Review by GooseAss

Reviewed: 07/08/01 | Updated: 07/08/01

The finest the Wonderboy series has to offer

Wow. That's all I can say about this fantastic title. I've been looking for the US version of this game for years and years, and after finally securing a copy, it was worth every penny of the $60 I paid. With games like this, you can see why the Duo still commands a $200 price tag: Dynastic Hero is everything a platformer should be, and a great example of why some people (like me) still have a soft spot for 16-bit games.
If you're familiar with any of the Wonderboy games (or platformers in general), you'll quickly be familiar with this game. In fact, it plays almost indentically to Dragon's Curse (aka Wonderboy in Monster Land). It's the same side-scrolling swords-and-sorcery game you've been playing for the last 15 or so years, but it's done so well it makes me want to cry! Well... so maybe I'm not moved to tears, but it's a beautiful game nonetheless. You go through the dungeons, forests, and seas accquiring money, solving puzzles, and defeating bosses, then accquire an item that will allow you to enter the next level. It's the same gameplay dynamic that made Metroid and Zelda so insanely addictive and fun. Entering towns, buying items, talking to towns-people, and other RPG-like elements add a surprising amount of depth.
The graphics are crude by today's standards, but as an older gamer, I have an affinity for well-drawn 2D sprites, and Dynastic Hero has them in spades. Killer mushrooms, giant turtles, ghosts, living trees, and tons of other Fantasia-like enemies populate Dynastic Hero. The backgrounds are colorful, beautifully executed, and varied. I would have liked to see some parallax (those of you who started playing games with Playstation will be unfamiliar with this term), the graphics are still on par with the best Duo games.
The soundtrack is without question my absolute favorite game music ever. And I'm not one of those guys that's ''into'' game music. I don't go out and buy anime or game soundtracks, and I don't know the names of any composers of game music. I went so far as to tape the music to this game so I could listen to it in the car on the way to work. It's as good as a film score. I really can't get enough of it. This is what CD-based games should sound like!
In conclusion, if you can actually track down a copy of this game (it's extremely rare), by all means do. It's even worth purchasing a used Duo for if you like older games like Castle of Illusion, Super Metroid, or Wonderboy 3.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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