Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX review
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX
Alex Kidd in Miracle World is the first part of a series of loosely connected platformers and by far the best of them. As a powerful boy, you save the kingdom of Radaxian from the claws of the mean Janken the Great by jumping over partly destructible stones and punching dangerous creatures into nirvana. Finally, bosses await at the end of many levels, the most famous of which invite you to a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you win two rounds there, the bosses turn into a rice dumpling, a hamburger, an omelet, or a portion of fish and chips, depending on the country version (today according to the selected setting), and on it goes.
However, it wasn't as upbeat as it might sound. The adventure is quite demanding because many jumps require a certain amount of dexterity.
And all this is also the case in the new edition, which resurrects the original essentially unchanged. Only now it looks much nicer! Indeed, Jankenteam aptly captures the childlike charm of the original without being silly. Alex grins with mischievous silver eyes, his fist is as thick as his head, enemies dissolve into "Kapow!" as well as "Ouch!" bubbles, and clouds squeeze lightning out of themselves with teeth clenched. It's droll to watch, as it gives the old game the flair of a cartoon that may not be high-brow, but is very snazzy.
In addition, the journey into the wonderland sounds different, as Jankenteam has not only added fresh music to familiar tracks but completely new ones. There weren't more than a handful of tracks back then, and as catchy as the lively music of the first level might be, if it's still playing in the tenth level, there's hardly any question of varied background music. The new pieces fit just as well as the new art design and, interestingly enough, are also available in a quasi-8-bit version that can be heard whenever you switch between the old and new game.
From today's point of view, Alex Kidd in Miracle World is not a particularly good jump & run. It's too monotonous for that in the long run and also feels a bit bulky in terms of movement and combat. A few new levels and additional collectibles keep the curiosity alive - but above all, it's the smart design that makes Alex and his old adventure look surprisingly modern. The fact that small errors have crept in and that the original is not even playable in Classic mode is very annoying oversights and just barely cost us our good rating. All in all, however, the developers bring together memory and modern demands in such a successful way that I even hope Jankenteam starts working on a successor soon.