Using the power of the people in Wii U's 'Project P-100'

Among the Wii U's minigame collection-heavy E3 lineup was a weird, weird surprise: an original action game by Platinum Games. Project P-100 isn't just an anomaly among Wii U games, it stands out among Platinum's lineup. It's very cartoony and cute, adjectives I won't see applied to Bayonetta or Anarchy Reigns anytime soon. The main character does bear a resemblance to Viewtiful Joe by pre-Platinum Clover Studio, but he's way too tiny on screen to really make the connection.

It also abandons the "character action" style most associated with the studio in favor of, well, more characters. Your superhero protagonist can recruit a coterie of random citizens (by drawing a circle around them with the right analog stick) sort of Pikmin-style. However, instead of simply directing them toward the giant robot enemies, you wield your crew as weapons. You can hit a button to do basic "team attacks" that essentially use them as a bludgeon.%Gallery-157137%
If you want more powerful attacks, you can wield your crew as a giant sword, pistol, or fist with a touchscreen gesture. This is basically the "Wii U" element of P-100; otherwise you're just doing combo attacks on giant enemies with the buttons. These take "battery power" that you can charge with successful basic attacks.

Being a family-friendly game, the action is a little less intense than, say, Vanquish, but you still have a variety of offensive and defensive options that let you vary your attacks, dodge, and block (forming some kind of glowing energy ... Jell-O mold around your group). You can also use that "fist" item to grab and manipulate giant switches and knobs.

I mentioned earlier that the game is uncharacteristically cute for Platinum. It has a look that's pretty common to Wii U launch games: it looks like a Wii game in terms of bright colors and simple character designs, but in very smooth high definition with a tilt-shift effect to make everything looks extra tiny. That's not a knock: it's nice to see a "Wii" style game without the jaggies and with more detail.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.