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Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom |OT| A Wonder of 8/16-Bit Style Platforming

Kazza

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Developed by Game Atelier in collaboration with original series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa, this spiritual successor to the Wonderboy games is out now on Switch/PS4/Xbox for $39.99/£34.99/€39.99 (a Steam version will arrive early next year - so long as it's not poached by the Epic Games Store, that is) - UPDATE: it's now out on steam



ABOUT THE GAME:

A legendary series returns with a grand new adventure!
Enjoy a colorful action-adventure game made alongside Ryuichi Nishizawa, creator of the original Wonder Boy in Monster World series.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom borrows the best from the classic series to deliver a fresh, modern adventure with fun gameplay, memorable music and gorgeous hand drawn animations.
Can Jin save Monster World Kingdom? Help our young hero defeat challenging enemies, discover hidden locations, upgrade powerful equipment, and more! You'll also unlock special forms with unique skills used to open new paths where mighty bosses and secret treasures await.
Feature Overview:

  • Six awesome forms with unique combat and platforming abilities to make your adventure exciting from start to finish.
  • Unlock new paths and secrets with special equipment: look for magic weapons and items that gradually open up the world.
  • Over 15 hours of epic adventure: explore the new Monster World in a vast interconnected environment.
  • Hand Drawn animations: characters and enemies come to life with detailed animations and fun facial expressions.
  • Soundtrack from iconic Japanese composers: Yuzo Koshiro, Motoi Sakuraba, Michiru Yamane, Keiki Kobayashi and Takeshi Yanagawa.



For a little background on the history of this series, I can't recommend this strafefox video enough:



FAQ:

Q: Wasn't this already released last year?

A: No, that was the remake of the Master System game, Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap. This is an entirely new game.

Q: Isn't this a little expensive? Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap was only £14.99/$19.99!

A: As noted, this is a brand new game, not a remake of an 8-bit game. It's also pretty lengthy, with around 15 hours of gameplay.


Reviews

Not many so far (despite having been released on the 4th of December), but it has Metacritic scores in the mid-80s so far over the 3 platforms. Two video reviews here:


 
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Kazza

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As someone waiting on the Steam version, I don't have any opinion to offer on the game as yet. Looking forward to everyone's impressions.
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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I made a review of the game, it was published on the day of release. This is a French review by the way.
http://www.sega-mag.com/test-Monster+Boy+and+the+Cursed+Kingdom-Switch-6411.htm

If I had to sum it up, I found that it was a good entry for the series. Well designed, well crafted. You can feel that a lot of love and thought were put in the game.

Visually and musically, the game is fine, but I found it inferior to Dragon's Trap remake. I was disappointed by the soundtrack : it is definitely good, but when you have 5 or 6 composers behind it, the expectations are high. The only tracks that really shine are those from Michiru Yamane, in my opinion.

The game is lengthy and my main grip with it is that I did not get what I was used to from this series (and I love this series). The previous entries were really oriented towards action/platforming and only a few puzzles. In Monster Boy, you are going to spend hours solving puzzles. To the point where the action/platforming part becomes negligible, making all the equipment not very useful (at least the offensive possibilities of the equipment).

I guess that some people (and newcomers to the series) will prefer the game this way, but as a long time fan, I did not. The urge to replay the older games to get my action fill was great after finishing Monster Boy.

Still recommended, of course. But not at that price. 40$/€ is way overpriced.
 

HyGogg

Banned
Jan 11, 2016
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This game was so much better than I was expecting. I was excited for it because I'm a huge fan of the series, but this is a great game on its own merits. I'd say any fans of Metroidvania-style games should check it out. Bonus points if you're a fan of Shantae or 2D Zelda games.

It does feel a bit like a mash up of elements from the past games, and there are a TON of mechanics and abilities to unlock. There are the equipment-based abilities of MW3, plus the transformations from MW2, each with a couple special traversal abilities. It can be a little overwhelming. The level design is definitely clever and puzzle-centric, but I've been really impressed with the puzzles thus far. Hard enough to make me scratch my head and feel a little frustrated, but never so hard I couldn't figure it out.

