Author Topic: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?  (Read 10857 times)

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Offline azeke

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What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« on: August 21, 2013, 11:32:49 PM »
Bayonetta is an amazing game. I bought Xbox360 for this game not really knowing what i'm going into, and it surpassed all expectations and basically opened my eyes to yet another videogame genre i never even knew existed.

Now, Bayonetta's creator is releasing his next game and it looks just as amazing and judging from the demo it's primed to be my favourite-est game of 2013.

So what did Kamiya learn from Bayo and is now doing right in W101 and what he should have avoided?

With W101, Kamiya's crazy action is back, yes perspective is different but it works very similarly: combos, launchers, air combos, cancels, dodge offset. Enemies have specific attack animations and sound cues that one should study to dodge or counter properly.

Dodging and parrying felt so satisfying in Bayo and in W101, dodge and block are basic abilities that are put to triggers. Parrying like in Bayo is an unlockable item in W101 and works the same -- jerk the stick in the direction of the incoming attack right before it hits and you will parry it.

Just like Bayo W101 also has outlandish characters and story and a very specific style that it holds throughout.

What is missing so far?

It's hard to say from demo, but maybe music doesn't feel as good? Song that ended the demo was great, but main background music felt too repetitious and generic in the demo.

Bayo was not perfect though. There are definitely more than one spot on her face.

Sudden deaths in the middle of long levels (esp. QTE)
Extremely annoying when you go for platinum and do one single mistake that kills you instantly and then you kiss your platinum rank that you worked towards for the last half an hour goodbye. Especially grueling when it's stupid QTE.

W101 demo had something like it and but the time limit to execute the required motion was pretty generous and at least failures should be pretty amusing by it's own. We'll see how the final game does it, but it's looking okay so far.

Anything is better that spening 20 minutes in one level and then you mess up one QTE and you have to start all over again.

Gimmick levels
Bayo had two levels that were tirbutes to Outrun and Afterburner. Tributes are fine and all, but these levels just lasted way too long and got too boring. Especially when gameplay variety in them was strikingly shallow compared to the rest of the game.

Judging from trailer, W101 is gonna have it's fair of gimmick levels and segments: turrets section, 2d shmup section, starfox tribute and very intriguing parts where you go inside some vehicles/device and control it from inside with gamepad and tv showing inside and outside of the vehicle. I gotta admit the part where you make a metal cube go by smashing it's walls from inside is very ingenious.

Hopefully these levels or segments will be given enough variety to stay interesting for entire duration this time around.

Boss levels that are just too long
Similar issue with all HUEG boss levels. They just got too repetitious and way too long. That was sadly emphasized by the fact that you were fighting some of the bosses again and again. Jeanne as a boss was fine, hell, her parts were amazing. But taking down these monsters just took way too much time.

Clunky UI
This is a minor issue, but it just bugs me as a software designer. I remember how completely lost and overwhelmed i was when i opened start menu in Bayo. Loads of tabs, confusing navigation (whose idea was to place items and weapons in one tab and then you have to switch between them by pressing left right?), unintuitive button layouts and weird names for everything. Even in Angel attack game, i was very confused because i thought i am spending points instead of earning them.

As i can tell from demo W101 has a start menu that is nearly identical to Bayo's. At least they separated items into separate tab this time... Though items tab looks too empty, cause there isn't much there now.

Huh, it appears to be W101 has all the same elements that bugged me about Bayo... Well at least it looks they improved on them somewhat...

PS. I can't believe it's just one day till i will play this game. I am so psyched!

PPS. Anyone has thoughts about comparing W101 to Kamiya's other games (Viewtiful Joe, Okami). I only played Bayo so far.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 11:37:41 PM by azeke »
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Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 06:38:17 AM »
Okay. Now that i spent half of my day playing the full game, i will summarize the results.

Briefly, because i want to spend the rest of my day playing it.

Basically, Kamiya didn't address any of my concerns. Mainly, UI got even more confusing, and that gets even worse when you're playing on Classic Controller because you have to manage two screens.

QTE deaths are still very much there but nothing as bad as Bayo had, thankfully.

