Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Wonder Boy must rate as one of the best arcade adventures ever and this follow up takes the original theme and extends it with role playing elements with interaction with other characters and the ability to develop your character.
Essentially it is a total mix of arcade, strategy and adventure with you trying to kill a dragon and restore peace to your country.
You move across a scrolling backdrop and have to kill the nasties alona the way, they leave a gold coin in their place and you can pick it up by walking over it. There are doors which you can enter and these can given you messages or allow you to buy items for your man. There is a choice between sword, armour, shield, boots, helmet, gauntlet, wing boots, and throwable weapons in the guise of bombs, tornado and thunderflash.
You have to reach the end of the wave before your timer hits zero (indicated by little hearts) and any contact with nasties takes time off the clock. To get through to the next level you have to kill a biggie monster (standard form for Sega games, but I never get bored with it because they do it so well!), and collect the key he leaves behind.
The doors you open normally give you two choices of weapon or info and if you lack the gold to buy either it bleeps at you. There are the customary little touches like going back and killing the same nasty twice to get extra score and items and hidden bags of gold in mid-air (so get leaping).
The layouts of each land vary with some finesse needed to get around the ledges, there are (to name very few) lifts, snakes, birds, fireballs walking mushrooms and water pools to negotiate. You can kill the opposition by a well timed hack and slash of the sword.
On getting at the end of a round you are given a time bonus depending on the time on the clock and you can get a 10,000 points bonus by picking up all the extra (double kills) items in that wave.
The graphics rate as some of the best seen to date on a Sega game, the music is OK and playability is supreme although detection is generous towards the player (so who is complaining?). Again the use of colour is getting so much better with every new Sega cart I play, there is very little flicker (unlike the original Wonder Boy) and they seem to be pushing their game designs to new horizons, all of which makes for longterm playability and interest.
There is a world of play still in this game that I just do not have the space to tell you about, so if you enjoyed the original this is for you...
See more reviews of Wonder Boy in Monster Land / Super Wonder Boy Monster World (スーパーワンダーボーイ モンスターワールド) / Super Wonder Boy Super Monster Land
See the main page for Wonder Boy in Monster Land / Super Wonder Boy Monster World (スーパーワンダーボーイ モンスターワールド) / Super Wonder Boy Super Monster Land