Consequences of the Homage
On paper this sounds awesome especially if the player has fond memories of those franchises but it does come at a price. In these sections, the game forces the player to do things that they have no familiarity in. So if the player has no idea how to play Punch Out! properly, they're kind of fucked for those sections. This can leads to huge amounts of frustration for the player as they have been learning the mechanics of one game only to require the skills of a completely different game in order to progress. The game has to out right plop the controls of these sections right in front of the player before they start. This helps in the transition, but telling the player how to play doesn't translate to them how to succeed.
I can't leave this on a negative note as I personally enjoyed these varied gameplay elements but I wanted to address that variety can be something that is jarring and unnecessary. I think it works in The Wonderful 101 because of what the main intent was, an homage to the past. Sure, Super Sentai is the focus but it becomes very evident that on the periphery, the essence of Nintendo and retro gaming in general also helps form the game's identity.
That concludes my analyses for Part 1. If you find it a bit lacking in terms of content I will be back to talk about some things I totally skipped over to not make this thing too long. The next part will be focused more on the core combat mechanics and why they work/don't work in context of what was talked about here. I might also throw in my thoughts on the game's design accommodating a myriad of play styles.
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