I played "gimmick level" where i hijacked enemy ship and controlled it from within while simultaneously fighting enemies inside the ship. It was awesome, but similar to how gimmick levels felt in Bayo -- somewhat shallow and slightly drawn out. Still IT WAS AWESOME.

Overall, everything i wanted to fix from Bayonetta was largely ignored.

Thanks, Kamiya.

Seriously, thanks, because outside of my issues the game is awesome.

Overall feeling is very much like Kid Icarus: Uprising -- lighthearted adventures while ****'s going down on cosmic scale.
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Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 11:02:23 PM »
Okay, now that i spent almost two days playing the game and initial shock and awe settled down a bit. It feels like i'm half way into the game (collected 48 of Wonderful Ones) and some things may change in later levels, but it's enough to collect some thought and write down more impressions about comparing this game to Bayo.

So let's resume this personal blog of mine.

First of all, i want to note that i will talk a lot about issues in W101 and there are even more that i will mention only in passing. Occasionally problematic isometric perspective, enemies attacking from outside the screen, control issues (reviewers didn't lie, hammer is definitely hard to pull of), confusing aiming (in aiming segments my aim sometimes goes right when i press left -- wtf?). Thankfully the game doesn't any have actual bugs, but it definitely lacks focused polished feel that Nintendo games have.

Other than legitimate issues, the game is also of acquired taste, because the game will often leave you with no hints about what to do. Some forum hipsters who hate Nintendo and their "tutorialising" despite that never even play these games might like the sound of that, but believe me, you WILL get lost many, many times not knowing what are you supposed to do. Which is okay by me, because realizing things by my own is pretty fun but i still got annoyed a few times about some puzzl-ish segments.

Still, the game is still positively WONDERFUL, despite numerous minor issues. It's amazing and funny and tense and sexy and challenging and delightful. It's cinematic without removing player out of the equation. You will say wow, woohoo, holy crap constantly. Quoting NeoGAF poster who said this about "Kid Icarus: Uprising":
Quote
I've never played a game that was so happy just to exist. So much of this game is just a pure joy to play and experience...
With Wonderful 101, we're getting a second game just like that.






With gushing out of the way, let's talk comparisons to Bayo.

Music:
In the first three levels alone Bayo was already killing it with tracks like: One of a Kind, Fly me to the moon and Battle for Umbra Throne. Apart from metrioned wonderful march song , W101 didn't impress me as much musically. Hopefully it will get better in later levels. And final credits song better be as awesome as "Let's Dance, Boys":

Score ruining sudden deaths and QTEs:
My main grief with Bayo were quick time events when you had to press designated button in the exact moment or you will DIE (and ruin your score and will have to start the level anew from beginning). Now with W101, there are many type of QTEs actually and button pressing QTE is just one of the many and all these events are for jumping out of the way so you're really always pressing B button. You're still gonna die if you fail button press, but the timing is more forgiving this time.

So i guess this is a definitely improvement from Bayo. Also, the game has a "Retry" option, so that definitely makes things easier if you tend to restart levels when you're not doing too good.

Gimmick levels
Shooting segments aren't too bad, same with starfox type level(s). One particular part was awful though. The game switched to gamepad and i entered into a maze filled with fog, where it was hard to see, hard to navigate and almost impossible to control your camera because you had to use tilt for that. Oh and you have to fight enemies and draw figures to enlist people hidden in this maze. So frustrating. I gather it will go much better on next playthroughs, but jeez...

Drawn out boss levels
As i got better at the game, i started to finish bosses faster. The problem was that i was missing some cues, and when you miss them the game just loops a bit and starts the the same sequence. So when you don't know what you're doing it might seem repetitious.

It still takes about 15 minutes at the very least to finish any boss level but at least they're extremely varied and filled all kinds of craziness.

UI
A lot of minor problems about interface and menus. Like descriptions for stuff only appears on gamepad, but what if you're playing on Classic Controller? You can enable picture in picture mode for this, but it's a hassle.

In-game shop where you buy unlocks, has short videos demostrating you the effect of the item. But if you buy unlock, you can't watch the video anymore. You can read the text description in the menu but there is no video. It's gone, i guess.

