The StarSoldier

in Miracle World
Artist touch: Although seeing some small kid punch at the air looked pointless, at least you get to see his fist enlarged which is part of the game play here. Cover art rating: 5/10
Month it won:
December 2006

(Sega, 1987)
Special note: There are two different versions of Alex Kidd in Miracle World released here in North America.
Introduction and Story:
It has been a long journey but my special look back at both the incredible 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and the amazing Sega Master System is finally over. To end my SMS Stud of the Month on a high note I wanted to pick out one of the most popular games ever released on the console. I couldn't have think of a better SMS game to review then the fun yet very challenging original game that was probably the main reason most people purchased this cool console in the first place: Alex Kidd in Miracle World!

In the game you control this young hero named Alex Kidd. This Kidd may look weird with his giant ears and odd red overalls but you wouldn't wanna meet this guy in a dark alley because he has been training for years to have the ability to break rocks with his bare hands. One day though he discovers that the once peaceful city of Radactian is now under attack from the evil Danken Master and his ruthless Paper, Scissors, and Rock army. There is no time to waste and he must go on long and dangerous mission to save this kingdom and his kidnapped twin brother. It won't be easy to say the least since this is such a big adventure but you do get some help.
Controls and Game Play:
Alex Kidd in Miracle World gets off to a really great start because the intro itself shows you a lot of the cool things you can do in this huge adventure like swimming, boating, flying, fighting the evil Janken the Great, and that's just a few of the fun things you get to do in this game here. How do you make rock crushing warrior even tougher? For just 200 bucks in stage two you can give him a sweet motorbike to run right through enemies! Sadly, the bike doesn't last forever but it can sure help you get through the stage in a hurry, eh? Because there are a lot of different power ups and unique challenges like a boss fight featuring a game of paper rock scissors in the game here it really helps to keep everything very compelling.

The game is just like a lot of action platformers out there where you try to get from point A to point B but your hero just knows one speed and that's insanely quick. I like fast paced games but he can be a little hard to control at times especially during jumps. Alex can only take one hit as well without power ups so don't expect a easy game either. If you have the original Alex Kidd IMW button 2 is jump and button 1 is punch which can be confusing if you are use to other action games like Wonderboy but you get use to it. Of course you can play with the buttons reversed on the North American version of the sleek Sega Master System II console where this fun game is built right in. The special re-release also sports a few new graphical changes like the more Japanese rice ball was altered to a hamburger.
Graphics and Sounds:  

I know killing that bird seems mean but it had it coming!
That moves me to the visuals here because Alex Kidd IMW not only has good game play but it ain't too bad to look at either. Each of the different stages like the swamps, mountains, and castles are all very colourful and easy to make out on the screen. There are times when I wish the game had more detail since a lot of the backgrounds look flat but it still look great especially since it was one of the first Sega games for the old system.

The game even has a great list of cool musical soundtracks that are hard to get out of my head. You mostly hear the quick main theme of the adventure throughout the game but there are different tracks for different scenarios like using your Peticopter as well. The game sounds better then most Master System titles available.
The Bottomline:  
Although not all of the Alex Kidd games out there have been that good (take the weak Lost Stars and the nearly unplayable High Tech World for example), Miracle World is a much different story. It wasn't only a tough yet very interesting long action game that will keep you busy for a while but it's also a great answer to Super Mario Bros. on the Master System.

These quick controls do take some time getting use to especially if you playing the original cart version (the SMSII built in game has the controls reversed) but all the good features definitely out weight the bad. All the game's unique power ups, diverse stages, wacky bad guys and greuling challenge makes this a classic must own for SMS fans.

On a side note thanks to everyone for reading my special picks for the exclusive 6 studs of the month here! I know most gamers want the newer game machine like the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii (and to a lesser extent the Xbox 360) in the mad 2006 Holiday season but screw that because the old stuff plays great too. I did this weird collection of these amazing 8-bit games so more people will give them another look and not just let they rot in the discount bins. If you are looking to get that retro fan some gifts, why not steal some of fun legends from your parents basement, eh? Below you will find a complete list of all the games featured in this special NES and SMS retrospective.

Sorry, I didn't know you were Jewish?
ALEX KIDD in Miracle World
overall rating: 85/100

Find Alex Kidd on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 7/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 8/10

replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

See the other Games of the Month

2006 Studs (July - December): SMS Series

2006 Studs (January - June): NES Series

ALEX KIDD in Miracle World (Sms)


WONDERBOY III: The Dragon's Trap (Sms)