Developer: Merge games
minimum: Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000-5000, 4GB RAM, 4GB HDD
Similar games: Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
Most of the gamer community would agree that there are legendary creations that simply shouldn’t be touched and manipulated. Alex Kidd in the movie Miracle World, for example, would have probably done a lot better if it had remained a museum asset!
In Hungary, like us, not many people were able to get access to legendary game consoles like the Sega Master System after a huge delay. We sat on needles, and waited for relatives to come home from FRG to pile us in bloated clothes and bored toys from our distant cousins. This is how many of us encountered a gaming console for the first time in our lives. That’s how the legendary Sega machine came to us in the middle of a system change – we add, it still works today – with the first cassettes, including Alex Kidd in Miracle World. We didn’t want it, although next door kids got in, we could barely get to the front tracks, so we spent our free time with other easier and more understandable toys.
That is why Alex Kidd, like us, remained a vague speck of the past, an unfinished love, for we have thrown it in vain a thousand times – there was no such dumping of games at that time, and often nothing new came for years – but we never got to there. Not even in the middle of the story. What is the point of this brutal level of difficulty? We didn’t even understand it at the time, but when it was announced that the reworking of the myth was approaching, we were hoping there would be some change in the field. I did, but everything seems to be quite sweaty, while Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX unfortunately can’t be called too cute even in today’s eyes. But let’s not go too far!
The developers of Merge Games partially touched the game completely, but partially did nothing with it. For example, the graphics have undergone massive changes, but that’s almost all we can say about the processing! The gameplay, for example, has expanded in a few places, but it has generally remained as unplayable as it was at the time, and as a result, the story is not touched upon. Our hero is a young martial artist named Alex Kidd – raising his hand, who at that time did not look like a little monkey – learns in a special fantasy world that he has a connection with the ruling family and the fate of the turbulent kingdom depends only on him, so he has to slap everyone to reach his goal and subdue the usurper of the throne.
As mentioned, Alex Kidd in Miracle World has changed almost nothing in terms of gameplay. It is a side view platform on which we can travel in four directions of space, but mostly down and to the right, with our hero, overcoming all kinds of obstacles and suckers. It is not enough that the paths are full of all kinds of monsters, in addition, we can even collect them, for the sake of which we can smash various blocks.
Some give us a sure gift, you can say something good, but there are some inconveniences from the questionable and turbulent bits that can crack so many peppers under our noses. Basically, it’s not worth the risk, because if we enjoy Alex’s adventures in the classic gameplay mode, we’ll have three lives per level. It’s no joke if we don’t get to the end, we always have to start over and over again, no matter how many times we die. However, dying would be too easy here, and that’s where the black soup lay in the end result.
It has to say Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX: Unplayable. We didn’t know what to do with it three decades ago, but we couldn’t go down the second track in its current form. Not only is the lack of life a problem, but also the fact that the creators used tasks that seemed impossible to do in a lot of places. In the first level, there will be an underwater monster that is difficult to beat if we can’t try again and again, we won’t have a chance to advance.
Since the makers felt that this level of difficulty – which is pretty cool compared to Dark Souls – wouldn’t really take players’ stomachs, they created an option that gives us endless lives. We’re still dying, but we’re reviving the previous save point, and we don’t have to start the match from the beginning. This is also not easy, but it allows us to overcome obstacles more easily. It still presents some challenges for us, but the biggest experience was that we were finally able to see what we had lost at the time, as we were only dreaming about the paths that might lie ahead for the rest of the game. In 2021, it became clear that we couldn’t be grateful to the makers enough.
It is also worth noting the mechanism because the errors remained almost the same in the processing as the original. The incredible difficulty culminates, for example, with frequent errors in controllability, which often make us fail because it is impossible to calculate exactly where our hero will reach after the jump. Especially in the case of skill puzzles, all this can cause a particularly great inconvenience, especially in cases where we have to be skilled and fight at the same time, since it is not uncommon for these two elements to alternate at the same or at the same time. The succession is at a surprisingly fast pace.
So much about the quality of the processing itself that the creators did a good job looking for new locations or characters from the previous pixel set. We can constantly switch between classic and modern graphics, thanks to which it soon turns out that they imitated the original from centimeter to centimeter, sometimes paying impeccable loyalty to the factor of nostalgia, sometimes with a new vision that it is impossible to know the previous characters or the place. In this field, the main motive is the limit in front of the makers, and also because they have dared to innovate in the meantime, so that in many cases, for example, we can meet in the sections of the alternative course, main opponents and so on. These are little things, but the biggest fans are sure to be happy for him.
Graphics: Basically, the game isn’t ugly, especially since the development is huge compared to the original, but it’s clear that the creators could have done a little better if they only updated it once. So Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX makes a vague impression in this area as well: looking at the original, it’s nice, if compared to today’s platform, it’s lagging behind in abundance. On the other hand, there are no complaints about the optimization, we can comfortably run it on devices that are several years old.
User interface, controllability: The game was also not perfect in the field at the time, and surprisingly the game makers inherited all the management flaws that make the Alex Kidd tackled especially frustrating. There are no special problems with the user interface, but the control can often be called unpleasantly inaccurate.
Playability: If we try to complete the game with three lives and nothing can get us out of our way, Alex Kidd’s treatment is guaranteed to give us new experiences for the rest of our lives, more precisely, where we won’t have a chance to play through. With Infinite Life, you can reach the end surprisingly quickly if we are persistent enough, in just 6-8 hours.
Intelligence and difficulty: Anyone who has read the lines above carefully will surely know that Dark Souls is a loose afternoon recreation compared to this. Turning off the three life-related frontiers won’t make things easy either, but at least we don’t have to start the adventure over and over, although annoying mistakes – inaccuracies, outright insults – make it so difficult.
Sounds and music: The game is quite average in this area, the original sounds, effects and music have been reused in it, which wasn’t exactly a bad decision, but it could have touched it a little better if they had really managed the look to such an extent.
Summary: All in all, Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX has become one of the most redundant reworks on the line lately. This is because it was already a general disgust among fans at the time for its brutal difficulty level, and if one sticks to tradition, it still has exactly the same flaws today. It can cause a few fun minutes with infinite life, but in this case the nostalgia factor doesn’t really materialize and other problems come to the fore. We wouldn’t say it’s not worthy of attention, but without thinking that we can list dozens of worthy games from the early 90’s or late 80’s that no one has dealt with before.