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Japan Review Check: Wonderful 101, Lost Planet 3

A quick look at the most interesting games coming out in Japan next week, as reviewed in the new issue of Famitsu magazine.

This issue features the first game in a pretty long time to score straight 10's from all four reviewers. The lucky recipient: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, a brawler based on the cult-hit manga. The game's developed by CyberConnect2, makers of the Naruto fighting games that Famitsu's editors have given about a million 10's to in the past, so it's perhaps not as much of a surprise as you'd think.

"It's really neat how all these unique poses and sound effects get shown onscreen without messing up the tempo at all," wrote editor Reona Ebihara. "Each character's moves are unique, and the intricate, stylish design behind all the Ripple and Stand moves is amazing to see. It's such a complete package, I can tell you that this is the best character-license game there is."

"The quality behind the character art and animation is great," added Jigoro Ashida, "and the sequence work you see throughout (such as the powerful camerawork behind each move) is wonderful. The story mode takes pains to recreate the best scenes from the original manga, and the sheer amount of love for the franchise is obvious here."

Other releases:

- The Wonderful 101 (10/10/9/10, 39 of 40 points): Platinum Games' latest misses perfection by one point, but that 39 is still tied for the best rating Famitsu has given to any Wii U title. "The Unite Morphs, where the heroes come together to form weapons, are unique," Ebihara wrote. "You're faced with assorted strategic decisions to make in terms of how to use your heroes, but it's also really exhilarating to see it all take effect at the same time. The story, and the comical heroes within it, is also really charming. I can't take my eyes off it!"

"It's fun to take full advantage of your heroes' skills and the morph actions," added writer Urara Honma. "There's always a new surprise to be found as you proceed through stages and learn of new ways to deal with foes. Sometimes you can lose track of your own character and get confused, but the sheer scope of the battles is really impressive, and it's also fun to try to collect all 100 unique heroes."

- Lost Planet 3 (9/8/7/9, 33 points): The Spark Unlimited-developed franchise sequel gets a much less enthusiastic reaction from the Famitsu team, although it didn't score that badly number-wise. "With the game now more focused on story than earlier," Ebihara said, "you feel a better sense of loneliness in the cold than ever before. The controls are simpler, allowing even series newbies to easily join in. Some of the game feels too much like work, but the wealth of sub-missions and customization is enough to make you focus more on sidetracking at times."

Honma, the reviewer with the 7 score, was more curt. "The Rig-based fighting, using drills and arms and such, are fun in the way they provide a different experience from regular combat," she said. "It's a pretty simple game overall, but I think the novelty and the old Lost Planet feel are both a bit thin here."

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