News Article

Game of the Month: May 2012 - Monster World IV

Posted by James Newton

To arms!

It may have taken years to get here, but Monster World IV walks away with the coveted Game of the Month award for May 2012.

Monster World IV's release is significant for a number of reasons. It's the first time the game's been officially available in English, having originally released in Japan way back in 1994. We've had import games on Virtual Console before of course, but this is the first one to be fully translated.

Not only that, Wii owners were the first to play it — MWIV launched on 10th May in Europe and North America, nearly two weeks before Xbox and PS3 owners. When does that ever happen?

It's also significant because it's a great game: charming, well-written and graphically gorgeous, it's a true 16-bit gem. It might be easier than its stablemates, but it's no less enjoyable for it.

Monster World IV's one of the best ways to spend 900 Points on Wii, and was truly worth the wait, all 18 years of it.

An honourable mention must go to Mario Tennis Open, which is some of the most fun you can have playing with other 3DS owners.

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User Comments (27)

KoiTenchi

#2

KoiTenchi said:

Oh wow.

I saw the really positive review for this but didn't look at it too in depth as I really haven't played any downloadable games on my Wii in, well, years. The game looked fun from the screenshots and obviously I caught how positive the review was but I certainly didn't expect this to win game of the month...

Now I'm considering actually changing my habits and looking into downloading this on my Wii...

Perhaps I'll go look back at the review and some gameplay videos first just to make sure this is definitely up my alley.

KoiTenchi

#3

KoiTenchi said:

Not to double post, but on an added note, looking through the screenshots just now, the main character, art style and a number of other things all remind me quite a bit of Shantae, and I did enjoy Risky's Revenge quite a bit...

Does anyone know if the two play in any way similarly? Certainly I know they're the same genre essentially, but beyond that?

Pixel-Perfect

#5

Pixel-Perfect said:

Cool! I've been enjoying this myself, and I think Sega deserves major props for bringing this to us.

Kyloctopus

#7

Kyloctopus said:

On my GOTM thread I never posted anything about this for the reason that it was VC, so I never counted it.

Rawk_Hawk

#8

Rawk_Hawk said:

Well I just started this game, so I don't have many impressions so far. But like another poster said it does remind me of Shantae ,and thats a good thing if you ask me.

CanisWolfred

#9

CanisWolfred said:

Vut a twist! I'm really happy this won out. It's a really good game, and one that we've been missing out on for a long time. I was so happy when it came out that I got it for all three systems.

PixelatedPixie

#10

PixelatedPixie said:

I have to agree. Monster World IV is fantastic. My only gripes with the game were that the save points were too few and far between (which sometimes resulted in up to 20 minutes of progress being lost) and the later levels were a little too much like labyrinths for my tastes. That's me being nitpicky though, because overall the game was really enjoyable. The music in particular has really stuck with me.

PixelatedPixie

#11

PixelatedPixie said:

@KoiTenchi

I completed the game a few weeks ago. I wouldn't say that it's similar to Shantae. Now bare in mind, I've only played Risky's Revenge, but the most defining feature of that game for me was the Metroid-style temples/dungeons and the transformations (again, not unlike Metroid's power-ups). For me Monster World IV would be much more comparable to games like Wonderboy and to a lesser extent Adventure Island (which makes sense given that all three series have a family history). There are power-ups in the game but they're more along the lines of armor and sword upgrades which simply provide more defense or provide more attack damage.

KoiTenchi

#13

KoiTenchi said:

@PixelatedPixie

I have also only played Risky's Revenge, though I certainly intend to pay the original whenever it comes to the eshop.

That being said, you seemed to basically suggest that Monster World IV is different from Shantae in the style of the levels, which certainly makes sense. In addition to that, however, does the game play similarly to Shantae in other aspects of not really?

For example, are the power-ups (even if they are just attack/defense boosts) permanent things that are in your inventory forever when you get them? Or are they more like Mario or Sonic in that you lose them when you get hit and/or complete a level?

As much as I like the Metroidvania of Shantae, it certainly wouldn't in any way turn me off to hear that this is more straightforward. I'm a big fan of 2D Mario games and those are rather straightforward in their own right. Would you compare this more to a 2D Mario than to Shantae?

Chunky_Droid

#14

Chunky_Droid said:

Downloaded, love the Wonder Boy games, have yet to play it though due to playing the final Back to the Future episode :)

MetalMario

#15

MetalMario said:

@KoiTenchi: It's kinda similar to Shantae in some ways, but there are some big differences.

I would say give it a shot, though. I loved every second of this game, and I was on the edge myself before I bought it.

Basically, if you like platformers at all, you'll enjoy this.