Operation select screen and mission results screen look the same but they're not. "Next mission" option does different things: when you just finished a mission it proceeds to next mission, but when you're in operation select screen (which looks identical as i said) you can select your mission.

But what about if i finished the mission and want to replay it? I am in mission results screen and have to pick "operation select" option, wait for it to load (as i said both screens looks absolutely the same why does it have to load?), press "Next mission" and then pick the mission i just finished in confusing menu where pressing left moves you cursor to the right.

I still can't find a quick shortcut to skip cutscenes like in Bayo (RT -- select) and some cutscenes are unskippable for some reason.

At least they now have "Retry" menu option so that's a plus.

With all that said, i still love the game so much.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 11:21:51 PM »
Probably the most important change/improvement form Bayonetta to Wonderful 101 is the way how it handles continues.

When you die, you resume from the exact same moment, with all damage you already dealt to a boss still there and you can keep trucking on through like nothing happened. Where in Bayo when you died you were dragged back to the last checkpoint and you had to repeat the sequence from the start.

This guarantees anyone can advance through this game as long as they're determined enough, of course you'd be killed million times, and your score will be pitiful but you'll still beat the game, eventually.

Also, have a bit more miiverse picspam:





As per usual for Kamiya games, the hardest enemies in the game are not huge bosses, but enemies of your own size and the same abilities as you. Jeanne boss fights were incredibly hard in Bayo, it was like you hit an impenetrable wall at first. Same with Prince Vorkken in W101 who has the same Unite Morphs abilities as you plus some more abilities that you yourself will get only later in the game.

I remember how satisfying it was to replay Jeanne fights having a full arsenal and thinking: "how do you like that ******, now i have all the tricks you have and we're even".

These encounters really force you to actually start learning combat system, because you won't move past these characters if you don't.

Okay, you actually can get through Vorkken fights by just button mashing, because of continue system in W101, but it will take a long ass time and will be very painful to see yourself getting thrown constantly all over the place.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 08:51:04 PM »
Daily update.

I finished operation six and story has delivering in a big way. Definitely better and more coherent story than in Bayo. Great characters and dialogue.

Operation 5 was tributes galore: it had Zaxon segments, Starfox segment and a few other non-brawler gameplay segments which were either original or i couldn't get the reference.

And the boss in that operation was absolutely hilarious. It spoofs a very popular Nintendo series, and i had to pause to laugh for a minute when i realized that. I won't spoil what it is, but it's absolutely amazing that they did that.

Too bad that (again...) gameplay in these gimmick segments wasn't up to par with the rest of the game in terms of system depths and variety. It's kinda disappointing that this boss who is a tribute to series that started on NES can't really match a fraction of depth first game had.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 11:54:55 PM »
Didn't had the chance to play the game last night, so no new thoughts but here are some choice quotes about the game from NeoGaf official thread:

Quote from: Corky
Just finished operation 2, this is up there with Kamiya's best. Can't believe the reviews made me hesitate even if it only was for a fraction of a second. On one hand it's like a concoction of the best ingredients from Joe, Bayo and Okami whilst still being one of the most unique games I've ever played. I'm in love.

Quote from: NotLiquid
I didn't think there was any chance in hell that Kamiya could do a better finale than he did in Bayonetta. I considered that the pinnacle as far as end-game encounters go.

 I was wrong. Dead wrong. Kamiya completely outdid himself. I'm now convinced that this game is by far his masterpiece. It's insanely different and requires so much more of the player, but I don't think any game he's been behind has had the same amount of uniqueness and depth to it, as well as having such a colorful (lol) cast of characters and some moments of true witty writing, hilarious moments and heartwarming stories.

 If anyone is on the fence merely because of the demo, they can't go wrong when getting this game. It is an experience of a lifetime.

 By the end of the year when I revisit it again, I have a feeling I'll be convinced that it's going to sit there in my Top 5 Games of all time.

...


Sometimes when playing this I felt like I was watching Gurren Lagann, in the sense that, at some moments I'll have manly tears running down my face or shivers while boasting the biggest goddamn smile ever because it's just too goddamn amazing to describe.

