Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of the classic Wonder Boy series, the third game in particular. This remake is essentially built on top of the original game code and this approach has allowed the developers to include a retro mode side by side with the newly enhanced visuals and redrawn art style that is gorgeously animated while keeping the spirit of the original game.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a side scrolling platformer like Shantae which also features elements from metroidvania genre. You take control of an adventurer that gets cursed by a magic spell after killing the Mecha Dragon. The adventurer can be either picked as a male or female character. The death of the Mecha Dragon transforms the player into a Lizard-form leading to a journey of killing various dragons around the world. The player also learns new transformation forms aside from the Lizard that allows them to explore even more sections of the world map using their newly discovered abilities.
The first thing that immediately caught my attention upon starting the game was the art style. It is absolutely gorgeous style that is carefully drawn to make sure the original artistic integrity of the retro look of the classic game is maintained. This is seen clearly when we switch between the Retro and the new look of the game. Yes, it is possible to switch between both of these modes on the fly with the press of a button and while this might sound amazing, it is even better when we utilize it in the game.
The game controls like a traditional side scrolling platformer where the gameplay is taken directly from the classic Wonder Boy game. There are no additional enhancements on offer here aside from revamped UI that keeps its same look even if we switch the visuals to retro mode. Physics have also received a slight modification but the general gameplay and design remains the same for the most part. Aside from having a standard attack, it is possible to utilize a set of powerful items in battle like Fireballs and Arrows. These items can be dropped by the enemies but they are usually reserved for tricky situations or for a boss fight.
If you enjoy a metroidvania game where have to backtrack to several old locations with your newfound abilities, you will feel right at home with Wonder Boy. The game tasks the player with defeating several dragons located throughout the world map. These dragons all grant the player new abilities that can come handy during the exploration. If you need to swim, you can become the Piranha-form who is easily able to swim in any direction underwater. There is also the Lion-form that adds the possibility of additional attacks overhead or beneath the player. Each of the form adds more to the gameplay and makes exploration fun. It is always nice to discover some secret room during exploration.
If you have already played the original Wonder Boy game, you will enjoy this remake. The developers have managed to create gorgeously rendered backgrounds for this remake that fit the environment of the game. They look much better than the copy-paste locales seen in the classic version of the game. Not only it is possible to switch to retro mode, the game also provides the option to change to the retro music and audio. It is something that is unnecessary but provides nostalgic feeling especially if you have played the original back when it was released.
Gameplay wise, Wonder Boy doesn’t really feel that good to control. I often had a hard time timing my jumps or keeping my character from dying because somehow the developers have decided to make the movement feel like it is on ice. It definitely doesn’t feel as precise as something like Shantae but it is not that bad either. If you can master the controls, maybe you will have a better time controlling the main character unlike me. Still this is one of the aspect that I expected better. It made it harder for me to control during the boss fights which require crucially timed hits. The game itself isn’t that hard if you manage to keep your health above the critical state.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a 2017 platform action-adventure video game developed by Lizardcube and published by DotEmu. The game is a remake of the 1989 game Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, which was originally developed by Westone Bit Entertainment and published by Sega for the Master System as part of the Wonder Boy series.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a well done remake of a classic action game. It allows the player to experience the game from the perspective of both the new art direction as well as the old one, making for an interesting experience.