Released very late in the Genesis’ life span, Wonder Boy VI: Monster World IV is a game that slipped the radars of American and Japanese gamers alike. By this time the PlayStation and Saturn were looming on the horizon, so investing in a new game, regardless of its pedigree, would have been a risky gamble for most players.
I want to tell you, though, that this is certainly a game worth tracking down. Combining elements of The Adventure of Link with 16-bit platforming goodness similar to QuackShot: Starring Donald Duck, Monster World IV delivers everything you could want from the genre: collectibles, weapon and armor upgrades, catchy music, colorful graphics, and a perfect difficulty curve.
“Wow, sounds fantastic Tim. Why didn’t we see it in North America?”
I can hear you squeal it out as you test the carrying capacity of the backside of your undies. Well, it’s because Japan hates us. No, it’s probably because it came out so late into the Genesis’ life. Translating and marketing a game for a console that’s cracking out its death rattle wasn’t a smart business move for the developer, and it would be even worse for any publisher they might pitch it to.
So it was never to be, until DeJap and Demiforce decided to give it the ol’ translation patch treatment; bless their souls. A few years later, the script is cleaned up and given a final patch by Di Somma Michele, and here we are.
It’s perhaps interesting to note that the Wonder Boy series has been split. Hudson Soft was given the task of porting the original arcade game to home consoles but instead changed the character of Wonder Boy to Master Higgins and… BAM! You’ve got Adventure Island. The Wonder Boy series carried on into the adventure genre after part three, where it became Wonder Boy in Monster World, while Adventure Island for the most part stuck to the side-scrolling action style.
In any case, give Monster World IV a try; it’s a quality title full of charm. And while you’re at it, take a look at my video review below: