developed by Westone, published by SEGA / 1994.04.01, 2012.05.10
1 player / 2 save slots / Genesis (Megadrive), Wii, PS3, Xbox 360
SEGA has finally published an English version of Monster World IV, the final entry in the Wonder Boy series (originally released for the Genesis / Megadrive in 1994). In this game the titular hero Wonder Boy has been replaced by a gypsy girl named Asha (which explains why Wonder Boy isn’t in the title), but it otherwise retains the action-adventure flavor the series is known for.
It is now available as a download for the Wii’s Virtual Console (900 Wii points or $9) and the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for around $5 (Nintendo’s price brackets are more rigid and out-of-whack than the other consoles).
Similar in style to other 2D adventure games (such as Zelda 2, the Dragon Slayer series, and the sidescrolling Ys games), you’ll jump on platforms, slash enemies to ribbons, and solve puzzles in mazes. Along the way you’ll collect gold to upgrade your equipment and find items that are needed to progress. Combat is very simple: like in Zelda 2 you can stab upward and downward when jumping, and pull out your shield by holding down to defend yourself. Each enemy has its own unique patterns that can be memorized to help you dispatch them more easily.