Review Fix Exclusive: Inside Wonder Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Review Fix chats with Thomas Kern (FDG Entertainment); Producer of Wonder Boy and the Cursed Kingdom who details the creative process and goals for the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 adventure, based on the classic Sega Master System and Sega Genesis RPG series.

About Wonder Boy and the Cursed Kingdom:

A legendary game series returns with an all-new adventure! Monster Boy is a colourful side-scrolling action adventure created in cooperation with Ryuichi Nishizawa, the creator of the Wonder Boy* Monster World* series (* Trademark of SEGA Corporation Japan). Monster Boy is being created to bring back the enjoyment of classic games that shine by simplicity. Pure, exciting gameplay; upbeat music and smooth graphics. You’ll need to overcome huge bosses, find hidden passages, discover powerful equipment and use all your wits and skills to remove a powerful curse. Monster Boy can transform into 5 different creatures, each with their own skills and abilities. Take advantage of all the unique powers to open new paths and advance in an epic story. Monster Boy is a love letter to gaming from the 80s and 90s – will you join us and celebrate together with us?

Review Fix: What does it feel like to be a part of such an influential series?

Thomas Kern: In the first moment we’ve been really happy and proud about being able to work on a new Wonder Boy. The second moment was like: Oh man, we have a big responsibility here.

We can feel the pressure – but it’s also a ton of fun! The game is progressing nicely and we had some great new ideas that will make Monster Boy stand out as a fantastic new game in the Wonder Boy in Monster World legacy.

I’m really proud of the team, they’re all hard working and show a lot of passion. Monster Boy will have plenty of soul.

Review Fix: The series has so many dedicated fans despite not being released on a major console in decades. Why do you think that is?

Kern: Wonder Boy and especially the Monster World series was setting new standards in Metroidvania style gameplay at that time. I still have fond memories of playing Dragon’s Trap the first time.

A colorful action adventure with so many secrets, great music, animation and the wondrous transformation of characters for seemingly never-ending exploration in the game. I really got drawn into it.

What’s behind this door? Oh wow, where can I go as a mouse-man. All following Monster World games added to this formula with bigger worlds, even better graphics and you couldn’t help but fall in love with all of them.

Review Fix: How has the gameplay formula changed in the new version?

Kern: Monster Boy is the first game in the series which allows the player to hot-swap between unlocked animal characters anytime. In Dragon’s Trap you could only use one character and his ability at a time, this time you combine them! This allows us to create really interesting level designs and very dynamic action. Today’s technology gives us a lot of creative freedom and make it a really pretty HD 2D game.

Review Fix: What has development been like?

Kern: To be honest, we had tough times. It took quite a while to find the right style and our current graphics are like the third iteration. It was difficult to move from pixel to HD – the reason is that pixel graphics have a great charm and the brain completes the picture and details. It’s like the imagination of players adds depth to the game just like reading a book. When you create HD graphics, you really need to draw all the details to not make it look bland or boring. Today I can happily say we’re very confident about the graphics. Huge thanks go out to communities like on NeoGAF forum – we read it frequently and some of their feedback helped us to make Monster Boy a better game.

Gameplay wise we’re still working and optimizing level designs – we keep having ideas and we want to include the best of them.

Review Fix: How do you think new gamers will enjoy this?

Kern: They’ll love it. It will be exciting, adventurous, colorful and simply amazing.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Kern: We’re going to work on porting the game to as many devices as possible.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 11966 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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