GamingReview: Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World

Review: Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World

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The Wonder Boy series is an old one, dating back to 1986. There was a time where some games were not released worldwide. There was no European Store or NA Store versions to get a hold of. Many games never left Japan even if they’d been hugely successful there, one such title was Monster World 4 the final instalment of the original series. There’s a complicated history in the legalities of the Wonder Boy branding but finally a remake of Monster Boy makes its debut in the form of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World.

In Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World Asha is given the task to free four spirits which are being held captive by evil entities. If you remember any of the previous Wonder Boy games then you may recognise some of the spirits in Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World. It’s a pretty standard story but Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World does have a very nostalgic feel to it calling back to simpler times when platform games were a simple case of running and jumping around.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is effectively a 3D platformer with a fair bit of backtracking. There is a companion called a Pepelogoo who can help you in several ways. One way it can help you is by holding you up as you do a double jump, in the modern world double jumping is an easy thing to do, in Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World it comes across a little archaic. There are other ways Pepelogoo can help you such as protecting you from falling objects or thrown onto something harmful so you can walk on it. Outside of the slighted dated but easy to lay platforming is the combat you need to get to grips with. As it’s a remake of an old game the combat is pretty limited to a couple of different strikes, combat doesn’t really add a lot to Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World just like platformers your parents may talk to you about is a hard game to master. This is old school platforming where there isn’t much degree to compensate for a slightly under hit jump. Luckily there are a lot of regenerative potions to collect on your way to help you progress. Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World currency is coins and there are plenty about which you can use. One particularly annoying trait in Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is your character does a cute little dance when they open a chest, but they do that dance every time they open a chest…… Every time! There are a various puzzles to complete in Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World which can be quite difficult to finish if you’re not particularly well versed in retro platformers.

Graphically Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World looks very cute and very bold. The colours are very bright and I really like the look of it personally. Musically there are a number of similar tracks that are played but they suite the scenes they appear on. There’s a reasonable amount of dialogue you have to get through and this part of interacting with the citizens of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is quite enjoyable. The biggest issue with Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is that whilst it is a remake its core elements do feel out of place in modern gaming.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a remake of a classic game that has remained hidden from the Western world for many years. If you enjoyed the Wonder Boy series then you may finally get some closure with Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World. However, for new players Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World isn’t that engaging, it’s cuteness will draw you in but the lack of entertainment will probably put you off after a few levels.

SUMMARY

+ Beautiful graphics
+ Old school platforming
+ Engaging characters
- Repetitive jumping
- Feels dated
- Story doesn't suck you in
(Reviewed on PS4, also available on Switch)

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