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Diehard GameFAN: Wonder Boy in Monster Land Review

DHGF: Wonder Boy in Monster Land is a historically significant game for the franchise, and it’s fun enough decades after the fact, but it shows its age in notable ways, and it’s really not the best game Sega could have picked for the Vintage series. The plot is bare bones (though there are some mild gameplay options to make up for this) and the game looks and sounds fine enough, to be sure. The mechanics are simple to understand, but the game has a lot of really great ideas for its time, like equipment upgrades, hidden locations and subquests in a platformer, that are really innovative and cool to see in a game from the eighties. There’s depth to the product in the multiple difficulty customization options, as well as finding the hidden items, earning the Trophies, and playing around with the added content, giving the game a decent amount of long term value beyond the initial playthrough. However, the game combines a “search for stuff” mentality with a time limit gimmick that makes things frustrating, missing hidden secrets can leave you massively unprepared for the final battle, infinite continues or not, and the linearity and odd mechanical spottiness issues don’t help the game.

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