Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Impressions

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap offered a nostalgia look at not only the Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap video game, but the early 8-bit video game days in general.

I never owned a Master System growing up and as such, I missed out on a few video game titles that really gained a strong following in various markets around the world. For instance, one of the video game series that seemed to have easily gathered attention in markets outside of North America is Wonder Boy with the third installment, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap being one of the magnificent gems retro gamers will definitely want to enjoy.

Interestingly enough, decades after it first released into the market, the video game received a remake and it’s one remake that fans of the retro title won’t want to miss out on. Dropping the numeral installment from the title, developers Lizardcube recently launched Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s worth mentioning that the PC platform was not left out as the title will eventually make its way to digital storefronts this June.

Lizardcube took great care with this remake as you can go through the title much like if you’re playing the original Master System release. Before we get into the specifics of the remake, let’s go over the basis of the video game.

There’s not too much that went into the Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap when it launched. Players take on the role of Wonder Boy who attempts to slay the Mecha Dragon. Upon the battle victory, Wonder Boy becomes cursed and turned into a Lizard-Man.

Now equipped with a new fire attack and statue, Wonder Boy is now set out on a brand new journey in hopes that he can find a cure to return back to his human form. Similar to Altered Beast, through the course of the title, players will turn into various animal forms, each obtained after defeating a boss. Furthermore, each animal form will come with their own unique attributes that will ultimately allow players to reach new areas and heights.

With that said, players start at the town hub instead of hitting various save points or levels. Available to freely roam the in-game world, players will quickly learn that certain areas are unreachable until they successfully change into a different animal.

As mentioned above, the remake Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap offers gamers a means to enjoy the retro title just as it was when the video game launched. Rather than attempting their own unique spin on the title, the developers completely overhauled the graphics and audio tracks.

You’ll still go through the same pathways, enemies, bosses, and shops that will allow players to upgrade their character in both attack and defense. Best of all, if you’re not a fan of the newly improved cartoonish graphics and soundtrack then both the graphics and audio can instantly be transformed to the original 8-bit release.

Since I never had a chance to go through the original title, having this extra feature was greatly appreciated. I was constantly switching back to the original title to see how the various areas looked and sounded.

I’m even convinced that some enemies were actually a bit easier to time out in for attacks with the retro graphics activated. That’s actually one of the key aspects that gamers will need going into the video game is the patience and learning the enemy sequences. This doesn’t mean the video game is slow, but knowing just when to attack when an enemy makes his move may mean the difference between an early game over or your journey’s continuation.

As you slay down enemies, some will leave behind various power-ups that can be used to your advantage with bosses or other enemies that wait ahead. However, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your health gauge as you’ll lose these power-ups if you die without an instant revival.

All-in-all, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap offered a nostalgia look at not only the Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap video game, but the early 8-bit video game days in general.

Disclosure: A copy of the game was supplied for review purposes.