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Project P-100: An action-packed Pikmin from the makers of Bayonetta

When one hero isn't enough, send a hundred

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Combat doesn't end there of course, as any good action game needs methods to avoid your enemy's retaliatory swings. P-100 plays it safe with a basic block and dodge. Grip ZR and your crew will coil up and sproing away from enemy attacks like a human slinky. The block, meanwhile, is more unorthodox. Pull ZL and your crew will mould into a blob of jelly - the first time we used the wibbly-wobbly substance to return an enemy's fire was one of P-100's numerous eureka moments that prove its cred as a 'proper' 'nuanced' 'action game'.

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P TO THE KINGDOM

Another of these came when we discovered the ability to tell squaddies to grab nearby automobiles and hurl them at enemies - just when we started to think that the whole mass-hero thing was fancy dressing on an otherwise standard brawler an element of micromanagement crept in, and we've barely scrabbled at the surface.

Another hint of P-100's extended ideas became apparent when we entered a warehouse during our demo, a warehouse that caused action to migrate from the big screen to our personal one. It was then up to us to use a few nearby cogs to match the number on the warehouses exterior (still visible on the TV) with the number on the back of the door blocking our way on the GamePad screen. We're sure this is but a taste of P-100's dual-screen trickery.

The demo ends in a fight with a robot a thousand times your size...

GamePad tomfoolery aside, though, the absolute best thing about P-100 is its bravery. Our brief demo saw us in street battles against massed alien scum, hiring a superhero dressed as Santa Claus, narrowly avoiding crashing aircraft, hiring a hero who wore a toilet seat on his head, and using a man-sword to pole vault over a building. But the demo ended with its most impressive spectacle: a fight with a robot a thousand times the size of one of our heroes. Our group of 50 super sorts were jostling for space on its arm as we dodged a drill, battered weak points and unscrewed the unfriendly ET's fist, before turning into an oversized hand ourselves and making an escape on the docking bay of a passing Chinook. Wow doesn't start to cover it.

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You'd think P-100 would be conservative, what with it being the sole pioneer in the mass-hero action genre, but this short demo proved it's not in any way restrained. That's brilliant. And that's what you get when you cross Platinum Games with Nintendo - unrestrained brilliance.

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