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- Wonder Boy - Monster's Lair -

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Wonder Boy - Monster's Lair by BMan2
Game:Wonder Boy - Monster's LairCompany:Sega
Type:PlatformPlayers:1-2

Wonderboy In Monster Lair is the 3rd game in a fairly well known and popular series. It continues with the tradition of the previous games in not only being bright, bubbly but a well constructed games for gamers of all ages. However, in doing a little gametesting for this review (just to brush up my memory - this WAS one of my favourites back in the early 90's) - I discovered something truly scary and horrible about this game.
The creators of this game - did TOO much. Wonderboy in Monster Land is FOURTEEN stages of the most difficult platforming you are ever likely to see. Each of these stages provides you with different characters and surroundings to contend with - and finally an end boss - who get progressively more infuriating to kill as you go. Now, normally, I wouldn't bitch about this - in theory 14 varying stages would constitute a theoretical masterpiece by the creators of the game - giving the gamer great lastability and a definite comeback attraction to try and beat it. However, my first and foremost philosophy with arcade gaming is that it should be theoretically possible for the player to finish the game on credit - extremely difficult - but possible.
And I'll tell you now - after playing through the ENTIRE game - fourteen stages of Wonderboy are just too much for the average gamer to endure. The gameplay - which works WONDERFULLY for the four stages my credit lasts for - drags BADLY - the patterns of enemies becoming more and more monotonous. And, if you happen to be an absolute Wonderboy fanatic - and too much is never enough - you will NEVER get to see it in the arcade without taking your life savings. Why? Because Wonderboy in Monster Lair is HARD - possibly the hardest arcade game I've played to date - and the end of level bosses just get more and more ridiculously impossible to kill as you venture onwards. This is a shame - because as I'll explain - Wonderboy in Monster Lair is a truly marvellous game in concept and technical terms.
Graphically, Wonderboy in Monster Lair is lush - with bright colours - well defined sprites and EXCELLENT collision detection - almost too good sometimes. These graphics convey the Wonderboy "feel" wonderfully - and will be nice eye-candy for the arcade gamer - as well as attract the kiddies along. Sound is appropriately aural, and further adds to the mood of the game - sliding smoothly from the "cutesy" tunes you expect from Wonderboy - to funky dramatic pieces for when the action heats up.
It pains me to do this - because as I stated - I loved this game when I was younger. It was everything an arcade game should be - exciting in short bursts, a challenge, and technically excellent. So, if quick, cheap arcade thrills are what you're after - this is your game - no question. However, if you're a serious arcade gamer who really has the hankering to beat the hell out the game you play - steer clear. This will drive you crazy before it drives you to obsession.
Graphics
9
8
Sound
Play Control
7
10
Challenge
Replay Value
5
7
Performance
1999 EmuViews