Gone are the days of Backbone ports on Xbox Live Arcade that end up ugly and functionality being a shot in the dark. M2′s Sega Vintage Collections are looking fantastic. Spiffed up with a great graphic overlay, a great save system, customizable settings, and a challenge mode to accompany the normal game. The issue with Alex Kidd & Co is the game selection isn’t the hottest thing from Sega’s library.
Super Hang On makes one long that Road Rash was included instead. The game is most comparable as Sega’s answer to Rad Racer or Top Gear. You pick a continent then drive and try not to crash as you have limited time to reach each checkpoint. The game offers a few different audio tracks that are decent for this kind of game but it doesn’t make up for the game being a snoozer. The other riders get conveniently all over the track towards the end of a country’s stages and using turbo spells disaster usually.
The second game in this trio is Revenge of Shinobi. This is the highlight of the group but don’t expect an easy time. The game is very reminiscent of Ninja Gaiden’s difficulty and cheap deaths (luckily this game lacks birds that wait for you to jump to OHKO you). Shinobi has some attacking specials and defensive specials to get him through the nameless assault of rival ninjas and military men with sharp bullets. There are some interesting bosses in this game like the pink ninja who is actually Spider-Man or the Hulk. You fight a censored Hulk in this ninja game for some reason. This game only suffers on the last level and its puzzle labyrinth that asks too much of the player without providing any help. Then again different era than now.
The titular game Alex Kidd in Miracle World is dead in the middle between Hang On and Shinobi. The platforming isn’t fluid, Alex feels like he both has gum and oil on his shoes, and the hit detection seems ridiculously off target. Alex Kidd is a strange platformer that’s hard because it feels so busted and unfinished.
Alex Kidd & Co is probably a Vintage Collection to pass up unless you need to play Revenge of Shinobi. The interface is fantastic but the games feel lousy compared to the other 3 collections Sega is putting out this month. There is really nothing lost from missing out on these.
- Interface is amazing
- Trials system is smart
- Revenge of Shinobi
- Alex Kidd’s control feel
- Super Hang On is no Road Rash
- Cheap deaths in Shinobi
Overall: 3 out of 5