04/06/2021

⚔️๐Ÿ›ก️๐Ÿงž‍♂️ Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World | PS4 | Review | 7/10 | "A Fun Frolic Through The Missing Link Of My Wonder Boy Journey" ⚔️๐Ÿ›ก️๐Ÿงž‍♂️ @WonderBoyWild @ININ_Games

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Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is essentially a remaster of the original 1994 Wonder Boy IV for modern consoles.

A few years back we had the return of Wonder Boy when The Dragons Trap came out to critical acclaim and now we are looking at Asha’s turn in the limelight!


Wonder Boy has featured heavily in my gaming education over the years as one of my first gaming memories was playing Wonder Boy on my cousin’s commodore 64 back in the 80s and then my first game on my SEGA Master System was Wonder Boy in Monster Land which I purchased from the classified ads in the local paper. More recently I played the remake of Dragons Trap which was a delight and really well made.


I love to see these remasters and remakes when they are done right and I’m happy to report that Wonder Boy Asha in Monster World has been done to near perfection with a dash of peppercorn sauce, peas and creamy mash potato.

The thing that I found most intriguing about this game is that even though its a remake, I never actually played the original when it came out as it was a Japan-only release and therefore rather than a remake this feels like a brand new entry in the Wonder Boy franchise which for me is really exciting to see.


The other exciting thing with this remake is that it has been developed by the original members of Westone Bit and led by none other than its original creator, Ryuichi Nishizawa. 


He was supported by Maki ลŒzora for character design, Shinichi Sakamoto, who created the new and improved music and sound effects that accompany Asha’s adventures and Takanori Kurihara was brought in as creative manager to complete the dev dream team.

With this approach, the dev team really set themselves up to succeed in capturing every Wonder Boy fan’s memory of how this game played out in their heads.


With this being a remake the story of the game remains true to the original 1994 version.

Asha has to free the four spirits being confined by evil forces whose origin she discovers throughout her journey. 


Luckily, she does not have to face this adventure alone, as early on she finds her new companion, a special blue Pepelogoo.


Whilst firing this up for the first time I fell head over heels in love with the cell-shaded 3D graphics that popped brightly from my PS4 screen.

We’re also treated to voice acting of the main characters which is in Japanese and voiced by the popular voice actress Ai Fairouz and this really adds to the atmosphere of the game.


The gameplay is obviously classic Wonder Boy platforming and fighting with light RPG elements such as armour, shields and weapon upgrades. 


The thing with this type of gameplay is that it’s simple but so much fun. I really enjoyed wandering around the hub world opening up new secrets as I discovered chests of loot and other hidden items before setting off on my adventure to face up to the baddies. 


The only thing that wasn’t as intuitive as it could have been was the use of the shield as you have to pull down on the d-pad or analogue stick to put your shield up but after a while, this did become easier.

The other thing to remember is that now you can save in-game at any time but remember to save often as the game will not autosave for you. 


One other drawback to the game and maybe something that you cannot truly address in a remake is the length of the game as it comes in at the short side and will only last most a few hours. But for me, this playtime is perfect for a retro feeling platformer and any longer and may outstay its welcome.

Something to consider for some is the price tag for this game as it feels a little pricey for what you are getting. You do get the original game thrown in with the Physical editions but the price still seems slightly high to me and it feels like a £20 game rather than a £30 game. If you are not so keen on the franchise but love puzzle platform battling then maybe wait for a sale in your favourite e-shop.


Right, I’m off to talk to an old guy with a beard about saving my game.


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