This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer.
What do you get when you cross Pikmin and Viewtiful Joe with the action stylings of Bayonetta? No, not some disproportioned super woman with a penchant for vegetables. You get Project P-100: a fast paced superhero spin on Miyamoto's plant's-eye view adventures.
But don't let that Pikmin comparison sit for too long. Aside from the visual similarity of you commanding a large group of small heroes against gargantuan aliens, this is a thoroughbred action game that is categorised quite accurately by its creators as "mass-hero action'. No really, that's the game's official genre listing.
And what creators they are. P-100 is developed by Platinum Games, of Madworld, Bayonetta and Vanquish fame, with design duties helmed by Hideki Kamiya, creator of Devil May Cry, the now twice mentioned Viewtiful Joe, and the now thrice mentioned Bayonetta. Hey, when the pedigree is this good it's worth repeating.
EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES
"But how in good Graceland do I play a mass-hero action game?" we screamed at the nearby Nintendo representative at the start of our recent hands-on session. We were just getting into appropriately heroic, full-voiced character and the game initially looks rather alien. To say the rep was terrified would be an understatement. With the clearly under nourished PR hireling cowering and demo clock ticking we decided that the only way to learn was to do. And as it turns out that 'mass-hero action' is pretty similar to normal action, really.
Despite the scale, P1-00 is simple to understand...
Despite the fact that you're commanding an ever-growing blob of heroes - you can instantly recruit civilians to your ranks as you find them - Project P-100 is simple stuff to understand. As any hero should, we started by learning how to apply the hurt. Waddling your gang close to an enemy and tapping Y will cause your posse to mass around the towering alien scum and start duffing in their toes. These basic mass attacks fill your batteries, and this is where the GamePad's touchscreen comes in.
Batteries fuel your swarm's powerful merging and shape-changing morph abilities, three of which - a giant fist, a giant sword and a giant gun - were available in the demo. These morphs are accessed by drawing a circle, line, and L shape on the touch screen respectively. These big powerful tools are excellent fun to wield, delivering chunky, satisfying hits to the invading extraterrestrials. And they look superb: it's a delight seeing your mess of heroes all meshing together like some budget Power Ranger Zord.