The Wonderful 101 is a “mass-hero” action game developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo, and released exclusively for the Wii U. The game is directed by Hideki Kamiya and produced by Atsushi Inaba, and was initially set to release during the Wii U's launch window (November 2012 to March 2013), but development had not yet been completed.
It began development as a Nintendo crossover game featuring one-hundred Nintendo characters, but this idea was quickly scrapped because the developers could not get this idea to work. Instead, it became a game about one-hundred superheroes, with the player being addressed as the one-hundred-and-first.
The Wonderful 101 has a "bright" and "cartoonish" artstyle, and is targeted toward all ages, making it different from Platinum's previous works, which were targeted toward adults only, and had a "dark" artstyle and tone. It is heavily inspired by one of Kamiya and Inaba's previous works, Viewtiful Joe, which, just like The Wonderful 101, was inspired by tokusatsu TV shows and films. It also shares several gameplay mechanics with the Bayonetta series, another one of Platinum and Kamiya's works.
As Wonder-Red, leader of the Wonderful 100 you will unite your band of Wonderful Ones to morph into powerful transformations such as a fist, sword, glider, gun, and more to battle invaders throughout Blossom City and across the world. The Wonderful 100-—and YOU-—are the city's best weapon.
- Unite your horde of heroes to morph into powerful weapons to crush the invaders or to synthesize into bridges, chains and other objects that help you make it through the world’s different environments.
- Clobber bad guys with deep and engaging combat. String together combos, dynamically switch between Unite Morphs, defend and evade alien attacks and rack up points to earn the best scores and rewards.
- Explore each stage to find helpless citizens and recruit them to join your army of heroes. The more heroes you gather, the more powerful your Unite Morphs will become.
- Fight alongside friends in five-player local co-op multiplayer. Each player controls a Wonderful One character and pummels enemies with a unique Unite Morph.
- At the in-game shop, you can spend the valuable O Parts you earn fighting aliens to upgrade or buy entirely new Unite Morphs.
In The Wonderful 101, Earth becomes under attack from an invasion of enormous aliens called the "GEATHJERK", and the only thing that can protect the planet is the titular group of superheroes. Unfortunately, the aliens are too powerful to fight individually, so the heroes must work together. These uniquely different heroes can morph together into powerful weapons to crush their invaders or get through the environment.
The player controls a crowd of superheroes from an isometric viewpoint and can turn them into various objects called "Unite Morphs". As levels progress, players must explore each stage to find helpless citizens and recruit them to join their army of heroes. The more heroes you gather, the greater your special morph powers can be. Players can use "Unite Morph" forms to battle off enemies, solve puzzles or traverse the environment at the cost of depleting the player's battery meter. The meter can be recharged by performing normal attacks or by picking up batteries dropped by a defeated enemy. Enemies will also drop "O parts", the in-game currency used to buy upgrades, new "Unite Morph" abilities and items. To transform your mass of heroes, you draw with the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen or right analog stick the corresponding symbol of a form, such as an “L” for a gun or a squiggly line for a whip. The GamePad can also be used to see things from a traditional third-person angle and explore tighter environments better, such as indoors.
The single-player campaign is broken between levels. Each level ends with a grade depending on a number of factors, such as how long it took you to complete and how much damage you took. In addition to a single-player mode, The Wonderful 101 has a cooperative mode that supports up to five players, with one person utilizing the GamePad and the four others using the Pro Controller.
- Gelatin (referred to as "Unite Guts")
- Luka Alan Smithee
- Laurence Nelson (but he is playable during a flashback)
- Alice MacGregor
- James Shirogane
- P-Star (it is playable during Operation 007 though)
- The Geathjerk
- Prince Vorkken