Before there was Sonic the Hedgehog, there was Alex Kidd, SEGA’s defacto Master System mascot. Once the blue blur took the spotlight in the ‘90s, Alex’s franchise was left as a relic of an older time, appearing only in a few compilations over the years. That was until a remake of the original game, Miracle World, was announced seemingly out of nowhere.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a full remake of the original game on modern platforms with new levels, modes, and accessibility options to make it more appealing to newcomers and veterans alike. The highlight here is easily the presentation. The new graphics and updated music are great, and the world even has some new characters and story beats too. For retro fans, you can toggle between a retro visual mode at any time using R2 and there's also an unlockable classic mode, which is a complete recreation of the original Master System release.

Unfortunately, that’s where the praise for this release ends. The core gameplay falls flat, with boring and dated level design, terrible enemy placement, and some of the worst hit-detection in recent memory. From start to finish, the game feels unfair. While there is a new option for infinite lives — arguably the only way to enjoy this adventure — you will still be dying hundreds of times due to huge hitboxes on enemies and instant kill traps. The worst offenders are sourced from boss fights, which ask you to play Rock-Paper-Scissors against the boss, and if you lose you die. There are ways around this later on, but by then the damage was already done.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a great looking remake of a terrible game. Level design is dated, bosses are completely luck based and all the hitboxes just feel off. There is a reason that Sonic took over as SEGA’s mascot because no remake can change the fact that Alex Kidd’s first adventure is incredibly frustrating and poorly designed.