SDCC 2012: Can I just Call 'Project P-100' The Best, Already?

A new Platinum Games release is always cause for at least curiosity on my part. Okay, if we're being honest, when I heard that the Bayonetta dev was showing off their latest at San Diego Comic-Con, I got that kind of squealing, breathless excitement reserved for teenage girls and, let's say Justin Bieber sporting a new haircut (I don't know what teenagers like). That's to say, I can trust that even if I'm not guaranteed to be in love with whatever the game ends up being, I trust that Platinum will at least bring something new to the gaming arena.

This time around, Platinum makes their second appearance on a Nintendo console with the superhero-themed Pikmin-like game, currently-named Project P-100. While this didn't get much love during Nintendo's big E3 presentation (perhaps because it was too close to their own third Pikmin outing),  I now can say I have a Wii U title that I would be willing to buy the console for without qualification thanks to my seven minutes with the game's timed demo.

During the approximately seven minute demo, I was dropped into the middle of the brightly-colored city with my posse of diverse superheroes. Like Pikmin, you control a cluster of heroes that you'll guide around the screen with the analog sticks in and out of combat with the alien invaders.

Here's how combat works: using the touchscreen, I drew one of the shapes associated with one of the three attacks available to my heroes. There's the L-shape of the gun attack, a straight line for the sword attack, and a circle for the fist attack. After drawing the shape, the heroes of P-100 will group up in formation, and the execute the attack, I aimed the formation at an attacking robot and pressed A.

These unified attacks are limited by the amount of charge available (indicated by a battery counter at the top of the screen). When that meter is depleted, you can charge it (while leaving your heroes vulnerable) by hammering on the X button which will cause all of your formation save the leader to melee attack the enemy.

The touchscreen is responsive enough, although Mr. Mize and I had slightly different experiences with creating a circle onscreen. He reported the game responding to any vaguely circle-like shape while I felt like I had to get a bit more precision to make the game recognize my effort.

P-100 didn't just keep me on offense, though, as the left and right triggers activate a jumping dodge attack and a Jell-o mound-like shielded formation respectively to avoid attacks. Plus, I was able to recruit more followers among the fleeing inhabitants of the city by lassoing them using the touchscreen.

Simply based on the limited number of attacks shown during this quickie demo, and the variety of enemy types, and the generally energetic and charming look of the game, I was hooked. Plus the superhero wrapper just makes it all the more appealing to me, a lifelong fan of the capes and tights set.

The game doesn't even have a name yet, much less a formal release date, but I'm looking forward to hearing more about Project P-100 as it develops.

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