Platform(s): Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Gene(s): Action, RPG
Publisher: ININ Games/STUDIOARTDINK
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is the wonderfully updated version of the same game that was released for the Sega Megadrive in 1994. It’s updated for modern generation consoles while keeping the gameplay and general charm of the game intact. It is a throwback to old school RPG action games from the early 90s.
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is an action-adventure RPG that remains faithful to the original title but has spruced up graphics and brings it into the modern console generation. While the graphics don’t match the levels of AAA titles, it does a great job of making them fit for this generation of gamer. At its heart, it is a platformer with RPG elements thrown in, you navigate numerous dungeons, solve puzzles and extract information from multiple characters in each environment. It follows the classic platformer game mechanics of collecting coins, kills enemies, dodges pitfalls, traps and progresses to more complex levels.
The level design of action elements, platformer sections and puzzles are densely packed into each area which consists of a lot of dungeons. The platform and puzzle mechanics are the standouts for me, they have managed to replicate the original but improve them as well. The controls are responsive and you always feel in total control.
Each dungeon and environment has been rendered using a mix of 2D and 3D animation which gives the levels and dungeons a bigger sense of scale. Asha and Pepelogoo, her companion, are vivid with the use of bright colours to bring their personalities to life. The use of vivid colours brings each area and dungeon to life too. Levels have multiple planes and you navigate them to find power-ups or items required to further your quest. The characters are rendered in a wonderful cartoon style that is thematically present throughout the game. The diverse areas and the cartoony graphics give this game a real modern look and feel which sets the stage for compelling gameplay.
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a wonderful recreation of the classic action RPG game released back in 1994. The developers have done a fantastic job of upgrading it and improving the controls to make it more responsive. The use of modern generation graphics breathes new life into this excellent platformer. Even if you haven’t played the original, there is plenty here for newcomers. If you are familiar or semi-familiar with the original, this version is a wonderful upgrade and a way to relive the nostalgic era of classic platformers. The game is bright, lots of fun and challenging in many ways. It was sheer joy to play a game that wonderfully updated the original game and revisited this old school platform RPG game from the 90s.
The boxed retail version of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World comes exclusively with the original Monster World IV published by ININ Games. So you can relive the glory days of the original.
The digital version of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World can be purchased from the Nintendo and Sony stores and is published by STUDIOARTDINK.