If you have played Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap on the Master System you will know exactly what to expect here. The Wonder Boy series is famed for its confusing naming conventions; to clear it up this is the last Wonder Boy game on the Megadrive to get a release outside of Japan. It features a mixture of platforming action and RPG elements which make this a game you can really get your teeth stuck into and enjoy for some time.
Vicious beasts have invaded Monster World and settled in quite comfortably, so it’s up to you to save the day. As this is not just a basic platform game there are a variety of options at your disposal. Players can improve their armour, boots, and weapons throughout the quest, with eight available upgrades for each. There are six types of magic, including Fire Storm, Thunder, and Quake. Health-replenishing items are available for purchase, and the life meter can be extended by finding heart containers. By visiting the local Inn, the player can save the game and restore health.
You will need to talk to the villagers in order to obtain crucial items and information. While some items and weaponry are awarded to the player upon completing various tasks, most upgrades are purchased at weapon and item shops. Currency is abundant, as gold coins fly from fallen foes. Enemies respawn several times in most areas, making it more difficult to traverse, but the player is awarded by a bounty of money. At times it can be slightly irritating as there can be some frivolous backtracking, and facing the same enemies again and again may grow tiresome.
The graphics are beautiful, with lush, scrolling backgrounds, a bright color palette, and a good amount of detail. The sprite animations are quite good, and the end result gives the game a unique feel, submerging players in this fantastical land. Complementing the delightful visuals is an even more impressive soundtrack. It has an orchestral feel to it, and each area in the game has its own music. The music really sets the mood for the adventure, which is most enjoyable.
Wonder Boy in Monster World is a worthy addition to the Virtual Console library. Action and RPG elements are rarely combined with as much success as in this game. For the princely price of 800 Wii points you could do a lot worse than taking a chance on this.