Initial release date: May 28th, 2021
Developer: Artdink Series: Wonder Boy Publishers: ININ Games, Artdink, G Choice, United Games Entertainment GmbH Genres: Platform game, Fighting game, Action-adventure game Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
"Review Copy Provided By PR Hound and ININ Games"
The Wonder Boy franchise was one of Sega’s premier franchises up there with Alex Kidd, Shinobi, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage which were their answers to many of the heavy hitters from Nintendo. Wonder Boy has seen many different entries that have recently been either remade or had entirely new entries added and it most definitely seems like we’re in the resurgence of the franchise and I’m all for it! In 2021, we have a remake of the 1994 Sega Genesis classic Monster World IV in Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World which as from the ground up remake of the original with all new graphics, improved gameplay and more. Does this remake live up to the original and is it worth diving into? Let’s find out!
The story stars Asha who hears the spirits whisper on the winds pleading for her to help them and so she embarks on a journey to help them.
It’s a 1994 game so don’t expect much in the way of a deep plot.
This game is deceptively DEEP. When you start the game, you may assume that there isn’t much to the game due to only being able to jump, attack, and block; you can also run if you double tap left or right (which the game doesn’t tell you). Speaking of what the game doesn’t tell you, there are so many game mechanics that you will have to figure out from either trial and error or utilizing the hint/tips section when you pause the game as this is a very decidedly old school game in a new generation of paint, albeit, not on the extreme case of Wonder Boy and The Dragon’s Trap with its massive difficulty curve.
The controls are fairly simple with you having a button for jump, attack, block (although you can press down to block as well) call your companion Pepelogoo (more on that in a moment), and utilize your Magical Hit powered up attack. Most enemies will go down to one or two swipes from your sword initially and you can even do variations on how you attack with it by either attacking directly upwards by pressing up and attack or straight downwards by pressing down and attack. You will be able to block the majority of attacks without taking any damage as the enemies at the beginning of the game are exceptionally easy to take on yet become increasingly more difficult and numerous as you progress. If you jump at most enemies when they are not attacking, then Asha will end up rebounding off of them and performing a flip giving you some distance to plan out your next set of attacks.