Without doing much noise he ended up becoming one of the great releases of 2018 but … what makes this a special video game? In the analysis of Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, you will see that there are few platform adventures as fun as this one.
Taking as reference the action of the classic Wonder Boy, but with influences from the Metroidvania adventures, the independent studio The Game Atelier managed to give life to a fantastic platform videogame that without making practically noise ended up becoming one of the great releases of 2018. premiered exclusively on consoles, but PC users can finally enjoy Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, one of those titles that are very worth trying. Not for nothing, the father of the original Wonder Boy, Ryuichi Nishizawa, has participated in the development of this kind of spiritual sequel that surprises with its brilliant level design.
It will capture your attention for its explosion of color: an artistic section that makes your TV charge magic. But in the end, you will stay for its pleasant playability, a mixture between jumps, exploration, and puzzles capable of delighting not only the fans of the original games but in general, any lover of good video games. And it is not for less, seeing how the game grows and grows surprising with increasingly better studied and ingenious challenges during the nearly 15 hours it can take you to complete the adventure. So if at the time you did not try the title on consoles, this is the best opportunity to enjoy an exceptional platform game.
Monster Boy, more than just a return
The narrative approach of Monster Boy is a simple excuse to start playing. Your uncle seems to have lost his mind and has begun to transform the whole kingdom into animals. Your task is to return the situation to normal, recovering a series of orbs scattered around the environment. A simple approach, which translates into a map that allows some freedom and experiences a series of transformations to become a pig, frog, snake, lion … yes, you read correctly! The central dynamic of Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is not the design of their world, with the essence of Metroidvania, but the possibility of transforming us into diverse animals.
This allows you to activate a magnificent playable variety, which goes further as the game hours go by and we unlock new forms. By the time you reach the end of the game, you will have learned to alternate between them, taking advantage of the lion’s onslaught force, the pig’s ability to sniff out hidden aspects of the stage or the frog’s ability to throw his tongue and activate thrusters that lead us further in the set.
Few reproaches can be made to the game
Thanks to these transformations, we can make our way on the Monster Boy map, which is a real exercise in ingenuity, a wonderful puzzle to solve where not everything is always too obvious. The game has its resources and demonstrates talent to guide the player without giving him everything chewed. For these purposes, the final bosses, in addition to numerous, are posed as a very pleasant challenge. You will lose your life several times before finding the solution to your weaknesses or behavior patterns.
The rate of 60 images per second, together with a great response to the controls, gives rise to a continuous feeling of satisfaction while handling our protagonist. The control is magnificent, better with a crosshead, just as we did in the 80s and 90s. But make no mistake, I don’t want you to think that the game is mere nostalgia. I sincerely believe that developers have wanted to go further. Not to remain in a mere memory, but to adapt the classic Wonder Boy mechanics to the present.
It is an exceptional platform game
Varied, long and even playable. You can put a few “buts” to a platform that is also very nice. When you are pig-shaped, and you do nothing, your character changes the eye patch, as if no one was watching him, with an incredible smoothness of animations. This example synthesizes what you are going to find, a game made with great care, very successful use of the color palette, very careful animations (all made by hand) and an artistic section that there will be times when you will let out an exclamation of admiration.
The soundtrack is on par. Look at the parade of composers: Michiru Yamane (Castlevania), Motoi Sakuraba (Tales of), Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage), Keiki Kobayashi (Ace Combat) and some more. That is to say, an authentic musical “dream team” that gives rise to tones very appropriate to the type of adventure we live: with more leisurely and positive rhythms, and others more prone to action, especially during clashes.
As we advanced in the original analysis, there are projects that are increasingly buried by the noise of the large marketing machinery, and although they do not have so much promotion, they show a great job behind. This new game in the Monster Boy series is the best example of that. Overflowing quality through all its pores, and although it is surely a complete unknown to many of the players, just give it a chance to conquer anyone’s heart.
A platform of great variety, considerable depth, and high duration. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom comes to PC with the intention of earning the appreciation of fans, and it is easy! This is a charming title that shines for the transformation capacity of its protagonist, the number of situations it generates and an inheriting design of the Metroidvania scheme, combined with the essence of the mythical Wonder Boy saga. And the best part is that it is much more than mere nostalgia.
- The excellent combination of Metroidvania exploration and classical platform action
- The transformations provide a great playable variety and the puzzles are satisfactory
- Inspired final bosses, in addition to moderately challenging
- Great duration and an artistic and musical charm that immerses you in an incredible world
- It does not propose too many things that we have not really seen in the genre
- Some compositions can be made somewhat repetitive