• The Wonder Boy series has has quite the sordid history, especially since many of the entries had completely different names on different platforms. Some of them are even licensed re-skins, or were made into their own series. But Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of the Sega Master System game of the same name, although there is also a version on the Turbo Grafx/PC Engine called Wonder Boy III:The Dragon’s Trap. But even though The Dragon’s Trap is more or less the same game, sometimes a good coat of paint is all you really need.

    The story is a simple one. You start in the end of the Wonder Boy in Monster Land’s ending, ready to finally defeat the evil Mecha Dragon at their castle. But before that, you can choose to play as Wonder Boy, or the new Wonder Girl, for those that want that option. Representation is important, so it’s nice to see a developer being considerate. Anyway, once you defeat a rather easy Mecha Dragon, he curses you to the form of a lizard person. Now your quest is to travel the land, looking for a way to remove the curse.

    Through the course of the game, you’ll find new forms to transform into to get through the world’s obstacles, and find treasure like new weapons, armor, and money to buy other gear, as this is of course, an action RPG. There are no level ups, with your stats being attack and defense power. And these stats fluctuate based on which form you are currently are in. There are health power ups, which are instant,unlike Zelda. In fact, you could say that this game plays better than The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Areas are small, but the world is interconnected without the need of an overworld map section with pseudo random battles. Just straight and simple action. You attack with your sword or items, jump, or use each forms skills to make it through the game. And all of this is benefited greatly by the beautiful new artwork and music. But if players want the retro aesthetic, you can flip the visuals with the second right trigger button. And items can be quick-swapped with the bumpers. But if you want to switch the music and sound effects, you’ll have to dive into the menu. Too bad the buttons under the analog sticks aren’t used for those swaps.

    If there were any flaws with the game, they would lie in the original game. The remake really does feel like an HD filter more than it does it’s own engine. Hit detection is a bit wonky, and saving in the game is done automatically, but with no prompts. Otherwise, you can switch to retro mode and use passwords. It’s also worth noting that the retro filter is based only on the Sega Master System version. There are no options for a PC Engine filter, which is a bummer. And much like the original game, your attacks can be a bit hard to pull off because of their terrible range. Of course learning to work within these limitations is a part of the challenge, but it would have been nice to see tweaks to at least HD mode. But Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a nice refresh of the original, and retro fans will love this gem.

    Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap - Review
    A rice remake of the classic Sega Master System and PC Engine game, with a beautiful fresh coat of paint, warts and all.
    Our Score8.5
    • The old passwords from the original work in this version.
    • The artwork and music are great.
    • The retro filters are only of the SMS version.
    8.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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