I played a lot of video games in 1991. Sonic 1, Michel Jackson's Moonwalker and Altered Beast to name a few. The Sega Mega Drive was the absolute time sucker in our bedroom. Wonderboy III: Monster Lair was also released in Europe in the same year but I didn't play it until 1993. Wonderboy III: Monster Lair feels like a classic side scroller in the beginning with the added annoyance of the screen rolling automatically. I can't tell you how many times I died as a result of the friggin' screen pushing me off a floating platform! Nonetheless, Wonderboy III: Monster Lair kept me coming back for more in 1993 just as it does today. It's captivating, colourful and charming; features that feel consistent across the Wonderboy series.... (click read more)
The gameplay transitions early in the story. Wonderboy III: Monster Lair evolves in to a kick ass shoot em up style game. The pace felt fast and agile which are crucial elements to get right when playing a shoot em up. Fortunately I didn't struggle with balancing speed with agility but my brother couldn't handle it. I remember us laughing so hard as he continually died whilst trying to annihilate the huge fish. One thing I adore about retro gaming are the memories that are made. Christmas 1993 was so much fun thanks to us playing this awesome Wonderboy title.
I always bang on about colour saturation in video games and how I feel attracted to vibrant tones. Wonderboy III really taps in to that side of me as the game boasts an incredible colour palette (by retro gaming standards). If you like pretty retro games then I Wonderboy III: Monster Lair is one for you. Alongside the visual aesthetics was a pleasing range of weaponry ranging from standard medium rate fire pistol/weird looking sword (thingy), weapons that fire both front and behind, lasers to rings that spread across the firing range. There's definitely nothing special about these weapons but they do the trick and I had so much fun with them.
For me the story lacked in Wonderboy III: Monster Lair but I didn't play it for an engrossing storyline. After all this classic title was born from the 1988 arcade. What does this mean? Arcade games were fast, fun and fucking awesome which is exactly what Wonderboy III is. I didn't care about the story. I enjoyed seeing my firepower change. I enjoyed the versatile range of enemies, especially that crazy fish. Overall, this game is a fantastic addition to my Mega Drive collection. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Wonderboy III: Monster Lair is a solid eight out of ten in my books.
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