Wonder Boy Returns Remix – Review (PS4)

Developer: CFK Co., Ltd

Publisher: CFK Co., Ltd

Release date: 08/08/19

Price: £8.99

As many of you may know by now, I do love a retro game and saying that, I do love Wonder Boy so when I spotted this for £8.99, I had to get a piece. Let me tell you what I thought as I dived through it.

The boy wonder returns…again

The graphics has been modernised for modern consoles but the heart of the game is still there

So, a little history. Wonder Boy or Tom-Tom as the character is called, began as a humble arcade platformer in 1986 and in the following years, there has been several sequels, all of which are fantastic. I grew up playing Wonder Boy and it was one of my favourite games. Fast forward thirty odd years and we have a remake of the game that started it all.

However, this is where it gets a little confusing, we did have a remake back in 2016 which was called Wonder Boy Returns but now this one has the same title but with Remix added at the end. It is basically a remixed version of the 2016 remake but surprisingly, a lot of the content added to the 2016 version has been removed or shall we say, ‘re-mixed’ and what’s left is a smart remastered version of the 1986 original with a few modern adaptations.

Tom-Tom will lead you to your destination

See what I did there? Our Wonder Boy is named Tom-Tom and he will lead you to your destination? You know, like the sat-nav with the same name? Yes, I know, a poor pun and I apologise but I couldn’t resist!

So, you take control of Tom-Tom, our caveman-like hero as he fights to save his girlfriend, Tanya who has been kidnapped by an evil demon. That’s about it for story, you are then thrust straight into the levels and Tom-Tom ‘s legs are peddling away as he runs through the side-scroller.

The Demon abductor of Tanya

So, getting into the gameplay and there is three difficulty modes to pick from at the start of the game, there is Tanya, Tom-Tom and One Coin. Tanya is the easy mode and she is invincible save for fall damage. This mode is great as it can allow younger gamers to play and get a feel for the game but not worry about facing the challenges. Tom-Tom is the standard difficulty and you face normal enemies and bosses whilst not being invincible. The final mode of One Coin gives you just ten lives to play with and once they’re lost, it is game over. It plays like the arcade games of past.

So, I chose the standard difficulty and as I played through, I found that I loved the speed of all 32 levels. You are encouraged to keep moving, there is plenty of enemies to dodge and kill which keeps you actively flowing. There is no forced scroll but the level layouts ensure that constant progress is the most successful strategy. This is also reinforced with your jump as it is almost rendered useless unless you are pressing left or right.

Hold the throw button and you’ll unleash a jumbo axe which will smash enemies as well as previously indestructible obstacles

Another thing I love about this title is the simplicity of it, you just run, jump and throw axes. The levels are all horizontal and require no exploration. This is the beating heart of all Wonder Boy titles: run, jump, throw and I’m glad this is in the same vein. It’s all typical pit-jumps and moving platforms with plenty of enemies sprinkled in between. Enemies can be dodged but with unlimited axes to throw, I preferred taking them out. One novel innovation in this title is that more level is fitted on the screen at one time so you can sight read the levels which helps massively.

Despite there being several nice and new innovations, this game does have flaws and the main one is that it does get repetitive. The levels become very similar and also the bosses are exactly the same boss but with different supersized heads. However, this is loyal to the original. The 2016 version desperately lacked loyalty to the original and I was disappointed with this when it was released. CFK have done a fine job in remastering the original as well as adding a few modern innovations despite the repetitiveness nature.

Anime animations and infectious melodies

The graphics are bright and vibrant with anime influences

The graphics and colours of this title is fantastic, it is great that it is a honest remaster of the original but with a HD upgrade as well as an anime inspired art style. The bright and bold colours certainly upgrade the original and give it a new and exciting feel.

Moving on to the music of the levels and again they have stayed true to the original but slightly remixed it into infectious melodies. The downside though is that the playlist is short so it will repeat unfortunately. The rest of the sound design is basic but that is all that is needed, it’s perfect.

Two examples of the many similar bosses you must defeat

Verdict: 69%

The boy wonder is a hit again!

Audio: 65%

Gameplay: 65%

Graphics: 75%

Story: 60%

Value for money: 80%

Overall, it is a very enjoyable and beautifully remastered version of the 1986 classic. As mentioned, it can get a little repetitive in the later levels but for the most part, it is a fun romp of a game. For the price, there is a lot of fun to be had, you certainly get your money’s worth and then some.