Earlier news broke out that M2 was developing a handful of Mega Drive/Genesis collections for Xbox Live Arcade and individual releases on the Playstation Store. One of those sets included a number of Wonder Boy/Monster World games as part of the Sega Vintage Collection, which most notably included the English-translated release of Monster World IV. The game had never seen a release outside of Japan until Sega announced it would be bringing the game stateside to digital release platforms, including the Wii’s Virtual Console service. In fact, this release was a long time coming; It was revealed by an entry in Sega’s blog (which is gone by the way) on the 12th of May of last year. It just so happens that Nintendo has unceremoniously swept them in this week’s release schedule for the Virtual Console in the U.S. and has already seen a release in the U.K. as well. Both regions have a price point of 900 Wii Points.
Now, the Wonder Boy/Monster World series is a bit tough to follow. Feel free to look over this chronological overview from Hardcore Gaming 101. If you need the short of it, Wonder Boy is a mascot Sega character, not unlike Alex Kidd. However, the Wonder Boy series was also seen on other consoles under different names and characters with the gameplay and scenario otherwise intact, creating other video game hits such as the Adventure Island series featuring Master Higgins. The series went from being a linear platformer to provide emphasis on exploration with the start of the Monster World series. (This is where even the name of the game series becomes outright confusing. I mean, Wonder Boy V in Monster World III? I think that’s an illegal use of roman numerals.) That’s where we finally get to Monster World IV, which doesn’t feature Wonder Boy and instead features a girl named Asha. Now the game is seeing its English release for the first time. Don’t forget that the Virtual Console service is also seeing arcade releases of Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Super Hang-On has also been released this week too!