Despite a big puzzle focus, there's also a lot of action and it can be quite challenging at times. The checkpoints are close together, which eases frustration, but there are parts that felt tough. There isn't the same kind of floaty precision platforming of WB3, though, it has a tighter, heavier feel, somehwere beteween MW3 and 4. Certainly more modern-feeling.

I'm really loving it. It's probably the best indie game of 2018 in my opinion.
 

Al3x1s

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Nov 24, 2018
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Steam says Q1 2019 :(

Can't wait, looks very good and even visually it improved a ton from the initial videos, it's very charming now. The other company's remake obviously had the benefit of being "just" a remake, not having to design anything new whatsoever, though its visual style which you can alternate on the fly with the original graphics is certainly really really well done and also better than most 2D remakes of the sort.
 
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HyGogg

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Jan 11, 2016
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Steam says Q1 2019 :(

Can't wait, looks very good and even visually it improved a ton from the initial videos, it's very charming now. The other company's remake obviously had the benefit of being "just" a remake, not having to design anything new whatsoever, though its visual style which you can alternate on the fly with the original graphics is certainly really really well done and also better than most 2D remakes of the sort.
Yeah, the two games serve very different intents. Dragon's Trap is there to honor this classic and show the world what an amazing game it always was. It isn't there to "fix" it, it's there to bring it to a new audience.

Monster Boy is very much a new game. It pays homage to the original,. but it isn't particularly concerned with authenticity either. Fans will love it, but it has a lot to offer newcomers as well.
 

Kazza

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Good news on sales for the game, as the publisher has announced that sales have already passed the 50k mark:


While 50k may not seem a lot, it's not bad for a small 2D platformer priced at £34.99 (which is significantly higher than other 2D games, for example The Messenger and Sonic Mania).

They also confirmed that the Switch is the best selling platform, so far at least.
 

Ennosuke

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Jul 17, 2014
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I have it on my list for the Switch. I am really into the look of the game and the gameplay looks really fun. I miss these kind of games. Unfortunately my backlog is huge, it would be a waste to buy it now in this context. But great to hear that it ia doing well.
 

Ichabod

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Great OT. I guess I never heard of the WB series because I was a SNES kid in the 90s. That Hudson Soft Adventure Island connection blew my mind.
 

mikespit1200

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I'm stuck at the cloud kingdom. I just got the cloud boots but I don't know how to get to the next way point. The last form I got was lion. Any ideas?
 

zenspider

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May 9, 2016
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Thanks for the OT! Might be worth noting - the physical copy has a beautiful full color manual.

I loved what I played so far (around 3 hours). Nails the feel of the series but feels like something genuine and new. The music is a real pleasant surprise, and the animation is phenomenal. I thought I'd hate this title's style after Dragon's Trap, but I'm genuinely torn.

I had troubles with amazon.com on my end, and this ended up shipping a day before Smash Ultimate, which now owns my soul. Can't wait to dig in more.

PROTIP: The 'Ring Menu [ON]' option is counter-intuitive. It brings up a static menu. Turned [OFF] you can 'tap' to switch spells on the fly, or 'hold' to bring up the radial, switch, and 'release' back to game. It feels really good and should be the default.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Apr 18, 2018
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Thanks for the OT! Might be worth noting - the physical copy has a beautiful full color manual.

I loved what I played so far (around 3 hours). Nails the feel of the series but feels like something genuine and new. The music is a real pleasant surprise, and the animation is phenomenal. I thought I'd hate this title's style after Dragon's Trap, but I'm genuinely torn.

I had troubles with amazon.com on my end, and this ended up shipping a day before Smash Ultimate, which now owns my soul. Can't wait to dig in more.

