Developed By: Jankenteam Published By: Merge Games, Signature Edition Categories: Retro, Platformer, JAN KEN PON Release Date: 06.22.21
Alex Kidd has always been one of those series that Sega seems to only remember for crossovers or nostalgia. It had it’s day back in the days of the Master System and Genesis, but has laid dormant since. Thanks to a fantastic remake of the first game Miracle World, this is no longer. This is the best way to play though Alex Kidd’s adventure to defeat Janken The Great and rescue Radaxian.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is an absolutely gorgeous remake. This is some of the best spritework I’ve seen in quite some time. Mixed with the enhanced animations over the original game, this truly is a sight to behold. The original title had some decent catchy tunes as well, so hearing new remixes is always a treat. Even going into presentation, DX is leagues above the original Miracle World. It helps that Alex Kidd in Miracle World lets you switch between this modern remake and the original SMS version recreated at any time. It’s like night and day.
This however, leads into one of the bigger flaws with this remake. Alex Kidd in Miracle World is to be honest, not particularly fun. It’s slippery, your punch is far too short requiring you at times to grab that fireball bracelet, and the bosses all end with a game of JAN KEN PON. Which is rock-paper-scissors. While each boss with this has a pattern, on a first run, this is going to just be a guessing game, and if you didn’t have an item to tell you what that boss is going to pick, you could potentially lose a life or even game over.
In the original, unless you input a code at the game over screen, you’re out of luck, which is TERRIBLE game design. Thankfully DX allows for infinite continues. You’ll have to restart from the beginning of a stage, but most are not particularly long anyway, so it isn’t too much of an issue. Restarting the stage has also save my back for when I’ve gotten stuck at certain areas or bosses and just needed to go back and get a powerup. On top of that, there’s an infinite lives toggle. I could never beat the original Alex Kidd in Miracle World, nor have the patience. Now, I can definitely do it with some perseverance.
You’ll be punching. A lot. Punch everything. The destructible blocks, enemies, bosses. Most blocks are just obstacles, but a good hunk have money, and some even have powerups or extra lives! The most common powerup you’ll find is a bracelet that lets you shoot fireballs out, which is incredibly helpful. There’s bikes, pedal based helicopters, and boats to help with traversal, and some stages will even start with them. Be careful as one hit means you lose them, or in the bike’s case, hitting a wall is a death. You should also not just destroy powerup blocks at random, as some hold ghoulish enemies that can’t be killed and will chase you until you get them off the screen.
With the money you collect, you can buy powerups in stores you’ll see on a handful of the stages. Extra lives, a powder to make you invincible, capsules to make tiny Alex clones or invulnerability to lightning, a wand that allows you to float, in addition to those vehicles. Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want a powerup that allows you to know what a JAN KEN PON boss is going to do. As long as you don’t game over, your money and powerups should stay with you unless you died using one.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, much like the original game is incredibly punishing with those one hit kills and the rock paper scissors. Despite the additions to ease players in, it’s hard to truly suggest a game like this to newer players. To fans of the Alex Kidd series, it’s a DEFINITE buy, they’ll know what they’re getting into. To the developers at Jankenteam however, this is nothing short of a passion project by fans who never gave up on a series that Sega did. It’s admirable how faithful this remake is, which depending on the player could be a good or bad thing.
So do I like Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX? As someone who didn’t like the original game all that much, it’s hard to say. But do I like the remake as a remake? Heavens yes. It’s a showcase of the love and soul fans of something can put into a game they want people in the modern age to play.