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Preview: Legend of Wukong

When Super Fighter Team released Beggar Prince for the Genesis worldwide in 2006, it garnered a lot of attention. As the first domestically released game for the console in almost a decade, fans were eager to see an actual product that could be played on the hardware and not through emulation. Though a bit bumpy in execution due to compatibility issues with the initial crop of games, as well as some box art controversy, the game’s release was a success, and Super Fighter Team quickly moved on to its next Genesis title. Now, we’re about to see the fruits of its labor. Coming this December is The Legend of Wukong, another traditional RPG that only originally saw release in Taiwan. The original publisher, Gamtec, has licensed Legend of Wukong for distribution outside of its native land, and Super Fighter Team looks to have another solid seller on its hands.

A New Adventure Approaches

The Legend of Wukong pens the tale of a young lad named Wukong, a thirteen-year-old kid with a penchant for mischief. Somehow, he finds himself involved with the disappearance of his neighbor’s (Dr. Tang) time machine. While most youths his age are discovering girls, Wukong ends up discovering that it’s not always easy to escape your past, especially when you’re stuck hundreds of years in it! Together with friends Wujing and Piggsy, Wukong sets out to recover the time machine and return to his rightful period in history.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? company head Brandon Cobb became interested in the game when he saw it for sale in Taiwan.

Derrick Sobodash,

Super Fighter Team’s resident script programmer, was also charmed by The Legend of Wukong and was eager to work on it. After purchasing a copy, Cobb was convinced that this was a title worth localizing, and he set out to obtain the rights. He was enticed by its characters and gameplay, and he saw it as another excellent opportunity to present Chinese legends to the gaming public.

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Cobb had previously been in contact with Gamtec about localizing other titles and had spoken with some former employees. With communication with the company open, he was able to secure the rights to publishing The Legend of Wukong outside of Taiwan. Cobb is convinced that this newest game will find a soft spot with the Genesis fans, who are hungry for quality titles. Beggar Prince sold almost fifteen hundred copies, and the lessons learned from working on that game will help to ensure that The Legend of Wukong is launched with the highest level of quality possible.

Turn-based, like most RPGs of the era, The Legend of Wukong features a visual style that’s reminiscent of Game Arts’ Lunar series. Rich and colorful, the game takes players through a myriad of environments, unfolding the plot through a series of animated cut scenes. Combat and magic both play an integral part in the action, and while the engine doesn’t appear to be anything overly complicated, it should keep players engaged throughout the adventure. It would easy to make evaluations of this using today’s titles, but that would be unfair, as The Legend of Wukong originally debuted on the Chinese Mega Drive over a decade ago.

That last point will most likely raise some eyebrows about just how much work had to be done for localization. Trust me folks, this goes above and beyond the typical “throw in an English font” routine, and those who think that all that was needed was a simple translation need to wise up. Super Fighter Team had to make almost three dozen code changes, bug fixes, and enhancements to improve everything from fixing wonky magic effects to damage calculations and even errors on the world map. The amount of custom code that was added was quite large, and the result should be a game that’s both solid and entertaining.

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Clocking in at sixteen megs, The Legend of Wukong comes packaged with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a Super Fighter Team release. The cartridge boasts a glossy label and comes wrapped in a full clamshell case with color insert, and the manual is sixteen pages long and in full color. There’s a battery back up feature to keep your game safe, and fans will be quite pleased to know that The Legend of Wukong is fully – that’s right, fully – compatible with every variation of the Genesis hardware right from day one. That means that we should hopefully avoid any of the controversy that surrounded the release of Beggar Prince, and all Genesis owners can enjoy this new game right from the get-go. Variations of the Genesis, such as the X’Eye, Laser Active, and even the 32X never saw release in Taiwan, so developers there saw no need to make their games compatible. With the knowledge and experience gleamed from working on Beggar Prince, Super Fighter Team can now ensure that it’s titles are fully compatible.

Coming Soon to Your Genesis!

So now you’ve got yet another new RPG coming for your Genesis. It kind of makes you thankful that you hung on to the thing, eh? The Legend of Wukong appears to be a solid title, and believe me, the list of things that Super Fighter Team has improved should make this much more solid than the Chinese original. The company seems dedicated to getting everything right and leaving its customers happy campers, the game looks fun, and I have to admit, the thought of using a broom-wielding pig man intrigues me greatly.

Interested in buying a copy? Well it can be yours for only $46 (U.S.) shipped – the same price Super Fighter Team’s first title – come this December, and Cobb & co. will ship copies worldwide, just as it did with Beggar Prince. More information, as well as ordering information can be found at the game’s official website. Stay tuned to Sega-16 for any new information that surfaces before The Legend of Wukong ships, and expect a full review of it when it does.

Long live the Genesis!

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