Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – Review

In 1986 Sega published Wonder Boy, platform that would soon give birth to one of the most important RPG platform series of the 80s-90s.

Upon its release in the arcade Wonder Boy achieved some success, so much so as to convince Sega to make a sequel called Wonder Boy in Monster Land with more RPG mechanics than a platform title.

In short, the saga would have improved more and more, thanks also to the various improvements made between one game and another. Precisely because of this, the series saw one of its greatest moments of glory with the sequel to the third title of Wonder Boy, that is, Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap.

The game started from the end of Wonder Boy 3. After the final battle the protagonist was cursed and transformed into an anthropomorphic lizard and from then on, he found himself having to go around the island in order to recover his human form.

To learn more about Wonder Boy : The Dragon’s Trap we invite you to read ours review of the remake released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch in 2017.

After Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap, unfortunately the series began to suffer a rapid decline and saw its last chapter in the now distant 1994. For many years the saga was considered dead, then thanks to the success of the remake and to pay homage to the 30 years of the series, in 2018 it came out Monster Boy.

One year after its release on consoles, Monster Boy also lands on PC.

Will the Game Atelier team manage to create an excellent porting of the title, as well as offer us a sequel to Wonder Boy capable of keeping up with the previous chapters? Find out with us, through our review!

A beginning that is very reminiscent of Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap

The story opens with our protagonist, Jin, who is intent on fishing, when at a certain point he sees a strange figure in the distance that as it passes by shrinks a ship that was nearby.

The strange figure is approaching us, it is Nabu: Jin's uncle. Recognizing his uncle, the protagonist decides to chase him to better understand what is happening. After getting armed and walking a short distance, he will meet a little dragon who he turns out to be his little brother Zeke.

Jin will ask Zeke why this looks. His brother will tell him that he is not the only human being in that state, it seems in fact that Nabu is transforming all the inhabitants of the island in animals through the use of a strange magic wand.

Jin then decides to head to the lighthouse, the last place where his uncle was seen, to stop him and prevent him from doing any more damage. Once he reaches the place, he will face a huge octopus, magnified by his uncle.

Our protagonist will be able to defeat him, but just when everything seemed to be resolved, he will be hit by a spell from Nabu and turned into a pig.

After exiting the sewers, where he fell after the fight, he will discover that the only way to become human and stop his uncle is to find all the gems scattered around the island.

A platform with elementi Rpg

Just like in Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap, the exploration of the game zones will be influenced by the various transformations of the protagonist, obtainable through the completion of the dungeons.

Within these we will find ourselves having to solve various puzzles through the use of the skills related to the transformations in our possession. For example in the sewers we will have to use our basic form to discover hidden elements of the scenario and then continue.

Venturing inside the dungeons you will face a mini boss and a boss which, once defeated, will make us obtain various items.

In the case of the mini boss we will get basic equipment, while the real boss will give us a crystal that will allow us to take on another form.

The fights with these are well designed and not too simple, forcing us to use, almost always, every resource in our possession, the skills and transformations that we have just obtained.

Turnips and power ups

Wandering around the island it may happen that we come across some snuff. By eating them we will get some incantations that we can use through our pig shape.

At the beginning we will have only the fire spell available, but by recovering the various turnips we will be able to exploit gods tornado, to launch boomerang or also bombs, so as to open up various passages in the scenarios.

Around the world they can be obtained, through in-depth exploration of dungeons and the completion of main quests, too new skills for other transformations. Some examples are the charge upwards for the lion form, or, the double jump.

Sub quests and merchants

In the main city there will be several NPC with which we will be able to dialogue to accept sub quest. Many of these can be completed through the use of our transformations and will make us obtain useful items for upgrading equipment, money or scores.

Within the city and around the world there will be various merchants and blacksmiths, from which it will be possible to buy potions, restore life, reload spells and finally buy new equip. The latter can be enhanced by the blacksmith thanks to the use of specific materials around the world.

By upgrading the equipment or wearing an entire set of armor it is possible to unlock special bonuses, such as greater resistance to fire damage, the ability to glide, to be able to parry magical attacks and more.

Technical sector

On a technical level, Monster Boy boasts of excellent artistic direction. The scenarios and characters are very colorful and the character design is really valid. In fact, you will hardly find a weapon very similar to another or you will meet some NPCs equal to another.

The sound sector proves to be truly excellent, thanks to OSTs that are well blended with the environment and very catchy, so much so that they can get into their heads and never be forgotten.

In conclusion

Monster Boy proves to be a platform RPG really good, thanks to a fairly interesting story, missions capable of making the player use everything he has and of course the diversified and valid bosses.

Thanks to all this Monster Boy is the worthy heir to Wonder Boy The Dragon's Trap even managing to almost equal it.

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