My first ever video game console was a Sega Mega Drive. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I would be allowed a couple of hours in front of the screen, playing such games as Echo the Dolphin, the ridiculously-hard Batman and, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle. The latter was a title that would stick with me for many years to come.
I would sit and wonder exactly how I could beat the computer when it came to the ‘boss battles’, where you would engage in a Jankenpon face-off, better-known as ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ in the Western world. Eventually, I’d pick up on the formula and be able to make it quite deep into the adventure. I don’t however, ever remember getting all the way to the end. Damn those days when a save file wasn’t an option!
So, when I saw that Alex Kidd would be making a comeback in a remastered and updated version of his classic adventure, I was excited, to say the very least. Whilst this wasn’t the video game I remembered from my childhood, the similarities were very apparent from the jump.
There are the same items and objects, such as the iconic power bracelet that lets you slice through enemies from afar, as well as the helicopter which you must navigate through tight spaces if you wish to remain its pilot, as well as levels taking place both on land and underwater. These elements deliver a hit of nostalgia unlike most others I’ve enjoyed from the world of video games.
What’s instantly impressive of course, is the stunning visual upgrade. The work that’s gone into elevating the art throughout the title doesn’t go unnoticed. Those who have delivered this gorgeous remaster were clearly extremely passionate about making it as pleasing to the eye as possible. If you’re a purist however, there’s also the option to go back to the classic visuals.
Having never personally played the original version of Miracle World, I can’t comment on my own experience with the new levels that have come to the game. A quick browse of the net show that for those who did enjoy the classic, the additions are a mixed bag. Some are near-carbon copies of levels already included, whilst others are a pleasant surprise, it would seem.
As for the gameplay, though? Not everybody’s impressed. The problems that plagued the original release aren’t only included once more, but there are now even more gameplay elements which had me scratching my head. It’s easy to miss out on a game-changing item for example, simply because of making one mistake that you’d be hard-pressed to see anybody NOT make on 99% of their runs through.
When it comes to the boss fights, they’re just not very exciting. The thrill of playing Jankenpon remains but, once you’ve beaten your enemy in that game, you’ll actually go up against them in a fight which is quite frankly, a bit boring.
There was a point in time that Alex Kidd was considered the guy to go up against Nintendo’s Mario, but those days have gone. Unfortunately, he can’t really compete. Recent Nintendo games that have been brought back from the dusty shelves for a remaster or re-release far exceed the quality of this one, and it’s a real shame. The Kidd deserves better.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch. A code for Xbox One was given to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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