 Great, now I'm imagining Libera Me From Hell playing over the final boss.

Quote from: Neff
I didn't believe it either when people said the same, and... well... when you see it, and take part in it, it makes Bayo's finale, itself already an orgy of gratuitously excessive awesome, look pretty tame in comparison.

 I also agree that the game is better than Bayo, and Bayo is my #2 game of this generation. It does everything Kamiya's previous game did, including many of his others, and more.

 It's just perfection.

Quote from: EatChildren
Good fucking god at the climax.

 You yanks have no idea. No idea.

And it's just one page.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline Arbok

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 08:55:06 AM »
Have to say, really didn't know much about this game until this thread, so kudos for piquing my interest.

The fact that it's multiplayer is certainly a plus, although looking at the screens I can't imagine my gf giving it a chance.
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 10:17:45 AM »
I only fought Vorkken once but his main weakness I found was that he'll happily attempt to punch your pudding form even if you initiate it pretty early. I mean, I'm crap at fighting games and even I wouldn't fall for that.


Overall the game just feels amazing though.

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 12:36:15 PM »
Just beat the game. It was orgasmic. Final level alone makes Asura's Wrath look like a dry, boring schoolbook, both in terms of cosmic scope and absolute crazyness.
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Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 02:29:03 AM »
This thread is mainly about gameplay comparisons between two games, because of how similar they are. In the last two days i felt like creating a new thread to talk about the tone/the plot of the game and how it's much closer to other games, namely Kid Icarus: Uprising and Starfox 64. But i guess i will keep it for other thread about "New Nintendo Adventure".

So gameplay...

I already mentioned how great parrying feels in Bayonetta and Wonderful 101. As far as i understand, MGR: Revengeance made it into the only method of blocking and got some flack for it because apparently it's beyond what most of the players can do.

If you start analyzing it, everything in Kamiya's action games revolves about risk and reward:

  • be more stylish and get lots of points for beautiful long combos
  • try to execute harder action sequence, and you will be be rewarded with enemy put in a comfortable position for you (mooks getting juggled into the air, turtles getting toppled)
  • overwhelm enemies with shock attacks to stagger them while you prepare your long and absolutely crushing attack (shotguns and rockets in Bayonetta, climb attack in W101 -- you can win some time staggering quick enemies to execute long-term combo with a super satisfying finisher).
  • instead of running away from incoming attack, you run right towards it, head on. If you can time movement of your analog stick it to coincide it with the moment when attack lands, you will deflect it.
The feeling you from executing the last example is infinitely empowering and highly exhilarating. Suddenly you realize you can block almost any attack, be it from the smallest mook with a pea shooter or from boss size of a planet emitting continents evaporating laser beams.

Not only that, but in Bayonetta there are also additional reward for parrying that activates when you timed it exactly to the millisecond. W101 similarly rewards you for executing parrying with filling your Unite Gauge and equipping the biggest weapon you have, armed and ready to counter-attack right away.

Playing Platinum Games, you're constantly on the edge, tethering over the abyss and even if do a mistake you can fix this with other techniques, like Ukemi that eliminates the damage you just took if you can press jump button exactly the moment you touch the ground after being tossed:


I got hit at least two-three times during this particular fight. I ukemi-d them all and got zero damage. Even the very last shot is showing me in the spotlight right at the end of executing Ukemi. Yet another timing mechanic saving you from failure of executing timing mechanic.

A lot of mechanics in P* games can be summed with this crude drawing:

That platinum-purple stripe right in between all that green of mediocrity and red of death is your ultimate goal.

This risk-reward timing mechanics apply to more or less everything in W101:
  • Big morph weapons do more damage but they don't stay big for long and fall apart to lesser size.
  • Unite Guts takes a fraction of second to form, then stays in pudding form for a about a second or two and then falls apart. Enemies even fake out their attacks trying to use this weakness. They do the motion to prepare for attack and you, fully expecting a hit, form a pudding. Then enemy simply waits with fist prepared till your pudding falls apart and THEN crushes you.
  • same mechanics even works from enemies' side of action. Many enemies are at their most vulnerable when they're right about to unleash their most dangerous attack at you. If you will risk it, come closer and attack instead of running away scared you will kill enemies much faster. One hit to small guy just about charging his sword will kill him on the spot, one hit at a spiked robot who is spinning and just about to crush you, will stop and stagger him, opening his armour for you to rip away.

