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Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Review

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I’ve been waiting for a Wonder Boy revival ever since I saw that dammed “to be continued…” message at the end of Wonder Boy in Monster World on the Mega Drive. I did get some relief when the Wonder Boy Collection was released in 2012 for Xbox 360 and PS3, however. This game featured the localized version of Monster World 4 which was the sequel to the beloved game from my childhood. Of course this was just an English translation of a Japanese game that had been around for years. Some would be happy with this but, I wanted more Wonder Boy darn it! Which was why, last year I came over as giddy as a school kid when I heard Wonder Boy would be making a return in not one, not two but three games. One of these three games, Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap developed by Lizardcube, is a remaster of the 1989 Sega Master System game. While not exactly a new entry into the Wonder Boy series, Lizardcube have put a lot of care and attention into this title, reviving a classic forgotten game to showcase to old fans and a potential new audience.

The Dragons Trap is a beautiful remaster with hand drawn graphics, which brought Monster World to life by filling the 2D game with lots of detail in the backgrounds as well as the character sprites. The game allows you to instantly switch between the old and new graphics at the touch of a button. This simple effect doesn’t interrupt the gameplay and allows you to see just how much effort has been put into the remaster when held against the original. The soundtrack has also been updated this time with a full orchestra. The music is still reminiscent of the old 8 bit titles but has really been brought to life with the updated score. Just like the graphics you can also switch between the old and new soundtracks at the touch of a button.

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Written by jamalais

June 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Beyond Oasis/Story of Thor Game Club

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One of the latest Sega Genesis/Mega Drive releases is a top down action RPG and brawler from Ancient, the team also responsible for Streets of Rage 2.  It was known as Beyond Oasis in North America and The Story of Thor in all other regions, and it tells the tale of Prince Ali as he recruits elementals to assist him in defeating an ancient evil.  Jam and Fred delve deep into the development, gameplay elements, and main campaign of this late, but great, 16-bit Sega game.


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Podcast: The History of CD-ROM Consoles, Part 2

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This week Fred sits down with Ali of 42 Level One to discuss the more popular 32-bit generation of CD-ROM consoles.  What started as a disaster with the 3DO Interactive Player gave way to the big releases of the Sega Saturn and the Sony Playstation.  While the Saturn may seem dead in the water for the West, it was a strong presence in the East.  Finally everything wraps up with the beloved console that lacked sales: the Sega Dreamcast.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Sonic the Hedgehog, Re-Hash

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This is an update on a topic from the past.  This week Fred and Jam are re-hashing the original episode Blast Processing: The Story of Sonic (Part 1) and discussing Sonic the Hedgehog.  As a change of pace, they discuss the iconography of the blue hedgehog and how he evolved over time.  Be sure to listen to the end of the show for a very special message from Jamalais.


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Written by Fred Rojas

January 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

The Horror Obscura 2016: Part 2

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Rise Of Nightmares

The Xbox Kinect 1.0. Yes I’m talking about Microsoft’s first attempt at motion controls on the fantastic Xbox 360 console. The device actually sold pretty well to begin with people seemed to buy into Microsoft’s marketing for the device for about 5 minutes and then people left it on the side lines only to pull it out from the dusty corner of the living room when a new entry in the Dance Central series released. Then Kinect 2.0 happened and no one cared, so the real horror here is Kinect’s failure to capture an audience. Of course you’d have seen the title and you know that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No horror fans, today we are going to talk about the reason I kinda wanted to buy a Kinect for the Xbox 360 in the first place a little Sega title called Rise of Nightmares.

Rise of Nightmares to me is House of the Dead for the Kinect. Now I know that’s an incredibly bold statement to make since the House of the Dead series is just light gun zombie shooting bliss and Rise of Nightmares, well its a Kinect game and that just makes people just groan generally. We’re gamers right? we don’t like standing up and flailing our arms around we like to sit on sofa and be lazy. Unless of course your like Fred and you stand up to play games anyway in which case buy this game and enjoy.

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Written by jamalais

October 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Psychic World

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This week Jam’s pick was Psychic World.  An action platformer originally released on the MSX as Psycho World (it was Japan only), this title received wider regard in the West as a Game Gear title and those in Europe may have also played the Sega Master System version.  Fred and Jam dissect the development, gameplay, and version differences between this largely forgotten title by an almost unknown developer.


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Written by Fred Rojas

August 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

Extra Credit: Sonic Boom’s 25th Anniversary Edition R Dash

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Sega celebrated Sonic’s 25th Anniversary with a whopping 4 hour livestream for a relatively small amount of content.  The stream was loaded with audio issues as well, so I guess it’s only fitting that a duplicating echo effect is present through this entire show as well, although we feel it’s still good enough to listen to and enjoy.  Fred and Jam are joined by 42 Level One’s Andy and Ali to discuss the blue hedgehog’s upcoming endeavors.


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Written by Fred Rojas

July 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

My Open Letter of Loving Advice to Sega

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Recently I saw on twitter that Sega was asking its fans to fill out a online survey to help them figure out what they need to do next for the company. That or it’s a long list of tick boxes just to take our e-mail address and sell it on to third parties. Well I got half way through the survey where I had typed a long page essay of why I wanted another sexy Altered Beast arcade game only to realize, “you know what? I’m going to write a letter instead!” So here it is folks, my open letter to Sega on some loving advice – from the heart – to get them back on track:

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Written by jamalais

April 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Podcast: Frankenconsole

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Sega is most famous for hyper segmenting its markets in the 16-bit generation with the Sega CD and 32X.  This resulted in reduced audiences each time a game was developed.  This was especially the case in 1994 when the Genesis/Mega Drive was struggling to keep up with the more popular SNES, the Sega CD was limited by the high price of hardware, and the 32X just plain didn’t have games.  Fred and Jam discuss the attributes and games that make these two add-ons significant.


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Written by Fred Rojas

April 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, Sega CD/Mega CD

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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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