Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX
Developer: Jankenteam, Merge Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC, Xbox, and Ps4)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 29/06/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a remastered take on the original Sega Master System game Alex Kidd in Miracle World which first released all the way back in 1986. The game tells the story of the small but strong titular hero, Alex Kidd on his quest to defend his world, Radaxian, and his people, from the evil forces of Janken the Great. Are you gonna help our hero restore order to the once peaceful land of Radaxian?
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a 2D action-platformer where players need to overcome various obstacles and enemies in order to reach the end of a level. Alex Kidd’s default attack is a close-range punch attack that will kill most enemies with one hit. You can also pick up rings that give Kidd a temporary attack such as a fireball or mini versions of himself that will kill themselves; akin to what Lemmings do.
Shiny new graphics, archaic gameplay
The game offers a decent level variety where they get progressively harder and more challenging as you progress through the game. It also offers a unique diversity of boss battles. While most platformers will have players battle a big enemy like a boss battle, and you will find those here, Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX also has players going into rock/paper/scissors battles with some of Janken’s cronies. It’s a nice change of pace, but they can feel so random that you can either win on the first try or lose a handful of times in a row.
The biggest problem I found with Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is that its “remastered” take of it doesn’t fix the core mechanics. Alex Kidd is still as slippery to control as he was on the original Sega Master game and sometimes controls feel unresponsive. I’ve lost track of how many times I pressed jump and Alex just went about this falling down or hitting things. If you’re offering a remastered version of a classic, yet flawed game, developers should also address controls if need be to provide an updated and enjoyable experience.
Presentation isn’t everything
The remastered visuals for Alex Kidd look great; it’s bright and colourful, giving a very happy-ish vibe. Also, each level is beautifully re-designed. Sometimes they are barely recognizable and it’s pretty fun to switch between classic and new visuals to compare. My main gripe here is collision detection. Sometimes you can plainly see a small gap between you and the enemy, yet a hit still registers. While it’s fun when it’s to the player’s benefit, it can lead to frustrating, otherwise unjustified deaths when you’re on the receiving end of a fake hit. The soundtrack is still amazing after all these years and the remastered score sounds like the original but it will still sound familiar to returning players; I recognized the iconic song of the first level and it instantly brought back (frustrating) memories.
You know, I was looking forward to this game, even had it pre-ordered on PS5 and I was planning to keep my pre-order despite reviewing it, but once I started playing it, all the game’s archaic issues reminded me why Alex Kidd could never be SEGA’s take on Mario. Unresponsive and slippery controls, collision issues, and random rock/paper/scissors “boss” battles made this game a frustrating mess back then and the developers didn’t even bother addressing this in the remaster. Remastered visuals will never compensate for poor gameplay. Unless you’re a die-hard hardcore Alex Kidd fan, this is an easy pass. If you’re looking for a fun, casual platformer, this ain’t it chief.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX for Nintendo Switch on the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.