Wonder Boy Returns Remix (PC) Review

By Athanasios 02.11.2019

Review for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PC

Those old (or retro) enough, surely remember the arcade hit Wonder Boy, or it's console port (of sorts) Adventure Island - or the countless bootleg copies of it. This classic gem was fun despite its simple nature, and while far from, it was loved by many. 2016 saw an upgraded version of the original, which Cubed3 experienced on the PS4. It's time to take another look at the vibrantly colourful world of Wonder Boy Returns Remix, this time on the PC.

TomTom, and his newcomer friend, the cave girl Tanya, have a somewhat weird metabolism. They have to keep on moving right, munching fruit and vegetable like there's no tomorrow. Their health, or, more specifically, 'stomach' bar, decreases at a steady pace, and if it gets empty, it's bye-bye life. In the beginning, that's just an extra incentive to keep on moving. The protagonists get hungrier with every step, but it's usually easy to fool their hunger for a while. Later stages, however, make things more challenging, as energy decreases much faster, which forces you, not only to chow down everything in view, but also try and find some extra (secret) grub to grab.

Of course, you aren't alone in this world. Spiders, bees, snails, octopuses, and more critters like those, are here to make your life difficult. The only thing one can do besides simply avoiding enemies? Throw hammers, on in the case of Tanya, boomerangs. This new version adds a super move of sorts, where it's possible to charge up the attack and throw a large hammer that can even destroy the previously invincible boulders. In the end however, the biggest enemy in here is the fact that you must keep on moving.

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PC

This game wouldn't be considered a tough one if you were allowed to leisurely trudge through its locales. Without the "keep on" moving thingy, it would be the simplest of simple platformers. This also saves Wonder Boy from its biggest flaw, if only barely. This is a highly repetitive deal. It feels the same from start to finish. The stages become progressively harder, in the sense that enemy placement is a little bit more challenging, and your stomach begins to grumble far sooner, but in the end, you will be doing the same thing again and again.

A bad game? Certainly not, but it's generally aimed at those who have a love for the arcades of the past, which sort of had to be far less varied than, say, a console action-RPG or adventure game. This being a mechanically faithful port of the original, it should also be noted that the way the characters gain momentum while moving will feel somewhat annoying at first to those who are used to the "cleaner" controls of post-'80s, arcade platformers.

Concerning the content at hand, don't expect much. This is literally Wonder Boy, but with modern, high-definition graphics and sound. Is that a problem? Of course not! This remaster looks awesome, and, as an added bonus, it's easier to see what's up ahead, due to the larger screen. Besides this welcome facelift, the only thing that differentiates this from the past are three separate modes: Practice, where a fairy follows you around, ensuring that only pits are harmful, Normal, where progress is saved after each stage, and it's possible to replay levels, and One Coin mode, which has the player playing the game with just ten lives.

In the words of Marco from Tropoja, "good luck."

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Minor additions put aside, Wonder Boy Returns Remix is nothing more than straight-up port of the original game, but with upgraded audio-visuals. Does that mean that it isn't good? No. This is just a word of caution for those who wanted something more, or expected a different take in the gameplay. As for the rest, if you don't mind something that doesn't stray far from its very old-school roots, this is the best way to experience one great blast from the past - and without the need to insert any coins.

Developer

CFK

Publisher

CFK

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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