So without further introduction I am going to thoroughly explain why W101's drawing mechanic is its greatest asset, not its gravest flaw and hopefully show you the systems advantages.
Do not use the touchscreen, so many reasons why, I don't have time to list them.
Firstly beneath the gimmicky exterior of the games wonder liner lies a deep and highly polished system that greatly rewards practice. Inputting the commands for the different unite forms is basically the same system used in fighting games like "Street Fighter". What really helps the learning process is that new inputs build on the old ones, sword is up,gun up then right,claw is up,right,up, for example. At first you will more than likely be terrible at performing the morphs but by the games end, where hopefully your inputs are flawless, you are bestowed with a feeling of power and accomplishment that no binary in game upgrade or cutscene could match.
Secondly the system for summoning unite morphs allows instant weapon change. In games like "Bayonetta" or "God Of War" you are either limited to few weapons to choose from or having to pause gameplay to access a clunky, adrenalin dissipating menu. W101's split second changing allows action to flow far more smoothly and opens up combo possibilities between weapon types that no other game can match.
Drawing was first used by ancient cavemen as a means of insulting animals and each other.
A further dynamic is introduced early on in the game whereby instead of drawing the shape and actively using it yourself you can instead create a clone with the x button who will execute a full combo before rejoining the group. The implications of this system are immense, you can for instance use clones to keep an enemy airborne while shooting up at him from the ground or you could whip an enemy off balance while a lightning sword inflicts stun. It really is fun to play with and I'm not sure how it could be done without the drawing mechanic.
Another very basic yet satisfying element of the drawing is that size matters. Take the time to create a lengthy line and be rewarded with a massive sword 10 times the size and strength of the regular members, you don't get many of its powerful thrusts before it pulses and shrinks to a less impressive size, but it's fun to have even for a little while. Taking the time to form this attack lends a sense of gravity and anticipation for the end result that is similar to charging Sonic's turbo roll or when Popeye winds his fist up, you just know Bluto's gonna get it.
There is also a simple strategic element to gameplay that is avoiding environmental hazards and certain enemies when drawing. This isn't a huge element of W101 and doesn't come up too often but when it does it adds a variety to the system that keeps you from drawing the same way over and over, you normally just reverse the input to point away from enemies.
Play W101 for too long and shapes take over your brain.
"But drawing isn't easy, what if I fail, does the gamepad shoot acid in my face?" No, if you fail a shape you can immediately try again, you wont be punished and time slows while drawing so take your time if you have difficulty. Furthermore dodge, attack,block and other actions you need instantly are mapped to a button so drawing perfectly isn't life and death. If make a mistake when drawing you can push Y to cancel the morph too.
If your a fan of action games or just a fan of inventive gameplay do yourself a favour and pick up this one of a kind, wonderful, 100-gigaton, intergalactic, love, peace, genius bursting, flavourful, WONDERFUL 101!
If you are having trouble with controls post below. I have spent a decent amount of time trying to screw up shapes to see what make them fail so I should be able to help.