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Venture Kid Review

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Fact Sheet

Developer: Snikkabo AS
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Genre: Action Platformer
Available on: Switch, Steam, iOS
Originally released: 2016

Venture Kid is a retro action platformer that’s reminds us of the good old 8-bit days. Taking heavy inspiration from a certain Man that was Mega, the game was originally released to iOS in 2016 and appealed to the handheld touch screen crowd. Two years later it was re-released to Steam, appealing to those that prefer the controller and a screen. With the Switch becoming ever more popular, it makes complete sense that FDG Entertainment would release the game on this platform, especially since players can choose to take the game on the go or just chill out in front of the TV.

In Venture Kid you play as plain old blue T-shirt wearing Andy. He’s not the most inspiring video game hero; however with the power of my weird brain I decided he was based off my friend Andy in real life. For some reason carrying this thought with me throughout the game made me enjoy the rather basic story immensely. You see my friend Andy has to stop evil Dr. Teklov who has built a giant space fortress for evil reasons, of course. A fine bearded gentleman with an eye patch gives Andy a space pistol, which is where our adventure begins. The story is presented in some pretty decent pixel art. Straight from the title screen where your greeted with “Venture Kid” and some catchy 8-bit chiptunes. Additionally an angry Andy leaning on the title which gave me Kid Camelon flashbacks from the Mega Drive/Genesis, the only exception being the lack of sunglasses and the 90s angst.

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Written by jamalais

May 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Review

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Developer: Game Atelier                             Publisher: FDG Entertainment 

Monster Boy is the spiritual sequel to the Wonder Boy franchise, a series Sega has left dormant since 1994. These games were hugely important to me growing up and hold a very special place in my heart. I probably love the Wonder Boy series how people love the Zelda series except without dressing up as one of the characters (real chain mail is expensive). For me it has been a very long wait for a sequel spiritual or otherwise. We have since seen a few re-releases of the previous games on multiple digital platforms. In 2017 developer Lizardcube gave us a beautiful remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap. Originally we were going to see Monster Boy release that same year but developer Game Atelier decided to halt for a final year to polish up the gameplay and completely redo the graphics. Its been almost five years of development for the team, was the wait worth it?

On booting up the game you’re greeted with an impressive anime style cutscene which gives you a preview of the enemies you will be fighting and the animals you will be playing as. The song playing is also awfully addictive and it hasn’t left my brain since I heard it at E3 this year.  You play as Jin, a young chap with blue hair whose uncle appears to be up to no good changing the people of Monster World into animals as well as having a potential drinking problem. It’s not long into the story when your Uncle turns you into pig dressed in pirate gear (a nod to my favourite NPC in The Dragons Trap). You soon learn that to lift the curse you need to collect five magical orbs scattered across various dark corners of Monster World. The story comes with a few twists and turns and inevitably ends up as a typical save the world type tale. What makes this story stand out however, is its sense of humour. All the characters speak with text boxes including Jin himself and won’t shy away from making a witty joke about the current situation. Right up to the games darkest turns it was hard not to laugh at some of the games witty attempts at humour. The story is straight forward to follow and doesn’t really get in the way of your adventuring. Should you need to repeat sections of the story the game does allow you to skip them.

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Written by jamalais

December 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

Monster Boy is Coming Sometime in 2016

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This is probably my most anticipated game of 2016. A new game for the Wonder Boy, well its spiritual successor. The latest trailer for Monster Boy looks like a love letter to Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap by featuring animal transformations in the game. Inspiration and love from both Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Wonder Boy in Monster World by featuring the infamous merchant sections from Land. It was interesting to see the trailer features animated cutscenes which look kinda cute. The developers have been allowed to practically mimic the formula made famous by the Wonder Boy series, Sega just didn’t want to give up the name for some reason. I guess Sega’s just going to sit on that IP and do nothing with it while other developers work around them, thanks Sega stay classy.

Interesting to note the game is going to be released to PS4, Xbox One, and PC but it has been rumoured the game will come to Wii U and PS Vita if the game does well. Not only would I love for this game to come to a portable device but I want Sega to release a complete Wonder Boy Collection. We were fortunate enough to get a Wonder Boy Collection of three games on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 but there are still several games on the series that very much need a re release. Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap one of the best Sega Master System (and Game Gear) games for the system can only be found on the original Wiis virtual console which is quite disappointing. The only glimmer of hope is Monster Boy sells 40 billion copies and Sega at least considers releasing the old games. But I guess I’ll keep dreaming.

At the end of the day I’m hugely excited for Monster Boy. Hopefully the game will do well and we will see ports to other consoles but more importantly I want to see sequels. I want more games like this and hopefully it will encourage more developers to attempt to bring back for forgotten gems from the past, even if they can’t use the name. If you can’t call it Kid Chameleon call it Power Helmets ….. anyone buy that?

Written by jamalais

March 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm

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