As a young kid growing up and trying to adjust to life there was always one keen interest and that was, and always will be, video games. My very first video game system was the SEGA Master System II. Which I got at a very young age. I’ll admit I was not used to playing video games and everything around it was very much new to me. One of the most memorable memories I have when first playing the SEGA Master System II was with a game known as Wonder Boy.
I always remembered as a young kid that Wonder Boy was one of the most difficult games that I had ever encountered. Not surprisingly I never really did get that far with it. Despite that though the game still managed to become a nostalgic and fond memory. I guess it goes to show that even the most unsuspecting titles can take still take hold and have a place within your heart. Wonder Boy certainly did that.
Back then Wonder Boy was published and developed by SEGA. At least on console. Though, originally Wonder Boy was an arcade title that was developed by a company known as Escape. It was released back in 1986. However, many years later and thanks to companies such as ININ Games, Ratalaika Games, and Bliss Brain. We can now relive those happy and fond memories with the recent release of the Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection.
The Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection comes with many of the Wonder Boy titles, including; Wonder Boy, Wonder Boy In Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Monster World II, Monster World III, and Monster World IV. The latter of which I had never even heard of before. Still, with that said, having become somewhat of a nostalgic fan of the original Wonder Boy I was actually really interested to know where the series went after that. To see what differences where made, what improvements had been done. All of this sparked keen interest for me.
I’ll be honest Wonder Boy has certainly changed too from its original roots. Introducing new and much loved characters, slightly different takes on combat. Still, despite these changes, they still remain true to some degree to the original.
In this case, they are still very much platform titles. The genre has never changed. Neither has the difficulty. Having to jump the various platforms, sometimes in a sense of urgency due to time constraints, its all very anxiety inducing at times. Though I was never great at platform titles to begin with. I am merely someone who was eager to relive those childhood years and to solve those burning questions of what ever happened to the Wonder Boy series.
I often wondered why it could never live up to the standards of other platform titles such as Mario, Sonic, and many others. The Wonder Boy series seems to be an underrated gem that most people probably have never even heard of before. Its unfortunate really. How these games have dropped off from many people’s radar.
Thankfully I was lucky enough to get a free code for the Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection and I was not disappointed. Not only does the collection come with many of its Wonder Boy titles but they also come with the ability to play them all in their unique and different versions. After all, most of which have seen ports to many different platforms since their original release. Take the original Wonder Boy for example, it first started out as an Arcade title before then releasing on the SEGA Master System, Game Gear, SG-1000, and more. So if you, like me, enjoyed it on a particular platform then you will still be able to play that version. In doing so we get to continue the enjoyment of riding on the amazing ‘nostalgia train’. Choo! Choo!
Every game comes with all of their memorable levels, stages, and of course those delightful soundtracks. Yes, the original Wonder Boy certainly did make me weak. Though I might never have got far with it as a young child, the music was something else that still managed to stay with me.
The Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection is certainly a trip down memory lane. I look forward to playing more of it and discovering more of what the other titles have to offer, outside of the original Wonder Boy. Of course. For those who might be hesitant but still interested in playing these delightful platform titles than don’t. This title is very much worth it. Even if you are new to the series. If you enjoy challenging platform titles then you really don’t want to miss out on these hidden gems.
Each game is fully playable, comes with everything you would expect and more. There is not much in the way of needing to unlock anything. All of the titles are available right from the start. So feed that platforming and/or nostalgic itch.
Embrace what the old and much more challenging classic titles had to offer.
In total there is 6 beloved titles all waiting to be loved and played within this single game. Making for countless hours of fun and enjoyment. Oh and hardship, for those that think that they are ready for the challenge! Move out of the way Crash Bandicoot 4, Wonder Boy is back!
Publisher: Bliss Brain
Release Date: January 26th, 2023
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5
Genre: Platformer. Adventure
Main Story Length:
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 4
Overall Rating: 4/5
*Code Kindly Provided By Publisher For Review*