LifeisXbox’s Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX review | I only just reviewed a remake of an older game (Destroy All Humans), and it’s time for another one already! Again, it’s a game that I have not yet experienced, so let’s go! Alex Kidd In Miracle World was originally brought to life by SEGA and first released in 1986, which is 35 years ago, I wasn’t even born yet! Alex Kidd was supposed to become immensely popular like the beloved Mario, but unfortunately, his popularity peaked in the ’80s and he did not become the SEGA mascot. Several other Alex Kidd titles were later released, and the monkey-like boy also appeared as a (playable) character in various other SEGA games. In 2020, a remake of the popular first entry in the series was announced, and last month, Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, now developed by Merge Games) was released on various platforms. Let’s check it out!
Maui played Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX for 6 hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5.
What we liked!
- New and improved | If you compare the content that Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX offers, it’s exactly the same as in the original game, with some new levels even! The various environments remain, and going into new levels is always exciting because of the variety of locations. The biggest improvement, however, is definitely graphics related. If you look at the original title, the art style is pretty poor and honestly, quite ugly. Of course, we’re talking about a game released in the ’80s so no judgement here. Now, if you look at the remake, it feels like a completely new game. Alex looks a million times better, and so do his enemies. The improved art style is definitely the star of the remake. The music was also remastered and now offers more variety to keep things from getting repetitive.
- Switch it up | As I mentioned in the introduction, I have not played the original Alex Kidd games, but for players like me, as well as veterans, there was a very cool option added. You can jump straight into the original game with the press of a single button. You could be playing the new version, click, and you’re continuing in Retro Mode. The switch between these two went so very smooth at every point in the game, it was amazing! Whether you were just walking, swimming, or jumping, switching it up from the enhanced graphics to the original art style was super easy. It also showed how different the game looks now, and honestly, how very good it looks!
- Stays true to its dificult gameplay | The original Alex Kidd in Miracle World was insanely difficult. Of course, this was justified back then since this ensured a longer gametime for players who bought the game. Enemies were fairly easy to defeat as they usually didn’t require a lot of hits, but in return you also went down with just one hit. Nowaways, people have way less patience, but I’m happy to see the game stays true to its difficulty. Admitted, I did get quite frustrated when I kept dying and dying because I ran out of lives right away. Luckily, something extra came with the remake of Alex Kidd in Miracle World!
- Extras | Let me jump right into the most important extra that is featured in Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX: infinite lives. Yes, there is an option to turn on inifinte lives, and I’m so very glad there was because I don’t think I would’ve wanted to finish the game without this new setting. It’s such an important must to escape an otherwise more outdated game. Besides this, finishing the game also unlocks two new modes: Boss Rush and Classic Mode. If you’re a fan of the boss battles (which I doubt), the Boss Rush mode is right up your alley: here you can enjoy the bosses non-stop! If you’re a nostalgic person, Classic Mode might be more your thing. Here you can experience the original game with boss fights, dialogue, levels and functions the same as the original Master System version.
- What does it do | You can gather useful objects or vehicles either one of two ways. The first option is to buy them at the start of certain levels. You enter a little shop that offers three objects/vehicles, and you can buy them with the money you gathered along the way. The second option is finding things on your journey through the levels. Either way, you never get an explanation of what something does. I had a ring a few times, but I had no idea what it did. I did have something that made me immune to my enemies for a short while, and a device that created mini Alex’s to attack my opponentns, but I had to find this out by trying out the items. I have no idea why items are not explained, so I usually ended up wasting them, and crashing my vehicles pretty fast.
- Boss battles | Usually, I enjoy boss battles but the big guys in Alex Kidd left me a bit confused, not to say unsatisfied. Sometimes, there were straight up battles, but these were pretty easy and the bosses went down with a small amount of hits. However, lots of times you had to defeat a boss by playing JAN KEN PON, which is a cooler shout for a simple rock, paper scissors game. Yes, you had to defeat a boss by winning a RPS battle… I know. Crush your opponent twice, and you take home the victory. However, this depended on sheer luck, so this got annoying real fast. Luckily, I found the magic telepathic ball in the Mt. Kave level, which allowed me to see what other players are thinking. This meant I could see what my opponent was going to play, and from there on, boss battles with the Jan Ken Pon game became ridicously easy. For a game that is otherwise so very challenging, most boss battles were a huge disappointment.
What we disliked
- Controls | If there were complains about the controls 35 years ago already, you’d expect the developers to look into this for a remake, right? Nope, guess again. The whole point of controls is to feel in control of your character, I mean, it’s right there in the name! Unfortunately, my biggest frustration with Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX remained the unsatisfying controls. At times, I felt like I had no control over Alex, especially when performing jumps. It was absolutely awful. I don’t know, sometimes there seemed to be a magical wall even that prevented me from making a jump. What is that about? Please, if you consider a remake, tackle the main issues of a game first!
How long to beat the story | 2 to 6+ hours, depending on how good you are, and whether you’re using infinite lives or not
How long to achieve 1000G | 10+ hours
Similar with | Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, and other adventure platformers
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