“Wonder Boyyyyyyyyyyyy…..what’s the secret of your powwwwweeeeerrrrrrrrr??????”
No, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is not a video game based on Tenacious D’s classic song. Those of you who played Sega Master System in the 80’s might be familiar with Wonder Boy. I admittedly never played the Sega Master System, so this is the first time I have every played this platformer. Wonder Boy has some great elements, but overall doesn’t bring anything new to the platformer genre.
Wonder Boy (or Wonder Girl, since the developers added that option) is on a quest to become human again. In the beginning of the game, you are cursed by the Meka-Dragon and turned into a half human/half lizard monster. Of course, being a monster will not stop you from searching for a cure, right? As you play through Wonder Boy, you will explore different lands and transform into different creatures as you defeat dragons. Besides the lizard, you will eventually turn into a mouse, piranha, lion, and hawk.
These transformations play a key role in the gameplay because they will allow you to explore different areas that you may have missed. For example, the hawk and piranha will give you flight capabilities and help you swim faster. These powers, along with the others, cost you something (like health), so it keeps your character from being too overpowered. One of the best aspects of the game is the ability to go in a variety of directions and explore. Keep that in mind as you transform into these different forms. There are plenty of areas to explore, which helps the replayability of this game.
Wonder Boy is as classic of a platformer as you can get. Besides not being linear and having different powers, you will platform just like you did when the game came out in the 80’s. You will jump, swim, run, and attack enemies. Enemies have different difficulty depending on their color. As with any other platformer, you don’t want to rush things. Timing is of the essence, especially in Wonder Boy. The enemies themselves are not incredibly difficult. Like any platformer, you just need to study the patterns and attack when the opportunity arises.
I was hoping for a little more innovation, but that is difficult to do with a remake. It even features a password system that you have seen in countless games of the past. You will not find save points, unfortunately. You will always go to the town hub whenever you die. That is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want to explore an area again but as a different transformation. You will also be able to upgrade your character at the hub and throughout the game. Finding hearts is necessary because you start the game as a very weak lizard dude.
One thing that Wonder Boy does is allow you to experience the game in it’s 8 bit glory. With the push of a button, you can change the game and play it as if you were on the Sega Master System. To be honest, I switched it for literally a minute. The HD graphics and hand drawn art are absolutely amazing, so there was no need to experience the game with it’s retro graphics. Seriously, the hand drawn animations are stunning. Each character is colorful and the animations are very clean. You can try the retro graphics if you want, but I will stick with the updated animations any day of the week.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is everything an HD remake should be. The game itself was given an amazing facelift and the animation looks incredible. The platforming gameplay is the same as the original game, to a fault. The basic platforming and enemies can be a little boring at times. However, I would still recommend Wonder Boy. At $19.99, the price is pretty good. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is available on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
If you have played the game, let us know what you think in the comments below!
Note: GameOctane creator Jason Germino received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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Hand drawn animations
Beautiful color and look
Fun to explore areas with the different animal abilities
Gameplay is a little too simple
Retro graphics just don't compare to the updated animation