At this time sees the not-exactly-long-awaited launch of The Fantastic 101 Remastered, following a Kickstarter marketing campaign that concluded lower than three months in the past. The sport is already good to go throughout the Nintendo Swap, PC, and PS4, suggesting that the crowdfunding effort could not have been strictly mandatory. However regardless of: the discharge of a misplaced cult traditional to a wider viewers is trigger for celebration. Proper?

In some ways, yeah. I do like this sport rather a lot. However I can’t assist feeling that The Fantastic 101 Remastered doesn’t fairly do all it may to get extra individuals on board. This sport wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea even amongst Wii U homeowners who performed it, and it stays uncompromising in remastered kind.

The Fantastic 101 is the work of PlatinumGames, the studio behind video games like Bayonetta, Metallic Gear Rising, and Astral Chain, and it has a sometimes intricate fight system. Stylistically, it additionally harkens again to director Hideki Kamiya and producer Atsushi Inaba’s work on Viewtiful Joe again within the GameCube days, with colourful visuals and superdeformed superheroes. All of this seems like the proper formulation for a traditional Platinum character motion sport.

That’s not likely how The Fantastic 101 performs out. Many of the sport occurs from a zoomed-out perspective, together with your character main a military of dozens of heroes. With touchscreen gestures or right-stick actions, you may command these allies to come back collectively for highly effective “unite morph” talents. The sport appears extra like Pikmin than Bayonetta at a distance. However make no mistake: The Fantastic 101 is as deep an motion sport as any Platinum has ever launched. This can be a sport that continuously retains you in your toes and makes you concentrate on the perfect technique to defeat every enemy.

The Fantastic 101 is a sport that sadly didn’t attain the viewers we hoped, so it’s at all times been a title that we needed to revisit in some unspecified time in the future in time,” Inaba informed me final yr. “In comparison with different Platinum video games I really feel that The Fantastic 101 is among the extra distinctive titles that we’ve in our library,” Kamiya added. “It’s a bit of more durable to establish than say, Bayonetta as a personality motion sport. So I’m very involved in saying to individuals ‘hey, please check out this distinctive sport that we love as an organization that we’ve confidence in.’”

The remaster is clearly a ardour mission for Platinum, which, understandably, desires to provide the sport one other shot at success. The Fantastic 101 is the studio’s most uncommon launch, nevertheless, and it nonetheless doesn’t do an ideal job of explaining its numerous oddball mechanics. Being on the Wii U can’t have helped, however I’m undecided The Fantastic 101 is that a lot simpler a promote on different platforms as we speak.

A part of the difficulty with The Fantastic 101 Remastered is that the unique sport was one of many few video games tailor-made particularly for the Wii U, Nintendo’s failed Swap predecessor. Most builders made use of the Wii U’s tablet-style GamePad controller just by letting you play via video games solely on the touchscreen, however Platinum used it for assault inputs, radar data, and occasional sequences with completely different digicam angles. In Remastered, that is all dealt with with a picture-in-picture choice, and you too can show each digital screens facet by facet. It really works properly sufficient, and the controls have been arguably higher with analog stick enter within the first place, however the resolution does provide the sense that you simply’re enjoying a barely compromised product.

Compounding the difficulty for me, at the least, is the truth that I’ve been enjoying The Fantastic 101 Remastered on a Swap Lite, which could be very a lot a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s most likely the closest you’ll get to the Wii U model as a result of you may nonetheless use the touchscreen, and the picture-in-picture characteristic even works with pinch-to-zoom gestures. It additionally appears good; it seems to be a straight port by way of property, nevertheless it runs at a local 720p and largely sticks to 60fps. However the zoomed-out digicam doesn’t work properly on a 5.5-inch display. The Fantastic 101 is a chaotic sport that may be exhausting to learn even on a TV display, and it doesn’t scale down elegantly to one thing the scale of a cellphone. Conversely, the Wii U-era visuals most likely don’t maintain up as properly on a 4K TV.

I actually like The Fantastic 101 as a sport, so I’m glad it gained’t be trapped on the Wii U perpetually. It’s one in every of Platinum’s most ingenious works, and I guess there are a ton of people that just like the studio’s video games however have been by no means in a position to play this one. I simply marvel if there was extra that would’ve been performed to tighten up the expertise and make it extra accessible. The deeper mechanics stay opaque, and the interface hasn’t been tweaked sufficient to make the sport really feel like a pure match for {hardware} much less bizarre than the Wii U.

When you’re into different Platinum video games or character motion video games, normally, it’s positively value testing The Fantastic 101. There’s actually nothing prefer it. It’s a really distinctive sport with a robust sense of fashion and confidence. I’d heartily suggest it to anybody who dug Astral Chain. However simply know that it’s very a lot an acquired style, and also you shouldn’t anticipate the remaster polish to alter a lot in that regard.

The Fantastic 101 Remastered is out as we speak on the Nintendo Swap, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

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