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Played in 2023
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One of the first games I've ever played was Wonder Boy in Monster World, but for some reason it took me ~2 decades to play its follow-up and the rest of the series.
This is a very charming game, there are many little animation quirks that add personality to Asha and her Pepelogoo and make her more interesting than previous playable characters in the series, and the art and soundtrack are both amazing.
But the gameplay becomes increasingly frustrating as it goes along, with levels that are severely too long, and later enemies with movesets that prove to be infuriating for Asha and her very short sword. It also returns to the level-based structure from the first games unlike the open map in Wonder Boy V where you can always return to places you visited, and do new things in them with new tools (what you'd call now a ~metroidvania~), which was a shame.