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Hands On: Project P-100

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I know Project P-100 is just a working title, but with all the attention it's been getting, I almost think it would behoove Platinum Games to just go ahead and keep it! I heard everyone raving about this game after E3, and so when I saw it at Nintendo's Wii U presentation, I made sure to get my hands on it. I played it just after Pikmin 3, and they both share the same basic concept of collecting help to battle enemies and explore the levels.

Of course, with Project P-100, you're wacky superheroes trying to save the world from invading aliens. So from the section that I played as a demo, there seemed to be less strategy involved. As the game was booting up, I was informed that it came from the guys behind Viewtiful Joe, and as soon as the lead character showed up on screen, I could immediately see the connection with the character design. All big torso, tiny legs and arms and super-spiky hair. What I loved was that the heroes that you collect to add to your armada are all completely individual and... well, insane. The graphics are so detailed that each individual hero in your group has its own distinctive look. Like the guy whose head was a bathtub, and other assorted wackiness.

Using the Wii U GamePad, you explore the city and save the citizens in danger. I was instructed in the use of a rush attack, and then the ability to group all your heroes together into the shape of a weapon. There's a fist, a sword, and a gun. The gun is good for distances, but the hand can also be used to solve puzzles. There's also the ability to block and dodge enemy attacks. You activate these special powers by drawing on the touch screen, which displays the shapes for you. To save citizens and recruit them into your army, you either draw a circle on the touch pad or with the thumbstick.

Towards the end of the level, I was told to enter a warehouse, and then suddenly the game switched completely to the GamePad as the lead character went in alone, and then I was playing it completely on the GamePad. Unfortunately, I got completely discombobulated and couldn't even figure out how to activate the giant hand by myself to turn the dials to solve the puzzle before the timer on the demo ran out. I will say that the graphics on the GamePad section looked not as good as the ones on the TV, but that might have been just because it was zoomed in tighter on the character. It was so brief, and I was so confused by what I was supposed to do, but it almost looked like a portable version compared to a console version. (Albeit a very good portable version!)

After that, I played a boss battle against an absolutely giant robot thing where my group of heroes was basically fighting it out on his hand and forearm. It was kind of insane and over-the-top, but that's pretty much par for the course with Platinum Games. I'd expect nothing less. The demo of Project P-100 that I played was an awful lot of fun, and it seems like they're trying to use the Wii U GamePad in creative ways, which I appreciate. I asked if there was any way to customize the super heroes, or if they were just randomly assigned, but couldn't get an answer for that one. I just think that would be kind of cool. But I'm sure we'll find out more about the game (including maybe a final title for it) between now and when it hits stores during the "launch window!"

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