InIn games and developer/publisher United Games are releasing a Wonder Boy Collection for the Switch and Playstation 4. There will actually be two different versions of this collection; a limited edition release that includes the entire* series of Wonder Boy games and a regular retail and digital release that only includes four games. Even though the game cover is using updated art as seen in recent remasters and remakes, these are original versions of the Wonder Boy games–not any remastered versions. It should also be noted that some listings show images of the arcade versions of Wonder Boy and Wonder Boy in Monster Land rather than their console ports, while the release trailer shows the Sega Master System versions. This appears to be a discrepancy in advertising between the limited edition and retail release.
The UK Amazon listing has this to say about the collection.
“Bringing together four of the very best Wonder Boy games – from the original 1986 arcade version to 1994’s Monster World IV – this remarkable collection gives you a chance to experience one of the most influential series from gaming’s past”
The listing also mentions these having a few modern upgrades such as shaders, a rewind feature, and an art gallery. InIn games have been involved with the Wonder Boy series recently with the remake of Monster World IV, retitled to Asha in Monster World, and also brought the unreleased Westone title Clockwork Aquario to the Switch and PS4 at the end of 2021.
The remake of Monster World IV had the original Sega Genesis version included which also had some of the updates mentioned in this listing such as Shaders and filters, and scaling options. The version was handled by Ratalakia Games and was run using an emulator called KGen20, a version of Kega Fusion made by Steve Snake.
*The limited-edition version from Strictly Limited will include the entire Wonder Boy series and all of the ports still titled Wonder Boy or Monster World/Land that appeared on Sega hardware. This includes both Japanese and International versions of the original arcade versions and home ports. There are none of the ports that were given new sprites and names in various regions like Saiyuki World (Famicom), Dynastic Hero (PC-Engine), or Turma da Mônica em o Resgate (Master System). Not surprisingly you won’t see the first Adventure Island game on here either.
The Strictly Limited listing has this to say about its version of the collection:
Featuring 21 versions of six of the most iconic Wonder Boy games ever released, this incredible compilation brings the influential platformer series to today’s hardware. Through the 1980s and 1990s the Wonder Boy series gained a vast cult following thanks to its distinct blend of energetic platforming, action-RPG elements, and even shoot ‘em up gameplay. And now you can enjoy a diverse spread of the Wonder Boy games that have left a powerful legacy throughout gaming, from the 1986 arcade original to 1994’s Monster World IV.
So yes, the regular retail version will only include Wonder Boy (Arcade System 1), Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Arcade System 2), Wonder Boy in Monster World, and Monster World IV. It is odd that InIn would decide to cut so much from the regular release of the collection, Dragon’s Trap is a big omission for any Wonder Boy fan, rather than cut back on having multiple ports and languages. If you want the entire series, head over to the Strictly Limited games site for either the base version or the collector’s versions.
Despite this news slowly moving across the internet Strictly Limited Games and Amazon UK are the only two places that currently have a listing ready for pre-order while writing this article. Also, no further information on the development of the titles and the emulation used. The release date is currently listed as June 2nd for the regular version with the Strictly Limited version likely shipping in September/October of this year and pre-orders begin today.
Images from the Amazon Listing: