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Review: Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World – A Fine Revival, Faithful To A Fault

No boys allowed.

It’s been a beautiful time for Sega revivals as of late, with games like Streets of Rage 4 and Panzer Dragoon: Remake bringing back old classics. One of the most prolific has been Westone’s Wonder Boy/Monster World series, which has seen no less than three entries – first, a remake of the Master System game The Dragon’s Trap from 2017; a brand-new entry called Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom in 2019; and now in 2021, a remake of the Mega Drive game Monster World IV. A big difference to note is that the first two games were produced by French companies (Lizardcube and Game Atelier, respectively), while this new remake, titled Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World, comes from original developer Ryuichi Nishizawa and the team at Artdink. While the other games also opted for pure 2D graphics, this one uses cel-shaded polygonal visuals for 2.5D gameplay.

Monster World IV was originally released on the Mega Drive back in 1994, being the direct follow-up to the game known in English as Wonder Boy in Monster World. Despite being one of the most gorgeous looking games on the system, Sega passed on an English localization, and for a long time, it was really only known to import game fans. However, in 2013 it received an official English translation as part of the Sega Vintage Collection for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, and was also included on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Mini console in 2019.

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