Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

We all know Sonic the Hedgehog as SEGA’s beloved mascot.  But did you know that before Sonic came along, SEGA had a roster of other mascots?  One was Opa-Opa, a winged spaceship with feet who starred in the Fantasy Zone series.  Another popular one was Alex Kidd, who starred in a bunch of games for the 8-bit SEGA Master System.  His very first game was Alex Kidd in Miracle World, which was definitely made in response to compete with the more popular NES title Super Mario Bros.  In the game, Alex Kidd uses his giant fist and martial arts skills to save the Radaxian kingdom from the evil Janken in this 2-D platformer.  And now the game has been given a new lease on life with a DX remake featuring enhanced graphics and sound.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  So does Alex make good on his second chance?  You’ll just have to read on to find out.

Gameplay in the DX version is almost one to one to the original game.  If you’ve mastered the original, you’ll know what to do here.  They don’t really give you any instructions on how to play, but it’s pretty easy to figure out.  Jump with one button, and punch with the other.  Monkey Man Alex can punch enemies, blocks, and most boulders.  Sometimes you’ll find a power-up that you can activate with the triangle button.  I do wish they told you what these power-ups do, and they only last for one level.  Some include long distance fireballs, and in some levels you can visit a shop to buy vehicles like a motorcycle or helicopter to help you along.  The vehicles also let you take an extra hit, which is nice because this is one of those one-hit-and-you-die games that I don’t care much for.

You can continue where you left off and can even opt for infinite lives, which is nice since in the original game, after you lose all your lives you had to start over again.  You can also unlock the classic game and a boss rush, but I think the classic mode should’ve been unlocked from the beginning.  Heck, the DX mode is so much like the original game, I don’t see why they couldn’t let you switch them out at any time, kind of like how they did in the Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap remake.  You can also toggle options, one of them being rather funny.  In the original game, you would collect a rice ball to finish a level, but later on they changed it to be a hamburger.  In the DX game, you can pick to eat rice balls, hamburgers, and more food items!

The best parts of this remake are the graphics and sound.  When one of my relatives watched me play, she said it looked like a Disney cartoon!  And the Alex Kidd theme song sounds great on acoustic guitar!  But unfortunately, they didn’t do too much else to really make this one shine.  I never liked the original game much in the first place, and the trailer for this new game made it sound so awesome.  But the play control is a bit slippery and hit detection is horrendous.  Your puny fist attack doesn’t go far and if an enemy barely grazes you, you die.  The trailer also touted revamped boss battles, but they’re still the same here, even the ones where you must play rock, paper, scissors to pass.  I always thought that was dumb.  If you’re a die-hard Alex Kidd fan, you might like this one, but I doubt there are many of them out there.  When I was young, I only knew one kid with a SEGA Master System.  As for me, I was pretty disappointed with this remake.

Kid Factor:

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is rated E for Everyone with ESRB descriptors of Mild Fantasy Violence and Mild Language.  I didn’t notice any bad language in the game, and you can punch cartoony enemies that disappear in a puff of smoke and a Batman style POW, BAM interjection.  If Alex gets hit, he just turns into an angel and floats away.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

2 Responses to “Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. After reading this I don’t think I’ll be spending any money for this game. I was on the fence but It doesn’t sound like a worthwhile investment. Thanks Cary.

  2. The graphics look good… but after spending many frustrating hours with this game as a child, I am not interested in this.

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