PROTIP: The 'Ring Menu [ON]' option is counter-intuitive. It brings up a static menu. Turned [OFF] you can 'tap' to switch spells on the fly, or 'hold' to bring up the radial, switch, and 'release' back to game. It feels really good and should be the default.
Thanks for the tip! The latter option sounds much more convenient. I'll be sure to make the switch when I finally dig into the game (which is sitting beneath the tree :messenger_kissing_smiling::messenger_musical:)
 

zenspider

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OT inspired me to play last night. Got the second form - so good!

This really feels like the perfect blend of what Wonder Boy has to offer.

The lighting of the hand-drawn sprites is super-impressive. Shadows fall on them and sometimes they have 'kicker' lighting. I don't recall ever seeing this in a 2D sprite game before.
 

HyGogg

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Jan 11, 2016
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PROTIP: The 'Ring Menu [ON]' option is counter-intuitive. It brings up a static menu. Turned [OFF] you can 'tap' to switch spells on the fly, or 'hold' to bring up the radial, switch, and 'release' back to game. It feels really good and should be the default.
This is good advice for most of the game, but toward the end there are puzzles that involve a lot of real-time switching between forms that are almost impossible without the ring menu.
 

HyGogg

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Jan 11, 2016
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Does Asha (MW4) show up in the game
She's referenced but doesn't actually appear physically. The games is set a long time after the old games. Although the continuity doesn't totally make sense, but the fan service is nice.
 

Mecha Meow

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Jan 26, 2018
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I feel like such an ass, because I preordered this waaaay earlier this year, got it two weeks ago and still haven't touched it even after wanting to play the hell out of it.

I've been a huge Wonderboy fan since 1991 and even had a few of the rare releases. :/

I have listened to various music tracks of the game though and was blown away by the modern takes from the awesome MW3.
 

zenspider

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This is good advice for most of the game, but toward the end there are puzzles that involve a lot of real-time switching between forms that are almost impossible without the ring menu.
You don't pull a menu from holding the button? I only have 2 forms so far.
 
Jun 25, 2018
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Just going to say I bought it day 1 and it is currently one of my favorite games this year.
The controls are responsive the pacing is nice with puzzles and less action but still a good amount.
It’s not a puzzle platformer, but I have enjoyed the puzzles all the same.

Music is also very enjoyable and currently my second favorite soundtrack this year. Right after Overload.
 

xviper

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as a guy who loves metroidvania games but ironically didn't even play SOTN or Super metroid, which should i play first, Monster boy or SOTN ?
 

DunDunDunpachi

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as a guy who loves metroidvania games but ironically didn't even play SOTN or Super metroid, which should i play first, Monster boy or SOTN ?
SotN.

That's not a statement of quality about either title. But SotN is a touchstone for the genre and was imitated by many of the games that followed.
 

xviper

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SotN.

That's not a statement of quality about either title. But SotN is a touchstone for the genre and was imitated by many of the games that followed.
but did it age well ?? i'm very interested in Monster boy but 40$ is too much

i'm gonna play both games later on i just don't know with what to start
 

HyGogg

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Jan 11, 2016
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as a guy who loves metroidvania games but ironically didn't even play SOTN or Super metroid, which should i play first, Monster boy or SOTN ?
Depends on if you prefer puzzles or combat. SotN has the better combat for sure, but Monster Boy has amazing puzzle design.
 

PhoenixTank

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Monster Boy got some high praise from @dark10x. The game had honestly had dropped off my radar until this video - was surprised to see it had released already.
Hope it gets some more attention!

 

meirl

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Jul 7, 2016
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Good news on sales for the game, as the publisher has announced that sales have already passed the 50k mark:


While 50k may not seem a lot, it's not bad for a small 2D platformer priced at £34.99 (which is significantly higher than other 2D games, for example The Messenger and Sonic Mania).

They also confirmed that the Switch is the best selling platform, so far at least.
Yup. Deserved. Also, playing it on the switch. Loving it so far.
 

