Retro Revisited: Wonder Boy in Monster Land

Welcome again all you cool cats to my favorite little spot on the interwebs. Wonder Boy in Monster Land, released on the XBLA in one of Sega’s Vintage Collections (Which are amazing!), is our highlight in this week’s Retro Revisited! Enjoy a blast from the past in this old-school platformer as you leap for hidden coins, collect legendary equipment, and enter every door possible! Right from the start, you can see the resemblance to classics like Super Mario Bros., Zelda, and Ghosts’n Goblins. You’ll also notice how…ahem…vulnerable you are as far as armor goes…

I hope that diaper is ultra-absorbent

Along your journey you’ll come across hidden coins that you can spend on new armor, magics, or drinks from your local dinosaur bartender with a bowtie. I don’t know if I’d necessarily call the world “charming” so much as “ridiculous”. Everything has a wonderful nostalgic feel to it, delivering surprises at every turn. Keep your wits about you though, for hidden doors provide the key to actually finishing the quest, if that was your plan. Every coin is precious, unless you want to be facing the Blue Knight in your undies. Luckily, when you wiggle the joystick as coins appear, you can increase the amount you get. Even better is that you have rapid fire wiggling by default on XBLA! The options menu easily allows you to map out the controller however you like, so it’s simple to assign RT as jump+rapidwiggle to achieve maximum coinage. Build up a large enough score and you’ll earn extra life hearts, but be wary, If you die your score is reset and you lose the chance of getting that next life heart. Fortunately, you can just throw another quarter in the Xbox (with LB of course!) and pick up from where you left off. To defeat the dragon (what’s with all the dragons lately?…), you’re going to need every available heart and piece of equipment you can scrounge up. Meaning you’ll be perfecting your playthrough many times on your way to his lair.

It all comes down to this…

Any fan of the platformer genre needs to give Wonder Boy in Monster Land a shot. It contains all the elements of a classic, and if you pick it up on XBLA you can get it’s two sequels in a 3-for-1 deal (Or you could just bust out your Commodore 64…yea, that’s what I thought). Have a great week everyone, see you next time!

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