Less than half a year later ININ and all the other masks the company wears has digitally released the Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection after releasing the much to be desired Wonder Boy Collection. Anyone who bought the previous collection for $30 got ripped off and now ININ wants another $40 for the product they should have released in the first place. Surprisingly, it wasn’t just games they cut from the previous release which makes the previous product that much more heinous in hindsight and deserving of the 1 I gave it. So to anyone who didn’t buy the previous collection I won’t say this isn’t worth $40. I think it’s fair for what this product is, but with the surrounding circumstances I would argue that ININ owes people refunds. Around half a year and the previous collection is not only pointless (spend the extra $10, trust me) but the original collection is still being sold, the icons are almost the same, and I can completely see someone purchasing the inferior Collection and not the Anniversary Collection. It’s a shame.

MSRP: $39.99

But let’s take a look and see how neutered that previous release was.

First off this game has the original version of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap. Not only is it arguably the best game in the series, it is also a direct sequel to Wonder Boy In Monsterland which is in the original collection. I knew that they kept that off the original collection because they wanted to make this collection (which was previously physical only) more appealing. Luckily Lizardcube’s version is far superior, and I would recommend that any day over the original, however it is nice to see it next to the other games in the series. It also has the Japanese Mk. III release as well as both English and Japanese Game Gear versions. In fact, all the games have different versions available to play including the Master System version of Wonder Boy in Monster World which is impressively well done when compared to the Genesis original. The collection also includes Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair which is an arcade game that while isn’t my cup of tea, is an entry in the series that was not included in the previous collection.

The emulation is the same and is fairly decent but certain options like changing the wallpaper to the sides of the screen is limited to this version only. Why? The border in the original collection sucked and couldn’t be turned off but in this version I can. They locked being able to play with a black border behind a premium version. Also, Japanese menus are not an option in the previous release… odd. I’m also not surprised the gallery is expanded in this version but I want to just point out the audacity of locking what are essentially JPEGs behind the guise of a collector’s edition that was previously ONLY PHYSICAL.

In a vacuum this collection is decent. The Master System games that have FM Audio feature that option. Certain games have added buttons to use magic. THERE ARE MAPS AVAILABLE TO VIEW. They even went so far as to get fan modifications added into the mix. I reached out to Ichigo who created a ROM patch to fix the colors in the Master System version of Wonder Boy in Monster World to look less gaudy and more like its Genesis counterpart, and he said that permission was given for its use in this collection and that shows a level of care to find mods that make the game better and make sure to get permission from the creators of said mods. I also want to thank Ichigo for responding because I had my concerns simply based on how this whole collection has been handled but Ichigo is listed in the credits among plenty of others who clearly care about this franchise just as much as I do. I’m horribly disappointed in how the business practices of the publisher tarnished this whole release (and the release of their other collections as well) however this is a really well-done collection. It’s not Digital Eclipse levels of work but obviously someone cared to make all this available and I do think it is worth owning for anyone into Wonder Boy or action-adventure games like Metroid and Zelda.

As a thank you for his assistance I just would like to let readers know that Ichigo actually makes and sells new games for both Master System and Game Gear which can be checked out at www.2minds.fr.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Everything is here this time
  • Lots of options and extras
  • Fan patches are included as options
  • Viewable maps
  • Business practices of this publisher sully this release
Written by
Anthony is the resident Canadian. He enjoys his chicken wings hot and drinks way too much Coca-Cola. His first game experience was on his father's Master System and he is a loyal SEGA fanboy at heart.