Turn Back The Clock
Alex Kidd In Miracle World
Distributed by: Sega
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Not so long ago I did a review for Nintendo’s Punch Out—one of my favorite games of all time—and since then I’ve been on a mission to replay as many of my old childhood games as possible. I don’t have a regression problem, I just loved those old games—I swear. Anyway, in my quest for nostalgia, I pestered my wife to get me an old Sega Master System from eBay. She did, and I was thrilled to learn that it was the console that came with Alex Kidd in Miracle World—another of my all time favorite games—built in. Naturally I played the hell out of it and as a result, I decided to share my experience with you, my loyal fan.
For those of you born too late, or who didn’t have loving parents to buy you your own Sega Master System, let me explain what the game is about. You are Alex Kidd, prince of the land of Radaxian, younger brother and next in line to the throne, kidnapped by evil forces and taken to a far away land when you were just a baby. You learn this because everyone you meet along your journey knows this, but you do not. Remember, it is an old game, they just need to move the plot along; believability was not a main concern for the game makers back then. Now you’re on a quest to rid the land of the evil Janken and save your kingdom.
You are a little, big-eared, big-headed, youth with a big fist and an apparent love for breaking things with the one martial arts move you ever learned—a big-fisted punch. You break bricks, blue circular spheres, flying animals, crawling animals, bats and other things. Along the way you collect money to finance your quest and to obtain a few nifty items. Among such items are, a ring that breaks the blocks from across the screen, a capsule containing eight little Alex Kidds to throw at your enemies, and a type of powder that makes you invisible to your enemies.
At the end of some stages, you will have to fight one of the evil Janken’s three trusted minions. How do you challenge and defeat the minions of the evil Janken, you might ask? Simple, with the dreaded, deadly, and destructive “Janken matches.” Basically it’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” but with music and a little dance step—I’m not kidding. You fight each of the three minions—named Rock Head, Scissor Head and Paper Head"-twice, and the second time you beat them they throw their heads at you. That was always my favorite part.
But the heart of the game, in my opinion, lies with the toys. Throughout the course of the game you will utilize a motorbike, a helicopter and a boat to speed you through certain levels. These are great and I loved seeing that bigheaded Kidd zooming through the screen on a motorbike as much as an adult as I did as a child. I’m not mentally deficient or anything, I just appreciate simplicity sometimes.
My only gripe about the game now is that somewhere along the line from the original game that I played and the one that was built into the Sega console, they changed the little rice cake—from the clearly Japanese version of the game—that you grab and eat at the end of every level to a stupid looking hamburger. It may seem like a dumb compliant and an understandable change, but the Alex Kidd I remembered, ate rice cakes, not hamburgers. Rice cakes are far healthier for him than a greasy hamburger. I mean, how can he be expected to fight the forces of the evil king Janken, play multiple games of Rock, Paper, Scissor, fend off flying heads, break blocks, ride all types of adult vehicles, and liberate the kingdom on such a high carb meal? All that bread will slow him down. I swear, I’m not deficient.
Anyway, all in all, I liked the game still. For the time in which it was made, it was decent, fun and entertaining. And though much of the game is very easy to beat even without ultimate knowledge of the game like I had, there are parts that require good ol' reflexes and dexterity to get past, regardless of how many times you’ve played it. The game is a great trip through time, back to a simpler era, where men were little boys with huge fists and hand games solved everything. The game is much shorter than I remembered it, but it was no less fun—despite the abrupt ending—and if you can manage to get your hands on it, I’d recommend you do, because they just don’t make games this cheesy anymore.
That’s my opinion—follow it blindly.