What Is It?
The Wonder Boy series gets no respect. Despite there being six installments over a ten year period, few gamers have the proper fondness for this forgotten gem. Worse yet, the Wonder Boy game people are familiar with was later turned into Hudson's Adventure Island for the Nintendo Entertainment System. And just to throw salt on the wound, the best game in the series (Monster World IV) was never released outside of Japan. That is, until now. 2012 is the year Wonder Boy gets the respect he deserves.
Set a long, long time after the earlier installments, Monster World IV features a green-haired girl on a quest to save Monster World from total destruction. But it won't be an easy quest, because Asha must traverse an open world full of traps, tricks and, you guessed it, monsters. She's added by Pepe, an adorable little pepelougoo creature who can pull off all kinds of useful tricks. For example, Pepe's has large ears that allow him to fly towards hard to reach ledges. Together the two must travel the 2D landscape and save the day.
Does It Still Hold Up?
With gameplay similar to Metroid and recent Castlevania games, it's surprising that it's taken Sega this long to release Monster World IV in the United States. The gameplay is responsive and the Arabian Nights-inspired visuals are gorgeous. Like so many games that came before it, Monster World IV has some check point problems. Not only does this Sega gem hold up, but it's the best in the Monster World series.
Is It Worth The Money?
After taking half a year off, Nintendo is on a roll with their Virtual Console releases. Monster World IV is the type of game Nintendo should be releasing on the Wii. Enough with the Street Fighter II re-releases, bring us games that have never come out in the United States. Even with the slightly inflated price tag, Monster World IV is a fantastic game that deserves to be in everybody's library.