Presented by Fastbilly & Racketboy
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Wonder Boy, Adventure Island, Wonder Boy, Adventure Island. Whichever one you choose, you are in for a fantastic time. Two games that are so strikingly similar it is scary. What is the cause for this duality of gaming? Why do skateboards come out of eggs? And where is that guys shirt? More, and the weather, at 5.
Where to start with this? Wonder Boy is a game that a lot of gamers have played but they may not know it. The original game was released by Sega and Westone for the arcade in 1986. Sega owned the rights to the characters; Tomtom, Tanya and the gang, but Westone owned the rights to everything else. So Westone approached Hudson Soft and released the game again as Adventure Island, starring our good friend Master Higgins. Little do most gamers know, the game was later released by Tectoy in Portugal. However, once again, the main character was changed, this time to comic book heroine Monica from Monica’s Gang.
Wonder Boy was created as a mid 80s arcade platformer. The weapons you’re provided with often do not make sense (hello skateboarding Caveman), you collect fruit to get a high score, and the two player mode is alternative play (Which means that while it did age poorly, the gameplay is still intact). When initially released, it was given high praise and accolades, but was also criticized for being a bit too similar to Super Mario Brothers.
Wonder Boy spawned a series of sequels, as did Adventure Island. The Wonder Boy sequels are a mix of genres, but they are all have the same charm of the first one. Regardless of any RPG elements added, they all still have that mid 80s charm that died so long ago.
- Arcade – 1986
- Sega SG 1000 – 1986
- Master System – 1987
- Commodore 64 – 1987
- ZX Spectrum – 1987
- Amstrad CPC – 1987
- Game Gear – 1990
- Wii Virtual Console – 2008
As Adventure Island:
- NES – 1988
- MSX – 1988*
- Gameboy – 1992
- Gamecube/PS2 – 2003 – Hudson Select volume 4
- GBA – 2004
- Wii Virtual Console – 2007
- *Not able to confirm date from multiple sources
Since it was made in the mid 80s, it Wonder Boy plays like a mid80s platformer. It is Mario inspired, plays alittle loose – the character slides a bit, and it can be very brutal sometimes. You get hit and you are dead, unless you are riding the skateboard (then you can get hit twice) or have a fairy (superstar). You have a “vitality” bar in the top middle of the screen which is your timer. It is increased by picking up the random fruit that appears throughout the stage and is decreased by stubbing your toe on the rocks all over the world, or by standing still. Being a platformer from this era also means that level design goes from being nice to mean with no middle ground. There are several places were precision jumping at the fastest speed is the only way through. So if you are a platformer fan, you are in for a treat.
Joystick – Movement
Button 1 – Jump
Button 2 – Attack
Together Retro Discussion
Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play some Wonder Boy or Adventure Island and talk to us about your thoughts and play experiences in the forums. We want to know your favorite parts, your successes and your failures.
Discuss The Game In The Forum
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