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Old 11-18-2004, 07:05 AM   #75
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,147
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Sega Genesis

Check out the HORRIBLE box art!
No wonder the game didn't sell well.

The Wonder Boy Legacy
Wonder Boy games by Sega usually mean you're going to be in for a good, addicting time. The first Wonder Boy game was not set in Monster World. It was exactly like Hudson's Adventure Island for the NES. The next Wonder Boy game was called "Wonder Boy in Monster Land" and took on a completely different style of gameplay due to the copyright issues with Hudson Soft over the first game. You had to buy armor and weapons and solve puzzles like the Sphinx asking you which game he has been playing recently (either After Burner or Missile Defense 3D). There were no save points and the game could be beaten in one sitting if you knew what you were doing. Then came "Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap". Also set in Monster World and a direct sequel of Monster Land (in fact this game let you play a simplified version of the last game's final level as a prologue), this game had you changing into different creatures with different abilities and is widely regarded as the best in the series. It added a password save function. It is also known as "Dragon's Curse" on the TurboGrafx-16. Then there was "Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair" for the Japanese Mega Drive which was also known as just "Monster Lair" on the Turbografx-16 CD-ROM. That game barely counts. It's little more than a quick diversion at best, and does not take place in Monster World. Instead it is a very weak side scroller/shooter. And here we go again back in Monster World with the aptly titled "Wonder Boy in Monster World" (also known as "Dynastic Hero" on the PC Engine), this time with battery back-up save (though with only one save slot) and Wonder Boy's first appearance on the Genesis. Wonder Boy 4, but Monster World 3. There was a Monster World 4 in Japan that was awesome, but it didn't have Wonder Boy in it. Also it is fun to watch Wonder Boy's hair color change over each game. The first 2 games he had yellow hair. The 3rd game he had green hair. And finally in this game he gets blue hair. He's just so stylin' he can't make up his mind!

Check out how Wonder Boy has progressed over the years in this gigantic composite!

Graphics: 8/10
Wonder Boy in Monster World looks pretty good, with lots of nice colors and very well drawn locales. The enemies take on the typical cartoony Monster World style and it works here again, and the human characters all have a sort of super-deformed anime look to them. In fact you'll even see cameos of creatures from past Wonder Boy games such as a large fish which was a boss in Monster Lair (Mega Drive/TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM). This is the first time in the series we get multiple scrolling backgrounds (if you don't count the Mega Drive version of Monster Lair, that is). The "HUD" that provides information at the top of your screen takes up a HUGE amount of screen real-estate unfortunately. I wish it were smaller. There's not to much else to say about the graphics except I really like the style that most of the backgrounds are drawn in, and again the use of color is superb.

Nice, colorful graphics with
typical Monster World enemies. They
are cute but deserve to die anyway.

Sound: 6/10
The sound effects all pretty much take their cue from the Sega Master System version of Wonder Boy III, and sound exactly the same here on the Genesis. Not that it's a bad thing. Some of the new original music is mostly boring, but there are a few tunes that'll have you humming. The game does dip back into the series' past games to pull a few tunes from. Most of the earlier boss battles (and the final boss) all have their music pulled from Monster Land's boss theme. A couple of bosses towards the end get the cool Wonder Boy III: Dragon's Trap's boss music, and even one tune is pulled from Monster Lair. This may come as a disappointment after the masterfully scored Wonder Boy III on the Sega Master System, which had all good music. At least it has more than 1 or 2 repetitive tunes unlike the very first Wonder Boy game. Good God that got annoying! Here we also get stereo for the first time in a Wonder Boy game (that is if you don't count the Turbografx-16's Dragon's Curse which was in stereo).

This is a sign near the very beginning of the game.
Nice of the monsters to welcome you to their world!

Gameplay: 8/10
This game has some RPG elements to it like collecting cash and buying weapons and items. As you progress new areas will open up for you to explore. This can get kind of addicting when you're trying to power yourself up as much as you can just to defeat that cool boss at the end of the cavern. The Sphinx is in this game as well, but he is not in humanoid form like in Monster Land and you never have to fight him. Also the questions that he asks don't elude to Afterburner, Missle Defense 3D or any other Sega games. Mostly it is pure side-scrolling charm with wonderful control. The magic and item usage is a bit weird. You can equip two spells or items at any given time. In order to use them you must press and hold the A button and then left or right on the D-Pad, depending on which item you want to use. Once you get used to this it's not that bad, though. You can equip different items for different occasions and even shrink down in size to enter small doorways and crevices. When you do this you bear a more-than-striking resemblance to the mouse character in Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. It packs a lot of stuff for just 4 megs, but mega-super length isn't on that list. The game is probably around 6 hours long (a bit more if you want to make sure you have EVERYTHING), maybe more (I didn't time it) and is quite rewarding. The game is never overly difficult and shouldn't frustrate you too much, but it does provide a decent and fun challenge. You probably won't want to start a new game right away once you finish it, however. You'll just be happy and put the game on the shelf, proud that you've beaten it and saved Monster World for now.

Oh noes! Wonder Boy is mega-stoned and
he sees walking 'shrooms in the town!

Wrap up:
A nice addictive 2D journey back into Monster World is always a good thing. After you're done with this one, go and get your hands on Monster World IV for the Mega Drive!

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 12-11-2005 at 11:54 PM.
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