The latest revival of an old Sega game that was not made by Sega itself is Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, a remaster of the 8-bit platformer that started on the Sega Master system. Developed by Jankenteam and originally created as a fan project, the officially sanctioned remaster is a neat visual update that does nothing else to modernize Alex Kidd’s 35 year old adventure.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX plays almost identically to its 1986 counterpart, mostly for the worse. The developers, who clearly love Alex Kidd, have made only minor changes to the controls on Sega’s former mascot. Many of the changes are superficial or minor changes to the user interface; For example, it’s easier to use Alex’s power-ups.
Other changes just seem like they were made for fun. In the original Japanese version of Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Elsewhere, things feel largely the same. Many boss fights are rock-paper-scissors competition (really!), While others are about dodging and beating your enemies. Platforming and hand-to-monster combat feel awkward.
It’s the look that matters Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX seem to be. Alex, the wonder world and all of its residents have received a detailed, exaggeratedly animated makeover. The stiff-looking Alex from the Master-System original now looks more like an energetic monkey boy, just like the fist-headed bosses now look more like their Dragon Ball inspirations. In a nice little gesture, Jankenteam lets you toggle between the updated graphics and the original with the touch of a button, and the difference is dramatic every time.
But DX‘s beautiful graphics can’t make up for that Alex Kidd in Miracle World‘s age-old game mechanics. Alex dies at the slightest touch, and his floating movements make playing through much of Miracle World grueling. Fortunately, the option to turn on Infinite Lives is just a menu away, and I can’t imagine playing the game all over again without that convenience.
This is truly a product of its time. Alex Kidd in Miracle World and other 8-bit games of the era were designed to be challenging, if not annoying, so players could get the maximum time out of smaller-sized games. Some players, like me, may find it difficult to reconsider this era of games. I was pleased to take down Janken, the big bad guy, and stay away from Alex Kidd’s awakening.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is almost as short as its 8-bit ancestor, but there are a few extras to be seen along the way. Completing the main game unlocks a Boss Rush mode – if you really want to develop your Roshambo skills – and a Classic mode. Oddly enough, this Classic mode, which is different from the classic graphics option in the main game, isn’t a fully emulated version of the original Miracle World. It is “the replica of the developer, inspired by the Sega Master System classic,” says the game. For something really authentic, you have to check out the Sega and M2 Sega Ages publication of Alex Kidd in Miracle World for Nintendo Switch.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX released June 22nd for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Windows PC. The game was verified on PlayStation 5 using a pre-release download code (for PS4) from Merge Games. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not affect the editorial content, although Vox Media can earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. you find more information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.