With Platinum Games’ titles, they’re more about finishing each level with flair on the hardest difficulty known to man and collectibles than they are story. In other words, it’s gameplay, gameplay, gameplay with them, and you better be prepared for some fast action, nimble fingers, and a lot of patience as you fail…A LOT. If you want to cut out the middle steps and go straight to big profit, that’s when you pick up the strategy guide. The Wonderful 101 strategy guide from Prima Games focuses on helping players earn those platinum medals on the 101% Hard difficulty their first time, not their 101st time. At the very least, players can find all of the collectibles and unlock all of the secret missions in one go.
I am downright terrible at Platinum Games’, uh, games. They move at insane speeds, button mashing never really works, and you have to have patience due to a high death rate. All three of these elements pretty much requires me to have a strategy guide so I don’t hurl the Game Pad across the room in frustration. You might wonder why I even bother with this studio’s games, but that’s a debate for another day. The point is I couldn’t have gotten through this game without the strategy guide’s help; it was practically as glued to my hands as the Game Pad during each session.
Each mission is framed with the medal requirements for each difficulty, a list of enemies for each difficulty, and then the walkthrough complete with screenshots. The screenshots were fantastic for seeing the ideal moment when to execute a certain attack, defense, or Unite Morph. They also helped me find exactly where I needed to be heading as I occasionally got a little confused and lost (it didn’t happen often, but when it did, I was very, very lost). This presentation and layout made it very easy to quickly find where I needed help when I wasn’t following the strategy guide letter by letter.
Of course, if I wasn’t following The Wonderful 101 strategy guide letter by letter, I missed out on many, many collectibles. Instead placing collectibles in call-out boxes on the pages, the collectible pickups were mixed in with the written walkthrough. At least the collectibles are printed in bold, making them easier to see when glancing at the page. At the same time, the book has collectibles that can only be earned when replaying the mission in call-out boxes, which helps you plan when you will replay a mission and how often.
The only other issue I had with the strategy guide was the occasional misnumbering of missions. The game would tell me I was on mission 14, but the strategy guide had that mission set as mission 12. It didn’t happen often, but again, if I wasn’t following the guide by the letter, I would have to pause the game to find what I was looking for in the book. I also wish the strategy guide explained what a Unite Build was in the command portion of the book, because I unfortunately wasn’t able to play the game for a couple of weeks after playing the tutorial, and it wasn’t for several missions that the game required a Unite Build. I was completely lost at what to do, the strategy guide didn’t explain it, and I had to look it up online. Of course the command was super simple and I felt silly for forgetting how to do it, but it still should have been explained in the strategy guide. It wasn’t even explained in the tutorial walkthrough.
Even with these minor, minor complaints, The Wonderful 101 strategy guide was my security blanket during my entire insane acid trip down The Wonderful 101 road. Those who want to just burn through the story on Very Easy mode may not need what the strategy guide has to offer, but if you’re a completionist or want to get through the game as efficiently as possible, do not forget to pick up a copy of The Wonderful 101 strategy guide.