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Sometimes in entertainment we get remakes, cover versions, call them what you will, of things. With varying degrees of success. For instance, Johnny Cash recorded that cover of Nine Inch Nails' “Hurt”. There was that remake of Ocean's Eleven, originally a Rat Pack movie, but with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, there's an endless list of them.
And that's exactly what's happened here, in gaming form. And much like that cover version, and that movie, DotEmu and Lizardcube have unleashed a gaming equivalent of a cult Master System classic in Wonderboy and The Dragon's Trap.
Yes, in short that does mean that in terms of quality, style, presentation, and feel the game is as good as that Johnny Cash cover, and that George Clooney movie. So, it needs to be checked out, played with, and loved by all.
The game is quite a simple affair, in that it's a 2D side scrolling adventure from the 8bit era, that sees you as Wonderboy (or Wondergirl if you like) trying to cure a curse put on them by the evil Meka Dragon. This curse sees you starting off as a fire breathing lizard person, battling through a landscape of evil plants, creatures and clouds, finding your way towards that cure via a few transformations into other creatures along the way.
Throughout the game, you'll become a mouse, lion, weird fish thing, and a hawk, and all of those transformations have their own abilities that will help you along the way, and allowing you to access various parts of the game that other creatures cannot reach.
The game was largely unknown outside of Europe where Sega's Master System was the console of choice back in the late 1980s-early 1990s. And for those of us old enough to remember the days of playing it first time around, there's the option to play the game with original sound and graphics at any time, at the touch of a button. The game has also received a modern update in graphics and sound, with beautiful, cartoon-like graphics, and toe tapping music that feels joyful and reminds us all of a happier, easier time.
On top of that the game also goes back to its old school roots by retaining the original password system to mark progression throughout the game, which again is a great reminder of a simpler time. This does mean that if you die in a dungeon you have to do the whole thing over again, which can be a little jarring for those who've never played games like this, but does add to the fun, and that “one more go” feeling which was for me, the cause of many a late night and missed homework assignment, from when I was a kid in the early 90s.
The game has taken an “If it ain't broke” approach to the gameplay mechanics, everything you'd expect from endurance over tactics boss battles, through to fast fingered dodging of projectiles is there, as it should be, and presented in a lush, beautiful, hand painted style.
It's a game you really can't go wrong with. And if you want further proof, check out the first 10 minutes of gameplay below.
You can download it now on PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch. And if you do, you'll be the proud owner of one of the best retro remakes ever made, and the gaming equivalent to the most magical of musical cover versions.
Villan Verdict 9/10
A new update is about to drop later this month for Final Fantasy XV. And what's more is, it'll be free.
It drops on April 27th and on the PS4 will add further support for PS4 Pro, designed to improve framerates and offer “comfortable play”. This comes after criticism from gamers that February's update actually made the game perform worse.
On top of that there'll be a new sticker for the Regalia, and new music for the music player. And there will also be the option to magnify subtitles and the menu screen.
As far as actual gameplay is concerned, there will be the return of timed quests, with a ranking system and a reward of “extravagant weapons” for completing them.
Finally, one other interesting thing from Square Enix was the PC tech demo shown at the Game Developers Conference. This is in no way confirmation of Final Fantasy XV getting a PC release, but rumours concerning awesome games are always fun.
After the recent discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition, Nintendo is reportedly now working on a mini version of its SNES console.
The SNES Classic, as it's likely to be called, will launch "in time for Christmas this year," according to Eurogamer.
The site says the in-development device is a major reason why Nintendo did not continue producing NES Classic units, despite it being sold out nearly everywhere due to high demand. Nintendo refused to comment when contacted by GameSpot.
The NES Classic launched in November 2016 as a miniature version of the 1983 console. It was essentially an emulator in a plug-and-play box, and it contained 30 pre-installed classic games including Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Castlevania, Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy, Punch-Out!!, and Metroid.
After launch, the device proved to be more popular than anticipated; in February, Nintendo announced that sales had reached 1.5 million sales across the globe. Regarding the stock shortages many fans were facing, Nintendo apologized and later implied that it misjudged the demand. April will see the last shipments of the device.
A SNES Classic could take a similar form to its miniature predecessor, with a number of fan-favorite games included on a small plug-and-play device. Acclaimed games for the original SNES include Super Mario World, Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and many more.
The Nintendo Switch has had a few interesting things happen over the last couple of days, including a fimware update and a surprising announcement.
First up that firmware, the console has just received the 2.20 update, which according to the patch notes brings “general system stability improvements” and not a lot else, Switch owners will be happy to know it'll be automatically hitting their console when they next switch it on.
And then there's that announcement. The Nintendo Switch is already (in its short life so far) the fastest selling Nintendo console ever. Which considering the car crash that was he Wii U is a welcome surprise for Nintendo fans.
And lastly, on the Nintendo Switch front, financial analysts, Citigroup have predicted that Nintendo may well release a mini version of the Switch in 2019, aimed at children. Whether or not this will actually happen remains to be seen, but Bloomberg have reported on it, so the rumour may well have legs.
Now all Nintendo need to do is release some games, and we'll be golden.
Like Christmas, Easter is a time for giving. Well, I say giving, what I actually mean is getting cheap games and hiding from the world while playing them....
Right now, Sony have dropped a flash sale on us, running through the Easter Weekend, offering up to 80% off on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita games.
On PS4, the discounts include the Bioshock The Collection for $29.99 US, and the PS3 is offering The Last of Us Remastered and The Nathan Drake Collection at £7.99 each, and massive discounts on Prince of Persia Classic Trilogy, Devil May Cry HD, Dishonored GOTY and more.
The Vita has a host of Disney games at 60-75% discount, and Grim Fandango for the measly sum of $2.99.
And if that wasn't enough, there are big discounts on movies too, including The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies at $24.99 and $19.99 respectively.
You can see the full list of discounts over at https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/flash-sale/cid=STORE-MSF77008-FLASHSALE17LP/1
And just to add something even more special to the event you can also net 3X Sony Reward Points on your flash sale purchases.