I recently played a preview build of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, a reimagining of the classic Sega title. The preview offers three levels to play from, and while it makes for a short experience, I was able to get a real sense of what this adventure has to offer.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX features beautifully redesigned graphics giving Miracle World and its inhabitants a vibrant and cartoony feel. Enemies and Alex Kidd himself have some great designs and immediately make the art design thoroughly appealing. Also notable are lighting effects and detailed backgrounds that deviant from the flat blue sky of its 8-bit title.
These graphical changes are highlighted even more by the cool feature to switch from the reimagined game to its Master System original. At any point, the player can alter between these two modes with the click of a button. I was surprised how seamlessly and how well this worked and often found myself comparing the two each step of the preview.
Sound and music also received an enormous overall. While the main theme was catchy enough, some variety here was added to keep it from feeling too repetitive. That being said, I’m pretty sure Alex Kidd’s theme will be stuck in my head for at least another week. It’s a great improvement, though, and fits well with the new graphics.
Additionally, there are new levels and bosses added, which I was able to take on during this build. With the Master System title being a somewhat short game, it’s a smart move and will give even die-hard fans something more to look forward to besides reimagined graphics. Another small but neat addition are characters frozen in stone that you can talk to. It seems this would be a great opportunity to flesh out the narrative a bit more.
One thing that stays consistent, though, is the gameplay. Alex Kidd has a reputation of being a slightly difficult platformer, which is true during either mode of the preview. While the controls are by no means bad, Alex Kidd does feel a bit slippery and floaty, just like in his original journey.
You also have to get dangerously close to enemies to deal damage which can mean instant death if you mess up your timing. I often found myself cautiously approaching enemies with small steps at a time until I knew I was in perfect range. It makes for a precision experience not found in many modern-day platformers.
It would be interesting to see if there could be tweaks to controls in the modern version, but I could also see how that might work against the seamless nature of transitioning from the 8-bit to HD mode. Still, there might be some balance that could be struck and implemented in the final version.
Regardless, even if there aren’t any changes in this department, it’s undeniable that Alex Kidd will maintain the identity that helps it stand out from other platformers, modern or retro.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is set to release June 24 on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Series S.
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