Much to the joy of many gamers in the know, there are now two major games on the way from indie developers focused on returning the classic character Wonder Boy to his former glory and both have the blessings and cooperation of series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa.
Sega still owning the rights to the character means Game Atelier‘s upcoming effort had to be redubbed Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (formerly known as Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze). But as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap has just been announced, it seems that title is staying for the current time. Even if it changes at some point, the game being a beautifully animated remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap is what’s really getting some very thrilled.
Developed by Paris, France-based Lizardcube and set to be be published by DotEmu, this remake brings an absolutely gorgeous cartoon style to the forefront that meshes with the classic shape changing, speedy and nostalgic gameplay of the original. As soon as I saw the trailer and then, that lovely image that kicks off this post, I got a huge smile going that’s still on my face. It’s almost as if Calvin and Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson decided to do character art for a game and the animators jumped all over that as one would when tasked with bringing his creations to life. Granted, the game is still going to rely on every asset from art to gameplay to music and sounds being as great as can be. But if my eyeballs merrily bouncing around in my head are any indication, there should me nothing much to fret over.
Inspirations aside, there’s a rock-solid sense of fun here that reminded me of the original game as well as made me hope the final build does well enough that we see a Monster World IV remake using this art style. Before I dream myself into a coma over that, here’s what to expect in the final game, according to its press release:
A good curse makes a good game (or so they say)! turned into a half-human, half-lizard monstrosity by the Meka-Dragon, a lonesome adventurer is facing the challenge of a lifetime! In search for a cure, our mutated anti-hero will explore the many traps of Monster Land… and defeat many stuff-throwing, curse-wielding dragons. How many more transformations can one hopeful body survive, as it turns into a Lizard, a Mouse, a Piranha, a Lion, and a Hawk… The six different forms of our shape-shifting hero make up the cast of this non-stop action-adventure platformer!
- A huge interconnected world!
- 6 playable forms for our shape-shifting hero, with different abilities!
- Dragons of all kinds! A Zombie Dragon! A Mummy Dragon! A Samurai Dragon!
- An eye-patch wearing shop-keeper pig who may or may not provide a sense of warmth and direction!
- Beautiful, hand-drawn animated graphics!
- A memorable soundtrack, based on Shinichi Sakamoto’s originals, re-imagined and recorded with classical instruments!
- …and more to be announced!
While there’s no set release date or platforms, the press site notes consoles and PC as targets for this remake. That’s going to hopefully include portable consoles such as the Vita and 3DS, as well as current to last-gen game systems still in use by those who’ve yet to upgrade. The isn’t a crowdfunding project that needs suppoet from potential buyers, but a full-on indie game being worked on that’s bound to get more and more people excited as it nears completion. Keep this one on your radar, folks – Monster World is getting a rather huge new but nostalgic look that’s going to be a big deal once it’s ready.