Wonder Boy IV was originally released in 1994 for the SEGA Mega Drive, at the time the game didn’t make it over to the States. America only got a small taste of this title when the SEGA mini released in 2019, but it wasn’t a glorious remake. Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World is a frame by frame remake of this classic 90’s title.
For this remake SEGA was intelligent enough to bring back the creator of the original game, Ryuichi Nishizawa. He is joined by Maki Ōzora with character design, Shinichi Sakamoto with amazing music, and Takanori Kurihara as the creative manager. SEGA did put lightening in a bottle, I’ve never been a huge fan of platformers, other than Super Mario, and I really enjoyed Wonder Boy.
You play as Asha who is recruited to free the four sprits who have been captured by pure evil. As you release each spirit you learn more and more about the evil that trapped them. You get to meet very colorful characters in the town and to explore many areas where you new friend, the blue Pepelogoo help you out of some jams.
Seeing as this is a platformer there really isn’t a deep, tear jerking story attached to it. You play this game for the amazing gameplay and the challenge that some of these platformers can bring. Thankfully for my pathetic self there was an “easy” mode option so that I could get through the game without damage to my stress levels. I will say that even on “easy” I died a few times with the bosses.
This game does have slight RPG elements to it, you can find better weapons, shields and charms that will help you on your way. I lucked out and bought the Flame Resistance shield before I went to the lava level, I had no idea lava was next. Once I was done with that level I bought the Frost Resistance shield. You find great equipment that will make your journey all the more easy.
Seeing as the story isn’t one of those groundbreaking tales, the controls and mechanics are usually what brings fans to platformers. The controls in this game are tight and will not cause you any tantrums. To jump all you need to do is press X, once you hatch your Pepelogoo you can double jump if you’re holding him with R1, just press X again.
The Pepelogoo is very useful in your travels, he does more than just help you double jump. If you hold onto him when you jump you can glide over lava and such. R1 will throw your little Pepelogoo and when you do this he can hit switches that you normally wouldn’t reach, and can sit on top of lava streams so that you can use them as a means of travel.
If you come to a point of interest in the story then you will prompted to press Triangle, this opens chests, doors and the like. Once in combat Square is attack, you WILL need to block in this game, so depending on your play style you can block by pressing down on the thumbstick or L1. Combat can sometimes be tricky with the bosses, you’ll need to watch for patterns and such.
I LOVE cel shaded games, if a developer decides to cel shade a game it means the game will be timeless. Just look at The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, that game looks amazing to this day on the GameCube, without playing the Wii U’s HD version.
Titles that look like these will look great even twenty years from now. But that’s not all that really deserves praise, the areas are clever and designed very well as you try to free all the spirits. They pop off the screen and just look amazing. The voice acting is great, every character is unique and actually cares about delivering their lines.
I also loved the music, Sakamoto’s music is great and I found myself stopping to just listen to it once I had cleared an area of enemies. Not a lot of games make me do that, mostly Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy games have me pause for a moment. I tend to listen to video game music more than current music.
Once again, not being a HUGE platformer guy, I REALLY enjoyed this game. The look, the music and the controls were all amazing. I will be honest that sometimes reviewing certain game genres you aren’t really into or are bad at can get frustrating and a chore. Every time I powered up my PlayStation 4 I was excited to dig deeper and deeper into this title.
There was so much to explore, find and upgrade that I found myself looking around every corner for more “teardrops” that would raise my “heart” bar once I found ten. I would hunt for potions cause I was too cheap to buy them. I really enjoyed my time with this game, there was just enough RPG in it to keep me interested.
If you’re a fan of platformers with some RPG elements, a long time fan of the Wonder Boy series or just have a love for games that are charming and cute, play this title! You will not be disappointed at all, plus if you buy certain versions of the game you can get the original to download and enjoy as well. Sometimes you just need some 16-bit action in your life!
The digital version of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World can be purchased from the Nintendo and Sony stores and is published by STUDIOARTDINK.
The boxed retail version of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World comes exclusively with the original Monster World IV published by ININ Games
This review is based on a key provided by the publisher
Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World
Wonder Boy IV has been remastered for a whole new generation of platformer lovers. This time titled, Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World. Does it have the charm of the original 1994 version?
- Very colorful and vibrant game
- This is a great frame by frame remake of the original game
- Music is amazing and keeps your toes tapping
- The game is very repetitive
- Not a lot of replay value that I see