EDIT: In response to your question, you buy items with gold (like swords, shields, and armor) and they stay in your inventory forever until you buy a different piece of equipment (if you buy a new sword, you lose your old sword, but you can almost always buy your old one back for cheaper.).

This game is also very straightforward I thought. In actual dungeons there are many branching paths, but you go straight to the dungeon, finish it, and then straight to the next. There are also many points of no return in this game. Once you finish a dungeon, you can't go back.

PixelatedPixie

#16

PixelatedPixie said:

@KoiTenchi

Yeah, MetalMario pretty much covers it.

The gameplay would be similar to Shantae in the sense that there is quite a lot of combat, the majority of which involves getting in close and dispatching enemies before you proceed. As Metal says, the power-ups are permanent so long as you don't purchase a replacement (which automatically supplants your previous equipment)l.

In terms of comparison, it would certainly be closer to Shantae than it would be to games like Mario or other left-to-right sidescrolling platformers. I don't want to get too niche here, but I would say that it's lineage goes back to 2D sidescrolling RPGs like Zelda II, Faxanadu and of course Wonderboy.

BRAINFOX

#17

BRAINFOX said:

Wasn't Ironclad translated for VC? from what I've seen, the original physical version has only Japanese text.

DarkEdi

#18

DarkEdi said:

Excellent game. I love it. I want more games like this.

@Brainfox
Ironclad is in japanese and many words in english but is a shooter and you don´t need traslate, same for Puyo Puyo but this is enterely in japanese.

A non traslate game means lazy companies, not means preserve the original game, it is a weak point for lazy programmers.

3DSLUIGI

#19

3DSLUIGI said:

Monster World IV for me is where the Wii VC really struck GOLD this year. Not just as a japanese import game, but when you go through the trouble to translate a game like that for a different region's audience who didn't get to experience it back in the day, then that's saying something imo. Overall, I was really impressed by the way this game plays. And the music, sound and graphics to me are just beautiful. I may have not beaten this game the whole way through like others have. But I'm really enjoying this game more and more everytime I load it up. As for "Game of the Month" , I say this game is TRULY WORTHY of that title and more in my book.

Bassman_Q

#20

Bassman_Q said:

I bought this game the week it got released here, and it's awesome. :) Really good for a Genesis game, and yes it does remind me a lot like Shantae. My only issues with it (as some other people have said) is that there are too few save points in the actual dungeons, and the game is a bit TOO straight-forward. There really isn't much exploration to do, as you pretty much just go to the dungeon, get through it, kill the boss, return to the hub city, and repeat with the next dungeon. If there was an overworld/more regions to explore, I think I would love it even more. That being said, this is still an excellent an awesome game (especially for an imported title!), though just not quite perfect in my eyes.

outrun2sp

#21

outrun2sp said:

Great game but for europeans the wii is a terrible platform for retro games because of 50hz

50hz neo geo
50hz nes
50hz megadrive
50hz snes

Zork2

#22

Zork2 said:

I got it. It's good! Nice graphics and sound, tight controls, and the flying rabbite is a neat twist. A lot of thought was put into it. I'd give it a 9/10.

Also picked up Metal Slug 3 today. That game is 10/10.

LeasTwanteD

#23

LeasTwanteD said:

I hope this game sells good enough to send a shining example. It would be really great to see more games brought to the West that we never thought we'd ever get. Bought it but haven't played yet. Haven't gotten Mario Tennis Open yet either, so for me game of May is Art of Balance so far. VVVVVV is only beaten so far so there's still quite some life left in it for me and i haven't played the new Mighty Switch Force levels yet. :$

JimLad

#24

JimLad said:

So an 18 year old game won Game of the Month...
Am I the only one who thinks that's a little sad?
I'm sure it deserves it, but what a sorry reflection on Nintendo's release schedule.

Alucard83

#25

Alucard83 said:

Glad i have xbox 360. bought sega vintage collection of wonderboy in monsterland. I enjoy all the 3 games! And only 800 points and fully 60hz! You can choose JP/North America or the Europe version to play! muhahaha best console ever! Wii eat dirt!

chewytapeworm

#26

chewytapeworm said:

VVVVVV is my game of the month by a country mile, but that too is a couple of years old, AND we got it after other regions did (well worth the wait though)

Was there even a GotM on this site last month? I tried looking but couldn't find anything!

sinalefa

#27

sinalefa said:

@JimLad

I would have found it even sadder if a game that still deserves GOTM 18 years later would have never made it here. Maybe Camelot should have put more content to their game.

I really need to go to the VC to get this one. I am actually happy to hear it is easier than the others, since it would be my first one.

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