Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wonder Boy Pathfinder

I made some progress in Mass Effect Andromeda over the last week, actually getting out into the open world on one of the planets for only about the second time in probably 35 hours of play. I'm at a point in the game where I can go to one of two potentially habitable planets, or go hunt down the Kett leader's flagship for a confrontation. Instead, I've opted to dig into some side quests that, in a roleplaying sense, sounded urgent.

I've also dabbled in Super Mario World and Heroes of the Storm. The latter now has a fresh 2.0 update that I'm interested in exploring a bit. I still think I am fundamentally not that into multi-player games, though. I've been playing beginner level bot matches just on a lark here and there. Playing a game to relax, imagine that.

I picked up another retro-style 2D action game on the Switch, the beautiful remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. It's a cool game from the Sega Master System, a platform I have very little familiarity with, though I can credit my interest in video games to it. Wonder Boy lets you flash back and forth from the modern, very lavish 2D art to the super old school 8-bit reality of the original. I find the new art really nice and have been almost entirely playing that way.

The underlying game is very well done, and while it definitely feels simplistic, it's an interesting design considering when the game first came out. It's an open-world action platformer more or less contemporaneous with Metroid, but not done in quite the same way. Here, doors open into the background, where in Metroid they always open on one of the four sides of the screen, which means the way the world fits together is pretty different. It's also clear some or all of the doors are magical, so it may not be possible for all of the levels to exist in one contiguous chunk.

You begin as a boy with a sword, but begin to gain the ability to transform into other types of animals and fight and explore in different ways. So far I have been a lizard boy and mouse boy. I'll continue to explore what this nifty game has to offer.

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