The Wonderful 101 is a great game that doesn't do the world's best job of teaching people how to play it. It's very easy to miss or forget certain vital gameplay tips that the game gives, and some important things aren't explained at all. If you're just starting out, here are ten tips that will help you build a solid foundation for success later in the game.
1. Buy the Defensive Morphs
Beyond extra Wonderful Noodle Soups, the first things you should buy from the Wonderful Mart are the primary defensive morphs: Wonder Guts and Wonder Spring. These are downright necessary for avoiding damage and defeating certain enemies in the game.
Wonder Guts, in which your party becomes a giant pudding, doesn't work against every enemy attack, but it's incredibly useful against certain enemies such as tanks, which charge at your party. It can even be upgraded later on in the game to shoot out spikes and do other useful things. Wonder Spring is useful for the entire game, as it's far more reliable for avoiding attacks than simply holding down Y to dash. It can even be upgraded to leave mines behind.
2. Pay Attention to P-Star
P-Star is your little robot buddy, and he can save you a lot of time and effort when you're trying to figure out where to go next. He'll fly around your head and will often give you a holographic cue when you need to use a specific unite morph for exploration or puzzle solving. He's especially useful for avoiding attempts at hang gliding when you don't have to—trust me, you won't want to hang glide unless absolutely necessary. He'll even sometimes help you out in boss battles if you fail once or twice because you didn't pick the right weapon for the situation.
3. Practice Drawing Shapes with the Right Analog Stick
Battles in The Wonderful 101 are far too fast-paced for players to dink around with the touch screen while trying to string unite morphs together. I've found that some of the weapons (such as the gun) are easier to draw with the stick than they are on the touchscreen, anyway. When you're drawing with the analog stick, time slows down and your wonder liner turns the color of the weapon it thinks you've drawn, so if you observe carefully, you can quickly cancel and redraw should you start pulling out a whip when you meant to draw a gun.
The exception to this rule is during QTE events. Oftentimes, you can't see the wonder liner during these events, and there's plenty of time to draw the necessary morph on the touchscreen instead.
4. Don't Complete the Circle
When drawing morphs that include a circle shape (such as Wonder Hand and Wonder Hammer), don't try to close the circle completely. You'll probably overlap and mess up the game's shape recognition. Just draw the circle until your line becomes the proper color, then press A.
5. Use Items from the Pause Menu
Your touchscreen includes an item-selection icon. Unfortunately, it's a trap. You'll have to hold your stylus down on the screen for a bit before the item can be used, and it's very easy to accidentally scroll to another item while doing so. While you're fiddling with all that, you've probably had your entire army smacked around, and you'll need to use another healing item to deal with the damage you took while trying to use a healing item. Just press the + button and use the item straight from the menu screen. Then work on improving your gameplay, so you don't have to use items at all. Every item used knocks down your final score!