The last few months I have been receiving emails about a remake of a 90’s classic. Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a reboot of the 1994 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis title Monster World IV. I remember playing this back in my teenage years and loving the 2D visuals. Now 27 years on and the remake is out and unlike other titles that have been done in recent years, this is now full 3D rendered environment with the side scrolling element from the original. Let us look and see if it lives up to the hype.
Developer: Studio: Artdink
Publisher: INN Games
Release Date: 28 May 2021
Thanks to the publisher for the review code.
Wonder Boy has been a popular gaming series. I remember playing the first title released back in 1986 and have been a fan ever since. So, I was looking forward to this remake on modern hardware and it did not disappoint. Sure, the 3D graphics made the game look a little odd, especially if you have experience of the Sega version, but the game still looked rather good. This looked better when playing on the Switch as a handheld as opposed to seeing on the big screen.
The characters were a bit hit and miss on how good they looked in 3D. Some looked amazing while others looked a bit rough around the edges. The strange thing about this was the framerate. The 30 fps made it feel at times sluggish, which the 1994 version did not have and it ran very smooth and responsive given the power of the hardware back I the day.
The script has been translated exactly from the original and this includes all mistakes from back then in the grammar. But don’t let these minor things put you off playing it as it really is fun and it more than justifies the purchase price. There are six areas and the central hub which allows Asha to upgrade and get new equipment by talking to NPC’s.
The gameplay is your typical 16-bit era affair and is quite simple. Asha has a sword which allows a single attack, a shield so that you can protect yourself from enemies and a jump which can also be a double jump to grab onto platforms and collect stuff. The game does have a steady learning curve and as you progress you will need to make more precision movements to get to areas on the level.
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a faithful remake of a 16-bit era classic title. Yes, the game does have it flaws that I covered above in the review, but these are very minor and does in no way make the gameplay any less fun. If you liked the original or just looking to get into the series, this is worth the purchase 100%.
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.