transform your party into gigantic alien-crushing weapons, wipe out hordes of invaders, rescue civilians and ultimately save the world!
Drawn and animated in a colourful Saturday morning cartoon style, The Wonderful 101's visuals are immediately eye-catching. The gameplay itself is less forthcoming, though, and it can take a while to get the hang of what's going on. There are plenty of chaotic moments where you'll lose sight of your character, and it's easy to forget everything the game has taught you. The Switch remaster does include tutorials (something that was sorely lacking in the original) and those who take the time to learn the intricacies of the game's combat will find a rewarding system with much more depth than one might expect, but it's often easier to mash away at the buttons and hope for the best...
Brought back to life by a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, The Wonderful 101 largely remains the same as it was back in 2013, despite being released as a “remaster” - not much has changed apart from a few minor visual tweaks that only the most hardcore graphics nerds are likely to notice. It might not be as essential as many of PlatinumGames' other titles, but if you missed it at the time and feel like you're in the mood for a wacky over the top brawler, it might just hit the spot.