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SummaryDon't let the 1st level fool you. This game is a platforming classic.
The GoodA much needed & worthy sequel to Miracle World. Makes me wish there were more Alex Kidd games like these. Upgrades from Miracle World which include the ability to keep & equip/unequip items at will, punching blocks sends them flying offering new platforms or a way to kill enemies. Some stages are large vertically offering multiple paths. I like the above water & below water stage options. You can crawl & punch at the same time. Can't think of another game with such awesomeness. At first I thought it was odd that so much of the game takes place outside given the title but once you get to the enchanted castle it is all one epic stage that is bigger than the rest of the game combined! The hockey-masked butcher murders are also lumberjacks & lava-proof. Enemy variety is great. I love that the apes climb down the trees. The multiple paths in the castle are challenging & rewarding. Rats you see in one room in the castle will actually come into the next room with you after you've been in there a while, nice touch. The ending is a huge surprise & I've never seen an ending like it anywhere else, period.
The BadThe 1 hit death is the worst part of the game. As is normal in Alex Kidd games Alex is prone to slipping with momentum. The jump kick takes getting used to & when wearing the ring it controls your projectile making it harder to shoot in mid-air than in Miracle World. The first stage, while needed, gives wrong impression about the game. You have to unequip items before the end of the stage or running into a boss in order to keep them. I didn't realize you could unequip them at all at first & lost the hard to come by copter for the rest of the game. The copter is much more awkward & hard to pedal/control than it is in Miracle World. Game tells you to wait for music during rock, paper, scissors (no longer called janken) but you can throw early using the button. I wasted a lot of time waiting for the music to end before realizing this. Some treasure chests contain 3 flying bombs. This kind of fake out is ok but 3 of the hardest to get to chests contain these bombs & that sucks to work so hard to get to a trap. There is a place in the castle where it seems you have to bounce off a wall to get into a room but gravity makes it seem impossible. If you wasted your items before this you'll be stuck. Once you know the ending you'll be mad that Alex risked his life so much.