NoobleBear

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Oct 26, 2017
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Looks like "Breath of Fire x Little Nemo". I'm buying the shit outta this. Thanks for posting!
 

HyGogg

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Jan 11, 2016
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Is this linear or not?
I don't have the patience for another metroidvania
It's a Metroidvania. Which means it opens up new areas with abilities and items in a lock and key sort of way, so it's linear in that sense, but you can freely backtrack and re-explore old areas.

It's not for the impatient in general. It's very puzzle heavy. Like almost Wario Land puzzle heavy.
 

Panajev2001a

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Jun 7, 2004
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Yup. Deserved. Also, playing it on the switch. Loving it so far.
Me too (got it on Switch before the sales, not unhappy), it is a fun, well designed, artfully made little gem. Tight controls, lovely hand drawn art, and very apt and high quality soundtrack. Worth it!

Glad they could have decent sales at the £34 price point, quality niche games need the understanding and help of their fanbase.
 
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xviper

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played about 3 hours so far and i think the game is okay

aside from it's price, it's biggest problem is that it's too linear, it doesn't feel like a Metroidvania to me
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I got this for Christmas! I'm always down for some solid platformers.

I also like that it came with stickers (gave those to the kids) and a lengthy manual.
 

cireza

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played about 3 hours so far and i think the game is okay

aside from it's price, it's biggest problem is that it's too linear, it doesn't feel like a Metroidvania to me
Monster World series never was about being a Metroid clone to begin with. It had an interconnected world with many secrets, that's it.
The first game had arcade roots and was actually one stage after another, still full of secrets.
 
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xviper

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Monster World series never was about being a Metroid clone to begin with. It had an interconnected world with many secrets, that's it.
The first game had arcade roots and was actually one stage after another, still full of secrets.
i'm enjoying the game so far but i would have liked it more if it had more exploration

is there a way to remove the things i found from the map ? it's annoying, if i found something and collected it i'd like it to be removed from the map, and if i found it but didn't collect it, it should stay there until i collect it

there are locked locations that i want to go back to but don't remember where they are because there is no mark on the map
 

cireza

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i'm enjoying the game so far but i would have liked it more if it had more exploration

is there a way to remove the things i found from the map ? it's annoying, if i found something and collected it i'd like it to be removed from the map, and if i found it but didn't collect it, it should stay there until i collect it

there are locked locations that i want to go back to but don't remember where they are because there is no mark on the map
You cannot interact with the map as far as I remember. I too wanted to put some marks here and there, but I don't think that it is possible.
 

Flutterborn

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I really want this one, but I can't justify paying 40€ for a 15h metroidvania. Hope it gets a sale soon.
 

pramod

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Its 39.99 unless they are charging more in the UK?

Hey OP maybe you need to correct your original post?
 

Kazza

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Its 39.99 unless they are charging more in the UK?

Hey OP maybe you need to correct your original post?
Prices look fine to me. It's still £34.99 on Switch, although the PS4 one has been reduced to £32.99. The US PSN price is still $39.99 at the time of writing. Of course, the price will gradually decrease over time, but I assume that anyone clicking on this OT a few months from now will know that the price might be different.

Edit: US price changed to $39.99. I'm sure it was $49.99 before? Maybe I was mistaken.
 
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LegendOfKage

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Prices look fine to me. It's still £34.99 on Switch, although the PS4 one has been reduced to £32.99. The US PSN price is still $39.99 at the time of writing. Of course, the price will gradually decrease over time, but I assume that anyone clicking on this OT a few months from now will know that the price might be different.

Edit: US price changed to $39.99. I'm sure it was $49.99 before? Maybe I was mistaken.

This is a great OT that you made. I never heard of this game, and I'm only somewhat familiar with the series, but it sounds like a lot of care and love went into this title. I'll have to pick it up sometime in the future, and I wouldn't have heard about it outside of this thread, so thanks.
 

xviper

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whoever thought it was a good idea to infest the game with flying enemies should go fuck himself