Various remakes and re-releases over the years have helped keep Wonder Boy in the headlines, but retro enthusiasts will be focused on the upcoming Wonder Boy Collection, which brings four classic games from the franchise to the PS4. As per the press release, the full selection includes the following games, “precisely ported to today’s home consoles and including extended features”:
- Wonder Boy (1986) – Help Boy to rescue his girlfriend Tina, who got captured by the evil King. Guide him carefully through different areas and battle the devious enemies that await you on your quest. Use a variety of items that help Boy on his adventure. Face the evil King in various battles to reach your aim and rescue Tina!
- Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987) – Years after the adventures of Wonder Boy the beautiful peace in Wonder Land was destroyed once again by the invasion of a dragon with its evil monsters turning Wonder Land into Monster Land. Help Book to fight the monsters, defeat the dragon and restore the peace for the land and its people again. On your journey, you can collect equipment and magical spells to help you in your battles. But beware – every round has a time limit so you got to be quick!
- Wonder Boy in Monster World (1991) – Guide the young adventurous Shion and help him on his quest to defeat the evil BioMeka and his army of monsters that are threatening the land. However, Shion is not alone! Accompanied by the 4 spirits Priscilla, Hotta, Shabo and Lotta, he explores the different regions of Monster Land. Collect money, weapons, armor and magic spells to get stronger and defeat the evil!
- Monster World IV (1994) – The young girl named Asha sets out on her mission to save the four spirits that were captured by the evil wizards. With the help of Asha’s loyal companion Pepelogoo, they overcome every obstacle and fight their way through various enemies!
Wonder Boy and Wonder Boy in Monster Land are the arcade releases, while Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV are emulations of the SEGA Genesis editions. The improvements in this compilation include filters and shaders, rewind functionality, save states, and art galleries – so a well-rounded package overall.
The frustrating thing is that a limited Anniversary edition, flogged by Strictly Limited Games, includes 21 (!!!) titles, including various different permutations of the aforementioned games. This expands to numerous Master System and Game Gear ports, as well as both the Japanese and international ROMs. Annoyingly, though, this version is limited to just 2,000 copies on the PS4.
It’s a real shame that the more comprehensive option won’t be more widely available, but pre-orders are still available through here if you’d like to grab the complete package before it's gone forever. Alternatively, the lesser Wonder Boy Collection will release physically and digitally from 3rd June.