Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Wonder Boy (Sega Master System) artwork

Wonder Boy (Sega Master System) review


"You've probably heard about this game's big brothers, subtitled Monster Land and The Dragon's Trap, respectively. But this early Master System release has your character lacking a sword, armour, or any animal morphing ability. Instead, a primitive axe, grass skirt, and skateboard will all have to suffice. Even Wonderboy had to start somewhere. "



A hero's humble beginnings

You've probably heard about this game's big brothers, subtitled Monster Land and The Dragon's Trap, respectively. But this early Master System release has your character lacking a sword, armour, or any animal morphing ability. Instead, a primitive axe, grass skirt, and skateboard will all have to suffice. Even Wonderboy had to start somewhere.

If you've played any Adventure Island game, you'll know precisely what to expect. A blonde-haired bush boy takes the place of Master Higgins, but the clichéd mission to save your careless girlfriend remains the same.

Just like Higgins, our fair wonder boy starts off unarmed, lacking even the ever-popular cutesy game function: jumping on enemies to defeat them. The hero must find an egg, (yes, an egg) bump into it to crack it, and procure the axe weapon that lies within. Until you do this, you will be but a helpless manchild in a grass skirt, so get cracking (groan).

Once you've gotten the axe, you are empowered to slay tree spiders, snakes, wasps, and other outdoor pests. But axe or not, you'll still have to avoid certain hazards altogether, such as boulders, fires and falls, which all incur instant death. Oddly enough, bumping into static rocks doesn't kill you, but drains your energy.

Speaking of which, yes, this is one of those ‘vitality bar’ games. Even if you don’t take damage, and you’re standing around minding your own business, your energy will decrease by the second. This means you must always keep moving forward, collecting life-giving fruit that appears magically hung about the air as you proceed. You needn’t move along at break-neck speed--a decent clip will ensure a comfortable trip.

Something that will make your trip even more smooth is the skateboard. If you already have the axe, the next egg that would harbour one, will instead house a skateboard. Strap on that helmet and get ready for a Sonic-worthy ride through the forest and cavern locales, ignoring most of your foes as a matter of expediency. Without a doubt, riding the skateboard is the most attractive thing about playing this game. It's very fast, and very fun.

Run, skate, collect fruit, jump over rocks and from platform to moving platform, and toss axes at cutesy creatures. It’s all in the name of mindless fun, and it's simple, yet challenging. This goes on for eight worlds, each with four stages. Each world has a big boss creature guarding passage to the next, tucked away at the end of the fourth stage. After fighting the first two successfully, you will start to uncover a disturbing trend. They’re all the same! When you defeat one of them, he will be whisked away, his head changing as he goes, but his body remaining the same. While this is extremely lame, at least the attacks vary somewhat from boss to boss.

Wonderboy is a good action game for the Master System, and should provide at least a few days of colourful platformer fun--especially if you're an Adventure Island fan.

Rating: 6/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (January 12, 2004)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Marc Golding
My Hero (Sega Master System) artwork
My Hero (Sega Master System)

You play the role of The Hero, but you look like Edward Carnby, specifically from Alone in the Dark 2, right down to the blue leisure suit and pitiful death sequences. You are the strapping, golden-domed captain of the football team, enjoying a sunset with your prudish girlfriend on the beach, besotting her with...
Silent Hill HD Collection (Xbox 360) artwork
Silent Hill HD Collection (Xbox 360)

I am not enamoured of any two old games slapped together (just Silent Hill 2 and 3 in this case) being called a “collection” in the first place, especially given how easily Silent Hill 4: The Room (of the same ‘era’) could have been included for more value if not quality. Moreover, the third instal...
Silent Hill: Downpour (Xbox 360) artwork
Silent Hill: Downpour (Xbox 360)

Some might argue that the canon was lost once it left the hands of its original developers; since that time it has been passed from studio to studio, each with ingenuous intentions of making the first ‘next gen’ standout. Regrettably, that still hasn’t happened.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Wonder Boy review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Wonder Boy is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Wonder Boy, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.