This game is everything I don’t like about remastered games.
Retro games are retro because they are old. They were made for machines that are no longer in use. These games were constantly fighting the limitations of the consoles and were leaving much to imagination. They had simple graphics, simple sound, simple story and simple mechanics. All should be fit into KB of storage and MHz of computing power.
Remastered games go entirely for the nostalgia factor. They update the graphics, the sound and then they try to stay true to every other aspect of the original game. This is where it goes wrong. There are no longer the constraints for the game to keep it simple in terms of story telling or mechanics anymore, but the developer feels an inclination to be true to the original. This makes remastered games a pain to play.
Wonder Boy The Dragon’s Trap is a very good looking game. They have made wonders with the graphics. It also sounds pretty good, but because it has to stay true, you will hear the same short melody playing over and over again. Instead I would prefer if the developers had developed the score to be more interesting rather than trying to stay true to the original.
I really like the mechanics that you turn into different animals, but if it was a modern game you would be able to switch when you wanted. This would require some puzzles to be remade and then the game wouldn’t be true to the original.
The game is a bit metroidvania, that you need to explore and you keep coming back to areas. I really don’t like this part where you need to guess where to go next. It is such a waste of time. The game will not even hint where to go. You just need to go around and hit every block looking for secrets. (or watch longplays on youtube)
There is no modern game where you need to farm gold by killing the same enemy over and over. In this game I had to and I understand that I would in the original but not in the remastered. Please! Spending 30 minutes of farming in a game that is 4 hours long is not acceptable.
I really like 2D platformers. I think Shovel Knight is a perfect example of how you can have very simple mechanics and yet produce very interesting bosses. It is also a good example of a narrative told in a retro 2D game. Wonder Boy has neither. Every boss is the same. You stick them with the pointy end of your sword in their faces until they die.
Despite all this. The game is good. It is adorable and a joy to play. It has some very nice environments and I really like the way each player character plays out. It is not too long and it is not too hard. As long as you pickup all the upgrades you can sail quite smoothly through the experience.
I was quite wary of it being a remastered game going in, and it had precisely the problems I was expecting, but despite that I truly enjoyed the experience and do not regret any of it.