Game of the Week: Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Back in the day I was lucky enough to own some of the best game consoles which came out in the U.K. I had a NES as well as a master system version 2. In built into this console was a free bundled game called Alex Kidd in Miracle World. This game would boot if nothing was in the console.
Alex Kidd follows the story of the young prince how is on his way to take back over his kingdom from the evil Janken the great. Alex Kidds mission is to save the populace from him (as it says in the game). As you progress through the game you find out from the NPC’s that the evil Janken has also imprisoned your elder brother. Only Alex of Radaxian can save the day. With each level you complete you get closer to the end but along the way Janken’s hench men also try stopping you. The way they try to stop you is in a Janken match – basically just a game of rock, paper and scissors.
Graphics: For a game of it’s time the graphics were very well put together. The animations were easy to distinguish what action they were trying to perform. The colour palette is nice and bright yet varied. This allowed the developers to make a more varied looking set of levels albeit with limited capabilities by today’s standard.
Sounds: Granted the master system doesn’t have arcade standard quality of sound for the period but with the hardware they had they’ve managed a well put together collection of sound effects and music. The theme tunes have a great melody whilst being very recognisable, this is definitely shown with the infamous title screen music. This is what to fans of Alex Kidd is synonymous with the game itself.
Gameplay: Now I have to admit I’ve never finished this game before until recently just because of the simple fact the game is too bloody hard! This generation of games definitely wasn’t easy. Games were definitely designed back in the 80’s and early 90’s just to troll you and if anything just wind you up. I can see why designers didn’t want their games too easy as it would mean they didn’t have that longevity. Back then having a game which lasted you a while was considered to have value, even if it did annoy the hell out of you.
After about the fourth level of the game the difficulty definitely ramps up. Bosses have stupid abilities all on the aim to steal your lives and get you to that game over screen quicker than ever before. Thank god emulators let you have state saves. Without these I would have never even bothered to relive playing this game, I don’t have the time nor the patience to put up with bullshit game mechanics stopping me from completing a game. Talking of BS mechanics then you wanna check out TMNT on the NES, jeez that is well known for being the master of troll games, especially with the electric seaweed!
Anyhow back to Alex Kidd, I do get why developers made games so hard but this is taking it to a whole new level. The game does essentially feel like two different games, the first half is a fun, varied game with unique level design whilst the second half is just there to anger you.
Overall it is fun but at the same time I’m thankful I’m not playing this on the original hardware.