The problem with calling up the soul of Perfect Dragon is that she does not leave easily. At some point in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom I found myself staring at the "Map Explored" meter, rationalizing to myself that yes 96% was a very high number, but it could be higher. There could be more percents involved. I could put in a little extra effort and, well, 98% was so close to 100%, I might as well scrape up just two more...
And so I 100%'d Monster Boy. Which was a good choice, because the puzzles were very interesting (even if incredibly hard to solve in places, one of them is an absolute forehead-slapper) and by the end I really... didn't want this game to end.
You see, back in 2017 I played the remade Dragon's Trap
and that was Very Good Indeed, but it was still an old game from my youth, a faithfully remade Sega Master System game. I had already finished this on the SMS, but it was fun to revisit in a glowing new guise.
In 2017 I also played Monster World IV
, which was originally a Genesis game, and that was also very good but had some old school design sensibilities that I didn't quite get along with. It was still wonderful and full of personality and ended with a screen suggesting you "make a wish" for Monster World V.
I did. I wished and I hoped and I knew in my heart that of course it would never happen. Sega had moved on and it was up to the fandom to put together, uh, SOMETHING. This Monster Boy thing looked okay.
What I hadn't realized was that Monster Boy would -be- Monster World V in all but direct name, complete with so many callbacks and references and nostalgia-buttons that I didn't even quite CATCH them all, musical themes brought back to life with talented remixes, amazing 2D graphics and a map so incredibly packed with secrets it outdid several actual Metroids and Castlevanias I've played.
This was not the cute little fan tribute I imagined it to be. This was a full, robust, proper sequel to the games I loved as a kid. I was completely blindsided, and ... hell, right now, looking out into the year to come, I'm actually not sure if I'm going to find anything BETTER than this. I might've accidentally popped my game of the year right here in the first two weeks of January.
Oops?thank you silverstar for the christmas gift