In other words: damn it, i can't wait for Bayonetta 2...
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 10:58:07 PM »
Playing Bayo last night, i had a weird feeling wanting to zoom way out similarly how it's done in W101.

Traditional third person camera of Bayo severely impedes my view and hence, control over area and i feel like i'm constantly caged by the tunnel vision of my camera.

It does have advantages though, in Bayo enemies that are not on screen never attack, and you can even abuse that feature by focusing camera on just one enemy and beating him while all others will simply wait because they're off screen. But that condition is merely a crutch added to compensate for restricting camera view.

Because Wonderful 101 is so zoomed out you can see the entire area with all enemies around. Instead of tunnelling to your character and his immediate surroundings, you're forced to perceive entire screen, just like with chessboard where focusing on individual pieces or a small area won't make you any good. You have to see entire picture to see the situation you're in.

It's one of the biggest problems many new players face with W101.

1. They get all tunnel vision-ed to the center of a screen.
2. Fail to discern that crowd doesn't matter and the leader is the only one you need to keep track of.
3. Don't press L to zoom out to see the entire area. The game is supposed to be played in zoomed out mode, there is absolutely no need to zoom in ever, except maybe for odd miiverse screenshot.

This is basically where all complaints for off screen attacks come from.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 11:55:38 PM »
Still collecting more thoughts about to talk about plot, atmosphere and themes of W101, but this morning i had a few small revelations about the game that i want to share.

Both Bayonetta and W101 have that special fantastical element that empowers otherwise regular-sized individuals into threats capable of killing gods and conquering entire galaxies.

With Bayo it's her hair magic, with it she summons different demons and can summon huge fists and foots to harm enemies from afar.

In Wonderful 101, it's Unite Morph ability which can be used to create fists and swords and guns and whatever to harm enemies and generally do whatever.

But on top of that, W101 also adds yet another gameplay theme that comes from the platform it's on. All gamepad interactions in this game revolve around the idea of "inside and outside".

You enter some building (inside) and solve a puzzle in there while looking at the TV (outside). You enter some vehicle and start controlling it from inside by pushing actual in-game buttons and notches. You look at the TV to see how's your vehicle faring, and it's fine and dandy, but wait!.. Some enemy just broke into the control cabin, so now you're fighting him inside on the gamepad AND trying to control the ship who is also attacked from outside!

And the final level wonderfully combines both ideas of going inside to control huge thing AND empowering yourself with Unite Morphs. The scale instantly multiplies to hundreds and you realize that the bosses you thought were gigantic in the first levels are now of the same size that your mooks.

You get huge boost of adrenaline feeling yourself massively upgraded both in physical size and sheer power... until you face the final boss who is literally planet sized. And then you get an even bigger kick because you realize you're about to take down THAT.

And story that prepares you perfectly for that one culminating moment, when you're lying on the floor in the pool of your tears and in the fit of laughter and giving it all your 101% to...

PROTECT THE EARTH
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2014, 01:53:41 PM »
Probably the best review for the game, incredibly in-depth and basically picks entire game apart so it's full of gameplay spoilers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYEb19dBGzc


This guy gets it.


If you want to know what is the core idea of the game and don't want or unable to play it -- definitely check it out.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline azeke

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2014, 10:13:51 PM »
Just last night i was watching rather impressive blind playthrough of W101 and coincidentally today Platinum blog posted an interview with none other than Saur himself:
http://platinumgames.com/2014/05/19/interview-with-saurian-dash-part-1
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Offline DonkeyBilly Kong

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Re: What can Wonderful 101 learn from Bayonetta?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2017, 10:52:15 AM »
Apparently, it could learn how to port perfectly to PC: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-bayonetta-pc-performance-analysis

I am actually very impressed at how well the game holds up in 4K at 60fps, and it even runs well on relatively outdated hardware.  This is pretty tempting to buy...