RELEASED: November 1993
AVAILABLE ON: GBA, SNES
Disney's 31st animated feature film Aladdin is one of the Walt Disney Company's proudest creations. It's one of the most definitive films of the Disney Renaissance era, and although essentially it's a love story as most of Disney's animated features are, it's also a dashing adventure that was bound to spawn a video game. It did, a couple of different ones. Virgin Interactive made a game for the Sega Genesis and home computers. This game was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, and finally the Game Boy. Just weeks after the release of the Sega game, Capcom's Shinji Mikami presented his version of Aladdin, originally exclusive to the SNES. This game was so critically and commercially successful that it was unofficially ported to all the platforms that already had Virgin's game in their libraries. Yes, it is that good.
It's like a wish come true
|I smell something a bit more kinky.|
Aladdin is one of my favourite Disney films. It has all the potential of being annoying, but even Robin Williams (an actor I absolutely despise) rocks in that flick as the genie with the worst case of AD/HD ever seen. It's very balanced, it doesn't bathe in the drama like Disney love stories usually do - it's also an exciting action/adventure movie, with a lot more comedy to it than what the character of the genie alone provides. To this day, it remains the only Disney animated feature that has a tolerable sequel outside of the Classic Series, in Return of Jafar (I actually saw it before I saw Aladdin). Since I like the movie so much and the SNES video game is incredibly faithful to it, to avoid a veil cast by the beloved theme, I tried not to think about it so much and attempted to look at Aladdin from the pure standpoint of a gamer. It's still freakin' fantastic - to be perfectly frank, it's the best Disney platformer there is.
|Escaping the Cave of Wonders is NOT easy.|
This game has just a few flaws which are worth mentioning. At its worst, it's one of those hectic platformers in which you must move all the time, but you must also engage in some trial and error, because you simply cannot see what lies ahead, beyond or below. Some enemies have just one extremely precise weak point you can jump on; even if you're sure to have nailed your jump, the game might not detect it and you're damaged instead of the enemy. Jafar's first form is like that; you don't need to do more than place one of Aladdin's toes just slightly to the side of his turban, and you're fucked. Remember: aim to the absolute middle, plus/minus zero! Finally, the "trial and error" bit is at its absolute worst in the first magic carpet level. One, the whole level is a one-hit kill. Two, you have waves of lava on your ass the whole time. Three, you can see ahead by about half an inch. Four, the tempo's FAST. Five, there are rocks falling from the ceiling to go with the lava. And finally: six, you guessed it, it's a tunnel with sharp ascents and descents. Imagine this sinister six together, and you don't have yourself a really challenging level, you have a mostly luck-based level that's pure shit - the noxious brown stain on this diamond. These kind of levels simply don't work in 2D since you have about half a second's warning of an obstacle ahead, especially if the level's based on one-hit kills. Hell, they don't always work in 3D, either... hey, Mikami, weren't you responsible for that jetski sequence in Resident Evil 4, too?
|The genie's magical dominion is one deliciously |
f'd up place.
|Break time! I dare you to hit something other |
than the star!
|Time to come out swingin'.|
Aladdin is definitely a diamond in the rough, and it at least should've paved the way for a whole new era of Disney games, as well as movie licenses. It is not only the best Disney platformer there is, but an extremely good game which I gladly recommend to each and every SNES enthusiast, be they Disney fans or not.
GRAPHICS : 9.6
SOUND : 7.0
PLAYABILITY : 9.2
LIFESPAN : 8.2
CONCLUSION : 9.0
a.k.a. Disney's Aladdin
GameRankings: 65.17% (GBA), 78.38% (SNES)
Capcom's second and last game based on a full-length animated feature by Disney.
Virgin Interactive was originally rumoured to handle all versions and ports of the Aladdin license, but at the time of the SNES game's development, Capcom held the sole licensing rights to Nintendo games based on Disney's intellectual property.