This week I have been playing Wonder Boy Returns Remix, a game developed and published by CFK. Wonder Boy Returns Remix, is a somewhat charming platformer. The only Wonder boy game that I had previously played was Wonder Boy: The Dragons trap, with no idea if this game was linked by more than just a title, I was ready to jump into it, and hope that it would be just as fun, and beautiful to look at.
Wonder Boy Returns remix has three modes. The first one is practice mode where you are given 10 lives and an angel, so you are able to go through levels without taking damage from enemies. The only way for you to die in the practice mode is to fail to make a jump from platform to platform. The practise mode also has the bosses at the end of the stages removed. This is a decent mode in order to play through if you want to see what is coming up in levels. I would be also more tempted to play this in order to prep me for another of the modes in the game.
The second mode, the one that most people will play is normal. This is the one that I played through. You have 5 lives in order to beat the level, and are able to play as either Tanya or Tom Tom. Each stage has 4 levels with the final level containing a boss. As you progress through the stages, every now and again you may see a new enemy type, or some new challenge. However after around the half way point the game didn’t seem to offer something new. The only attack you have is either an axe or boomerang depending on who you selected, and this attacks can be charged in order to destroy certain obstacles.
What is more the game seemed to start reusing sections of previous parts of stages again. There were a couple of parts that I stopped and had to try and think if I had done the section before in a one of the stages that I had recently done. The bosses as well… well they are all the same, just a different head on them. They all have the same attack, take place in the same area, and after beating 4 of them you end up asking yourself what is the point. Each time I was hoping something would change. Something would make it more challenging, add something to it to mix it up.
As you go through the levels in Wonder Boy Returns Remix you have to collect food items in order to keep your life bar filled. You see as you go through the levels you are somewhat timed, your health bar slowly depletes in till there is nothing left and you die. Enemies as well kill you in one hit, and there is no way to gain additional lives as you progress through levels.
Upon beating normal mode you get ending 1 of the game. With the third and final mode allowing you to get ending 2.
The final mode in Wonder Boy Returns Remix is called One Coin Mode. In this mode you are given ten lives, pretty nice your thinking right, well you see while in normal mode you can select any level you beat, and start from there when you die… One coin mode you can’t. You have only ten lives in order to beat all 8 stages (so 32 levels). If you die you start right back at the start of the game. This is where maybe getting some time in on practise mode would help. That way you should get the timing of jumps down and enemy placement.
Now the real question is, after beating normal mode, would you want to try this. For me the answer is no. I may want to know what is ending two. But to go through all that again, see the same boss over and over again…. No just no.
You see this was the issue with the game for me, after a getting around the half way point, and clocking on the nothing really changes, it was hard to motivate myself to carry on playing. Each new level/stage just seemed somewhat meh. I wasn’t really seeing anything new, no new locations, no new challenges… no new bosses. I feel the game would have been nice if they included the original version in with this. Be able to change between them. See any differences in audio and stuff. I feel this would of added value to those people who may play this to relive some part of their past.
Wonder Boy Returns Remix has some nice visuals to the game. They were nice and bright, and cartoony. They kind of remind me of some Mario games with the look. This makes playing some of the levels nice. It is kind of the same with the soundtrack for the game. There are times the soundtrack is nice a cheery, and enjoyable. The track for boss fights I felt was good. However there are times when it does just become annoying, and that a couple of times the soundtrack didn’t seem to match the level. There were times I ended up switching to a Spotify playlist.
Now talking about sound… well at least for me on the PS4, when I first started up the game, my god the volume was loud. I ended up lowering the volume to 1 on the game, and lowered the TV to like 4 or 5.. half of what I normally have. This made the volume acceptable. I have to wonder if it was just me, or have other people experience this? Is it a PS4 thing, or does it happen on other platforms?
Overall I feel that Wonder Boy Returns Remix seems like a bit of a let-down. With Wonder Boy the Dragons trap, I was able to switch between how the game use to look, to how they made it, and the same with audio. It would have been nice to do that on this as well.
The reuse of the same boss for all eight stages… again I feel like remixing a game, you could have addressed this a changed it somewhat. Give the player something to work towards, and not feel like they are working towards facing a boss they have already faced.
The soundtrack is nice, but has its moments there it just either doesn’t fit the level, or got slightly annoying. I just can’t see me wanting to pick this up again, at any point. I sometimes wondered if I would have enjoyed it slightly more playing on switch…. But I can’t see that even helping. The game is just too repetitive, and feels like more could have been done to make it more challenging as you progress through normal mode.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wonder Boy Returns Remix Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
The game is just too repetitive, and feels like more could have been done to make it more challenging as you progress through normal mode.