Although many reviewers did not take kindly to the Alex Kidd in Miracle World remake that surfaced this summer, I still stand by it as a competent resuscitation of a forgotten Sega franchise. While it undoubtedly had its issues (mainly about the controls and redundancy of “Classic Mode”), it was still well presented and had some incredibly clever homages that only die-hard Sega fans would likely observe and appreciate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alone in my criticism of the controls and physics being a little janky. However, fortunately, the devs have decided to implement a fix (among others) to help contribute to Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX‘s accessibility.
The patch arrived on September 3rd for Steam but is now available on all ports of the game. You can read an exhaustive list of the new additions and bug fixes here. However, the most significant takeaways have to be the options for “adjusted controls” and “adjusted hitboxes” under the Accessibility tab in the game’s menu.
I completed another playthrough of the game with these boxes ticked. Although the adjusted controls don’t necessarily make the game handle more like the Sega Master System original, they help make it a bit more “modern.” Alex doesn’t slip and slides around nearly as much as he did on day one, and you have far more control of the character in mid-air. This update makes the notoriously tricky parts of the game, such as the forest (provided you don’t have the magical cane that lets you cheese all of those spike pits) and the final dungeon, a bit more bearable. Speaking of the last stage, I (as well as other players) observed that certain rooms were much more complicated than they were in the original game due to obstacles moving at seemingly twice the speed. This, too, was accounted for, as indicated by the patch notes. “Acid waterfall drop rate slowed down.”
While using these options (or even Infinite Lives) doesn’t disable trophies, nor does the game tell you you experienced a “hollow victory” for using them, there is one drawback. For whatever reason, using the adjusted controls will bar you from using Alex’s “duck slide” technique. Fortunately, there’s no portion of this game where the move is required so that you won’t be missing much outside of a few optional goodies. It’s a strange decision for sure, but not a big deal.
I’m being honest- I feel that many of these issues really shouldn’t have been there at launch. Still, this is better late than never, and I have to give these folks props for actually doing something about the problems highlighted by reviewers and fans alike. I know I’ve criticized Vicarious Visions before for basically telling players to “deal with it” regarding Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy‘s controls/physics situation before. However, I think it’s worth bringing up again, considering that this (much smaller) team of game designers took the initiative and sought to fine-tune their product. I don’t regret buying two copies of this game for different platforms, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that JankenTeam will take a stab at remaking the fantastic Alex Kidd in Shinobi World sometime soon.